Conditions Report - Statewide
Colorado meet fall, fall meet Colorado. Over the past week fall has arrived on our doorstep and introduced some much needed cold weather and precipitation. Many guides and anglers were expecting September's warm and dry weather patterns to cause a delay on our fish's fall activities for the state. With the recent current and past weather, take that advice lightly because these cold fronts may have kick-started us back into our typical fall patterns. Much of the high country has received some decent snow accumulation and is expected to get more this weekend. Everywhere except the southwest portion of the state is expected to get some good precipitation this Sunday. After the weekend, we are expected to get some blue bird days with temperatures staying fairly consistent for at least the first half of the week. Stay in touch with your local bait, tackle, and fly shops to get real-time information on fall conditions for the lake or stream you are considering. For streams, anglers should be confident in assuming that fall is here and here to stay so fish accordingly. Something to consider however, are the flows. Some rivers are lower than historical averages due to the dry summer and past winter but some are actually right at the average or even above. Fish are enjoying the cooler water temperatures and feeding on the fall hatches of blue winged olives and tricos on the cloudy days. Browns are preparing for their spawn and becoming more aggressive. Egg patterns are starting to come into play as well as streamers. For our lakes, the cold water species are really starting to be the talking points. Eleven Mile and Spinney for example have picked up tremendously with excellent trout catches these past few weeks. Pike are also beginning to be more and more active. Lake trout are also coming up from the depths in some reservoirs for their spawn. Walleye are now going to shallower waters to hunt for the remaining shad schools which is good news as this year was a little difficult for walleye anglers as the shad counts were really high in many reservoirs. Take advantage of the great fishing Colorado can offer during the fall and make sure to send us those pictures of your catches, big or small! !
Colorado Fishing Atlas
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
Eleven Mile State Park
As of 10/12/2018, water temperatures are around 54 degrees. Trout fishing has been awesome lately, what a fall Eleven Mile has been having so far! Big trout have been reported all over the reservoir from shore or by boat, bait or lure and fly. Night fishing has been excellent for trout although the temperatures have been getting pretty cold. Reports of just about any tactic is finding fish so the big biggest factor is really getting out there. The pike action has been really good lately as well with most catches being around 20 to 30 inches. The bigger pike are still hanging tight and waiting for fall to mature a little more so keep an eye out for reports of bigger pike coming in. Stick baits, swim baits and spinner baits are all getting good pike catches anywhere between 3 to 15 feet of water.
Eleven Mile State Park
As of 8/31/2018, the water temperature is very warm at about 75 degrees. The water levels are decent for this time of year and only down about 6-10 feet from full. Not a whole lot to report in terms of walleye or saugeye and it is safe to assume the water temperatures have pushed them to the lake depths. Largemouth bass are going to be your best bet for success this time of year. Look to see the bass being most active early in the morning. Senko's will always get some takers so adjust your retrievals until you find the appropriate action that sparks the fish's interest. Using plastic frogs next to weed beds and muddy shorelines have also reported some success. Reminder -No fishing from marina slips or docks (next to is okay but can't use them in any way).
Spinney Mountain Reservoir
As of 10/5/2018, Spinney like Eleven Mile has been doing very well lately. Because Spinney is shallower than Eleven Mile, more fish have been holding tight to the weed beds. As we get further along into fall, the fish will start to cruise and forage more often. The hatches have started to cool off but damsels, chironomids and streamers are getting good catches for fly anglers. Tube jigs and gitzits are getting good catches of trout while spinners and swim baits are bringing in the pike. The reservoir seems to be right at the verge of full fall season so fish the weed lines and beds as before but do not count out fishing more open waters for foraging trout and hunting pike.
Spinney Mountain State Park
Barr Lake State Park
As of 9/28/2018, decent wipers have been reported being caught from the shore. The panfish activity has also been picking up and should continue to be decent. The water level is low and still dropping so be aware of the muddy patches along the shorelines as you cruise for good water to cast in. The boat ramp is still open but the dock has been removed due to the low levels. Please be cautious if you decide to launch due to the shallow water and the accumulation of silt and sand. Please remember fishing is not allowed in the canals surrounding the lake.
As of 9/28/2018, the boat ramp only has about 3 feet 10 inches of water to launch in. Surface water temperature is approximately 69 degrees. We are open to boating. Fishing has been fair to good for channel catfish, crappie, wiper and walleye.
Jackson Lake State Park
As of 10/5/2018, fishing has cooled off a bit but that should change. Fish are following the weather patterns and the warmer week we recently had has not helped the angling conditions. Colder weather will draw a lot of species of fish out of the deeper water and encourage more activity and feeding. Again, using Ned rigs with pumpkin or watermelon colored plastics will get some smallmouth catches. This time of year could also be a good time to start using crawfish imitations again along most of Horsetooth's rocky shorelines. Bass will certainly chomp on a crayfish crankbait but you could also tempt a walleye or even some trout. If you are fishing from shore, move around some and switch between slower and faster retrievals to put your lure in different depths until you key in on the fish's location.
As of 9/8/2018, the water temperature is about 71 degrees with some warmer temperatures in the shallow coves. The lake is about 28 feet down from full and dropping 2-3 feet a week. Fishing is fair for Walleye, Crappie and Wiper, with slower bites being reported lake wide. Shore fishermen are reporting a decent Catfish bite at the West Trailhead lot. The Reservoir is OPEN to BOATING. The Inlet is OFF and the Outlet is ON.
As of 8/1/2018. Fishing should be pretty fun at Staunton as they typically stock the lakes first week of the month. For stocked fish look for hungry fish cruising for worms and PowerBait. Competition will be high so get their attention with bright colored baits or lures. Both ponds are typically stocked the first week of each month starting in May, with rainbow trout. Our ADA accessible fishing pier is complete and ready to be fished from. Please contact the park about how we can provide an accessible fishing experience. Due to construction access to the ponds is is currently available from the Ranch Hand Group Picnic parking area only. There is no public access below the dams on Elk Creek Road. Do not drop people or equipment off at this location. Violators will be ticketed. From more information contact staff at 303-816-0912
As of 9/28/2018, the Creek is in a better condition lately as the nightly temperatures have come into play. Flows are still low so be aware during those hot days and especially during the afternoon hours that the water temperatures do not reach over 66 degrees. Dry flies are on right now such as Parachute Adams and Elk Haired Caddis. Reports of blue winged olives are also coming in as we approach fall so make sure you have some ready for when a hatch starts. Terrestrials are also a good choice for your dry in a hopper dropper set up. Flows: below 4 CFS (9/28/2018)
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
As of 10/12/2018, the fish are feeding heavily and are very active right now. The bad news is with a highly pressured river like this area of the South Platte, the clear water is making conditions very technical and the recent drop inflows, about 50 CFS on Monday, will have put on alert and the fish will be a bit finicky. If you can get to fish with a good presentation without alerting them, you will get some fish. Fly selection and size is key right now. It is recommended to downsize the tippet to about 5-6x fluorocarbon if you are fishing nymphs. Heavy hatches of tricos are coming off around noon on the cooler days. Be on the lookout for blue winged olives and even pale morning dun hatches as well. Some patterns that are getting good takes right now are juju Baetis, Satlcup's Baetis, Mercury Midges, and Barr Emergers in the #20-22 range. Flows: 112 CFS (10/11/2018)
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
South Platte - Charlie Meyers
As of 10/12/2018, the main story here are the crowds. It only takes a couple pictures of lake run browns to be posted online or on social media to attract the masses up to the Dream Stream so set your expectations accordingly. The Kokanee are in the river in force and yes, the lake run browns are starting to show up. The numbers for the browns are increasing but we still have time before the real numbers arrive. If it's the browns you are targeting, the typical nymph rigs are going to be the best bet for fly options. These flies include chironomids, egg patterns, midges and leaches. You also might want to try out a streamer for some aggressive, spawning browns. If you are looking to get into some salmon, try some bigger, red copper johns, eggs and San Juan worms. Whether you are a guide with and handful of clients or just out on the river on your own, please be respectful of others as no matter when you go, you will be fishing with several neighbors. Help do your part in keeping this section of the South Platte world renown by cleaning any trash and fishing line, be aware of the REDDS and be careful not to disturb them and do not fish the spawning browns that are protecting them! Flows: 120 CFS (10/11/2018)
South Platte - Charlie Meyers
Cache la Poudre
As of 10/12/2018, the fishing is geared in fall mode and flows are up some so fish should be a little easier to approach. The Poudre has a diverse insect ecosystem for a smaller river so paying attention to the surroundings will aid in what to tie on your rigs, especially in the fall. Right now you can still see hatches of caddis, blue winged olives, pale morning duns and tricos. Pause and take a minute to take in the surroundings and look for hatches, fish feeding in deeper water or faster runs, and if the conditions favor a streamer then take advantage. A good rule of thumb for the Poudre this time of the year is smaller and darker colored bugs for your rigs. Some specific flies that are a good choice right now are Blue Poison Tungs, Mercury Midges, Griffiths Gnats, and a leach or San Juan worm as an attractor followed by a nymph. Flows: 72.4 CFS near Canyon mouth and 86.5 CFS at Fort Collins (10/11/2018)
Cache la Poudre
As of 10/5/2018, the flows in the canyon have dropped a bit but still remain close to the averages and past weeks. For the best action the further up the canyon you go, the better it will get. If you have never been to Waterton, there is a dirt road leading up through the canyon so taking a bike will get you up there faster if fishing is your priority. Bug selection is going to remain similar until we start seeing more drastic changes to the weather and daylight hours keep decreasing. Try some hoppers and terrestrials as indicators or a stimulator dropped with various midges and baetis patterns as your droppers. Shift everything to a little smaller than earlier in September especially hoppers if you decide to use one. Flows: 116 CFS (10/4/2018)
As of 10/12/2018, the flows have still been fairly consistent this past week. The river remains fairly good and fall techniques are going to be producing with the cold weather. Most abundant food sources right now are your subsurface caddis and midges. Some trout have been seen feeding on the surface mainly in slower moving water. Do not spend too much time switching your dry fly rigs around if you are not getting success. If there is not a lot of fish surfacing for the hatch, the nymph rigs will produce better in general throughout the day. Some suggested nymph patterns are Flash Back Hares Ear, Graphic Caddis, and Green Copper Johns in the #14-16 sizes. Some dries to consider are Elk Haired Caddis, Klink Caddis and Slow Water Caddis in the #14-16 sizes as well. Flows: 48.7 CFS (10/11/2018)
Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado
Arkansas River-Lake Pueblo
As of 10/12/2018, flows have been dramatically dropped in the past couple of days so fish will be very alert as the water is clear and low. Be stealthy and mindful of where you wade through the water. The fall conditions are producing some good fishing in this section of the Arkansas but the lowered flows could make for some more difficult fishing. The typical blue winged olives, midges and caddis nymphs are going to be your staples to use. Look for fish to be stacking near shelves and pools. Crowds are a little heavy right now so feel free to move around. Nymphing is going to be your best bet with consistency but if you see a lot of fish surfacing, try a dry fly rig. Recommended fly patterns include blue winged olive, trico and midge patterns but fish are also really keying in on Pseudo Baetis and Red bodied attractors. Streamer season is also starting to pick up so make sure you have some articulated streamers in your fly boxes. Flows: 50.5 CFS (10/11/2018)
Lake Pueblo State Park
As of 10/12/2018, the Lake is at 696 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6181.31. Surface water temperatures are around 57 degrees. The fishing report is basically the same as last week with the exception of colder water which is having a positive impact on the fishing. Shore fishermen are catching trout on homemade dough bait, PowerBait in the green color and worms all along the south shore, which has been decent with all species of fish. The river at Reilly Canyon has slowed down to a trickle and heavy willows/vegetation has emerged around the lake. The most action for fish is occurring in the early mornings and late evenings. Boaters have done well targeting walleye really early in the morning hours. Smallmouth are being caught early in the morning and late afternoon. Trout are being landed during all hours. Worm harnesses and crank baits have worked well. Fish are being found around 10-15 feet of water. Look for fish to be more active with the fall conditions especially the colder water species.
As of 10/12/2018, the fishing is nearing the "good season". Much like most of the reservoirs along the Front Range, anglers and guides are waiting for another good, cold snap to really kick off the fall fishing where conditions and bites will dramatically improve. The walleye are suspended over very deep water right now, about 20 feet over 120 feet of water or so. This allows for some trolling opportunities. Anglers are having success trolling around these depths using lead core line with jointed crank baits. Wipers are mainly found in the flats this time of year as they chase the decreasing schools of shad. Fishing in about 60 feet or so of water in the flats should house some decent wiper numbers. Having a depth/fish finder will make searching for the wipers a lot easier than blindly casting in various flats.
Lathrop State Park
As of 8/6/2018 the surface temperature at Martin Lake is approximated at 72 degrees. With temperatures rising to around 90 degrees or more, the fishing has been abundant during early mornings and late evenings. Pike have been the most popular catch during the summer months using fake Smelt. Smelt is a very small fish similar to a minnow. With the frequent rain we have been getting during the evenings, trout have been very active during these times. Trout in Martin Lake have been known to be feeding on power bait or night crawlers. Largemouth Bass have also been another popular fish being caught, especially with crayfish lures and shallow water lures. The surface temperature at Horseshoe Lake is approximated at 69 degrees. The most popular fish Horseshoe has to offer is the infamous Tiger Muskie. The largest Tiger Muskie recorded at Horseshoe Lake was 46 inches long and weighed at 25 pounds. With reports from fisherman on the lake, crappie and trout have been the most caught here. Smallmouth Bass have been another frequent catch using Sammy lures and Spinner bait in the evenings.
Located off of Garden of the Gods Rd and just East of I 25, this reservoir has just about all the typical species of fish found in Colorado. From warm water fish like largemouth bass to other species such as trout and pike - this small, urban reservoir has it all. As of 8/10/2018 fishing reported as decent to slow. When recently stocked the fishing will be good but during these warmer days fish have been lethargic and deep. Look to mix up the techniques/lures and fish during the cooler times of the day. This reservoir packs some resident fish that have avoided the "hook" over the years and can reach very decent sizes. Throw them something that they don't see every day to spark their curiosity, you could get a taker and be on our next catch of the week!
As of 10/5/2018, the weather, especially nightly temperatures, have been affecting the conditions at the lake recently. The hatches and terrestrials are tapering off and it will be interesting to see if they are apparent after this weekend and early next week's cold front that is coming. Saturday through Tuesday are showing nightly temperatures that get below freezing. If you are curious, this weekend could be one of those trips that the tests your grit but pays off with great catches. Fall is when the lake trout spawn so they will be headed to the shallows or at least up from the depths. You might still need to get fairly deep so vary your retrievals. Although the spring and fall water temperatures can be similar, there are fewer hatches and other fish spawning in the fall so the food source is scarcer. Lake trout will still be curious so test out different waters to tease lake trout that could be in the area. Your retrievals should not be consentient. Try different speeds and pauses until you get a lake trout to commit.
As of 10/12/2018, the water clarity is really good even with a slight bump in flows. With the colder temperatures and rain fall, there has been a lot of midge activity as well as some great afternoon blue winged olive hatches. Duns and emergers in the #18-22 are going to be a good choice after about 1pm. During the morning hours while the water is still warming up, nymph rigs will serve as a good technique as the fish will most likely be feeding in the shallow pockets and rifles. A large dry followed by some small midges and nymphs is working well right now. Make sure your dry is buoyant enough to stay afloat in these rifles/currents and can be seen as a good indicator for your rig. A larger Parachute Adams in the #14-16 size or a similar pattern and size should do the trick. Flows: 239 CFS (10/11/2018) Flows: 204 CFS (9/14/2018)
Upper Arkansas - Near Salida
Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area
This 762-acre impoundment is located off of E. Quincy Avenue, two miles east of E-470. As of 10/12/2018, really start to expect the fishing to start picking up. Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair with a few reports of some rainbows caught in the 2-4 pound range. Most trout are being caught from the Dam using PowerBait and night crawlers. Boaters reporting fair to good conditions on trout trolling with crawlers and lures such as Kastmasters and Dare Devil spoons. Walleye action is currently slow to fair with a few good reports using bottom bouncers and jigs but this should really start to change with this cold weather snap that has recently hit us. Restricted to electric motors only. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours October 6:30am-7:30pm.
This 881-acre impoundment is located in Cherry Creek State Park, in Aurora. There are two entrances to the park, the east entrance off S. Dayton St. and the west entrance off S. Parker Rd. As of 10/12/2018, the fishing has remained close to the same but guides suggest we are on the cusp of fishing conditions to shift for the better as we are approaching the thick of fall. Shad populations are still fairly plentiful so walleye especially are not as actively cruising to feed as much as we would like since they have had so much food at their disposal this summer. If you are trying to get into some walleye in the coming days, it is crucial that you hit the water early in the morning and use reactionary baits in the shallows as the walleye are chasing the shad in 6-15 feet of water or so. Suggested methods include blade baits and jigging Rapalas. Reports of a few wipers are also coming in and using the same reactionary techniques as walleye should give you a good shot at them as well.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
As of 10/12/2018, the bass fishing is rated as slow to fair. Try fishing soft plastics outside of the weed lines. All other species are slow or no reports. We are less than a month before the reservoir closes so take advantage as fishing should be improving as we approach the closing date. Park Hours for October 6:30am-7:30pm. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Electric motors and hand launched watercraft only. Trailers and vehicles prohibited in the water. For more information call 303-326-8424.Quincy will close for the season October 31st!
This 1,356 impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 10/12/2018, the reservoir is a little slow for walleye as we approach the time of year where the fishing picks up significantly. A lot of anglers are getting into some good bass catches in your usual spots such as the gravel pits and sunken boulder fields. Most catches are coming from fairly close to shore, offering both boat and shore anglers a good chance at the fish. Mid-sized crank baits are working well off shore or trolling. Early morning will also be key to having good success.
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
Rifle Gap Reservoir
As of 10/12/2018, the fishing for most species has been decent at the reservoir. Pike and trout are being caught throughout the lake and bass fishing has been good near the Cedar Campground areas as well as closer to the dam. Look for smallmouths to be holding near those boulders or gravel pits by the dam and try using some crankbaits in a bait fish imitation or even a crawfish color. Trout will be caught on spinners, Kastmasters and spoons. First try heavier sized lures to explore different depths. Use fish colored spoons and Kastmasters to try and entice some aggressive and bigger sized browns that are getting ready for their spawning season.
Rifle Gap Reservoir
As of 10/12/2018, all three boat ramps are CLOSED for the season. Inspections must still be conducted on any hand launchable watercraft with a motor. The ANS inspection station will be open from 8am to 3:30pm for motorized watercraft requiring an inspection. If at any time it is closed, please come to the Visitor Center for motor inspections. Please call the park for addition information. The visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shore fishing is good but please keep in mind that lake levels are extremely low and accessing the shoreline can be difficult.
James M. Robb
As of 9/21/2018, the trout fishing has slowed down with the warm weather but fishing for sun fish and blue gill is on. Look for trout to pick back up when temperatures cool back down. All lakes are expected to be stocked in the fall when conditions allow. Please ensure the responsible and ethical release of fish. Trash cans are available to dispose of fishing line.
James M. Robb State Park
Stagecoach State Park
As of 10/12/2018, anglers are reporting the pike bite to be tapering off a bit but we have plenty of fall ahead of us so take that with a grain of salt as some good pike days could still be ahead. Trout fishing has been doing well as typical with the fall season approaching. With precipitation forecasted for this weekend and a significant drop in temperatures especially Sunday, we could see a really good couple of days for both pike and trout as activity should pick up. Check in with a local tackle shop to see what they would recommend using during the cold snap we are about to get. Some of the best fall fishing comes during or close to these cold snaps as it entices browns to spawn and rainbows and pike to feed. The low pressure system will often influence fish to go on a feeding frenzy along with the cold water which will also encourage fish to prepare for winter.
As of 10/12/2018, flows have steadied after a recent bump. The precipitation and cold, fall temperatures have been a positive influence on the river as of late. Egg patterns should now be considered but the spawning browns are not out in full force yet. Baetis and midge imitations are going to be the go to flies during the fall and winter months but keep an eye out for small spikes in flows that will introduce a surge of Mysis shrimp to the water system. Small worms and leaches can be good attractor patterns with a trailer of an RS2, Top Secret Midge, Discos, Poison Tungs or Small PT's all in the #20-24 sizes. Sight fishing will offer the best chance to properly present your rig to those larger, smarter fish. Flows: 57 CFS (10/11/2018)
Blue River - Silverthorne
Frying Pan River
As of 10/12/2018, the cold, rainy fall weather has really made the dry fly fishing turn on during the afternoons. Guides predict the green drakes and blue winged to be the hatches coming off until the end of the month which then will give way to primarily just blue winged olive hatches towards the end of the year. The drake hatches have been exceptionally strong this year possibly due to the timing of those increased late September flows. When the hatch is off, nymphs that are catching flies have been pheasant tails and RS2's. Small streamers have also been picking up so include some Slumpbusters, sculpin patterns and Autumns Splendor in the size #6-8 sizes. Flows: CFS 113 (10/11/2018)
Frying Pan - Ruedi
As of 10/12/2018, flows have steadied out and water temperatures are declining each day. The river has shifted into fall mode with trico and blue winged olives being the dominate hatches. Dry dropper rigs are still working well but make sure to add a good amount of tippet between the dry and dropper, 3 to 4 feet are suggested lengths. Guides even advise a third fly such as Rainbow Warriors, Barr's Emergers or a Bruised baetis. A good set up that includes 3 flies is starting with a hefty dry like a Hippy Stomper or a Fuzzy Wuzzy followed by 3-4 feet of fluorocarbon tied to an Iron Sally or Pat's Rubber Legs then finally finished up by one of the nymphs listed above. Have an indicator rig ready for deeper pools where fish will be stacked. Flows: 576 CFS (10/11/2018)
Colorado River - Near Kremmling
Lake John and the Buttes
As of 10/12/2018, the lakes have been getting some colder temperatures and snowfall the last couple of days. The snow on the roads is already melting so the area is still very accessible. The lakes have been experiencing cooler nights which are keeping water temperatures down and allowing for fantastic fishing throughout the day at Lake John and the Buttes. Both shore and boat fisherman are doing well. At Lake John, night crawlers have been a huge success along with garlic PowerBait or the colors red and pink. Boat fisherman are reporting success when using pop gear, flies, Tasmanian Devils and Kastmasters.
Lake John and the Buttes
Harvey Gap State Park
As of 10/4/2018, the fishing has been good at Harvey Gap. A lot of perch of all sizes are being reported. The pike are out prowling the shorelines and deeper waters as anglers are reporting good catches. The trout fishing has also been good recently and should get better. Try some brown or pumpkin colored tube jigs to fish for decent sized, hungry trout. Pike will be found at varying depths but start the focus on the shallow waters then work deeper. Spinner baits are good to scan different depths as well as inline spinners. Trout will also take an inline spinner medium to small sized which gives you the chance for pike or trout.
Rifle Falls State Park
As of 10/12/2018, the fishing is still good along the creek at Rifle Falls. Fish are a bit spooky so try casting upstream with light tippet and use a dry as an indicator instead of a bulky bobber. Trail the dry with about 20 inches of 5x fluorocarbon tippet to a dull colored nymph such as a pheasant tail or zebra midge. Hatches of blue winged olives could also appear so if you see some consistent surface action, try a dry fly set up.
As of 10/12/2018, the creeks are open and flowing but water temperatures are getting colder. Anglers have had the most success catching fish with green and orange PowerBait along with gold spinners. Chironomids could still be a good option in the lake as well as some Wooly Buggers for the more aggressive fish. Trout are still hungry and preparing for the winter so explore with different flies and lures to find what is on the menu as they are feeding and active.
Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
Blue Mesa Reservoir
This 8,900-acre reservoir is located west of Gunnison. As of 10/12/2018, the main fish that anglers are talking about right now are the spawning browns. The browns are really focusing on the spawn and anglers are seeing more and more show up in water depths of about 3 to 13 feet of water. Jigs and spinners are doing well along shorelines. Pike in general are also becoming more active but nothing significant really being reported as of yet. Anglers can check on current conditions and boat ramp inspection schedules by contacting the Curecanti National Recreation Area at (970-641-2337).
Blue Mesa Reservoir
As of 8/31/2018, the water is very low and the shoreline is muddy except for along the dam. The weather forecast for this weekend looks fairly consistent with warmer temperatures and cloud cover coming and going but not much in terms of actual precipitation. Mancos is a great place for consistent action from trout and yellow perch. Most of the trout action is from 10-12 inch fish but there's also a very good chance to catch an 18-20 inch trout or a few 12 inch plus perch. Mancos also offers great opportunities for kids to catch a variety of species of fish. Most bait anglers are finding success using PowerBait, eggs, and nightcrawlers. Fishing just off of the bottom or under a slip bobber have both been working well lately. For a chance at the yellow perch and trout, try using a small jig fished under a bobber on a long leader and tipped with a piece of worm. Casting or trolling typical in-line spinners such as Panther Martins and Mepps from boats is another approach at the trout that has been working.
Mancos State Park
Taylor Park Reservoir
As of 10/12/2018, Taylor reservoir has been fairly slow in general and not much reported as of late. As with any reservoir and like Blue Mesa, the fall will encourage some more fish activity with about all the different species that inhabit the reservoir. The lake trout are beginning to spawn as well as the browns. If you are targeting the lake trout, look for gravel beds in shallower water, 10-25 feet or so. Lake trout are very territorial so the females will have their nests fairly spread out from each other but there will be several males to one female cruising the area so target some aggressive and active males by sinking some jigs or spoons close to the bottom. The brown trout will be in shallow water as well as they spawn and hunt for the winter months.
Taylor Park Reservoir
As of 9/28/2018, the fishing at Lake Navajo continues to be really good. The lake water level is at an elevation of 6,021 feet and the water temperature at the boat ramp in Arboles is about 64 degrees. Smallmouth fishing remains good with many bass in the 2-3 pound range being reported. Some large pike have also been recorded as they are cruising the shorelines more heavily with the colder temperatures. Fishing for catfish is good with bait rigged along the bottom. Fishing for carp on top water has also been reported as good for both spinning and fly anglers.
Navajo State Park
As of 9/28/2018, the fishing has really slowed down at the reservoir. Water levels are about 50 feet down which is a record. Fish will be concentrated and stressed more than usual. With that said, the fall season should have a positive impact on the trout. Not much coming in at all for smallmouth fishing but that does not mean you cannot find them stacked in some holes, around rocky outcrops or points. The presentation will have to be a bit slower and make sure to use smaller lures as they will be more lethargic. Pa-Co-Chu-Puk River has been fishing well at the moment due to the seasonal changes. Blue winged olives will be hatching and streamers will also be a hot item for the trout. A dry dropper set up could be a good rig which allows you to scan the different water columns to decipher if the trout are hitting the surface or mainly eating nymphs and midges in the subsurface.
As of 10/12/2018, the Gunnison has still been doing really well especially for the browns. The suspect nymph patterns are really producing for most anglers. With the colder temperatures, the hatches have died off some so focus on nymph rigs and streamers on the cloudy days especially. Baetis nymphs and midge pupa are the main food source right now. Make sure to use smaller flies and longer leaders this time of the year since the water is low and clear. Egg patterns are working well still. Salmon are still there spawning but the masses seem to be cutting down than our previous report but look for a salmon pod and put on an egg pattern. Flows: 208 CFS (10/11/2018)