Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – October 10, 2020

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Published Saturday, October 10, 2020

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

As of 10/4/2020, the public dock is completely out of the water due to low water level. Trout fishing from shore is anywhere from fair to good using PowerBait off the dam and south shoreline. Some trout have been caught measuring between 18-20". Trout action from boats is fair to good trolling with crawlers and spoons. Walleye action is fair trolling with bottom bouncers and nightcrawlers in 25-35' of water. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park Hours for October 6:30am-7:30pm. Restricted to electric motors only and portable gas tanks must be removed. 
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

As of 10/2/2020, a recent water temperature measurement was recorded at 57 degrees and the water level was estimated to be approximate 2 feet below full pool. As water temperatures continue to drop, anglers will find fish, especially trout, higher in the water column. Aquatic Nuisance Species Inspections will be conducted at the North and South ramps from 6am -10pm seven days a week. Vessel Decontamination will only be performed during daylight hours.
Chatfield Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir

As of 10/5/2020, reports continue to indicate that fishing has been slow at Cherry Creek Reservoir. One angler indicated they spent several hours on the water using a variety of soft and hard plastics and pulled in only one small fish. Water temperature was recently recorded at 63 degrees. For the most up-to-date conditions for Cherry Creek Reservoir, please contact park staff by calling 303-690-1166. The reservoir is open for boating with two boat ramps and ANS inspections stations open daily from 6am-10 pm. The West boat ramp is closed on Wednesdays.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 10/4/2020, Quincy Reservoir is closed September 28- October 9th for a water quality improvement project. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Watercraft restrictions-Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. Park Hours for October 6:30am-7:30pm. For more information call 303-326-8424. 
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

As of 10/8/2020, reports from anglers and the 11 Mile Marina indicate that fishing is fair on Eleven Mile Reservoir. One angler indicated they had targeted trout and northern pike by trolling and casting "everything I had" with very little luck. However, the 11 Mile Marina reported that some anglers have had some success catching trout. Specifically, "boaters on the troll have produced with Green Rainbow Cowbells, lead core with Rapala's, Tas Devils. Needlefish # 2 Blue/Purple and Kastmasters. Jigging tubes and Marabous have been very productive for big fish. Look to whites and pumpkin pepper and pearl pepper." Recent surface temperature measurements have range between 55 to 57 degrees. The North Shore Main Boat Ramp and ANS Inspection Station is open from one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset and the decontamination station is open between the hours of 7am and 5pm only. Staff at Eleven Mile State Park note that the "latest Toxic Algae test showed that we are back to Dangerous level as of 09/28/20. No body water contact is ever allowed at Eleven Mile State Park. With this Algae water contact can cause illness." https://www.11milesports.com/fishing-report Eleven Mile State Park
Eleven Mile Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 10/6/2020, rangers at Boyd Lake report that fishing is good. Anglers have had the most success among trout, carp and walleye. Trout have been caught trout on worms and spinners near the Pumphouse and along the shorelines at depths around 8' deep. Bowfishers have had good success targeting carp along shorelines. The slow death rig with chartreuse spinner and worm harness at 15'-25' on the northeast shoreline has produced walleye. The main and Heron Cove boat ramps are currently open. ANS inspections are available 7am to 7pm and decontaminations are available 8am to 6pm at the main boat ramp.
Boyd Lake

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 10/8/2020, rangers at North Sterling Reservoir report that "water temperatures have recently been recorded in the low 60's. Fishing for walleye and crappie has been good, especially among shore anglers. The area near the outlet and the south ramp have been the most consistent areas for catching walleye and crappie." There have been no reports for other species. The Reservoir is open to boating but the water level is approximately 35' below full pool and is dropping. Keep a lookout for possible floating debris, and always be aware that unmarked hazards may exist. The South ramp is the only ramp that remains open, daily 8am-4pm.
North Sterling Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

As of 10/2/2020, the most recent report indicated that anglers were the most successful catching smallmouth bass. However, even when anglers were able to pull in smallmouth bass they were often very small. A recent surface water temperature measurement was recorded at 62 degrees. Larimer County notes that the South Bay ramp is open "Oct. 1-16: 7 a.m.-7 p.m., 7 days a week; starting Oct. 17: 8 am- 4 pm, 7 days a week; closed Thanksgiving Day, November 26." Inlet Bay and Satanka ramps are closed for the season. 
Horsetooth Reservoir

Antero Reservoir

As of 10/3/2020, reports have consistently indicated that the most activity has been among brown trout. Anglers have mostly been able to pull in brown trout on nightcrawlers. One angler reported that the bite had nearly stopped at approximately 10 am. Anglers should arrive at the lake early for the best fishing. The reservoir was recently recorded to be at 97% of capacity. Boats are allowed on the reservoir 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, or at designated time posted at boat ramp. Contact Denver Water for more information at 303-893-2444.
Antero Reservoir

St. Vrain State Park

As of 10/8/2020, fishing continues to improve in the 11 fishable ponds at St. Vrain State Park. Trout fishing is very productive throughout the fall and into the spring. Stocked trout are not picky and will be easy to catch by any legal method using a fly, lure, or bait. Trout will become more active as ambient and water temperatures drop. 
St. Vrain State Park

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

As of 10/7/2020, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "we've got excellent wading conditions right now on the upper Arkansas. The rocky pocket water north of Buena Vista has fished well with a deep nymph rig in the mornings, and is producing good hatches of blue winged olives in the afternoons, particularly on cloudy days. Although small, typically #20-22, these insects are very important piece of the menu over the next few weeks. They can offer some fun and technical dry fly fishing! Even if nothing is hatching, you'll likely find opportunistic and competitive fish taking refuge in velocity shelters looking for an easy meal. Think dry-dropper or shallow nymphing with attractor flies like chernobyl ants, stimulators, golden stoneflies, Midges, etc. through the mid-day and afternoon. Streamer fishing is getting good as the brown trout enter their spawning season, growing aggressive and territorial and willing to chase down larger food. Look for transitions from slow to fast or shallow to deeper water, as well as deeper riffles where fish can find food and security on sunny days." Flows: 80 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 100 CFS at Granite (10/8/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Rampart Reservoir

As of 9/21/2020, the water level at Rampart Reservoir was reported to be low, at 32' below full pool. Generally cooler water temperatures, recently recorded at 58 degrees, has consistently made the reservoir a fishing hotspot throughout the summer. Fishing for trout remains good, especially at greater depths. According to the US Forest Service, "all trailered and motorized watercraft are only allowed from 7am to 5pm Thursdays through Sundays when CPW is performing aquatic nuisance species inspections. Hand launched watercraft may be launched from the boat ramp Monday - Sunday 7am-5pm." 
Rampart Reservoir

Pueblo Reservoir

As of 10/3/2020, water temperature was recently recorded between 65-68 degrees throughout the day. Anglers have had success among walleye, wiper, and smallmouth bass. Anglers highlighted nightcrawlers, leaches, crankbaits, and jerkbaits as lures and baits they've experienced recent success with. There are also a lot of boaters who are noting success trolling with a crawler harness. Boat ramps are open with inspection hours 5am-12am and decontamination hours 8am-7pm. Park staff note that the park is experiencing high visitation and heavy boating usage. 
Pueblo Reservoir

Lake Trinidad

As of 10/5/2020, fishing is good at Lake Trinidad. Boaters have had luck trolling for walleye and perch at depths of 15' - 25'. Meanwhile, trout and wiper can be found in deeper, cooler water. Smallmouth bass have been found among rocks and grass beds during the heat of the day. Fishing from the south shore has been successful with all species. Anglers have had the best success with hooks tipped with dough bait and worms. 12" to 15" fish are common and the best luck is in the early morning or late evenings, larger fish can be found in deeper waters. Low water levels in Reilly Canyon have created conditions for a grass bloom that has restricted fishing from the north side of the river. There have also been a few reports of anglers having luck pulling in catfish. Recent water temperature measurements have been recorded between 58-60 degrees. The boat ramp is currently open and ANS inspections are completed daily 8am-4pm.
Lake Trinidad

Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

As of 10/7/2020, Braden Baker with Ark Anglers writes, "with flows in the low 200 cfs range, fish are able to spread throughout the river rather than being congregated out along the edges that you'll find during higher flows. The cooler weather is prompting some good blue winged olive hatches with the cloud cover. Nymphs are very active mid-day through early afternoon, sizes #18-22, on sunny days. Currently, you'll want to focus on fishing the morning with a stonefly nymph, caddis larva or midge (either under a dry fly or a strike indicator), and transition to slightly deeper runs and riffles during the brightest hours of the afternoon. Blue winged olive nymph and emerger patterns in #18-22 are the ticket mid-day. Fish are generally going to locate themselves in transition areas like pockets of slower water along the edges and shallow riffles in the mornings, moving to dropoffs and mid-stream pocket water and deeper riffles in the afternoon. Switch to smaller dry mayfly imitations if you encounter a hatch. We've had some great reports from anglers working the edges with large attractor dry/dropper setups, and flies that imitate grasshoppers and stoneflies are usually the ticket. Fishing these in tandem with small nymphs that imitate the diminutive fall blue winged olives and Midges." Flows: 200 CFS at Helca Junction (10/8/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

Horseshoe Lake

As of 9/10/2020, Lathrop State Park rangers note that "trout fishing has been less productive with the hotter temperatures. Crappie and bass fishing on Horseshoe has been productive with most anglers stating that artificial lures, jigs, plastic worms, and spinners result in the most takes. Warm, late summer waters have led to increased activity from catfish and carp. Fishing for catfish has been reported as being the most active around dawn and dusk, and anglers are having success with worms or liver based baits. Generally speaking, fishing in the morning, around dusk, and during cooler/cloudy days has led to more productive fishing and is less stressful on the fish."
Horseshoe Lake

Martin Lake

As of 9/10/2020, the staff at Lathrop State Park report that "hot and sunny conditions have led to unproductive fishing, especially for trout. Worms, PowerBait, and salmon eggs seem to be the most productive baits when fishing off the bottom for trout species. Fishing for pike and muskie has been productive, and larger swimbaits are being reported as having the most chases. Generally speaking, fishing in the morning, around dusk, and during cooler/cloudy days has led to better angler success and is less stressful on the fish. For anglers fishing from boats, be aware that water levels are down, there are unmarked hazards, and there are large Eurasian watermilfoil mats on the southeast corner of Martin Lake near the spillway. This invasive plant species can get tangled in the propeller and effect the performance of a boat."
Martin Lake

John Martin Reservoir

As of 9/29/2020, John Martin Reservoir has had slow fishing. An angler reported that fish were likely feeding on an abundance of shad available. The high number of shad makes it difficult for anglers to attract fish. Low water levels and lots of wind have also made it difficult for anglers. Few boats have been seem on the water. A recent surface water temperature measurement was recorded at 64 degrees. 
John Martin Reservoir

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide

It finally feels like we have reached fall. Leaves are changing, brown trout are spawning, and temperatures are dropping. A particularly hot and dry summer had tested the patience of many Colorado anglers. Although many rivers continue to run low for this time of year, reduced daily highs and lows have helped mitigate and reduce high water temperatures that plagued many rivers, streams, and lakes throughout August and early September. These conditions have improved fishing conditions for many bodies of water across the state, including lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, and ponds. Fly anglers should prepare for fall fishing with smaller flies. Common fall flies include midge, BWO, and caddis presented as both dry flies and nymphs. As mentioned in the Gunnison River and is relevant to other rivers across the state, kokanee salmon are making their way upstream to spawn. There are many bodies of water across the state that allow kokanee snagging for this limited time of the year. Lastly, anglers should be on the lookout for hungry brown trout looking to bulk up post spawn. Big brown trout can be caught on streamers this time of year. 
Statewide

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Williams Fork Reservoir

As of 10/4/2020, Randy, a guide with Fishing with Bernie, reports that "water capacity is 85% and surface water temperature has recently been recorded at 55. The lake trout bite has slowed down but they are still catchable until mid-day. Look for lake trout in 70' to 80' of water. Mixed age groups of lake trout and crawdads are hitting tubes, spoons and grubs tipped with small pieces of sucker meat. Northern pike are moving into shallower water in the mid-day into sun. Any lure fished on a slow to medium retrieve might get northern pike to hit. Rainbow trout fishing is slow in the shallow bays but some are being caught bottom fishing on the west side near the dike. Kokane trolling continues to be very slow. Ramp hours are 7AM to 7PM daily." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Williams Fork Reservoir

Grand Lake

As of 10/4/2020, Sam, a Fishing with Bernie guide, writes that "lake trout can be found in 30' to 50' of water and the bite has been decent. Lake trout are spawning, so look for stacks of fish on humps and points in 30' to 50' of water. Small plastics tipped with sucker meat have produced most of the fish. Rainbow trout can be caught at the surface in the mornings. Brown trout should be spawning and can be found in shallow water." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Grand Lake

Lake Granby

As of 10/4/2020, Fishing with Bernie guides report that "rainbow trout are eating bait and small spoons along the shorelines. Fishing for brown trout has been very good during lowlight hours with floating minnow baits and bushy flies doing very well. Lake trout are starting their spawn and small grubs and spoons tipped with sucker meat have been working very well in rocky areas 40'-70' deep." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Lake Granby

Vega Reservoir

As of 10/7/2020, staff report that all boat ramps are closed at this time due to low water levels. You may still hand launch small non-trailered boats, however, all motors must still be inspected prior to launching at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is open from 8am to 3:30 pm daily. Fishing continues to remain good with anglers having success pulling in rainbow and cutthroat trout on PowerBait and nightcrawlers. 
Vega Reservoir

Stagecoach Reservoir

As of 9/19/2020, it was reported that Stagecoach Reservoir continues to have slow fishing. The surface water temperature was recently recorded at 63 degrees. An angler noted that were able to pull in two northern pike on dynamic pink and chrome Rat-L-Trap. The North/Marina boat ramp is currently open and ANS inspections are available Su.-Th., 8am-4pm; Fr.-Sa., 7am-9pm.
Stagecoach Reservoir

Delaney Lakes

As of 9/30/2020, Lake John Resort reports "activity at the Delaney Lakes has continued to increase. East Delaney still producing the smallest fish at 12-13". The most active, South Delaney, is currently producing bigger fish at approximately 16-22". Finally, anglers are pulling in the biggest fish at North Delaney Lake but the activity is the slowest of the three lakes. The brown trout are becoming active in North Delaney Lake and can be caught with stripping leeches, crayfish and wooly buggers. Rapala's, tub jigs, leeches, chironomids, damsels, ants, beetles and crayfish patterns in 15-20' of water has been best during the day across all three lakes." https://lakejohnresort.com/fishing
Delaney Lakes

Lake John

As of 9/30/2020, the folks at Lake John Resort report that "Lake John has quality fish coming out right now and the bite is continuing to get better and better. Reports are coming in daily from both shore and boat anglers having success equally. Boats using Tasmanian devils, rapala's, tub jigs, kastmasters, thomas bouyants and ruby eyed leech flies under an indicator have helped anglers reel in fish. Meanwhile, shore fisherman have been using garlic PowerBait, marshmallows, cheese, night crawlers and black leech flies to successfully attract fish." https://lakejohnresort.com/fishing
Lake John

Green Mountain Reservoir

As of 10/3/2020, anglers report that fishing is fairly slow at Green Mountain Reservoir. One angler noted that the reservoir is visibly low and appears to be dropping. They noted that they were able to reel in both lake trout and brown trout on a combination trigging off the bottom and pulling in jerkbaits. The Heeney Marina boating site is open daily 7am to 7pm. 
Green Mountain Reservoir

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Jackson Gulch Reservoir

As of 9/8/2020, staff at Manchos State Park reported "water level is VERY LOW. Trout are rising consistently during still evenings, and are catchable with small jigs, streamers, and dry flies. 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' under a float or slightly deeper below a slip bobber. Most yellow perch are small but fall can be a great time of year to catch some of the larger perch."
Jackson Gulch Reservoir

Gunnison River

As of 10/8/2020, kokanee salmon have made their way into the Gunnison. Anglers can get into the most fish by nymphying, especially in deeper pools. There also continues to be dry fly action with consistent blue winged olive hatches. As we get further into fall, streamers will become the best option for getting into brown trout. The water level on the Gunnison River is low, flowing 192 CFS at the Gunnison station, but has been steady for the past week. 
Gunnison River

Highline Lake

As of 10/1/2020, the rangers at Highline Lake reported that "channel catfish were stocked into both Mack Mesa and Highline Lake on 8/31/2020, with 2,000 3" into Highline, and 500 3" into Mack Mesa! Over 6,000 1.5 lb rainbow trout were stocked into each lake earlier in the spring." Highline Lake has closed to boating for the 2020 season. No boats, paddleboards, kayaks, or canoes are allowed on Highline Lake until March 1st, 2021, or when lake conditions permit. 
Highline Lake

Lake Navajo

As of 9/25/2020, it was reported that "fishing at Lake Navajo has been very good lately. The water temperature at the Marina in Arboles was recorded at 63 degrees and is cooling down. Many smallmouth bass in the 2-4 pound range have been pulled in by anglers. There has also been good conditions for northern pike fishing as well, especially with top water action." The boat ramp and ANS station remains open daily, 7am to 7pm. 
Lake Navajo

Ridgway Reservoir

As of 10/8/2020, the staff at Ridgway Reservoir report that fishing has been slow. Despite the slow conditions, the kokanee salmon snagging season opened on 9/1/2020 and is expected to pick up within the next week or so. Snagging kokanee are permitted on Ridgway Reservoir until 12/31/2020. The reservoir is still open for boating. The boat ramp has been reduced to one lane and is open daily, 8am to 4pm. Meanwhile, the fishing below the reservoir, on the Uncompahgre River, has been reported to be good but high angler pressure can make finding adequate space difficult. 
Ridgway Reservoir

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