Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – May 9, 2020

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Published Saturday, May 9, 2020

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

As of 5/2/2020, water temperature at Aurora Reservoir was recently recorded as high as 53 degrees in some areas. One angler reported some success fishing with both flies and lures. They specifically pointed out their success using a minnow imitation to attract fish from shore. For more information, call 303-326-8425. Park Hours 6:00am-8:30pm. Aurora Reservoir is open to boating but restricted to electric motors only and portable gas tanks must be removed. 
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

This 1,356 impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 5/8/2020, Chatfield Reservoir is experiencing high rates of visitation. Despite high rates of visitors, there is little information reported about current fishing conditions. Park staff have been practicing safe social distancing and have been unable to talk to anglers about what is or is not working. At this time of year, anglers should find walleye closer to shore. Anglers casting from shore should have the ability to reach some walleye that are ready to eat.
Chatfield Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir

As of 5/2/2020, anglers report that fishing has been good at Cherry Creek Reservoir. Water temperatures appear to be rising, recent measurements recorded water temperature consistently above 60 degrees. One angler measured the water temperature as high as 63 degrees. While fishing was good, one angler noted that they had success by moving around and fishing many spots throughout the day. Fishing became slow once sitting in the same spot for too long.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 5/7/2020, several anglers reported having success targeting both bass and trout at Quincy Reservoir. Similar to other bodies of water within the Denver metro area, there has been high pressure on fish. The reservoir is restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand are permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. *Please note: Quincy has been experiencing higher than normal visitation and has been hitting capacity often on weekends. When this happens, visitors that walk in will not be permitted in Quincy. Park Hours: 6:00am-8:30pm. For more information, call 303-326-8424.
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

This conditions report is brought to you by 11 Mile Marina. As of 5/7/2020, "trout fishing is good to very good. Lots of great catching happening so far this spring. Shore or boat, bait, lure or fly, all are working well. So far, Kastmaster have been the most productive piece of hardware. BKT and GNR patterns have been particularly good. Long line on the troll or cast from shore. Everyone has their favorite. Rapala and Tasmanian Devils have also worked well. Shore angling best at sunrise and sunset. There is a decent midmorning bite too. Boaters have had action throughout the day. Night anglers use the old Dr. Pepper timetable. 10-2-4. First good bite at 10PM then 2:00AM and finally 4:00AM." Northern Pike fishing was reported as poor, "...they just have not turned on yet. There are more being caught than a week ago but nothing to write home about. In spring we like 3 to 5 feet of water with windy conditions. Big sticks or spoons. Large tubes can also be successful. On shore take ten casts walk ten yards and do it again and again. From boat, troll large sticks in shallow water less than 12 feet. Points West seeing more action then East. https://www.11milesports.com/fishing-report
Eleven Mile Reservoir

St. Vrain State Park

As of 5/7/2020, recent warm weather has only increased the fishing action among warm water species in the ponds at St. Vrain State Park. One angler noted that they found both crappie and walleye were hanging at depths of about eight feet deep around rocks and boulders. They indicated that they were successful using both twisters and swimbaits in white. Trout fishing continues to remain good at St. Vrain State Park. Established areas for walking, biking, and fishing remain open to the public. Parking is limited on the north side of the park. More parking is available at the south end of the park.
St. Vrain State Park

Boyd Lake

As of 5/1/2020, staff at Boyd Lake State Park report that fishing has heated up for a couple of species on the lake. Fishing for Blue Gill has been reported to be good, however, trout has continued to be excellent. Reports indicate that a combination of small tungsten jigs with waxworms and spoons have been especially productive. Anglers have been successful while targeting trout near the pump house, marina inlet, and Heinricy inlet. There have been few reports of catching other species in the lake; however, there are some reports of walleye suspended in deep water near the marina.
Boyd Lake

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 5/3/2020, staff at North Sterling Reservoir reported that "water temperature has varied between the upper 50's to low 60's on the lake. There has been an overall trend of warming water temperatures. Fishing for walleye and crappie has been fair but anglers have reported varied results. No anglers have indicated success while fishing from shore. Some anglers had good luck catching drum. Usually drum is what is biting when you are fishing for walleyes. Few reports of success catching wiper from shore, however, not many anglers have targeted them. The Reservoir is OPEN to BOATING. The Inlet is ON and the Outlet is ON."
North Sterling Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir 

As of 5/8/2020, Spinney Mountain Reservoir opened to boating 4/29/2020. Anglers report success catching 20+-inch trout on a variety of lures and baits including tubes, Kastmasters, and Rapalas.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. *Please note: "Chaffee County has restricted tourism and leisure traffic to the county. County locals are encouraged to recreate responsibly, but anyone outside of the county is encouraged to stay home under the current circumstances." As of 5/7/2020, "the river is quite dirty due to increases in low elevation snow melt and the Twin Lakes' release. Usually the major runoff does not begin until later in May, but you see periods like this early on where the river temporarily dirties up. Typically, the plugs of discoloration are short-lived and easy to work around, but each day is different. During periods of dirty water, focus on fishing the edges with large, high contrast streamers and stonefly nymphs. We are getting some reports of good blue winged olive activity in the afternoons, which should continue into May. Activity to the north is a couple weeks behind the action in Salida, and the upper basin sees less angling traffic in the spring because of this. Good searching rigs through the day would be a stonefly nymph/midge pupa combo in the morning and an attractor nymph/mayfly nymph combo in the afternoons, subsurface unless you are seeing fish feed on the surface. Fish are definitely moving out to occupy pockets and riffles, as food is available there. Hatching blue winged olives are typically #16-18." Flows: 267 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 572 CFS at Granite (5/7/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. *Please note: "Chaffee County has restricted tourism and leisure traffic to the county. County locals are encouraged to recreate responsibly, but anyone outside of the county is encouraged to stay home under the current circumstances." As of 5/7/2020, Braden notes, "Caddis are definitely hatching above Salida, up to Hecla Junction! This seems to be the leading edge of activity with the hatch spread down into Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Hatches and mating flights are a sight to see, with the former providing some outstanding dry fly fishing opportunities. Egg-laying behavior after 5 or 6pm will also bring fish back to the surface. There is lots of food subsurface right now, and if fish seem to ignore topwater offerings, try caddis pupa as a dropper or on the swing. Caddis are usually in the #14-18 range, with #16 being the sweet spot. Putergbaughs Foam Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Furimsky Foam Caddis, Sparkle Pupa, Graphic Caddis, and Soft Hackle Caddi spupa are all excellent ammo for this hatch. The warmer weather has also caused a significant rise in flow on the river, from low-elevation snowmelt surging through tributaries, to an increase in the release from Twin Lakes. The river is very dirty today. Usually the little plugs of discoloration in early May are easy to avoid, but each day is a little different. Usually the big time runoff doesn't begin until later in May. During periods of dirty water, focus on fishing the edges with large, high contrast streamers and stonefly nymphs. The middle basin is also seeing considerable blue winged olive activity most days in the afternoons between 1-3pm, with the strongest hatches on cloudy days. Sometimes the caddis can mask the mayfly activity, see keep your eyes open for signs of multiple hatches simultaneously. With the availability of food, low flows and ideal water temperatures, you'll find fish are able to spread out and occupy much of the river, in stark contrast to the isolated holding areas you'll see in the winter months. Outside of a hatch scenario, pheasant tail variations in a #16-18 will consistently get some attention as imitations of baetis nymphs, especially in or near riffled water in the afternoons. If you find yourself in an afternoon hatch, you'll want to be armed with some dun and emerger patterns (Parachute Adams, Gulper Special, Sprout Baetis, Bat-wing Emergers, Barr Emergers, Jujubaetis, etc. in #16-18). Immature stonefly nymphs (#10-12), caddis larva (#14-18), and midge larva/pupa (#18-20) are especially effective in the morning before any hatch activity takes place. If we are lucky, we'll see some caddis hatches up above Salida in the next week or so." Flows: 824 CFS at Hecla Junction (5/7/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/Flows: 300 CFS at Hecla Junction (4/23/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

John Martin Reservoir

As of 5/6/2020, the water at John Martin Reservoir was recently recorded at 59 degrees with mild to poor water clarity. Fishing on the reservoir is picking up as of late. Anglers have reported catching wiper, whitebass, and crappie.
John Martin Reservoir

Pueblo Reservoir

As of 5/8/2020, consistently warmer weather has aided in increase fish activity. Water clarity has also been reported to be fair, in some areas visibility of about 2-3 feet. When the fishing is good, anglers have reported having the best luck fishing near the dam with jigs and jerkbaits. A new Fish Survey and Management Data was published recently showing fishing sampling data for Pueblo Reservoir.
Pueblo Reservoir

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park

There are approximately 100 surface acres of water providing a variety of opportunities for anglers. Several of those lakes are stocked in the spring months. As of 5/5/2020, all lakes within the park reported fishing well. Staff reported that there was not a specific bait that gave anglers more success but all types of bait were getting anglers into fish.
James M. Robb Colorado River State Park

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Vega State Park

As of 5/4/2020, the lake is free of ice and open to boating at this time. The Island boat ramp is open. Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps remain closed. The ANS boat inspection station is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Vega State Park

Lake John

As of 5/3/2020, the water temperature at Lake John was recorded at 50 degrees. One angler noted that they had mild to good success fishing among and around the weeds. They stated that they were able to get fish on the line with a green tube jig. It was also reported that no fish were rising to feed off the surface. Anglers must get their hardware lower in the water column to attract fish.
Lake John

Steamboat Lake

As of 5/1/2020, park staff reported that the ice is still close to 2 feet thick on most of the lake. The shoreline is breaking up and has receded 10-50 feet depending on the location. We have not had any reports from fisherman but the cars we have seen parked along the road near the creeks do not stay long, so our guess is that the fish have not started moving up the creeks yet. Nearby creeks have begun to open up and may be fishable, however, accessing creeks may be difficult. Anglers in the Steamboat Springs area looking to do some fishing before the lake opens up can head up Hwy 129 for public fishing access south of the Red Dirt Trail head on the Elk River.
Steamboat Lake

Colorado River

As of 5/1/2020, the folks at Taylor Creek Fly Shops report that "like the lower Roaring Fork, the Colorado is pretty darn spectacular. Blue Wings are hatching heavily now and we are seeing blanket caddis hatches. Streamers and nymphs have been deadly, and if you can find some soft water midday, you'll find some risers here and there. This week fishing in the sun has been better than the shade, although usually we say the opposite. If you don't float, check out the wade fishing accesses in Glenwood Springs and Dino Boat Ramp. We are warming up quickly around here, so get after it while it lasts!" They suggest anglers consider the following flies: DRIES: Pearl and Elk Caddis #14-18, Lawson's EZ Caddis #16-18, Parachute Adams #18-20, Red or Yellow Humpy #16-18, CDC Transitional Midge #20-22, Griffiths Gnat #18-22, Sprout Midge #20-22, HOH Spent Midge #20-22, Hatching Midge #20-22. NYMPHS: Prince #16-18, BLMs #18-20, San Juan Worm #10, Tung Bead Baetis #18-20, Biot Baetis #18-20, RS2s #20, Polywing Emerger #18-20, Imposters #20-22, Assassins #20-22, Freestone Emerger #20, Biot Midge #20-22, Copper John Red #14-18, San Juan Worm #10. Flow: 5210 CFS in Glenwood Springs (as of 5/7/2020) https://taylorcreek.com/blogs/colorado-river-report
Colorado River

Upper Roaring Fork - Aspen to Basalt

As of 5/1/2020, the folks at Taylor Creek Fly Shops report that, "dry fly action is picking up, and streamer fishing and nymphing has also been quite productive. Small worms, stones and princes make great lead flies and follow them up with RS2s or various midge larva." They suggest the following flies, DRIES: Pearl and Elk Caddis #14-18, Ethawing Caddis #16-18, Perfect Baetis #20-22, No Hackle BWO #20-22, Morgan's Para Midge #20-22, HOH CDC Midge Adult #24, HOH CDC Spent Midge #22-24, Sprout Midge #20-24, Skittering Z Lon Midge #20-22. NYMPHS: BLM #18-20, Tungsten Bead Baetis #20, BTS Baetis #20-22, Sparklewing RS2 #20-22, Freestone Emerger #20, Kingrey's Cap'n Hook #20-22, Bead Wing Midge #20-22, Rojo Midge #20-22, Spanflex Stone #10-12, Tungsten Split Case PMD #16-18, PMD Halfback Emerger #14-18. STREAMERS: Autumn Splendor #6, Zuddler #6, Slumpies #6-8. Flow: 40 CFS below Maroon Creek (5/1/2020) https://taylorcreek.com/blogs/roaring-fork-river-report/roaring-fork-riv...
Upper Roaring Fork - Aspen to Basalt

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir

This is a 9000 acre storage reservoir that offers good fishing for kokanee salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout, and lake trout. Blue Mesa Reservoir is located within Curecanti National Recreation Area. *Please note, Gunnison County has implemented travel restrictions that may limit your ability to access the reservoir. See the county's website for more information before planning your fishing trip. As of 5/8/2020, the National Park Service notes that they are working on a plan for a phased reopening within the next two weeks. Plans include to safely open boating at Blue Mesa and other reservoir areas and areas in Black Canyon. Visit the Curecanti Nation Recreation Area's website for the latest details. Blue Mesa Reservoir remains open for hiking and shore fishing opportunities for Gunnison County residents only.
Blue Mesa Reservoir

Navajo Lake

As of 5/4/2020, anglers have had only occasional success on the lake. Water temperature at the lake was recently recorded at 56 degrees. Reports indicate that anglers have had mild to good results attracting a variety of species, including crappie small mouth bass, catfish, and northern pike. While the Colorado side of the Lake is open for day use only, the New Mexico side of the lake remains closed until further notice. This closure is applicable at the Colorado/New Mexico state line. Check New Mexico's Lake Navajo Lake State Park's official website to receive up to date information regarding the park's closure. 
Navajo Lake

Jackson Gulch Reservoir

As of 5/7/2020, staff at Jackson Gulch Reservoir at Mancos State reported that "the lake is fully open for fishing, although the water level is relatively low. 4000 catchable-sized rainbow trout have been stocked so far this year. Trout are occasionally rising and can be caught with small jigs and streamers. Standard baits under a float: PowerBait, 'crawlers, waxworms, and mealworms will work for both trout and yellow perch. Try a small ice fishing jig, tipped with bait about 4 ft under a float or slightly deeper below a slip bobber. Most yellow perch are small but this can be a great time of year to catch some of the larger perch."
Jackson Gulch Reservoir

Crawford Reservoir

As of 5/1/2020, the Iron Creek boat ramp is open with inspectors on duty. Park staff stated that the water level has been rising, however the reservoir is still about 8 feet below full pool. There are few reports of fishing activity because few boats have gotten on the water this season. Although, one angler reported that water clarity was good, however, they did not have much luck.
Crawford Reservoir

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide

The rivers and streams across the state are at various stages of the spring transition. Reports from lower elevation rivers such as the stretches of the Arkansas and Colorado indicate that they have begun to become dirty in color with higher flows. In such circumstances, anglers can still find some success by concentrating on fishing the edges with larger nymphs and stoneflies. Meanwhile, high elevation streams continue to thaw and shed the winter snow and ice, producing crystal clear water. When able to reach these upper stretches, anglers can fish the open streams with smaller nymphs. There have been reports of good fishing, including dry fly action, on rivers and streams in the high country that have been free of ice but not yet experiencing high and dirty flows associated with the runoff. Among these rivers and streams anglers have reported success with midge, BWO, and the occasional caddis fly pattern. Lakes across the state follow a similar pattern, however, fishing on lower elevation lakes has begun to heat up. As water temperatures rise into the 50's in many lakes, fish have become more active. Meanwhile, high elevation lakes have moved on from ice fishing season but not all lakes have completely opened up.
Statewide

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