Conditions Report - Statewide
The weather for the weekend is showing a high-pressure system bringing in some warm weather with mainly clear skies and scattered clouds cover. Early next week it looks like temperatures will drop significantly and bring some precipitation with it for many portions of the state which is good news. Often times warm and clear weather doesn't necessarily mean good fishing will be included but because of the cold nights, the water temperatures are still dropping to reflect fall conditions for the most part. For example, the warm weather could really increase the fishing action for many Front Range reservoirs like Cherry Creek and Pueblo Reservoir. The cold water is already killing off much of the shad populations so the schools are more confined and less abundant. Fish like walleye and wiper will be honing in on the remaining schools, feeding heavily which will give shore anglers a great opportunity as the fish chase the shad to the shallower waters. Some of our higher country reservoirs are showing good signs of lake trout really moving up from the depths as well. For rivers and stream fishing, the warm weather shouldn't negatively affect the fishing, you will just need to adapt to the increased temperatures. Fish will generally start moving from the deeper runs and pools to the rifles and faster moving currents where oxygen is more abundant. Many of our tailwater streams are already in the winter pattern in terms of lower flows so these fish will most likely be in deeper waters. A lot of these decreased flows have happened recently so fish could still be on edge and getting used to the lack of water. Stealthy sight fishing will be the technique to give you the best chances for a lot of these feeding trout. This weekend is really showing some warmer weather so get out there and enjoy some of the last 70 degree plus days that 2018 has left!
Colorado Fishing Atlas
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
Eleven Mile State Park
As of 10/26/2018, the fishing is still on fire! What a season Eleven Mile has had. If you see a CPW biologist make sure to give them a high five as the hard work is really paying off! Please follow the possession and bag limits Eleven Mile has and consider releasing some of your catches as it will only help the fishery maintain this status longer. Trout are after Kastmasters, Tasmanian Devils and the HD Trout Rapala style jerkbaits are also a great option as that will also get you some pike bites. For pike specifically, you will want to target the weed lines that are still alive and with high vibration lures as mentioned last week. High vibration lures include chatter baits and spinner baits in perch or pumpkin colors. Guides suggest attaching a stinger hook on the end of your lures to increase the actual hook rate as a lot of pike are only tapping the tail end of the lures.
Eleven Mile State Park
Spinney Mountain Reservoir
As of 10/26/2018, fishing has been picking up as of late and starting to give Eleven Mile a run for its money! Trout and pike are becoming more and more active every day as they stock up for the winter. Colder nightly temperatures are encouraging aggressive feeding habits for all species. Much like Antero, the trout are hitting various colored Tasmanian Devils and Rapalas. Pike are in full force as the big, fat, and aggressive females start to reveal themselves for the fall feeding. High vibration lures and spinners are going to get their attention. Check in with a local tackle shop to see what colors are particularly working. Going really dark with a black or on the opposite end of the spectrum with a white or chartreuse are always good bets.
Spinney Mountain State Park
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
As of 10/26/2018, the water is still flowing low in Deckers, around the 65 CFS range which is a good 40 or so CFS below the historical averages. For educated fish, as we see around this heavily fished area, we can expect them to be very alert and picky about what they eat. Smaller flies, small tippet in the 5x-6x sizes, and a really good presentations will all be key to trick these finicky fish. Use the lower flows to your advantage and do some sight fishing but be very stealthy and slow especially during the bright and sunny days. Fish will be stacking up in deeper pools and holes which should aid in finding them. Egg patterns will be a smart option to use on your rig from now, through the remainder of the winter, and even up until mid-spring. Good flies to consider for your rig should include Sparkle Duns #18-20, blue winged olives, baetis nymphs in the #20-22 sizes, Juju Baetis, and WD-40's.
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
South Platte - Charlie Meyers
As of 10/26/2018, flows have really dropped and a good chance they will remain low for the remainder of the winter until spring. This can make for some difficult fishing as the fish become acclimated to the new flows. Lower flows also encouraging some of the lake runners back into Eleven Mile. There are still a lot of REDDS in the system currently so please be careful where you wade and cast your rigs. Techniques to focus on in the fall season should be on the trico and midge activity as well as the incoming blue winged olive life cycles. Spinner falls and the adults should only be an option if you see the fish keying in on them heavily but if not, focus on the subsurface flies. Egg patterns, small baetis, and midges, as well as chironomids, will be productive. Good presentations and small flies are the stories right now. Fish are holding tight to deeper drop-offs and structure as they adjust to the lower flows. Flows: 43 CFS (10/26/2018)
South Platte - Charlie Meyers
Cache la Poudre
As of 10/26/2018, the fishing has remained more or less the same besides the increase in flows we are seeing especially near Ft Collins. As we get more precipitation, the days get shorter and cooler, and cold weather moves in, the fishing should once again pick up. During the right conditions, hatches are still coming off and fish are feeding on topwater flies. The hatches will most likely occur in the late mornings and comprise of tricos and blue winged olives. A larger Parachute Adam's in the #14-18 size dropped with a Juju Baetis in the #18-20 should be a dependable rig to use. The rigs to consider right now are a dry dropper and or a double nymph rig. Work the pocket waters when temperatures are cool then look for fish to be moving into the riffles and faster moving areas in the afternoons. Flows: 60 CFS near Canyon mouth and 308 CFS at Fort Collins (10/26/2018)
Cache la Poudre
As of 10/26/2018, the fishing has been really good along most of Clear Creek especially when the fish are active during the warmer days. Keep rigs simple and move around to find the active and feeding fish. A dry dropper comprised of a hopper, caddis, and mayfly patterns followed by a Juju Baetis, Hares Ear or bead headed Pheasant Tails are all good choices. Keep nymphs in the #10-16 sizes and make sure you are getting almost to the bottom. Your dry should be ticking every third cast or so as your nymph touches the bottom of the river bed. Flows: 48.7 CFS (10/26/2018)
As of 10/26/2018, Antero is keeping pace with the rest of the South Park reservoirs and producing some excellent fishing! Trout are really after pink Tasmanian Devils and a lure called the HD Trout which looks much like a Rapala. Trout patterns are working well while drift casting or trolling in boats. Shore anglers are also having a lot of success. Bait fisherman are reporting good catches with Pautzke Fire Bait. PowerBait is also working well in lighter colors. The lures and baits mentioned above are currently working but be sure to include some other patterns, colors and sizes as these trout are really feeding and may start to key in on other styles so have a good variety on hand.
Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado
Arkansas River-Lake Pueblo
As of 10/26/2018, like many of the tailwater fisheries in Colorado, the flows are going to start to dip for the winter months. In general, this means the fish will be a bit finicky as they grow accustomed to the new flows. Clarity is still a bit difficult with the turnover in the reservoir of the dying vegetation. Reports of good blue winged olives, tricos, midges and caddis hatches are still coming in as the air temperatures have not become too cold for bug activity. Deep nymphing will be the most productive for the rest of the fall and winter season but if you see consistent surface water action, try some dries. Streamers should also be in full force, especially with the water being a bit stained. Large articulated streamers in all shapes and sizes can work here as the available amount of bait fish are abundant and in wide varieties. Flows: 60.4 CFS (10/26/2018)
As of 10/26/2018, the lake is at 699 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6181.52. Surface water temperatures are around 52 degrees. Shore fishermen are catching trout on homemade dough bait, PowerBait (green color) and worms all along the south shoreline, which has been decent with all species of fish. In Reilly Canyon, the river has slowed down to a trickle and heavy willows and vegetation have emerged around the lake. The most action for fish is occurring in the early mornings and late evenings as expected. Boaters have done well with targeting walleye lately. Smallmouth bass are being caught early in the morning and in the late afternoon hours. Trout are being caught during all hours currently. Worm harnesses and crankbaits have worked well. Fish are being found 10-15 feet of water. Boating is open for the season. All boats must be inspected prior to launching as New Zealand Mud Snails have been located in the lake!
As of 10/26/2018, the change of seasons is finally influencing the reservoir so if you have been patiently waiting for the fish to get in fall mode, it has finally arrived for about all the species in the lake. Walleye fishing is especially picking up right now and anglers are having success during the day and the night hours. During the day, anglers have been using jigging Rapalas and other deeper crankbaits. If you are boating, look for shad to be stacked together on the wind blown banks. The night hours or what many anglers call the "vampire shift", has really produced some great walleye catches. We had a full moon Wednesday night which encourages feeding. Guides say the tail end of a full moon also produces some really good fishing. This time of year the shad school together as the cold water reduces the populations. Look for the shad to start showing up in shallow water. Where the shad are, the walleye will follow. At night, early, or during the late hours of the day, fish for walleye close to the shorelines using Husky Rapala jerkbaits with blue backs and chrome undersides or clown colored patterns. The crappie bite is also producing right now at the reservoir. Rapalas in the 7-9 sizes and blue and chrome patterns have been catching some good crappie.
As of 10/26/2018, the nightly temperatures are getting cold causing the fish and bug life to be delayed until about 9 am or later until the water and air temperatures warm up. The forecast shows a warmer period over the next few days until early next week when another cold front moves through. This should allow for some good late morning bug activity over the weekend. Some blue winged olive hatches are still apparent but it's feeling more and more like winter and the fish are starting to stage in their winter waters so look for them to start showing up in the deeper and slower runs. Rigs with large attractors such as a stonefly nymph followed by a smaller midge or baetis nymph are being used by guides and getting success. Flows: 180 CFS (10/26/2018)
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 10/26/2018, the trout fishing from shore has been up and down lately. Some days it's good and other days it has been slow to fair. Some nice sized trout in the 2-3-pound range have been caught. Best area has been from the dam. Boaters reporting fair to good conditions on trout trolling with crawlers and lures. Walleye action is slow to fair with a few good reports using bottom bouncers and jigs. A few reports of walleye being caught from shore using suspended jerk baits. 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 10/26/2018, the walleye are still biting and some anglers are getting some great catches. Terry Wickstrom's article a few weeks ago included a picture of a walleye just shy of 30 inches caught out of Cherry Creek and today local fishing guide Austin Parr reported a 28 incher they caught this morning. They are in there and they are hungry, the anglers who are willing to change their techniques to adapt to the current conditions are going to have the best chances. Reports of the trolling bite have slowed down but focusing on the points and near drop offs have recently done well for anglers. This weekend will bring in some warmer weather so it could bring the trolling bite back to life.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
As of 10/26/2018, the bass fishing has been hit or miss from shore as well as for the boat anglers. The dam seems to be the hottest spot for the smallmouths as it provides good habitat for the bass and a lot of their food source this time of year. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Electric motors only 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 10/26/2018, the walleye bite is still slow and no new intel to give anglers an edge, unfortunately. If the walleye have not picked up by now, guides suggest the reports could remain the same for the remainder of the year. If you would like to target other species, anglers are having good success with the smallmouth fishing lately. The water temperatures are dropping but this weekend will warm things up a bit which should have a good impact on the fishing for smallmouths. Suggested techniques for bass are poppers or other top water lures in the early morning until about 9 am. As you get into the afternoon hours switch to swimbaits or minnows for the best chances.
Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
Blue Mesa Reservoir
As of 10/26/2018, the fishing at Blue Mesa has really been picking up as of late. Angles are mainly having success with the trout catches. Big browns and rainbows have been reported lately. Anglers have been catching most of their trout on tube jigs, Kastmasters and Rapalas. Most reports are coming from shore anglers as all marinas are closed. Elk Creek boat ramp is still open however, but you will need an ANS inspection prior to launching your watercraft. Not much to report in terms of lake trout at the moment as the water levels are low and shore fishermen are having a tough time getting to them. This is getting into their spawning season so do not rule out getting into some nice lake trout.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
As of 10/19/2018, the water is very low and the shoreline is muddy except for along the dam. 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 very good opportunities for 18-20" trout and a few 12"-plus perch. The lake is also a great opportunity for kids to catch fish. Most anglers are finding success with bait (PowerBait, eggs, and crawlers) fishing just off bottom or under a slip bobber. For a chance at the yellow perch and trout, a small jig fished under a bobber on a long leader and tipped with a piece of worm is a good bet. Casting or trolling typical with in-line spinners (Panther Martins, Mepps) from boats is another approach at the trout. Hand-launchable boats such as non-motorized kayaks, canoes, and belly boats, are a great way to fish the lake in this off-season.
Mancos State Park
As of 10/19/2018, not much changing on the fishing here at Taylor. Basically anglers need to keep an eye on the pike and lake trout action as they are the next species of interest as we get into fall. Gunnison County is generally pretty cold in the winter months so expect the fall season to mature faster than a lot of the state. Look for pike, especially the bigger ones, to become more apparent in the shallower waters as they hide in the weed beds and hunt for bait fish and trout. Vibration lures should be considered in order for them to come out of hiding as they often do not rely on eye site when waiting in ambush and instead pick up on vibrations. The lake trout will also be cruising and hunting in shallower waters. They will be after bait fish, kokanee and trout and are attracted to structures and edges.
Navajo State Park
As of 10/26/2018, flows are low but fishing is still good. Holding water is going to be a bit more scattered with the lower flows and the fish will be spooked easily so approach pools with caution. Dry dropper rigs are being suggested by guides with smaller dries or a small hopper followed by a bead head nymph patterns in the #14-18 sizes. Streamers will produce some aggressive browns and egg patterns will entice some scavenging fish below REDDS. Please do not cast any rigs in or too close to spawners. Flows: 232 CFS (10/26/2018)
As of 10/26/2018, the flows in the Animas near Durango are back up and just barely above the historic averages. This is good news especially since we have a warm weekend ahead of us. It has been a tough summer for the southwestern rivers in our state with the low flows and hot temperatures. Right now the fishing is rated as "ok" but fish are still being caught and feeding. Perhaps the increase in flows will encourage more feeding. Blue winged olives will be the hatch to keep an eye out for and guides suggest using a heavy nymph rig although a streamer rig should also be considered. A Stonefly and mayfly nymph rig is always a good choice such as a Pat's Rubberlegs followed by a pheasant tail. Flows: 309 CFS (10/26/2018)
San Juan River - Near Durango
As of 10/26/2018, fishing is decent and flows seem to be rising just a bit. Nymph rigs are going to be the way to go here this time of year as well as the occasional streamer rig on the cloudy days or if you want to explore some promising waters. Start with a Pat's Rubberlegs or another stonefly pattern in the #8-12 then followed by a Copper John, Prince Nymph or a Juju baetis in the #14-20 sizes. Flows: 733 CFS (10/26/2018) San Juan River
San Juan River
Taylor Park Reservoir
As of 10/26/2018, there's not a lot coming out of Taylor right now. Perhaps the anglers have geared towards hunting season as the lake should be fishing really good! Some reports of nice sized pike are coming in for fly and spinning anglers. Fly fisherman are having success with browns and pike using streamers in the 3 1/2 inch sizes. Guides suggest using Bucktail spoons and different swimbaits when targeting big pike. Taylor has a sufficient supply of weed beds along its banks making it ideal for big predatory fish like pike. During the fall, focus on the well oxygenated areas where fish will be waiting in ambush. Look for green weed lines as opposed to brown and dying areas. The water level is low so many of the historical weed beds in the area are above the water line so some exploring to find them will be needed. If the above lures are not convincing these fish out of their hiding spots, switch to something that makes a little more "noise" like a high vibration chatterbaits.
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
Stagecoach State Park
As of 10/26/2018, fishing is picking up in the reservoir and many anglers are finding plenty of elbow room as other fishermen focus on the Yampa River since its closure was recently lifted after this dry and hot summer. The weed beds have all but died off but if you can find some green, oxygen-producing weed lanes make sure to work the area well as there should be some big predators ready to ambush. Crawfish patterns are working really well at the moment. Later in the day using crawfish jerkbaits will produce some good pike hits. If weed beds are hard to find as they are about done for the year, anglers are reporting success in rock bed areas and finding fish holding near other structures and getting bites when using Rapala rattle traps. Bait fisherman are also doing well for rainbows. Successful anglers are primarily reporting luck with PowerBait, PowerGrubs, nightcrawlers, mealworms, spoons, jigs, stick and crankbaits near the Inlet, Lot 14/Lot 16 area, Keystone Cove, and Morrison Cove.
As of 10/26/2018, streamflows have not budged over the past week and so the fishing report will be fairly similar. Mysis shrimp close to the dam as well as small midges and larvae are working through town. Egg patterns are always a good idea this time of year. Overall, this is a difficult time for the Blue as the flows have been low this past summer and fall and the fish population is fairly low this year. Keep the flies small as well as the tippet. Red and Black Zebra Midges are also a good option as well as a Jujubee Midge. Keep flies in the #18-22 size range. Sight fishing close to the dam will be crucial to get a good presentation. Water is clear and low so take advantage of the sight fishing opportunities. Flows: 54.8 CFS (10/26/2018)
Blue River - Silverthorne
Frying Pan River
As of 10/26/2018, flows have really dropped since the last report and will most likely remain around this range for the coming months. The green drake and pale morning duns are still coming off as this October has really shown some strong hatches for the Frying Pan. Blue winged olives are also hatching and will be the main bug as the weather cools and we approach early winter. Dries to try out should include Parachute Adams #12, Sparkledun blue winged olive #20-22, Sparkledun pale morning dun #16-18, Elk Haired Caddis #18 and Biot Winged Midge #20-22. Nymphs should comprise of Bling midges #20-22, Flashback Midge #20, Split Case blue winged olive #20-22 and mysis shrimp in the #16-20 sizes. Streamers are also a great option when we start to see some overcast days. Flows: CFS 42.2 (10/26/2018)
Frying Pan - Ruedi
As of 10/26/2018, the Colorado is in full fall mode and the weather has been a bit chilly in the morning and late evenings. Surface flies still include midges, tricos, blue winged olives, and caddis. Cloudy days will yield the best hatches. The dry dropper rigs with Tungsten bead head nymphs are still working very well as it allows you to keep a low profile with a dry as your indicator as well as the opportunity of taking advantage of the surface activity anglers have been noticing. Flows are low so the lower profile will be important as well as getting that dropper flies down to the bottom quickly for a good presentation. Many fish are rising in the tailouts and slow moving pools. Some effective patterns include San Juan Worms, Sparkle Winged RS2's, Chocolate Foam Emergers, Flashback Pheasant Tails, and Parachute Adams. Don't forget a streamer if you want to try that as an alternative or a fun way to explore for some bigger fish.
Colorado River - Near Kremmling
Vega State Park
As of 10/26/2018, 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 8 am to 3:30 pm daily 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 additional information. The visitor center is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm. Shore fishing is good but please keep in mind that lake levels are extremely low and accessing the shoreline can be difficult. Trout will be caught using Kastmasters, spoons, inline spinners and Tasmanian Devils. The fish cleaning station is closed for the season.
Vega State Park