Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – August 8, 2020

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Published Saturday, August 8, 2020

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

As of 7/27/2020, trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Anglers have been using PowerBait from the dam with mild success. The trout are deeper now, so casting out 40 to 50 yards is recommended. Trout action from boats is fair to good while trolling with crawlers. Walleye action has been fair to good trolling with bottom bouncers and crawlers in 25' to 30' of water. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park Hours for August 5:30am-9:00pm. Restricted to electric motors only and portable gas tanks must be removed.
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

As of 7/22/2020, anglers have been having success at Chatfield Reservoir. One angler noted having success pulling in smallmouth bass and trout from shore. They reported fish were attracted to both chartreuse worms and small jerkbaits. A recent water temperature measurement was recorded at 70 degrees and the water level was estimated to be approximate 4' below full pool. Aquatic Nuisance Species Inspections will be conducted at the North and South ramps from 6am -10pm seven days a week. Vessel Decontamination will only be performed during daylight hours.
Chatfield Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir

As of 7/19/2020, Cherry Creek remains to be productive. An angler reported they were able to attract walleye on both metal spoons and swim baits. They also noticed an influx of shad appearing in many areas across the lake. Water temperature was measured at 75 degrees on 7/29/2020 with recent variability between 73 to 76 degrees. The water surface level is currently at normal levels for this time of the year. The reservoir is open for boating with two boat ramps and ANS inspections stations open daily from 6am-10 pm. The West boat ramp is closed on Wednesdays. 
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 7/27/2020, bass fishing is slow to fair with a few good reports of anglers using soft plastics and top water lures. Early mornings and evenings have been the best time to fish. There have been reports of smallmouth being caught from the dam using jigs. Yellow perch fishing is fair to good using jigs. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand are permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. Park Hours for August 5:30am-9:00pm. For more information call 303-326-8424. Quincy Reservoir
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

As of 7/23/2020, the Eleven Mile Marina reports that fishing for trout continues to be good at Eleven Mile Reservoir. While noted as generally good, the marina warned that "when it is hot and calm the bite is a little slower. Weeds are beginning to be an issue for trolling. The weeds are usually down early am but get bad as the sun gets higher in the sky." They suggest that anglers targeting trout should consider throwing Tas Devils, Kastmasters, or Needlefish but jigging tubes and marabous have been effective when weeds become trouble. They also note that there has been good shore action "with people pitching Kastmasters or your favorite bait." Outside of trout, there has only been moderate action among northern pike. To catch norther pike the marina suggests anglers "work the weed lines on the west or rock drop offs on the east. Big sticks and spinner baits have also done well. We catch them on the Kastmaster which has generally been one of the better performing lures this season." https://www.11milesports.com/fishing-report
Eleven Mile Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 7/8/2020, the staff at Boyd Lake report that there has been excellent fishing at the lake. Specifically, anglers have had success catching trout on either worms or spinners near the Pumphouse and along shorelines at a depth of around 8'. The bite has also been on among white bass as well. Anglers have been pulling in white bass using jigs and deep runners at a depth of 20-30'. There has also been good fishing for carp, crappie, and walleye. Bowfishers have had success with carp along the shorelines. Kastmasters and rapallas have gotten anglers into crappie. Meanwhile, a slow death rig/bottom bouncer with chartreuse spinner and worm harness will attract walleye. The main and Heron Cove boat ramps are currently open. ANS inspections are available 6am to 10pm and decontaminations are available 8am to 8pm at the main boat ramp. 
Boyd Lake

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 7/19/2020, a recent report indicated there is good fishing still going on at North Sterling Reservoir. One angler noted that they caught their limit of crappie and also landed a bluegill and walleye. Water temperatures have been recently measured in the high 60's to low 70's. The Elks ramp is open daily 7am-9pm, the South ramp is open Fr.-Su., 7am-9pm; M., 8am-4pm.
North Sterling Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

As of 6/28/2020, the ponds at St. Vrain State Park have been fishing well. Reports from anglers indicate they are having success with warm water species such as walleye, bass, and perch. Increased water temperatures have impacted the activity of trout in the ponds. A recent measurement of water temperature was recorded as high as the mid 70's in one pond. The water was indicated to be stained with visibility at about 3-feet. 
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

As of 7/19/2020, there continues to be reports of fish activity at Horsetooth Reservoir, especially among smaller fish at approximately 12" to 15". One angler noted they were able to pull in fish from 10' to 15' down the water column. They were the most successful using small swimbaits to attract fish. Water temperature was recently recorded between 71 and 73 degrees with water clarity at about 4'. ANS stations are open 6am to 10pm, 7 days a week at the following boat ramps: South Bay Ramp, Inlet Bay Ramp, and Satanka Ramp.
Horsetooth Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. As of 7/29/2020, Braden writes that "we've got excellent conditions right now on the upper Arkansas. The Hayden Meadows area is the most approachable section to wade fish, but if anglers are comfortable rock hopping through BV and the Numbers, good pocket water is available along the edges. Expect to see some gray drake, pale morning dun and caddis activity in Hayden Meadows, with more golden stoneflies and yellow sallies as you head towards Buena Vista. Even if nothing is hatching, you'll likely find opportunistic, competitive fish taking refuge in velocity shelters looking for an easy meal. Think dry-dropper or shallow nymphing with large attractor flies like chernobyl ants, stimulators, Pat's rubberlegs, etc. The fish in Hayden meadows are starting to disperse along the entire river. Many fish will still be found in the undercut banks and pockets on the edge but don't forget to cast into riffles and pools out away from the bank too. Below the Twin Lakes confluence the majority of your fish are still along the edges where they can find shelter from the current." Flows: 178 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 495 CFS at Granite (7/29/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Rampart Reservoir

As of 7/19/2020, Rampart Reservoir has been fishing well, especially among lake trout. One report indicated the most lake trout action occurred between 40' to 90' down the water column. Despite the activity among suspended lake trout, anglers suggested there was little top water activity to be had. Water temperature was recorded at 64 degrees. According to the US Forest Service, "all trailered and motorized watercraft are only allowed from 7am to 5pm Thursdays through Sundays when CPW is performing aquatic nuisance species inspections. Hand launched watercraft may be launched from the boat ramp Monday - Sunday 7am to 5 pm.
Rampart Reservoir

Pueblo Reservoir

As of 7/16/2020, reports from anglers indicate that Lake Pueblo is fishing very well. The water temperature has been recorded in the low 70's while recent ambient temperatures have been high. These high temperatures have made night fishing anglers best bet. Anglers have had success fishing from boat and shore. Nightcrawlers and leeches suspended below a slip bobber has gotten a lot of anglers into a variety of fish species, specifically wiper, walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass. Reports also suggest that the shad hatch is on. Anglers should bring shad patterned lures to take advantage. Boat ramps are open with inspection hours 5am to 12am and decontamination hours 8am to 7pm. Park staff note that the park is experiencing high visitation and heavy boating usage. Expect long lines at the entrance to the park, to launch your boat and to find a parking space. Be prepared to walk a distance from your parking spot. Waiting times of one to two hours may occur during the peak times: 11 am to 4 pm on weekends.
Pueblo Reservoir

Lake Trinidad

As of 7/21/2020, there continues to be good fishing at Lake Trinidad. Surface water temperatures have recently been recorded between 71-74 degrees. These temperatures have pushed trout into deeper waters and other species have been active in shallow waters. Walleye, perch, and bluegill have been noted to be active recently, especially in waters 25' or less. Boaters have had luck trolling for walleye and perch at around 15' to 25' below the surface, meanwhile, boaters can troll deeper in the water column to find trout. Shore anglers have been successful with hooks tipped in dough bait or nightcrawlers, especially in the mornings and evenings. In Reilly Canyon, water levels have been low and significant grass blooms have restricted fishing opportunities along shorelines. Beyond the weeds, boaters have been successful reeling in walleye and bluegill. 
Lake Trinidad

Horseshoe Lake

As of 7/17/2020, according to rangers at Lathrop State Park, "trout fishing has dropped off dramatically, due to higher temperatures. Crappie and bass fishing on Horseshoe has been more productive than on Martin, with most anglers stating that artificial lures, jigs, plastic worms, and spinners result in the most takes. Warmer waters have led to increased activity from catfish and carp. Fishing for catfish has been reported as being the most active around dawn and dusk, and anglers are having success with worms or liver based baits."
Horseshoe Lake

Martin Lake

As of 7/17/2020, park staff at Lathrop State Park reported the following conditions for Martin Lake: "trout fishing has dropped off over the past weeks, in part due to higher water temperatures and windy conditions. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass have been active, as well as yellow perch. Trolling or fishing with swimbaits has led to more anglers pulling in pike and muskie. Wiper have been most active in the early morning hours prior to sunrise."
Martin Lake

Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. As of 7/29/2020, "the river has remained clear above Chalk Creek over the past few days, but below Chalk has seeing varying levels of discoloration as the creek itself has runoff following significant rain up the Chalk Creek valley. The creek seems to be stabilizing and recovering, and with the clear forecast over the next few days we should see a quick return of quality conditions on the river all the way from Buena Vista down to Salida...Currently, you'll want to focus on fishing the soft pockets of slower water along the edges, dropoffs and mid-stream pocket water. We've had some great reports from anglers working the edges with large attractor dry/dropper setups, and flies that imitate grasshoppers and stoneflies are usually the ticket. Golden stones, yellow sallies and pale morning duns are the key food items here, and a mix of caddis are active as well." Flows: 756 CFS at Helca Junction (7/29/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Navajo Lake

As of 7/13/2020, according to park staff at Navajo Lake State Park, "fishing is good. As water temperatures rise fishermen should fish deeper waters. Fishing for northern pike using large crank bait lures can be successful. Fishing bait in deeper water can get an angler into catfish. Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing with crankbaits along structures will produce good fishing." The boat ramp is currently open 7am-8pm, Su.-Th.; 7am-9pm, Fr.-Sa. The boat ramp gate closes and is locked when the ANS station closes for the day. 
Navajo Lake

Blue Mesa Reservoir

As of 7/23/2020, reports indicate that Blue Mesa Reservoir fishing was fair to good. One angler noted that there is a lot of action among lake, brown, and rainbow trout on the reservoir. In contrast, very little action among kokanee. Recent measurements recorded surface water temperature at 67 degrees. The reservoir was recently measured to be near 70% of full capacity and has been consistently dropping since. 
Blue Mesa Reservoir

Ridgway Reservoir

As of 7/8/2020, the staff at Ridgway State Park report that there have been "4,100 catchable rainbow trout stocked in Ridgway Reservoir. Fishing in the reservoir has been stable with trolling techniques or PowerBait, and worms from shore. Pa-Co-Chu-Puk fishing has been stable with small midges being the best producers, especially on larger fish. A San Juan worm can be productive after a rain and a change in water color. With high fishing pressure small fluorocarbon tippets and small midges are the way to go."
Ridgway Reservoir

Gunnison River

As of 7/29/2020, the Gunnison River has been running very low, as of 7/22/2020 flows were recorded as low as 370 CSF. Rainstorms in the past couple of days have replenished some water back into the river, however, flows continue to be about 50% of the average for this time of the year. Catch and release anglers need to be mindful of when they hit the water, cooler morning and evening temperatures will reduce the risk of exhausting vulnerable fish in the midday heat. 
Gunnison River

Animas River

As of 7/29/2020, the Animas River has rebounded and is running about normal for this time of the year. Water temperature last peaked at 70 degrees but has since returned to daily highs in the mid-60's and lows in the low 60's. These conditions have meant better conditions for the livelihood of fish in the Animas. Anglers should keep an eye out for hatches of green drakes, PMD's, golden stoneflies, and BWO's. Look for trout to be held up in deeper water in the late mornings or early evenings until ambient and water temperatures cool off. 
Animas River

James M. Robb Colorado River

As of 7/26/2020, staff at James M. Robb Colorado River State Park report that "trout fishing has slowed with the warmer summer temperatures. Blue gill will begin to pick up. All types of baits and lures work well. In order to minimize stress on the fish, it is better to fish in the mornings or evenings."
James M. Robb Colorado River

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide

Fishing remains generally good across the state but conditions naturally vary. Anglers should be mindful of how recent weather patterns temporarily impact rivers and fishing across the state. Recent rain storms have increased water levels, reduced water temperatures, and degraded water clarity in many rivers across the state. For some rivers, like the Gunnison, extra flows are welcomed during severe drought conditions throughout the southwest of the state. Anglers should still be aware of the vulnerability of fish in shallow warm water, even when these conditions seem to be improving. Anglers should hit the water in the mornings and evenings to find good dry fly action. We are still seeing a lot of PMD's, BWO's, caddis, green drakes and stonefly hatches throughout the state. Other rivers, such as the South Platte, might experience an influx of water that rises above average flows and create high, fast, and sediment filled flows. Consider strategies used throughout the spring runoff to meet these conditions: find pocket water or slower water along the river edge where fish will likely congregate and use bigger, bolder flies to help draw in their attention. When summer rain storms can create rapid changes to river conditions, anglers can be prepared for what the river will look like by checking weather forecasts and current river flows. 
Statewide

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Williams Fork Reservoir

As of 7/27/2020, Randy, a guide with Fishing with Bernie, reports that "water capacity is 99% as the summer draw down begins. Surface temperature is 65 warming to 67 degrees in the main body. The lake trout bite is fair to good depending on the day. The bite drops off considerably after 11AM but you can find biters in 80 to 90 foot range throughout the day. Small grubs tipped with sucker meat are working best for us. Northern pike are slow but we've had some follows in the west bays. Rainbows are breaking the surface most of the day. Cast small spinners or a fly and bubble at rises. A few rainbow trout are being caught bottom fishing around the campgrounds with PowerBait or worms. You'll probably catch some Crawdads too. Kokanee trolling is slow but some four years olds are being caught in the 40' to 50' range. Most kokanee trollers are catching small lake trout. Ramp hours are 6AM to 8PM daily." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Williams Fork Reservoir

Grand Lake

As of 7/27/2020, a Fishing With Bernie guide writes that the "bite has slowed down this week. We are finding lake trout in 30' to 60' of water. Small plastics and spoons tipped with sucker meat have produced most of the lake trout. Make sure to capitalize on every chance as bites are at a premium this time of year. Browns and rainbows can still be caught near the surface at first light but as soon as the sun hits the water it gets tougher." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Grand Lake

Lake Granby

As of 7/27/2020, Fishing With Bernie guides report that "rainbows and brown trout have been difficult along the shorelines. A few browns are being caught at night with lures. Lake trout are still willing to hit small jigs tipped with sucker meat. Keep moving till you find a group of fish that will bite." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Lake Granby

Steamboat Lake

As of 7/17/2020, reports indicate that fishing has been great at Steamboat Lake. Park staff noted that there has been a lot of success of anglers suspending nightcrawlers and even marshmallows below a bobber. The Dutch Hill ANS inspection booth is open Monday through Thursday, 8am to 6pm; Friday through Sunday 6am to 9pm. 
Steamboat Lake

Sylvan Lake

As of 7/8/2020, staff at Sylvan Lake State Park noted that the lake was stocked with catchable trout in September, October, and November 2019, as well as in early May and June 2020. They also reported that the water levels have been close to normal throughout the summer. Only non-motorized boats or boats with electric trolling motors are allowed.
Sylvan Lake

Vega Reservoir

As of 7/28/2020, reports from Vega Reservoir indicate that fishing is good. Staff note that "PowerBait and worms have been successful in landing some nice rainbow and cutthroat trout in the 14"-18" range. The lake is open for boating and you may access it via the Island boat ramp. Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps remains closed. The ANS boat inspection station is open daily from 7am-8:30pm."
Vega Reservoir

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