Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – July 26, 2019

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Published Friday, July 26, 2019

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide Conditions 

It appears that statewide rivers are starting to decrease in flow rates as we continue on through the tail end of runoff 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 of the consistent producing flies currently are stoneflies, and mayflies in both dries and nymphs. Anglers are also looking to these slightly higher flows as a perfect time to fish some streamers for the larger fish in any system. 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 7/23/2019, trout fishing continues to be great, the south side of the reservoir has been the most consistent. There are also a lot of trout being caught in the Lazy Boy, Rogers Mountain, and Rocking Chair area. Garlic scented PowerBait has been popular for the trout, anglers fishing with lures are having the best luck on olive colored tube jigs and spoons. Kokanee salmon fishing has slowed, the few fish that have been caught have been caught around Deer Island. Northern Pike fishing has been good with most fish being caught near Cross Creek or Stoll Mountain. Large jerk baits and spoons have been the most consistent producers for the pike. Look near weed edges and flats for good pike activity. 
Eleven Mile State Park

Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

As of 7/26/2019, flows are starting to stabilize which should only help the clarity and fishing. Anglers have been reporting success using some generalist nymphs as well as some dries during the afternoons. Prince nymphs and copper johns have been some good patterns as of late. Terrestrials are also starting to be productive on this stretch of the South Platte. Flows: 677 CFS (7/26/2019) 
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

Antero Reservoir

As of 7/24/2019, water levels remain good and the fishing continues to be fair. Anglers are having success on a variety of baits and presentations. Fly anglers are having success catching fish on scuds and mayfly dries. Kastmasters and any other spoons or lures that can be fished above the weeds are working well to catch some decent sized fish.
Antero Reservoir 

Jackson Lake

As of 7/25/2019, surface water temperature is approximately 78 degrees. The water has some green algae bloom. Fishermen 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 Wipers are under the 15" limit however, fishermen are reporting catching high numbers of them. Twister tails and jigs are the lures of choice.
Jackson Lake State Park

Tarryall Reservoir

As of 7/22/2019, fly anglers have been having success using callibaetis dries for consistent action and numbers of fish. Other anglers are having success using Panther Martin's or other spoons. Baits have also been working well for trout, the most consistent have been worms, PowerBait, and artificial Salmon Eggs.
Tarryall Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 7/22/2019, water temperatures are in the low to mid 70's. The fishing has become relatively slow with the warmer water temperatures making the fish tougher to find. Anglers are still having some success finding walleye in the deeper basin water and catching them trolling. Largemouth bass have also been caught in different areas of the lake.
Boyd Lake

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 7/23/2019, water temperature is about 77 degrees. Carp and Drum are fair, Walleye and Crappie fishing is fair. 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 OFF and the Outlet is ON. 
North Sterling Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

As of 7/22/2019, 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 pike anglers are even reporting catching trophy fish on smaller lures intended for trout. Remember that no scented plastics, or bait of any kind is allowed in this reservoir.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

As of 7/25/2019, water temperatures are approaching 70 degrees. Smallmouth bass fishing has still been good. Anglers are having success using vertical presentations to target slightly deeper fish. A good rig has been a drop shot fished with a wide variety of artificial plastics. During the cooler lower light periods of the day the smallmouth can be caught much shallower on jerk baits and sometimes even topwater. Some anglers are reporting limited success catching walleye in various areas.
Horsetooth Reservoir

Barr Lake

As of 7/23/2019, 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 7/26/2019, the current flow is at 1290 cfs, and is expected to continue to drop as the extended runoff season of this year continues to subside. Fish can be found in the softer water during heavier flows. There is about 12 to 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: 1290 CFS (7/26/2019)
Arkansas River at Pueblo Reservoir 

Lake Pueblo

As of 7/24/2019 fishing continues to be good for walleye, wiper, and bass. The wiper are starting to boil during the early mornings as they feed on newly hatching shad. Anglers chasing boils can have success using small silver spoons or crankbaits. Walleye fishing is still consistent using swimbaits or nightcrawlers and leeches fished along the bottom. Underwater points and submerged trees still seem to be the best areas. The bass are still being found at various depths but most fish are slightly deeper. Anglers have been catching bass on jerk baits, ned rigs, and jigs.
Lake Pueblo

Arkansas River Buena Vista to Salida

As of 7/25/2019, water temperatures are in the low 50's. Clarity is continuing to get better and better. Flows are still a bit high but the peak summer fishing season is upon us. Fish are still concentrated more on the edges with slightly higher flows than average. Stonefly patterns have been working really well for producing good fish. Anglers have also reported some success catching fish on some dry terrestrial patterns such as grasshoppers or ants. Flows: 2000 CFS (7/25/2019) 
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

John Martin Reservoir

As of 7/20/2019, 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. Anglers 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 7/21/2019, the lake is at 799 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6190.45. 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 7/22/2019, trout fishing from shore is slow to fair using PowerBait from the dam. Boaters are reporting fair to good success on trout trolling with pop gear and crawlers and fishing with crawlers off the bottom in 20 to 30 feet of water. Some reports of walleye being caught using swimbaits or bottom bouncers with a crawler harness. Perch action is slow to fair. A few reports of perch being caught from boats using jigs. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours July 5:00am to 9:30pm. Restricted to electric motors only. The reservoir will be closed August 3rd for an event.
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 7/24/2019, water temperatures are in the 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. Recent reports are that the shad have begun hatching and there is a large influx of baitfish into the system. In most years this makes the fishing very tough so the bite is expected to slow down.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

This 1,356-acre impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 7/24/2019, water temperature is now above 70 degrees. Smallmouth bass are being caught throughout the lake on a variety of presentations. The dam continues to be the most consistent spot to catch smallmouth. Jerk baits and other shallow running baits have been working great for numbers of fish. Anglers have caught a few real nice smallmouth as big as 17 inches. Walleye fishing continues to be good, the old roadbeds are consistent spots for producing good numbers of walleye. Anglers fishing the structure in the south no-wake area have also been doing well for walleye. The vast majority of the fish being caught are less than the minimum 18 inch length to keep for the fryer.
Chatfield Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 7/22/2019, Bass fishing is slow to fair. Best action has been in the early morning and evening using top water lures and chatter baits in 10 to 15 feet of water. Perch action is slow to fair using jigs. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. 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 to 9:30pm.
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Blue River

As of 7/26/2019, flows are beginning to decrease on the river, however, flows are still much higher than the average for this time of the year. Caution is advised fishing when flows are high. The high flow provides a chance to utilize some of your bigger patterns such as stones, caddis, and leech imitations. Flows: 774 CFS (7/26/2019) 
Blue River - Silverthorne 

Colorado River

As of 7/26/2019, flows are on the downward trend and returning to a very fishable level. Anglers fishing this stretch of the Colorado have been having success fishing stonefly patterns both dries and nymphs. Some other successful patterns have been San Juan Worms, and larger Pheasant Tail or Hares Ear nymphs. Another successful technique for catching browns has been jerk baits fished perpendicularly through the flow letting the jerk bait swing on the pause. Flows: 2270 CFS (7/26/2019) 
Colorado River - Near Kremmling 

Lake Granby

As of 7/23/2019, water temperatures are in the high 60's to low 70'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 7/21/2019, fishing is sporadic with some anglers doing well while other anglers seem to be struggling. Rainbow colored Kastmasters have been productive when trolled or casted from a boat. Anglers fishing with bait are having success on a variety of scents and colors of PowerBait as well as worms.
Lake John

Steamboat Lake

As of 7/22/2019, 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. Anglers are also having luck on Kastmasters, Panther Martins, and other spoons. Most of the trout being caught are around the 12 inch range. Creeks are still running quickly.
Steamboat Lake

Delaney Buttes

As of 7/21/2019, fishing continues to be very good. North Delaney has been producing some solid fish and the best fishing has been during the low light, cooler periods of the day. South and East Delaney are fishing the best for numbers of fish and consistent action. Rapalas in brown trout and rainbow trout colors have been doing well at these lakes along with a variety of different flies.
Delaney Buttes

Rifle Gap Reservoir

As of 7/22/2019, fishing has been the best during the cooler parts of the day such as early morning or late into the evening. Walleye and Perch have been the most commonly caught species. Nightcrawlers are catching fish as well as jigs with artificial swimbaits Reminder that Walleye have special restrictions, only 1 fish may be kept and must be a minimum of 18 inches in length.
Rifle Gap Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir 

As of 7/26/2019, water levels are becoming much more stable. The lake is up about two and a half feet over the last two weeks and barely rising daily. The lake level is 10 inches from full pool and 82 feet above the low water level experienced over this past winter. Water temperatures are in the high 60's. The stabilizing water levels are making the fishing better and better. Anglers trolling with lead core are having the best success fishing shallow early in the day and deeper during the middle part of the day. For more information, contact Curecanti National Recreation Area at 970-641-2337.
Blue Mesa Reservoir 

Taylor River - Below Taylor Park Reservoir

As of 7/26/2019, flows continue to drop as runoff into the reservoir has subsided. Flows are near an optimal level for fishing this fantastic tailwater section. Small flies are the name of the game, midges and mysis shrimp patterns have been fishing well. This section does get a lot of fishing pressure so light tippets are needed in order not to spook fish. Flows: 452 CFS (7/26/2019) 
Taylor River

Gunnison River - near Gunnison

As of 7/26/2019, flows continued to decrease this week, and are nearing some optimal levels. The water is also clearing quickly with the decreased flows. Anglers floating the river have had success catching browns and rainbows on a variety of flies both nymphs and dries. Flows: 1560 CFS (7/26/2019) 
Gunnison River

Navajo Lake State Park

As of 7/25/2019, fishing at Navajo has been good. The current lake level is 6074.43. The water temperature at the boat ramp in Arboles is approximately 70 degrees. 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.
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 7/24/2019, anglers are reporting that fishing has been picking up for Kokanee Salmon. Trolling traditional kokanee rigs still seems to be the most productive technique. 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 7/25/2019, 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 along Mears Bay. Small spinners, little minnow 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.
Ridgway State Park

Vega Reservoir

As of 7/22/2019, fishing is good with anglers reporting catching some nice rainbows and cutthroats in the 12 to 16 inch range. The lake is full and spilling. All of the boat ramps are open. All boats must be inspected prior to launching. The ANS inspection station and entrance gate open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:30 p.m. daily. If you have a valid pre-inspection receipt and seal then you may launch prior to 8:00 a.m.
Vega Reservoir

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