Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – July 19, 2019

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Published Friday, July 19, 2019

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide Conditions 

It appears that statewide rivers are starting to decrease in flow rates as we continue on through run-off season. Many of the larger rivers in the south central part of the state are clearing up and becoming fishable again. Tributary streams are still one of the best options available as the flows on these smaller drainages will drop first and provide the best fishing opportunities while awaiting the larger drainages to drop to optimal flows. Another good strategy currently would be to target the upper reaches of any creek, stream, or river that you are targeting. The upper reaches will tend to have lower flows than the lower reaches and will become fishable earlier. With the warm weather we have been experiencing recently large dry flies seem to be the name of the game currently. This is the time of year that fly anglers eagerly await. Some major hatches occurring this time of year are the Green Drakes and fishing with size 8 to 10 dry flies is something nobody will complain about. Another major food source on the menu of trout statewide currently and for the next many weeks are hoppers, making this the perfect time to get out and put those hopper dropper rigs to use and put some fish in the net.
Colorado Fishing Atlas

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile State Park

As of 7/19/2019, water temperatures are still hovering in the low 60's trout action continues to be strong day and night. Trout fishing reported to be very good right now. Many cuttbows in the 14 to 16 inch range. Those who are trolling and pitching tubes or shore fishing have frequently been catching fish in the 18 to 21 inch range. Trolling with Tas Devils, Needlefish and a host of other offerings have done well. Fish are suspended so playing that water column can prove to be beneficial to anglers. The bite for kokanee has definitely slowed down and pike fishing reported as fair fishing near rocks or weed lines in 25 feet of water or less. Jerk baits, spoons, and other stick bait have done well. 
Eleven Mile State Park

Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

As of 7/19/2019, flows are high but are beginning to drop. Fishing is very tough with the high flows and stained water. The river is still fishable, yet challenging. Anglers need to target soft water and use plenty of weight to stay in the strike zone and will need to use large enough flies or lures to catch the fish's attention as it drifts quickly by. Reports have come in that Denver Water plans to blend bottom-releases with the spillway water to keep temperatures optimum for trout. With high water, take extra precaution when wading. Flows: 682 CFS (7/19/2019) 
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

Antero Reservoir

As of 7/19/2019, weed growth is abundant and the trout are hanging in the weeds for a couple of reasons. First the trout are feeding on the insects that are much more concentrated in and around the weeds. Second the larger more aggressive fish use the weeds as ambush hunting cover. Anglers have had success with a variety of baits, lures, and flies. When fishing from a boat, flies that have reported success have been streamers, leeches, pink and red worms, pheasant tails and midges. For lures jerk baits are still productive if they can be kept out of the weeds. Anglers are also having success fishing tube jigs and other artificial plastics.
Antero Reservoir 

Jackson Lake

As of 7/19/2019, surface water temperature is approximately 72 degrees. The water has cleared from the recent algae bloom. Fisherman are reporting success along the north shore in shallower areas of the lake. Walleye are doing fair; while Wipers are being reported as good. Most of the wipers are under the 15 inch limit however, fisherman are reporting catching high numbers of them. Twister tail grubs on jigs are the lures of choice. Anglers are also reporting some success catching both walleye and wipers while trolling shad style baits in various colors.
Jackson Lake State Park

Tarryall Reservoir

As of 7/11/2019, fishing for trout has slowed slightly with the increasing water temperatures however anglers are reporting success with both traditional baits such as PowerBait or wroms along the bottom and also on artificial lures. Some artificial lures that have been working are Kastmasters, and a variety of flies. The pike fishing has been slow but anglers targeting the pike have had some success using larger swimbaits, jerk baits, or in-line spinners.
Tarryall Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 7/10/2019, water temperatures are in the high 60's and approaching 70 degrees. With the warm water fishing for most of the warmwater species present here has really improved. Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are both being caught consistently on jigs, artificial worms, and sometimes topwater baits. The walleye bite has also been good with most anglers having the most success on the south end of the reservoir using jigs with paddletail swimbaits along the bottom. White bass action is also rated as good with Kastmasters being productive on the north end of the lake. Shore anglers seem to be having the most luck in the coves with inlets.
Boyd Lake

Cheesman Reservoir

As of 7/10/2019, the lake is full and water temperatures are increasing. With the warming water temperatures many of the fish have slid into slightly deeper water. Anglers targeting smallmouth are still having success on a variety of techniques. Anglers are also reporting some success catching larger pike in the shallow portions of the reservoir, large jerk baits and spinners have been working well.. Trout have been caught on a variety of lures including inline spinners such as Mepps. Anglers targeting trout using bait are having the most luck on nightcrawlers or PowerBait.
Cheesman Reservoir

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 7/19/2019, water temperature is about 72 degrees. There is currently an algae bloom occurring that is limiting visibility. Fishing for Carp and Drum is fair, Walleye and Crappie fishing is consistent but some anglers have to put in work to catch fish. Walleye are being caught on worms, leeches and jigs on a slow retrieval. Crappie are being caught on small jigs and minnows. The Reservoir is OPEN to BOATING. The Inlet is ON and the Outlet is ON. Anglers can buy fuel, bait and fishing supplies at the Marina on site which is open for the season. Boat slip rentals are available. Camping is by reservations only. 
North Sterling Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

As of 7/12/2019, fishing at this Gold Medal Lake continues to be good for all species. Anglers targeting trout have reported success on tube jigs along the edges of the weeds. Anglers targeting pike are having success on lures large and small. Some anglers are even reporting catching trophy fish on smaller lures intended for trout. As the season progresses the tube jig bite is sure to continue for trout. Remember that no scented plastics, or bait of any kind is allowed in this reservoir.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

As of 7/15/2019, water temperatures are approaching 70 degrees. There were multiple reports of a possible algae bloom taking place. Water clarity is down to a foot with tons of particles rising to the surface. Walleye fishing continues to be tough but anglers trolling for the suspended fish are having the most success, shad profile baits in the 7 to 9 centimeter range have been the most productive. Fishing for Smallmouth Bass has been consistent with anglers catching fish in a wide variety of ways. Some anglers are waiting to fish the evening hours and having success throwing topwater lures near main lake points and the rock rubble found on the dams. During the day anglers are having success with drop shot rigs, jerk baits, and shaky head jigs. The walleye bite has been tough with very few reports of fish.
Horsetooth Reservoir

Barr Lake

As of 7/19/2019, water temperatures remain low to mid 70's. The water clarity has recently cleared up substantially. Fishing remains inconsistent with some anglers having success catching walleye and other anglers struggling. Pulling worms behind a bottom bouncer or on a Lindy rig seem to be the best producers. Anglers have also reported limited success trolling crankbaits in various areas. Swimbaits rigged on a jig head can also be a technique to produce some action.
Barr Lake

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River- Below Pueblo Reservoir

As of 7/19/2019, the current flow is at 2200 cfs, having dropped from a peak of nearly 5000 cfs over the past three weeks. Fish can be found in the softer water during heavier flows. There is about 12-18 inches of clarity right now on the edges of the river. This should improve as flows decrease. Anglers should focus on using bigger flies and spin anglers should concentrate using lures with more vibration to get the attention of the fish. Flows: 2220 CFS (7/12/2019) 
Arkansas River at Pueblo Reservoir 

Lake Pueblo

As of 7/19/2019, Fishing has been fair to good for bass. Anglers are reporting success using soft plastics and crankbaits. Walleye are being caught trolling using bottom bouncers and vertical jigging techniques over the top of structure. Fish are beginning to go deeper at this time of year, as the water warms up, so anglers should focus on fishing deeper early and late in the day as well. Catfish are being caught on the west end of the lake using chicken livers. There have been a few reports of wipers and trout being caught while trolling. Boaters are reminded that the boat ramps open at 5 AM and close at midnight daily. 
Lake Pueblo

Arkansas River Buena Vista to Salida

As of 7/18/2019, water temperatures are in the low 50's. Flows have started receding consistently since about the Fourth of July. Water clarity is currently around three feet. Angling opportunities are getting better and better by the day. Fish are reported to be concentrated along the banks and in broken pocket water. Large dry flies seem to be the name of the game currently which is no doubt one of the most fun ways to catch fish on a fly rod. Look for fishing to continue to be great as flows continue to decrease and clarity continues to increase. Flows: 2200 CFS (7/18/2019) 
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

John Martin Reservoir

As of 7/14/2019, water temperatures are nearing 80 degrees, which can sometimes have a negative effect on fishing. There is a good amount of water being released from the dam at John Martin. Angerls are reporting better luck fishing in the cooler parts of the morning and evening. Anglers are having good luck catching numbers of walleye, white bass, and crappie. Most of the walleye being caught are smaller in size, less than 15 inches. The most productive technique currently for white bass and crappie just a simple set-up with a minnow suspended below a bobber. This technique is most effective when fished near submerged brush.
John Martin Reservoir

Trinidad Reservoir

As of 7/19/2019, the lake is at 802 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6190.62. All shorelines are open for fishing. Water temperatures are around 70 degrees. South shore anglers are catching trout with PowerBait and other dough baits off the bottom, 12 to 15 inch fish are common. A few smaller walleye have been reported as well. Reilly Canyon is fishing fair for catfish using worms and liver along the bottom. Trout are also commonly being caught. Anglers fishing from a boat have had success catching trout and walleye. Trolling with worms or spinners seem to be the go to rig. Most walleye are being caught in 15 to 20 feet of water. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass are having the most success early in the mornings and later into the evening hours. 
Trinidad Reservoir

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

This 762-acre impoundment is located off E. Quincy Avenue, two miles east of E-470. Open to boating. Electric trolling motors only. As of 7/18/2019, water temperatures are approximately 70 degrees. With the warmer water temperatures, trout are staying in deeper waters where it is cooler. Focus on casting out 50 to 60 yards off the east end of the dam. Boaters continue to report fair to good success on trout trolling with pop gear and crawlers and fishing with crawlers or PowerBait off the bottom in 20-30' of water. Some reports of largemouth being caught in the coves using soft plastics. Walleye are being caught on jigs focusing on main lake points and other structure. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours July 5:00am-9:30pm. Restricted to electric motors only. 
Aurora Reservoir

Cherry Creek

This 881-acre impoundment is located in Cherry Creek State Park, in Aurora. There are two entrances to the park, the east entrance off S. Dayton St. and the west entrance off S. Parker Rd. As of 7/19/2019, water temperatures are in the low to mid 70's. Anglers targeting walleye are having success fishing with jigs or pulling crawlers on a slow death rig. Legal walleyes have been tough to come by with most fish around the 17 inch mark. Reports of other species are inconsistent and the fishing seems to be slow. A few anglers have reported success finding crappies and catching a few here and there.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

This 1,356-acre impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 7/19/2019, water temperature is now above 70 degrees. Smallmouth bass are being caught throughout the lake on a variety of presentations. Some of the best presentations are tube jigs or artificial creature baits. Walleye are being caught on most of the lakes shallow structures from 6 to 15 feet deep. During the warmest parts of the day it seems most of the fish are sliding deeper and can be caught in that 20 to 25 foot range. Anglers are having success pulling live bait rigs, or jigging. The old roadbeds seems to be holding the most fish currently. A few nice trout have been caught on the far south end of the reservoir using worms fished just off the bottom in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Chatfield Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 7/19/2019, the large algae bloom is making the fishing very difficult with low visibility. The best action has been in the early morning and evening. Reports of smallmouth bass being caught off the dam using jigs. Increased reports of perch being caught using jigs. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. For more information call 303-326-8424. Park Hours July 5:00am-9:30pm.
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Blue River

As of 7/19/2019, flows are beginning to decrease on the river, however, anticipated releases from Dillion and Green Mountain are around 2000 cfs. Caution is advised fishing when flows are this high. The high flow provides a chance to utilize some of your bigger patterns such as stones, caddis, and leech imitations. Flows: 820 CFS (7/19/2019) 
Blue River - Silverthorne 

Colorado River

As of 7/19/2019, flows recently increased to nearly 3500 cfs. Fishing on the Colorado River remains very difficult with high flows and very poor water clarity. With that being said anglers attempting to fish will need to get the attention of the fish to cause a reaction strike. Spin casting anglers should look to lures with a lot of vibration. Fly anglers will need to increase weight and size in order to be noticed by fish and to keep the flies in the strike zone. Flows: 3490 CFS (7/19/2019) 
Colorado River - Near Kremmling 

Lake Granby

As of 7/19/2019, water temperatures are in the low 60's with water clarity varying through the lake but around 4 to 5 feet when fishing 70 feet of water. Fishing for brown trout has slowed down with the warmer water temperatures but fish are still being caught sporadically during the low light periods of the day. Anglers reported success catching eater sized lakers on tube jigs tipped with sucker meat. 
Lake Granby

Lake John

As of 7/19/2019, Lake John's fishing is still slower fishing then most are used to here for this time of the season but the fish that are being caught are amazing size this year compared to last. Still a mix of items working well right now including needlefish, kastmasters, nightcrawlers, garlic & shrimp powerbait and salmon egg peach PowerBait. We are also seeing great fish coming off bead headed olive wooly buggers and black flame head leeches.
Lake John

Steamboat Lake

As of 7/7/19, reports from local fisherman are that the fishing has been great so far this year. We've heard that PowerBait has been quite successful so far. Creeks are running quickly, caution is advised anytime anglers are fishing near swift moving water. (No recent reports have been submitted by anglers for Steamboat Lake)
Steamboat Lake

Delaney Buttes

As of 7/19/2019, Delaney Buttes are still on fire and in full swing for the season. North has been producing some solid fish and been fishing best during the low light hours early and late, but there are still a few fish eating during the day. South and East are fishing the best out of the three lakes for numbers. The chironomid hatch is happening and the mosquitoes are here, and they are thick, so bring your mosquitoes replant. Rapalas in the brown trout and rainbow trout colors have been doing well at these lakes along with a slew of different flies here.
Delaney Buttes

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir 

As of 7/12/2019, water levels are slowly beginning to stabilize. The lake is up 15 vertical feet over the last two weeks but only rising about 6 inches per day now. The lake level is 4 feet from full pool and 79 feet above the low water level experienced over this past winter. Water temperatures are in the mid to high 60's. The quickly rising water levels have made the fishing rather tough, but as the water stabilizes the fishing should pick up. Anglers having the most success catching Kokanee Salmon are still trolling but the fish are higher in the water column than normal for this time of year. Anglers trolling with lead core are having the best success with 2 to 3 colors of lead line out. There have also been some Lake Trout caught within the top 20 feet of the water column. For more information, contact Curecanti National Recreation Area at 970-641-2337.
Blue Mesa Reservoir 

Taylor River - Below Taylor Park Reservoir

As of 7/19/2019, flows are still running pretty high. Reports have been coming in from anglers using emergers, mysis shrimp and baetis nymphs with success. With the increased flow, fish are moving to deeper waters and some in pocket water. Do not be afraid to try stonefly nymphs and midges in these sections. Flows: 546 CFS (7/19/2019) 
Taylor River

Gunnison River - near Gunnison

As of 7/19/2019, flows continued to decrease this week. The flows are still high to the point that fishing can be difficult. A few spin casting anglers have had success using spinner baits or spoons. Fly anglers are having limited success along the edges of the reservoir using large heavy nymphs to catch the fish's attention as well as stay down in the strike zone. As flows continue to decrease fishing is expected to improve with larger flies being productive. Flows: 1990 CFS (7/19/2019) 
Gunnison River

Navajo Lake State Park

As of 7/12/19, fishing at Navajo has been good. The lake is rising every day. The current lake level is 6075.00, up 33.56 feet from one year ago. The water temperature at the boat ramp in Arboles is in the upper 60's to low 70's. Fishing for smallmouth bass and pike has been good. The best fishing has been in the shallow coves as the lake rises. The best lures are crankbaits and large lures resembling bait fish for pike. Some crappie are still being caught along structures. John Deere green jigs are good.
Navajo Lake State Park

Crawford Reservoir

As of 7/19/2019, we have had many anglers, both shore fishing and fishing from boats. They have reported catching pike and largemouth bass, as well as perch and crappie. Remember that there is a lake specific limit on the bass. They must be 18 inches or larger to keep, and you can only keep ONE. Statewide limits pertain to all other species.
Crawford Reservoir

McPhee Reservoir

As of 7/12/19, anglers are reporting that fishing has been picking up for Kokanee Salmon. Anglers are having the most success trolling with small squids and spinners in pink, orange, and chartreuse. Smallmouth bass fishing has also been good especially during the cooler parts of the day. Anglers targeting smallmouth during lower light periods such as dawn and dusk have had the most success on topwater baits or spinnerbaits fished close to the surface.
McPhee Reservoir

Ridgway State Park

As of 7/11/19, fishing for trout is good most productive lures of choice are worms, artificial salmon eggs, spinners, and Rapala's. Smallmouth are also biting in shallow rocky areas such as the West Shore and along Mears Bay. Small spinners, little minnow Rapala imitations, and small aquatic fly imitations are good starting points. Fishing at the fishing ponds at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk has slowed down with a variety of presentations working sporadically. Flows in the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk River are still high but anglers are having some success using bigger "bugs" such as leech imitations, San Juan Worms, or Chubby Chernobyl Ant dries. Caution is advised when wading.
Ridgway State Park