Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions for Memorial weekend 2020

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Published Friday, May 22, 2020

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

As of 5/18/2020, trout fishing from shore at Aurora Reservoir is fair to good using PowerBait from the dam. Fly anglers are reporting slow to fair success using leech patterns. There are few reports of largemouth bass being caught using soft plastics and smallmouth bass off the points on the south side. Walleye fishing is fair to good using jigs tipped with crawlers. For more information, call 303-326-8425. Park Hours for May 5:30am-9:00pm. Restricted to electric motors only and portable gas tanks must be removed.
Aurora Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

As of 5/17/2020, a recent measurement recorded water temperature at 60 degrees and water level was just below normal at Chatfield Reservoir. Anglers have reported catching a mix of walleye, smallmouth bass, and trout. One angler noted that the action among walleye heated up late after dark. Walleye were aggressively striking hard plastics in shallow waters. Another angler had a lot of success catching trout in the 15-18 inch range. At Chatfield Reservoir, boat ramps, marinas and shorelines remain open. There have been reports of long lines to get into the park, launch, and load boats. Be mindful of other anglers and recreationists using the lake as well.
Chatfield Reservoir

Cherry Creek Reservoir

As of 5/18/2020, one angler noted that walleyes at Cherry Creek Reservoir have become "aggressive and hungry." This appears to be great news for anglers. They noted that they had some success using spoons to attract walleye. While the fish activity increases, so does park visitation. The reservoir is open for boating with two boat ramps and ANS inspections stations open daily from 6am - 10pm. The West boat ramp will be closed on Wednesdays.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 5/18/2020, anglers at Quincy Reservoir have experienced fair to good success while targeting trout with spoons and spinners. Bass fishing has been fair to good using soft plastics. There are some reports of smallmouth bass being caught from the dam using jigs. Quincy Reservoir is 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 May 5:30am-9:00pm. For more information, call 303-326-8424.  
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile Reservoir

As of 5/14/2020, anglers have been successful fishing the open water of Eleven Mile Reservoir. One angler reported having good success fishing a variety of minnow imitation lures. They indicated to have particular success using colors white and green. Another report indicated that Kastmasters have been particularly effective for attracting trout. Recently water temperature measures were recorded to be between 50-52 degrees with the water having good clarity. The North Shore boat ramp is open one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset. Witcher's Cove Boat ramp will not be opening for the 2020 boating season. https://www.11milesports.com/fishing-report
Eleven Mile Reservoir

St. Vrain State Park

As of 5/13/2020, fishing action among warm water species should continue to rise in the ponds at St. Vrain State Park. A recent measurement recorded water temperature at 58 degrees. An angler reported witnessing a few rising fish but did have much success. Water clarity was reported as good on Sandpiper pond. 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 5/17/2020, fishing at Boyd Lake has reported to be strong for a couple species. The water temperature was recently recorded at 62.9 degrees in the afternoon. One angler was able to haul in a couple sizable trout and walleye while trolling a harness at a depth of about 15-25 feet. Reports indicate that higher water temperatures have attracted water skiers, jet skiers and other recreationist to Lake Boyd causing congestion. The main boat ramp and Heron Cove (north) ramp are currently open for launching. 
Boyd Lake

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 5/15/2020, staff at North Sterling Reservoir report that fishing for walleye and crappie has been fair to good. Specifically, shore anglers have caught crappie. Meanwhile, anglers have had the most success catching drum. Water temperature has been rising and fluctuates between upper 50's and low 60's. Currently, the inlet and outlets are 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

Antero Reservoir

As of 5/18/2020, recent reports suggest that fishing at Antero Reservoir has been good. Trolling was noted to be particularly productive for one angler; however, they consistently caught fish in the 12-16 inch range. They reported no success attracting larger fish. Boating is open and all boats must be inspected before entry.
Antero Reservoir

Barr Lake 

As of 5/10/2020, staff at Barr Lake State Park report that "wipers are biting, and several good sized fish have been caught recently. Trout are still active along the shoreline and from the fishing pier. They are biting on worms or PowerBait that are fished close to the bottom. Walleyes are holding close to the bottom in the deeper areas of the lake. Water temperature measurements have been approximately 57 degrees throughout the lake." 
Barr Lake

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. As of 5/20/2020, "runoff is definitely underway, and right on schedule. Tributary flows are starting to leap upward on a daily basis, and the reservoir releases to the north are matching their outflows to incoming snowmelt. If you have to fish moving water, trying to time your outing to coincide with the downward trend in the diurnal cycle will give you the best chance at any improvement (though marginal) in clarity. You will want to focus on fishing the few soft pockets of slower water along the edges, and your best luck will probably come with flies that contrast the dark water. Some anglers swear by bright, flashy attractor flies during high water while others prefer black and white patterns for maximum contrast. For the next month, your stillwaters will be the best alternatives while we melt some snow! We anticipate quality float fishing conditions to return by June 20." Flows: 461 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 1,340 CFS at Hecla Junction, 1,540 CFS at Wellsville (5/20/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Leadville to Buena Vista

Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

Information provided by Braden Baker with Ark Anglers. As of 5/20/2020, "runoff is definitely underway, and right on schedule. Tributary flows are starting to leap upward on a daily basis, and the reservoir releases to the north are matching their outflows to incoming snowmelt. If you have to fish moving water, trying to time your outing to coincide with the downward trend in the diurnal cycle will give you the best chance at any improvement (though marginal) in clarity. You will want to focus on fishing the few soft pockets of slower water along the edges, and your best luck will probably come with flies that contrast the dark water. Some anglers swear by bright, flashy attractor flies during high water while others prefer black and white patterns for maximum contrast. For the next month, your stillwaters will be the best alternatives while we melt some snow! We anticipate quality float fishing conditions to return by June 20." Flows: 461 CFS at Hayden Meadows, 1,340 CFS at Hecla Junction, 1,540 CFS at Wellsville (5/20/2020) http://www.arkanglers.com/
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

John Martin Reservoir

As of 5/16/2020, anglers have reported having success pulling in crappie, white bass, and wipes. One angler reported having lots of success using yellow mister twister lures. 
John Martin Reservoir

Pueblo Reservoir

As of 5/8/2020, water temperature has been recorded at 62 degrees. Anglers have been productive while targeting trout and walleye. Anglers have indicated they have used a variety of baits and lures to attract fish. Many anglers have noted consistent success using leeches to attract walleye. Jigs and worms have also provided some success, specifically jigs in colors black, pink, and green. Trolling with a pop gear set up has gotten some anglers into walleye as well. 
Pueblo Reservoir

Lake Trinidad

As of 5/12/2020, Trinidad Lake has reported good fishing. Park staff noted that "boaters have had great luck trolling for trout and targeting walleye and smallmouth bass in 10- 20 ft." Shore anglers have also had success catching trout on the south shore. Trout have been caught using hooks tipped with dough bait and worms. The average sized trout that south shore anglers have pulled in range between 12-15 inches. Anglers have also reported catching decent sized trout and perch using jigs and worms in Reilly Canyon. The boat ramp is now open! Inspections are required before every launch. Hours of inspection are daily from 8AM - 4PM. For an inspection, please call 719-859-0480 or 719-989-7194.
Lake Trinidad

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Vega State Park

As of 5/20/2020, the lake is free of ice and open to boating at this time. Fishing was reported as good. Park staff noted that PowerBait and worms have been productive in attracting rainbow and cutthroat trout around 14-18 inches. The Island boat ramp is open. Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps remain closed. The ANS boat inspection station is now open daily from 7am - 8:30pm.
Vega State Park

Lake John

As of 5/13/2020, Lake John Resort Reports that they have received "mixed reviews coming in on fishing right now. Some anglers doing very well for themselves and others striking out. It seems that the shore anglers are doing much better than boats right now. The fish being caught are close to shore and are full of eggs." https://lakejohnresort.com/
Lake John

Steamboat Lake

As of 5/21/2020, Steamboat Lake State Park staff report that the ice is finally off the lake. Open water fishing has begun and there are reports of excellent fishing near the dam. Other anglers have reported that other sections of the lake have fished slowly so far. The marina boat ramp is now open and inspection hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. M-Th., 6am-9pm F-Su.
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

Grand Lake

As of 5/18/2020, the fishing at Grand Lake has been good. According to Fishing with Bernie guide Dan Shannon, "Fishing has been excellent for brown trout and rainbow trout at Grand Lake while casting small tubes, spinners and spoons. Anglers will get the best action while fishing early or late in the day. Lake trout are scattered but will bite once you've found them. Small tubes, grubs or spoons tipped with sucker are all productive baits and should be works at depths between 40-60 ft. Boaters, beware of floating debris, the inlets are running fast and bringing in lots of surprises!" https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Grand Lake

Lake Granby

As of 5/18/2020, Fishing with Bernie guides report that "rainbows are very active around any flowing water. Lures or bait is working very well. Brown trout are biting on crank baits early and late in the day. They have also been biting on cloudy and windy days as well. Currently, lake trout can be found nearly everywhere in the water column. Tubes, crank baits and bait have all been working very well right now." https://www.fishingwithbernie.com/weekly-fishing-reports
Lake Granby

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. According to Gunnison County's Ninth Amended Public Health Order, beginning May 27th, 2020 "all non-resident visitors are permitted to travel to Gunnison County, so long as their respective state and local governments allow them to visit here, and so long as they otherwise follow the Order." See the county's website for up to date information before planning your fishing trip. As of 5/21/2020, anglers have touted success fishing on Blue Mesa Reservoir. Anglers have had a lot of luck fishing for trout. Trolling for rainbow trout has been especially good. As of 5/15/20 the following boat ramps are open: Elk Creek Boat Ramp and Inspection Station 5:30 am - 9 pm daily, Lake Fork Boat Ramp and Inspection Station 5:30am - 9pm daily, and Iola Boat Ramp and Inspection Station 6am - 4pm daily. Visit the Curecanti Nation Recreation Area's website for the latest details. 
Blue Mesa Reservoir

Navajo Lake

As of 5/22/2020, there are currently few reports of fishing conditions at Navajo Lake. Staff noted that anglers described declining activity among crappie. The boat ramp and ANS inspection station are open daily 7am - 7pm. The boat ramp gate is locked at 7pm. *Please note: 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 5/21/2020, staff at Jackson Gulch Reservoir at Mancos State reported that fishing has been mixed across a variety of species. Rainbow trout have been the most active fish. Anglers have been able to catch a high volume of modestly sized rainbow trout. Meanwhile, fishing for brown trout has been the slow. While few brown trout have been caught, they have been large fish, up to five pounds. Yellow perch have been moderately active. Staff noted that anglers have been the most successful using PowerBait, crawlers, waxworms, and mealworms, especially for trout and yellow perch. The boat ramp and inspection station is open Su.-Th. 8am - 4:30pm, F-Sat. 8 am - 6:30pm.
Jackson Gulch Reservoir

Crawford Reservoir

As of 5/22/2020, the Iron Creek ramp at Crawford Reservoir will be open from 8am - 8pm. Water levels on the reservoir remain about 8 feet below full pool. Crawford Reservoir is known as a quality perch and crappie fishery but also contains channel catfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, and rainbow trout. 
Crawford Reservoir

Ridgway Reservoir

As of 5/15/2020, Ridgway Reservoir was recently stocked with 9,000 ten-inch catchable trout. Anglers have been able to attract fish using a variety of types of bait and lures. Reports indicate the anglers have had the most success while using spinners, PowerBait, and worms. 
Ridgway Reservoir

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide

Higher than normal temperatures have initiated the spring runoff in many streams and rivers throughout the state. Increased snowmelt and instream flows will continue to make water clarity poor and flows high. Such conditions can make fishing rivers difficult. When fishing runoff conditions, seek out water pockets, eddies, or river edges where slack water provides fish an opportunity to strike. Targeting these slower pockets will require a strong mend to give your fly a natural presentation. Large streamers and nymphs can be the best chance to attract fish. Try throwing dark, bright, or flashy flies to break through the murky water and catch the attention of fish. For some of the smaller streams, especially in high elevations, the warmer temperatures may be create optimal fishing conditions that we experienced in low elevations a couple weeks ago. When all else fails, stillwater provides anglers an alternative to rivers and streams.
Statewide

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