Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – July 18, 2020

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Published Saturday, July 18, 2020

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

As of 6/29/2020, trout fishing is fair to good using PowerBait from the dam. The trout are deeper in the water column so casting out 40-50 yards is recommended. There have been a few reports of largemouth bass being caught using soft plastics in the coves. Walleye fishing is fair to good using jigs tipped with crawlers/leeches and trolling with bottom bouncers and crawlers. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park Hours for June 5am-9:30pm. Restricted to electric motors only and portable gas tanks must be removed.
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

As of 7/11/2020, Chatfield Reservoir is fishing well. One angler noted having success pulling in smallmouth bass on plastics and walleye with nightcrawlers. They noticed that the bite slowed for smallmouth in the evening and picked up for walleye. Anglers will likely have more success targeting walleye near or after sunset on the reservoir. Chatfield is open to boating. Aquatic Nuisance Species Inspections will be conducted at North Ramp and South Ramp from 6am -10pm seven days a week. Vessel Decontamination will only be performed during day light hours.
Chatfield Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir

As of 7/8/2020, recent reports from Cherry Creek Reservoir suggested that there is a major algae bloom in progress. The bloom dramatically reduces water clarity and can impact fishing conditions. A couple anglers commented that the bite was slow but there are still active fish out there. As of 7/16/2020, the water level was measured at 12128 acres feet, which is near 87% full capacity. The reservoir is open for boating with two boat ramps and ANS inspections stations open daily from 6am-10 pm. The West boat ramp will be closed on Wednesdays.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 6/29/2020, bass fishing has been fair to good using soft plastics and top water lures. Early mornings and evenings have seen the most fish activity. There are some reports of yellow perch caught on jigs. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Watercraft restrictions-only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. Park Hours for June 5am-9:30pm. For more information call 303-326-8424.  
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

As of 7/10/2020, reports from 11 Mile Marina indicate that trout fishing have been very good at Eleven Mile Reservoir. The marina notes that the "trolling action is great. Cuttbows running 13 to 20 inches on the menu. Not much of a problem catching your limit. Many baits working. Bite times vary with mid early sunrise and mid-morning best. Meanwhile, northern pike fishing has been slower. The 11 Marina suggests anglers targeting northern pike use spinner baits, husky jerks, big sticks, and kastmasters. 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 7/9/2020, North Sterling State Park staff report that "water temps have been in the mid 70's and warming overall. Fishing for walleye, crappie, and drum has been fair and success has varied. Shore fishermen are catching a few crappie. There have been few reports of success fishing for wiper from shore but not a lot of fishermen targeting them yet. The Reservoir is OPEN to BOATING. The Inlet is OFF and the Outlet is ON." The Elks ramp is open daily 7am-9pm, the South ramp is open Fr.-Su., 7am-9pm; M., 8am-4pm.
North Sterling Reservoir

Antero Reservoir

As of 7/5/2020, a recent fishing report indicated that there was a lot of surface and subsurface fly activity happening at Antero Reservoir. An angler noted seeing callibaetis, damsels, and caddis on the lake. Fly anglers headed to the lake should consider stocking up on parachute adams, purple haze, and elk hair caddis patterns. Fish will be the most active throughout the morning and evening hours. The daily bag and possession limit for trout is two.
Antero Reservoir

St. Vrain State Park

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. 
St. Vrain State Park

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. As of 7/13/2020, 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 starting to open up along the edges. Expect to see some gray drake, golden stonefly and caddis activity. Over the weekend we saw some hatching pale morning duns so smaller mayfly nymphs, emergers and dry flies would be good to have in your arsenal. Even if nothing is hatching, you'll likely find opportunistic, competitive fish taking refuge in velocity shelters looking for an easy meal. Think drydropper 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 along the edges where they can find shelter from the current." Flows: 212 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 584 CFS at Granite (7/16/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

John Martin Reservoir

As of 7/1/2020, anglers reported that fishing has been mixed at John Martin Reservoir. They indicated that fishing is spotty but one can catch many fish if they are found. One angler noted that they had the most success focusing on rocky shoreline structures and sand transitions. The best fishing is in the morning and evenings. Water level was recently recorded at 49,780 acres feet, which is 8% of full capacity. Low water levels may impact the status the boat ramps, call park staff to get the most up to date information: 719-829-1801.
John Martin 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. 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 7/6/2020, Trinidad Lake continues to report good fishing. The lake is at 701 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6182.12. Surface water temps ranging between 68-70 degrees. Boaters have had luck trolling for trout and targeting walleye and smallmouth at depths of 10-20'. South shore fishermen have been catching trout with hooks tipped with dough bait and worms and 12-15" trout are common. Reilly Canyon: Low water levels have allowed a grass bloom in the shallows that has choked off a lot of shoreline. Boaters in the area are catching walleye and bluegill outside of the weeds.
Lake Trinidad

Horseshoe Lake

As of 6/24/2020, according to rangers at Lathrop State Park, "anglers using PowerBait or worms at Horseshoe Lake have reported pulling in the majority of the trout over the past week. Crappie and bass fishing on Horseshoe has been more productive than on Martin, with most anglers stating that artificial lures, jigs, 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." 
Horseshoe Lake

Martin Lake

As of 6/24/2020, park staff at Lathrop State Park reported the following conditions for Martin Lake: "trout fishing has been more productive over the last week, with the majority of anglers pulling rainbows in on worms and PowerBait. 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 7/13/2020, "conditions are great in the middle basin with flows hovering around 700 cfs. As flows have dropped, there's more quality edge water for wade anglers to use, and flows are still great for float fishing. Fish will still hold along the bank where structure is good, but are now able to utilize more of the river away from shore. Currently, you'll want to focus on fishing the soft pockets of slower water along the edges, drop-offs 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 and yellow sallies are the key food items here, and a mix of caddis are active as well. We are seeing lots of active pale morning dun nymphs mid-day, so expect to see adults on the water for the next couple weeks. Flows are dropping quickly, and the next couple of weeks will offer some of the best fishing of the summer season." Flows: 714 CFS at Helca Junction (7/16/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Navajo Lake

As of 7/10/2020, 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

Crawford Reservoir

As of 7/1/2020, there has been good fishing at Crawford Reservoir. Staff reported that there has been a lot of action with trout and bass. There have been reports that trout have begun rising and feeding from the surface. The reservoir is currently 13' below capacity. Iron Creek boat ramp is open with inspectors on duty from 7am to 8pm. Boaters can stay on the lake beyond inspection hours, and can now exit at any time, knowing that NO exit inspection will be done. You will be inspected the next time you come in.
Crawford 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 7/16/2020, the Gunnison River has consistently recorded below normal flows throughout the summer. As of 7/16/2020, a USGS streamgage recorded 452 CFS near the town of Gunnison which is below the 25 percentile based on records from the past 93 water years. Lower flows can make water temperatures raise and put extra stress on fish. Fish can be especially vulnerable in times of high stress, fishing is best done in the mornings and evenings.
Gunnison River

Animas River

As of 7/16/2020, the Animas River is running low. At 320 CFS near Durango, the Animas is flowing below the 25 percentile for this time of year. Lower flows have contributed to spikes in water temperature, which recently spiked at 70 degrees on 7/15/2020. Fishing in early mornings or evenings will give you the best opportunity to catch fish while reducing risk to fish.
Animas River

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide

Streams and rivers have been fishing well across the state of Colorado. Dry fly action has been good for fly anglers. Equipping oneself with PMDs, Elk Hair Caddis, Golden Stones, Green Drakes, and Yellow Sallies should prepare an angler for dry fly fishing on most rivers and streams across the state. River flows are on their way down in many rivers across the state. Anglers should check out current water flows before deciding where to fish. Go to United States Geologic Survey's website to get the latest update on a river or stream near to you. While fishing conditions may be good in many areas, catch and release anglers should be mindful of when and where they fish amidst the sustained summer heat. The Animas and Gunnison River are two examples of rivers where warming waters are making fish already vulnerable before even fighting on the hook. To protect fish intended to be release back into the water, it is smart for anglers to get on the water in the mornings or evenings when conditions are more favorable to fish recovery after their release.
Statewide

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Williams Fork Reservoir

As of 7/6/2020, Randy, a guide with Fishing with Bernie, reports that "water capacity is 100%. Ramp hours are 6AM to 8PM daily. Surface temp is 61 warming to 64 on sunny calm days. The lake trout bite is fair to good depending on the day. Fish are scattered and moving deeper. Look for them in the water column around 70' to 90' deep. Anglers should consider using jigs, small tubes, or grubs tipped with sucker meat and be very patient. Frequent moves will keep you on biting fish. Bait anglers are catching a few Rainbows around the campgrounds with worms, PowerBait and salmon eggs. Cast small spinners to rising fish early and late in the day. Kokanee trolling is very slow due to low population but instead anglers are mostly catching small lake trout. Northern pike are fishing slow but you'll find them hanging in the shallow water in all the bays. They'll hit any lure that they don't have to work too hard to catch." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Williams Fork Reservoir

Grand Lake

As of 7/6/2020, Fishing With Bernie guide Sam Hochevar writes: "lake trout are being caught in 25' to 50' of water with small tubes and spoons tipped with sucker meat. The bite has slowed down this week. Rainbows and browns are suspended 5' to 20' down and that bite has been inconsistent. The best bite seems to be on the overcast windy days and calm sunny days being the toughest." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Grand Lake

Lake Granby

As of 7/6/2020, Fishing With Bernie guides report that "the bug hatches in the evening are bringing lots of rainbows to the banks. Look in the backs of bays for fish rising to bugs. A small spoon or fly will make these fish easy targets. Lake trout continue their slide into deeper water, 60'-80' seems to be a great depth. Tubes, grubs or spoons tipped with sucker meat are all getting bit." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Lake Granby

Delaney Lakes

As of 6/25/2020, staff at Lake John Resort noted that "the Delaney's are fishing great. The water temperature is warming up slowly, it is currently at about 62 degrees. East Delaney is producing smaller 12 to 13-inch fish but is the most active, South Delaney is producing fish approximately 16-20". North Delaney is producing the largest measurements but fish activity is slower than the other two. Rapala's, tub jigs, leeches, chironomids, damsels, scuds, and nymphs 10 to 20 feet under an indicator has been best during the day, stripping crayfish and leeches has been successful at night and twilight hours."
Delaney Lakes

Lake John

As of 6/25/2020, Lake John Resort reports that "the lake has quality fish coming out right now but the bite is still slow. The water temperature is warming up slowly, it is at about 57 degrees. Boat anglers are using rapala's, tub jigs, kastmasters, thomas bouyants and ruby eyed leech flies under an indicator. Shore fisherman have been using marshmallows, cheese, garlic, red, pink, and green PowerBait, night crawlers, and black leech flies." https://lakejohnresort.com/
Lake John

Steamboat Lake

As of 7/6/2020, the bite has been good at Steamboat Lake. It was noted by one angler that water clarity is good and there has been noticeable insect activity on the water surface. Rainbow and cutbow trout have been seen rising and eating insects off the top of the water. These fish were described to be 15-19". 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 7/8/2020, 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

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