Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – March 27, 2021

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Published Saturday, March 27, 2021

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

Park Rangers report as of 3/21/2021, the reservoir is closed to boating due to ice conditions. The ice is NOT accessible. There is plenty of open water for shore fishing. There have been few reports of trout being caught using PowerBait from the dam. Rangers recommend fishing shallow waters for cruising rainbows. Fly casters should try west of the dam using olive leach patterns. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours for March 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

As of 3/26/2021, the park ranger reports the main reservoir and all bodies of water inside the park are OPEN to all forms of boating, including paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes.  
Chatfield Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir

Cherry Creeks is an 880-acre reservoir with a water temperature currently at 38 degrees (F). As of 3/26/2021 boating is open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the East Ramp only. Fishing is fair at the moment with anglers having limited success using mealworms, wax worms, Gulp worms, and nightcrawlers on Rapala raps, buck-shot flutter spoons, blade baits, and others. No other reports on any other species at this time. For more information please call (303) 690-1166.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Standley Lake

The reservoir is closed to paddle craft use until May 1. Ice fishing is not allowed. Most of the reservoir is still open water. Please call ahead prior to heading to the reservoir to get up-to-date lake and shoreline fishing conditions. Contact park staff at 303-425-1097.
Standley Lake

Quincy Reservoir

As of 3/26/2021, Quincy Reservoir is open and currently closed to boating. Fishing is reportedly slow from shore. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only. For more information call 303-326-8424. 
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

As of 3/25/2021, The 11 Mile Marina reports "ice thickness is 22 to 24 inches. The trout fishing is reportedly good to very good. Late ice action is picking up as fish move through spawn mode. Not always hungry but often aggressive. They are taking bait off the bottom and jigs depending on the time of the day. Tube and marabou jigs working well. Stink them up with Pautzke Fire Gel. Couldn't hurt. We have shrimp, crawfish, and trout scents that all seem productive. Shallow water is where most of the trophy fish are. Try 3 to 5 feet at any sandy area around the Lake. We like Howbert, Lazy Boy, North Shore, and Corral Cove." "Kokanee fishing is reportedly fair to good. One thing is for sure if you are a dedicated salmon addict this season was acceptable, to say the least. We did not get skunked once. Now we may have only caught one or two on some outings but the opportunities have consistently been there throughout the winter. Most Kokanee anglers don't like to brag or give away their spots but we can assure you there have been full smokers at home. North Shore has been too good in 55 to 60 feet of water. Fish suspended 25 to 40. Rainbow 1/4oz Kastmaster was hot this week." "Northern Pike fishing is reportedly good. As predicted the late ice action is getting better by the day. Fish shallow for best results. Chartreuse is a good color this time of year. They are finicky most days but there have been some slam jam aggressive days too. Mid-afternoon has been productive. North Shore, Stoll Mountain, and Witchers Cove good places to try. If they hit your Trout rig just right and you are super lucky you might ice a monster. We have consistently seen over the years incredibly large Pike caught at ice off on Chartreuse PowerBait. Get ready!" https://www.11milesports.com/fishing-report
Eleven Mile Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 3/26/2021, park staff reports Boyd Lake is OPEN to boating. All boats must be properly registered and equipped per state law. All vessels are required to be inspected for Aquatic Nuisance Species before launching. There is currently skim ice and open water on the lake. There is no fishing permitted from marina slips or docks. Please call Boyd Lake State Park at 970-669-1739 to get the most up-to-date ice conditions.
Boyd Lake

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 3/26/2021, the lake is OPEN to boating. All vessels must go through an Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) inspection prior to launching. Water levels are three feet from full and slowly rising. Please keep a lookout for possible floating debris, and always be aware that unmarked hazards may exist. If debris or hazards are discovered please notify park staff. Before boating, check that your vessel has all of the required safety items on board. The Inlet is ON and the Outlet is OFF. No reports from species caught. Contact the park for the latest ice conditions at 970-522-3657.
North Sterling Reservoir

St. Vrain State Park

As of 3/26/2021, park staff reports fishing has been great on Blue Heron with a number of brood trout and walleye being caught. Coot, Mallard, and Pelican also reporting a lot of trout landed. Rainbow trout have recently been stocked in the ponds. Walleye, Pike, and Crappie bite are picking up and expecting catfish and bass to pick up soon as well. Please contact the park for the most up-to-date conditions by calling 303-678-9402.
St. Vrain State Park

Barr Lake

As of 3/26/2021 park staff reports that the lake is mostly ice-free and there are some opportunities around the lake for shore angling. For the most current conditions, please contact park staff by calling 303-659-6005. 
Barr Lake

Jackson Lake

As of 3/26/2021, park staff reports the lake was recently stocked on 2/23/2021 with approximately 3200 rainbow trout. The lake is OPEN to boating. All boats must be properly registered and equipped in accordance with state law. All vessels are required to be inspected for Aquatic Nuisance Species prior to launching. 
Jackson Lake

Cheesman Reservoir

As of 3/26/2021, trout are beginning to become more active with the arrival of spring. Flows are low and water clarity currently has, so be cautious with your approach to the water so as not to spook any fish in the area. 
Cheesman Reservoir

Douglas Reservoir

The reservoir was recently stocked with catchable (~10-inch fish) on 3/11/2021.
Douglas Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

As of 3/24/2021, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "The upper river is beginning to offer more winter fishing opportunities as things slowly thaw out and open up. Hayden Meadows is starting to offer more open water, though you are still better off seeking winter water south of the Lake Creek confluence. There is still significant shoreline and shelf ice north of Buena Vista in the shaded areas of the river. For those determined to fish the upper section, deep slow runs or pools that receive ample sunlight are going to offer your best chances at finding active fish. If you can locate a pod of fish in the deeper winter water, you'll likely find a concentrated population holding together with a lot of vacant water upstream and downstream. Your window of opportunity will be limited to 10 am to 3 pm. Midges will be your most important forage to imitate, and pairing a small midge larva or pupa with a large attractor nymph like a stonefly is a great way to cover your bases. We should start to see some blue-winged olive hatches up here in the coming weeks, but the middle and lower basins are currently the epicenter of baetis activity on the Arkansas". Flows: 80 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 102 CFS, and ICY at Granite (3/26/2021) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Lake Trinidad

As of 3/22/2021, park staff reports the lake is at 631 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6179.94. The surface water temperature is 43-45 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water level is rising slightly. Boaters have had luck trolling Rapalas and worm harness. The south shore has produced good size trout regularly using PowerBait and doughballs. Call the park for the most up-to-date conditions 719-846-6951.  
Lake Trinidad

Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

As of 3/24/2021, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "We've got a few inches of snow on the ground and cooler temperatures between Buena Vista and Salida today, with a chance of precipitation the next few days. This offers great conditions for hatches of blue-winged olive mayflies! We are finally seeing these insects hatching on the Arkansas between Salida and Buena Vista, ever since St. Patrick's Day. Combine this with plentiful midge hatches, molting golden stonefly nymphs, and morning caddis larva drifts and we are seeing a dramatic shift in the feeding behavior of our local trout. Following cold weather, you may still find fish concentrated in some of the deeper winter runs, but with the warmer weather we've been seeing fish are definitely migrating out into riffles shallow runs, and pocket water to feed. The window of productive time on the river is much broader now, too. 9 am to 5 pm is now your prime time on the water, and as we push forward through spring that window will expand. The blue-winged olive mayflies tend to be most active in the afternoons, with daily behavioral nymphal drifts occurring between noon and 3 pm most days. These mayflies typically wait for cloudy, often precipitous days to hatch in the afternoons, but you should be prepared regardless of the forecast. Sometimes all it takes is a single cloud to mute the sun for a hatch to occur. These mayflies are generally a #16-18, and offer some of the "match-the-hatch" dry and dry-dropper fishing of the year. Stonefly and other large attractor nymphs will be great anchor flies while nymphing during non-hatch periods. For droppers, try midge larva and pupa, caddis larva, and blue-winged olive nymphs and emergers". Flows: 230 CFS at Helca Junction (3/26/2021) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

John Martin Reservoir

As of 3/26/2021, the east and west boat ramps have been closed for the season until March 15th, 2021. Anglers are still able to fish from shore. Park staff reports, "There is a thin layer of ice over a large portion of John Martin Reservoir, but certainly not nearly enough to be safe for ice fishing! Where there is open water, shoreline fishing has been slow. There have been a few anglers out there, and haven't heard of anyone having much luck. The best area to try would probably be the stilling basin below the dam. Fishing will pick up dramatically starting around the end of March or into April when we will begin to see the wiper and white bass become more active." 
John Martin Reservoir

Lake Pueblo

With the changing seasons, anglers are excited to head to Lake Pueblo for their chance to catch aggressive walleye. March and April can be a great chance to experience some of the best walleye fishing of the year. There are plenty of opportunities to fish from shore. Winter Weather Closure Procedure for boat ramps: To standardize our response and to ensure everyone's safety when winter weather conditions are present at the ramp, we follow the following protocols: Weekdays (Mon-Thurs): If the schools in Pueblo West District 70 are closed due to bad weather, the inspection stations will also be closed. If the schools are on a two-hour delay, our inspection stations will open at 9 am. The information regarding school closings in D70 is widely reported on local television and radio stations. Closing notices are also available at www.district70.org. This applies to the Pueblo West schools in District 70 and not the mountain schools. Weekends (Fri-Sun): If snow and icy conditions exist, we will likely be on a delayed opening of 9 am. To confirm this before 9 am, please call the non-emergent CSP dispatch number: 719-544-2424 for ramp details. After 9 am, please call our Visitor Center at 719-561-9320 for the information. 
Lake Pueblo

Runyon & Fountain Lakes

The lakes were recently stocked on 3/19/2021, 2/26/2021, and 1/27/2021 and are fishing well. Bass fishing is expected to pick up as fish tend to move to shallow waters in preparations for the spawn. Trout fishing has been fair to good with a variety of artificial lures. 
Runyon/Fountain Lakes SWA

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Vega Reservoir

Park staff reports as of 3/26/2021, all three boat ramps are closed for the season. Currently, there is about one to two feet of ice on the lake with 12-14 inches of snow on the ground. The edges of the ice are starting to soften. Successful anglers are using PowerBait, worms, and ice jigs. Ice depths vary across the lake; so please use caution while accessing the ice. The Visitor Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily and masks are required to enter.
Vega Reservoir

Steamboat Lake

As of 3/26/2021, park staff reports the ice is over 20 inches thick. The fishing has been great! Worms and wax worms are working the best. If you are not catching anything in one spot, move and you may have better luck. Call the visitor center, (970) 879-3922, for up-to-date information on lake conditions, open daily 8 am-4 pm.  
Steamboat Lake

Granby 

Fishing with Bernie Guide, Dan Shannon reported on 3/15/2021, "With all the new snow came some new slush! Slush was mostly in the Arapahoe Bay area, but anticipate seeing it spread more throughout the lake, be prepared in case you get stuck in the slush if headed out. Fishing has been fair this week with the constantly changing weather. Rainbow fishing has been best early in the morning, right as the sun comes up. Areas, where water is coming in to the lake as well as along the dams, have been producing well. Small silver and blue spoons as well as tungsten jigs tipped with wax worms have been getting bites. Lake trout are being caught from 50-80' with some fish being caught suspended over the deepwater structure. Spoons and small tubes are the most consistent producing baits right now. We are anticipating the bite picking up any time now with spring conditions rapidly approaching. As always check the ice as spring approaches conditions can change quickly." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/
Granby

Williams Fork Reservoir

As of 3/15/2021, Fishing with Bernie Guide Rhett Feltman reported, "The lake was starting to get some slushy soft spots in the afternoons and with the recent snowstorm the slush will be getting worse. The snow on the shorelines will help extend our ice season for a little while as well. Snow drifts on the side roads will be an issue for a few days until the plows can get out to the lake. Fishing has been good if you can stay on top of fish. Lots of pressure on the lake the last few weeks has kept the lake trout scattered and moving day to day. Fish have been wanting to come off the bottom and chase in the afternoon. Try and change your presentation as the weather changes and the day progress. What was working in the morning may not be what will trigger them in the afternoon." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/
Williams Fork Reservoir

Grand Lake

Fishing with Bernie Guide Sam Hochevar reported as of 3/15/2021, "There are a couple of feet of fresh snow on the lake, so look out for new slush pockets. The bite has slowed down in the last couple of days due to the weather moving through the area. Browns and rainbows are still being caught in 5 to 10 feet of water especially around the inlets. Small plastics imitating nymphs like Clam's Maki plastics on tungsten heads have been producing fish. Lake trout are still being found suspended over deep water, 80 plus feet. Small spoons and grubs tipped with sucker meat have been working on the suspended lakers." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/
Grand Lake

Blue River

As of 3/26/2021, the river has been fishing well with more open water opportunities throughout the stretch. Caution is advised hiking into the canyon as ice conditions on the trail do exist and can make the descent tricky. Flows: 142 CFS Below Green Mountain Reservoir (3/26/2021) 
Blue River

Harvey Gap

As of 3/26/2021, we have received reports that the ice is no longer accessible and that anglers should not attempt to ice fish at this time. 
Harvey Gap

Rifle Gap

As of 3/26/2021, park staff reports the lake has some open water, and anglers have been able to shore fish.
Rifle Gap

Yampa River

As of 3/26/2021, the Yampa River has been fishing very well for all species. Anglers have reported success using San Juan worms, midge patterns, and Wooly buggers. Flow: 40.9 CFS Below Stagecoach Reservoir (3/26/2021) 
Yampa River

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Jackson Gulch Reservoir

As of 3/26/2021, the staff at Mancos State Park report, "The lake is ice covered with approximately 12 inches of ice in most areas. The top 4 inches or so are getting slushy. There may be areas that get thinner near mid-lake as it was slow to freeze. Look for changes in ice color and check ice as you move. Colorado ice is always highly variable. See this site's ice safety page. Use extreme caution when assessing ice conditions. Good action for rainbow trout 10-12 inches and yellow perch averaging 5 inches. A few larger rainbows being caught, along with a few perch near 14 inches! Splake (a brook trout/lake trout cross) are also being caught occasionally. For pretty constant action (great for kids new to ice fishing) use a 1/8 oz lead-head or "teardrop" jig tipped with a small piece of worm or 'crawler. Light line is helpful to keep the line tight with that light jig."
Jackson Gulch Reservoir

Blue Mesa Reservoir

As of 3/26/2021, conditions contributor Andrew Morlang reports, "Fishing for browns and rainbows is still consistent in 5-25 feet of water. Fish are behaving aggressively and are hitting most presentations shown to them. We like to use small ice jigs, Sweedish pimples, Gulp alive, and small tube jigs such as a trout magnet. All tipped with a worm of some sort. Sapinero Basin has been a hotspot. Find a piece of shoreline and fish shallow water for good rainbow and brown action. Lake trout were reported being caught in Sapinero Basin in 80 feet of water. Fish seemed to be finicky so switch up baits if you aren't getting any action. Large tube jigs with sucker meat are always our first presentation but don't keep fishing it if you aren't getting bites. Larger Kastmasters and Sweedish pimples were working for anglers as well. Some anglers informed us they were doing well with bucktails. Keep switching spots and presentations and you will eventually find them. No reports for perch or salmon."
Blue Mesa Reservoir

James M. Robb Colorado River

As of 3/11/2021, park staff report all lakes are ice-free. The lakes are scheduled to be stocked in the first and third weeks of March and again in April. Fishing has been good using all types of baits. Please ensure the responsible and ethical release of fish and properly dispose of the fishing line. Remember, the daily limit for trout is four fish per person.  
James M. Robb Colorado River

San Juan River

As of 3/12/2021 Duranglers report, "temps have dropped with recent storms. Below the hot springs, there might be a few warmer fish. Small nymphs and midges will be the go-to. Flows: 96.0 CFS at Pagosa Springs (3/26/2021) https://duranglers.com/
San Juan River

Animas River at Durango

As of 3/26/2021, Duranglers report, "Temperatures are rising and fishing has been good. Size 16-22 nymphs are preferred, but weight is more important than the fly. On days where the sun is on the water, watch for good midge hatches that can bring fish up into the late afternoon. Watch for Blue-winged Olives (BWOs) to start showing up soon." Flows: 117 CFS at Durango (3/26/2021) https://duranglers.com/
Animas River

Dolores River

As of 3/12/2021 Duranglers report, "The river is going to be mostly frozen until you get close to the dam. The gate is closed so it will be a walk to open water. Midges and small mayfly nymphs are your go-to". Flows: 21.8 Near Slick Rock (3/262021) https://duranglers.com/
Dolores River

Island Lake

As of 3/26/2021, conditions contributor Andrew Morlang reports, "This popular lake on the Grand Mesa hasn't slowed down one bit since people started hitting the ice back late fall. Popular spots include 15-20 feet off the island in any direction and a majority of the shoreline in around 20 feet of water. While the state record Splake was caught in this body of water, don't expect to catch much fish over 13 inches. Fish quality < Fish quantity. Use the smallest jig in your tackle box and tip it with either a wax or mealworm. Make sure to leave plenty of hook point exposed, as these fish are small and will nibble your bait away without you even knowing. If you find a good spot at this lake you can easily catch 10+ fish in a morning of fishing. Most anglers have been catching rainbows, splake, and brooke trout. The occasional brown trout have been seen but don't expect many as they seem to be few and far between."
Island Lake

Alexander Lake (Grand Mesa)

As of 3/26/2021, conditions contributor Andrew Morlang reports, "the ice at Alexander Lake is too thick for my auger to break down to the water. If you are looking to fish these high elevation lakes this time of year, do not forget to bring your auger extension.
Alexander Lake (Grand Mesa)

Cobbett Lake (Grand Mesa)

According to conditions contributor Andrew Morlang, as of 3/26/2021, "If you plan on fishing any of the lakes on the Grand Mesa this time of year, you must bring your auger extension! Small rainbows are being caught on ice jigs tipped with wax worms. Anglers were also successful using nightcrawlers sitting on the bottom. 
Cobbett Lake (Grand Mesa)

Gunnison River

As of 3/26/2021 Duranglers report, "water levels are steady, and to expect small bugs to be your best bet. The lower reaches around Pleasure Park will be the only options that are easier to access. Go small and fish the deeper slots and runs. San Juan worms and eggs work well. Flows: 406 CFS below Gunnison Tunnel (3/26/2021) Duranglers.com
Gunnison River

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