Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – May 21, 2021

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Published Friday, May 21, 2021

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

Park Rangers report as of 5/21/2021, trout fishing is fair with few good reports using PowerBait off the dam. Fly anglers are reporting fair to good success using olive leech patterns. There have been some reports of walleye and smallmouth bass being caught using jigs from watercraft. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours for April 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

As of 5/21/2021, the park ranger reports fishing is starting to pick up for all species and action should continually pick up with warmer temperatures. A large variety of lures are working for bass, walleye, and trout. Some anglers reported success bait-fishing the bottom.  
Chatfield Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir

As of 5/21/2021 no new reports on any other species at this time. For more information please call (303) 690-1166.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Standley Lake

The lake was recently stocked on 5/3/2021. 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 5/21/2021, bass fishing is starting to pick up with warmer weather. Some reports of largemouth bass being caught in the East cove using jigs and lipless crankbaits fished slowly. A few reports of smallmouth bass being caught off the dam using jigs. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand is permitted. Trailers and vehicles are not permitted in the water. Park hours for April are 6:00 am to 8:30 pm. For more information call 303-326-8424. 
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

As of 5/21/2021, The 11 Mile Marina reports "Trout fishing is reportedly very good. Opening saw a blustery windy day but the action was good from shore and boat. It is a good time of year for Jointed Rapala. Lots of different baits are working. Shore action remains strong and the spawn continues although it should be wrapping up soon. Salmon Peach and Garlic PowerBait have done well. Pautzke Salmon or trout eggs are also hot. Night fishing is good at 10:00 p.m., 2 and 4 in the morning. Lots of fish in the 18 to 22-inch range being caught. The water is very cold and action will improve even more as it gets to temps in the 50's." 
Eleven Mile Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 5/21/2021, park staff reports Boyd Lake is OPEN to boating. Fishing is picking up and there are reports of anglers catching white bass and some walleyes. 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 5/21/2021, the lake is OPEN to boating. All vessels must go through an Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) inspection prior to launching. Water temperatures are near mid 50's. Walleye and crappie fishing has been decent lately. No other species reports at this time. Contact the park for the latest ice conditions at 970-522-3657.
North Sterling Reservoir

St. Vrain State Park

As of 5/21/2021, pike, walleye, and saugeye will chase larger swimbaits and spoons, but we recommend suspending only a few feet down, as most ponds with pike are very shallow at St. Vrain. Pike and walleye will also chase streamers and poppers, but will usually require some form of a leader to prevent breaking free. Please contact the park for the most up-to-date conditions by calling 303-678-9402.
St. Vrain State Park

Barr Lake

As of 5/21/2021 park staff reports the lake is now full. There have been some nice-sized wipers being caught by boat. Walleyes are starting to bite, and trout are being caught from the shoreline. For the most current conditions, please contact park staff by calling 303-659-6005. 
Barr Lake

Cheesman Canyon

As of 5/21/2021, Cheesman has been fishing well with deeper nymphing working in the early mornings. Baetis, BWO, and midges are regularly hatching leading to plenty of fish surfacing in the late mornings early afternoons, and evenings. With current flows, be sure to cover as much water as you can, if you are not seeing action, keep moving. Flows: 158 CFS above Cheesman Lake (5/21/2021) 
Cheesman Canyon

Douglas Reservoir

As of 5/21/2021, bass fishing has picked up over the past two weeks and there have also been more reports of anglers having success catching trout and a handful of wipers as well. 
Douglas Reservoir

Antero Reservoir

As of 5/21/2021, the ANS inspection station is located at the south boat ramp. Both boat anglers and shore anglers are reporting success catching trout on a variety of lures.  
Antero Reservoir

Dream Stream - South Platte

As of 5/21/2021, with low flows and extremely clear waters, the Dream Stream has been producing some technical fishing the last week. Targeting deeper pools and slower riffles are key as well as making smart approaches to the water to not spook the fish. Anglers have reported success with Pheasant Tails, a variety of egg colors, and leech patterns. Flows: 51.1 CFS above Eleven Mile (5/21/2021) 
South Platte

Horsetooth Reservoir

The reservoir was recently stocked on 4/20/2021. 
Horsetooth Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

As of 5/21/2021, park staff reports trout fishing has been very good. Due to very low water levels, the reservoir will open to boating of hand-launched vessels only. Boats with motors will be allowed and will require an ANS inspection going in and coming out. 
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

As of 5/21/2021, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "The outflow from Twin Lakes is now running at 20 CFS. The flows have been steadily increasing in Hayden Meadows as the runoff is beginning. Even with higher flows the clarity is good most days and improves throughout the day. Hayden Meadows is fishing well and with far less traffic than you'd see around Salida. Look toward riffles, edges, and pocket water as the temperatures are beginning to warm and food sources increase. Your best window of opportunity will be between 9 am and 5 pm. Even on recent sunny days, we are seeing some great blue-winged olive hatches through the Numbers and Granite areas with reports of good BWO hatches in the meadows as well. There should be many more opportunities to catch a mayfly hatch up here in the coming days, especially if there's any cloud cover in the forecast. If you are not in a BWO hatch, fish attractor dry droppers with longer (3') droppers as a subtle nymph rig in the pockets, edges, and riffles. Once runoff fully starts, fishing opportunities are still possible in the upper reaches of the river, although you may need to cover more water to find good holding positions. All you need is a little visibility along the edges where the fish will get pushed into with high flows. During this time, big dry flies in the soft water areas can be very productive." Flows: 222 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 302 CFS at Granite (5/21/2021) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Lake Trinidad

As of 5/21/2021, park staff reports boaters are catching trout on jigs and trolling. There are some walleye being caught in deeper water using jigs. The bass fishing has reportedly picked up over the last couple of weeks. The South shore has produced good size trout regularly using PowerBait, doughballs, and nightcrawlers. Call the park for the most up-to-date conditions 719-846-6951.  
Lake Trinidad

Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

As of 5/21/2021, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "The Arkansas River is still very fishable, despite a recent increase in flow. Clarity is holding around 2' in the middle basin following heavy rain yesterday but flows have come down slightly from Tuesday. While the river is stained, consider fishing high contrast flies like Prince Nymphs or rubberlegs stoneflies in tandem with caddis pupa or baetis nymphs. Streamers can also work well in the stained water, as mature brown trout take advantage of the conditions to ambush juvenile browns. Prior to the cool weather, the Mother's Day caddis hatch had made it up as far as Fisherman's Bridge. We may still see caddis in the coming days when the weather warms back up, but the cloudy weather in the forecast today looks prime for blue-winged olives. Combining the weather outlook with low flows and the current state of the snowpack, we should enjoy a few more days of relatively fishable conditions before runoff truly sets in. Caddis hatches seem strongest in the afternoons, with adult flights and egg-laying activity in the evening and sometimes mornings. We would normally expect a semi-predictable wave of hatches moving upstream day by day, but as delayed as the hatch has been in starting this year we are seeing pockets of intense hatches fire off outside of the typical pattern. Water that reaches 54 degrees has the potential to see caddis hatches underway, giving us a wide window of opportunity to encounter this hatch. We'll update this report daily as the hatch proceeds upstream. 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. Recently, it seems that the clear, direct sunlight has fish content to feed just under the surface, intercepting nymphs and vulnerable emergers rather than committing to the dun on the water's surface. Next Tuesday's forecast of cooler temperatures and potential precipitation may make for more concentrated surface feeding. These mayflies are generally a #16-18 and offer some of the best "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: 563 CFS at Hecla Junction (5/21/2021) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

John Martin Reservoir

As of 5/21/2021, both the East and West boat ramps are open. Anglers continue to report success catching walleye and white bass. As a reminder to anglers, underwater spearfishing may be used as a method of fishing in accordance with regulations issued by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Underwater spearfishing is prohibited within 100 feet of any marina, boat ramp, swim beach, or dam infrastructure.
John Martin Reservoir

Lake Pueblo

As of 5/21/2021, be advised that rainbow spawning is taking place and to avoid walking on redds. Anglers have reported increased bass action this week as water temperatures are starting to reach the mid to high 50's. 
Lake Pueblo

Runyon & Fountain Lakes

The lakes were recently stocked on 5/10/2021, 4/19/2021, 3/19/2021, 2/26/2021, and 1/27/2021 and are fishing well. Fishing overall 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 5/21/2021, boat ramps will open effective 8:00 a.m. on May 1st, 2021. Currently, the lake is ice-free. The Visitor Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily and masks are required to enter. Beginning May 2021, to prevent boats from launching during hours that ANS inspections are not available, the park has installed new gates and one-way spike strips. The spike strips will allow boats to exit the lake after hours at the Island boat ramp but will prevent anyone from entering the lake during non-inspection hours. Boaters that plan to exit the lake after inspection hours should park and use the Island boat ramp so that they are not behind locked gates after hours. Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps will be locked every night after the ANS inspection gate closes at 8:30 p.m.  
Vega Reservoir

Steamboat Lake

As of 5/21/2021, park staff reports, "the lake levels are still very low so the water from the lake does not reach the creeks. The shore fishing has been great across the lake!" Call the visitor center, (970) 879-3922, for up-to-date information on lake conditions, open daily 8 am-4 pm.  
Steamboat Lake

Harvey Gap

As of 5/21/2021, the lake is open water and fishing fair to good. Anglers have reported success landing perch and trout on a variety of lures as well as nightcrawlers. 
Harvey Gap

Rifle Gap

As of 5/21/2021, park staff reports with the warmer temperatures, northern pike are being caught as well as brown trout. 
Rifle Gap

Yampa River

As of 5/21/2021, the Yampa River has been providing excellent fishing this time of year for all species. Anglers have reported success using San Juan worms, BWO size 18-20, zebra midges, and Pheasant tails. Flow: 31.8 CFS below Stagecoach Reservoir (5/21/2021) 
Yampa River

Blue River

As of 5/21/2021, mornings have provided the best fishing lately. Eggs and mayfly nymphs are reportedly working well in deeper waters. Other reports have indicated late afternoon hatches providing an abundance of activity. Flows: 78.7 CFS below Green Mountain Reservoir (5/21/2021) 
Blue River

Eagle River

As of 5/21/2021, the significant increases in flows have decreased water clarity. Look for fish holding along the banks in areas protected from the more turbulent water. Caddis, leech, and stonefly presentations have worked for those who are nymphing. Flows: 1280 CFS below Gypsum (5/21/2021) 
Eagle River

Green Mountain Reservoir

As of 5/21/2021, reports indicate fishing is slow and water levels are low. 
Green Mountain Reservoir

Lake John

As of 5/21/2021, Lake John reports intermittent fishing success for trout using standard baits and lures. 
Lake John

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Jackson Gulch Reservoir

As of 5/7/2021, the staff at Mancos State Park report, "Most of the fishing right now has been happening from the bank with typical baits: rainbow or green PowerBait, worms, and 'crawlers. A double-hook rig with PowerBait on one hook and a worm on the other will open up your odds of both trout and yellow perch. Fishing has been good for 10-12-inch trout and small yellow perch. A few splake (brooke trout/lake trout crosses) have been caught using the same baits or small lures. In-line spinners (Mepps, Panther Martins) are working. Let the spinner sink for a count of five or six, then reel mid-speed (enough to get the blade turning but not too fast). Trout should start surfacing in the still mornings and evenings, making for good action with the fly rod, especially from a float tube or kayak."
Jackson Gulch Reservoir

Blue Mesa Reservoir

As of 5/21/2021, anglers have reported success fishing 10-20 feet of water for trout and heading deeper to 50-80 feet of water for lake trout. The Blue Mesa Lake Trout tournament continues through July! The Lake Fork and Elk Creek boat ramps are open and have hours 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Blue Mesa Reservoir

James M. Robb Colorado River

As of 5/21/2021, park staff reports all of the lakes have been stocked and fishing has been good using all types of bait. Please ensure the responsible and ethical release of fish and properly dispose of fishing line. Remember, the daily limit for trout is four fish per person.  
James M. Robb Colorado River

San Juan River

As of 5/21/2021 Duranglers report, "Runoff has arrived on the upper San Juan. Water will be high, off-color, and cold. Fishing will be okay, not great, yet. Streamers and stonefly nymph rigs will be the go-to." Flows: 1030 CFS at Pagosa Springs (5/21/2021) https://duranglers.com/
San Juan River

Animas River at Durango

As of 5/7/2021, Duranglers reports, "Runoff has arrived and is ramping up. Water will be off-color but still may have some visibility. Float fishing is picking up. Streamers and bigger nymph rigs will be key right now." Flows: 1490 CFS at Durango (5/21/2021) 
Animas River

Dolores River - above McPhee Reservoir

As of 5/21/2021 Duranglers report, "The upper Dolores is high, but fishing may be decent with nymphs and streamers. Stonefly nymphs will be your friend in the deeper water." Flows: 752 at Dolores (5/21/2021) https://duranglers.com/
Dolores River

Gunnison River

As of 5/7/2021 Duranglers, "Nymph rigs are your best bet with stoneflies, caddis, and still a few midges. Watch for some fish coming up for early season caddis or midges." Flows: 481 CFS below Gunnison Tunnel (5/21/2021) Duranglers.com
Gunnison River

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