Conditions Report - Statewide
Rivers and Creeks
With the warm dry conditions we have been experiencing this year, the rivers and creeks across the state are experiencing much lower flows and higher water temperatures than normal. Fishing for trout should be focused to the coolest parts of the day, fishing early in the morning when the water temperatures are cooler from overnight is recommended. Nymphs and emergers have been productive patterns throughout the state. For the dry fly fisherman mid-summer means terrestrials! Ants, hoppers, and beetles have been consistently producing fish. Keep in mind that when water temperatures rise near 70 degrees trout are at their most vulnerable, it is important to play and land the fish as quickly as possible and waste no time removing the hook and returning the fish to the water. Looking forward to fall we have multiple fall spawning fish that will become active shortly, keep an eye on future reports for kokanee runs and brown trout spawn reports.
Colorado Fishing Atlas
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
Eleven Mile State Park
As of 8/23/2018, the weeds in the reservoir are still fairly high especially along the west end due to the hot summer the lake has experienced. The recent cooler and wetter weather has stunted the growth some but be on the lookout for floating weed beds when trolling. If you are not getting any hits during trolls, check your lines and make sure your rigs are clean. Trout fishing has currently been very good especially for this time of year. The cooler nights have dropped the water temperature for the better, so the early morning bite is the best time of day for success. Trolling has been successful when using needlefish, Kastmasters, and Tasmanian Devils. The fly fishing has been doing great as well for many anglers. Use your Callibaetis patterns during mid to late morning for the best success. The kokanee fishing is poor but picking up so keep an eye out for news on the bite to improve soon. The pike fishing has also been slow lately with mostly smaller fish taking the bait. Spinner-baits in the white, black and blue patterns or tube jigs in white and chartreuse colors are having success in the weedy coves. Retrievals with some stutters and pauses have had decent success in convincing the pike to strike.
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 8/23/2018, the fishing at Spinney has been good, even with the heat. For trout, look for them to be schooling up along weed beds and reports of tube jigs and Tasmanian Devils have been working well. Give your retrieval a little action with some pauses every so often. For pike, anglers have been having great success in the same weed lines using buzzbaits in the morning and spinnerbaits when temperatures start to rise. Fly anglers are also doing well at Spinney using leaches, Wooly Buggers, and various sculpin style streamers. Bead head scuds with a little flashback or other brightly colored Callibaetis have been bringing in some nice fish as well.
Spinney Mountain State Park
Barr Lake State Park
As of 7/29/2018 activity has picked up the past couple weeks. Walleye are regularly being caught throughout the lake and from shore. Reports of smaller fish being caught have increased, so have a tape measure ready to make sure it's legal! Wiper are feeding on the shad in the reservoir. Carp fishing has been consistent for the people targeting them.
As of 8/20/2018, the Lake level is dropping at approximately a tenth of an inch a day. Surface water temperature is approximately 70 degrees. Fishing has been fair to good for channel catfish, crappie, wiper, and walleye. We are open to boating.
Jackson Lake State Park
As of 8/31/2018, the water surface temperature for Horsetooth is at about 76 degrees. The water level is low at about 65 percent capacity which would translate to about 31 feet below the full level. Shore anglers will have luck with the warm water species in particular smallmouth. Medium depth crankbaits that stay off the bottom but get to the deeper water have been catching fish so the right retrieval speed that allows the crankbait to get to the appropriate depth is important. Senko's are also catching smallmouth and largemouth bass around rock and tree structures. If you are fishing from shore, it is recommended to invest your time early in the morning for the best chances. Boat anglers are catching good numbers of walleye but the key is finding them. Reports of walleye have been found suspended over 100 feet or so of water at depths of 25-35 feet. Flicker shads, worm harnesses, and other walleye rigs have all been productive once the walleye are located. Low water levels, warm temperatures and school around the corner for the university, will factor in some crowded waters this weekend so be aware out there if you plan on taking the fishing boat on the water.
As of 8/19/2018, the water temperature is about 76 degrees with some warmer temperatures in the shallower coves. The lake is about 25 feet down from full and dropping 2-3 feet a week. Fishing is fair for walleye, crappie, and wiper, with slower bites being reported lakewide. 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 8/22/2018, flows are remaining fairly low at around 10 CFS but catches are being reported mainly in the morning or evening when temperatures are not as high. Hopper droppers are still doing well and most likely will be on the menu for the remainder of the summer. Mix in some caddis, stimulators, and ant patterns for the top fly. Bead heads always do well this time of year at Bear Creek, but keep them fairly small so the dropper does not sink your top fly. Recommended sizes for bead heads right now are in the #18-20 range. Flows: less than 10 CFS (8/22/2018)
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
As of 8/31/2018, the flows are back up and above the historic average. Denver Water is increasing the flows in an effort to clean some of the sediment out of Cheesman from a recent flash flood. Water could be a bit cloudy in spots but the water temperature is cooler and the fish are feeding. Reports of San Juan worms are bringing in a lot of decent fish. You will see healthy hatches of tricos, caddis and Pale Morning Duns in the lower sections. Reports of Buckskins, Graphic Caddis, and Pale Morning Sparkle Duns all in the #18 size have been popular. Hopper dropper setups have been convincing finicky trout in narrow sections of the river when indicator rigs are failing. With high flows like these, getting your flies down to the bottom will be key so make sure to add on enough weight. Flows: 311 CFS (8/30/2018)
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
South Platte - Middle Fork
As of 8/31/2018, fishing at the Dream Stream has been holding at decent due to the consistent flows we have observed this past week. The forecast for South Park looks to be a bit cooler with potential rain showers. The forecast should improve the fishing conditions especially if we get some decent cloud coverage and daily temperatures cool off a bit. Dry-dropper rigs have been reporting some success as well as Pale Morning Dun dries and emergers when the hatches appear. Reports suggest using a #14-16 User Friendly in black or dark patterns followed by a Darth Baetis #18. Other suggested flies to try right now include the Sparkle Dun, Cahill, Low Water Baetis and Buckskin in the #18 to 22 range. Flows: 120 CFS (8/29/2018)
South Platte - Middle Fork
Cache la Poudre
As of 8/23/2018, the higher, steady flows have improved the overall fishing in the river. The summertime rigs are working well such as a hopper dropper. Various hatches are coming off such as Pale Morning Duns and caddis in the evenings. Keep the terrestrial flies somewhat smaller but look to tie one on your rig when temperatures are hotter towards the middle of the day. Various nymph patterns in the #16-20 range are working well. Look to find fish feeding in pocket waters and slower runs that match a brisk walking pace. Flows: 320 CFS near Rustic and 149 CFS at Fort Collins (8/23/2018)
Cache la Poudre
As of 8/31/2018, the flows at Waterton are fairly low and below the historic average by about 80 CFS so be mindful of the water temperatures as the afternoon hours approach. If the water temperatures get near or over 66 degrees it is recommended to stay off the water. If you are itching to do some dry fly fishing, this is the time of year and spot to do so. Attractor mayfly patterns, terrestrials, hippie stompers and caddis in the #14-16 range has been very successful lately for many anglers. Tying on an attracting dropper like a hare's ear or a Copper John is a good idea. The higher up the canyon you go, you will see less of the summer crowds but be prepared to go on a little hike before you start to experience isolation. Flows: 182 CFS (8/30/2018)
Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado
Arkansas River-Lake Pueblo
As of 8/31/2018, the story for this stretch of the Arkansas is unfortunately the same, water levels are extremely low and stress on the fish is high. If you do decide to fish, the closer you get to the damn the better the conditions will be. Nightly temperatures have been in the 50-degree range so early morning fishing will yield the best chances. Caddis, trico and various mayfly hatches have been reported. Dry-droppers are working with a caddis dry followed by a nymph such as a Copper John or Juju Baetis. We recommend fishing above Pueblo Blvd as anything below will have the higher water temperatures to avoid stream fishing (>66 degrees). Because of the low flows, it is recommended to try fly fishing further up the Arkansas closer to Coaldale. Better fishing conditions all around have been reported for that stretch of the river. Flows: 20 CFS (8/30/2018)
Lake Pueblo State Park
As of 8/31/2018, the lake is at about 710 surface acres so a little lower than our last report. Surface water temperatures are very similar at approximately 70 degrees. The fishing has been decent for just about all species of fish at the lake. Recent rains have helped flows at Reilly Canyon some. Reports of good-sized catfish have been coming in from the inlet using mainly night crawlers but various catfish baits are producing as well. The bass are also biting early in the mornings and late evenings. Trout are still being caught during all hours of the day and green colored PowerBait is still on the menu and catching plenty of fish. Walleye are being landed at deeper depths with worm harnesses and jigs. The forecast is showing rain for the holiday weekend but do not let that discourage you if you had planned to fish. The worm fishing should pick up with the rain and water disturbances. Try fishing near Reilly Canyon as various types of fish have all been reported being caught off various worm rigs and PowerBait. Remember, all boats must be inspected prior to launching on the lake.
As of 8/31/2018, fishing has been decent as nightly temperatures are lower than earlier in the month. The water levels are low for the reservoir and sitting at about 63% capacity while surface temperatures are around 75 degrees. State Park Rangers are warning boaters to pay special attention to underwater structures that are starting to show with these low water levels. Areas to be especially mindful of right now are Middle Island, Juniper Breaks, Pedro's Shelf, and stumps at Turkey Creek are becoming more apparent. Wiper fishing is picking up especially in the later hours of the day and even at night. Use dark minnow imitations and even dark plastics such as a Senko with a Texas rig. Fly anglers are catching wipers with minnow or shad patterns while stripping 2-3 times then a pause for a few seconds. If no success then change the retrieval to convince the bass to take the fly.
John Martin Reservoir
As of 7/23/2018 due to a low water year throughout the state and the Arkansas River drainage water levels are dropping and the fishing has been tougher. Walleye fishing is slow with water temperatures in the mid 70's. Fishing for white bass and wiper can be good if anglers are able to figure out where the bait that these fish are feeding on is located. Crappie fishing has also slowed drastically as the water temperatures have forced the fish into deeper water.
John Martin Reservoir State Park
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 8/31/2018, the fishing report for the 3 reservoirs is looking great for the weekend! The trout are becoming more and more active with cooler temperatures and the insects are still active. Our stocking report shows we recently stocked the reservoirs on August 22nd meaning this Labor Day Weekend should be a great opportunity to get outside and catch some trout! The trout are still hitting top water flies and feeding on various terrestrials. Similar to last week's report, anglers have been having success with fly and bubble rigs. A good set up to start with is a terrestrial followed by a chironomid, callibaetis, or beaded hairs ear. Fly anglers are having success with similar rigs while just letting the currents move the flies around instead using a retrieval. A lot of these newly stocked fish will also show aggression towards different kinds of lures such as Kastmasters, rooster tails and various spoon colorations.
As of 8/22/2018, the fishing has picked up some and anglers are reporting good success. Fish are starting to hit streamers as the season is around the corner. Hopper dropper rigs are also a good option. Keep in mind that the Caddis and Pale Morning Duns are coming off so make sure to have some in your arsenal when you see the hatch start. Terrestrials are also a good option closer to the banks such as Amy's Ants, and Chubby Chernobyls. Flows: 250 CFS (8/22/2018)
Upper Arkansas - 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 8/23/2018, the water temperatures are about 69 degrees. Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Lately the dam has been the most productive area for trout using PowerBait. Boaters reporting fair to good results when trolling for trout using lures and night crawlers. Another technique working well for anglers is anchoring at about 20-30 feet of water and dropping down PowerBait and night crawlers. Reports of jumbo perch have been caught with split shots and night crawlers as well as trolling with size #4 flicker shads. Restricted to electric motors only. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours August 5:30am-9:00pm.
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 8/23/2018, the walleye fishing is still fantastic! Look for walleye to be feeding in shallower waters early in the morning, 6 feet or less. Blade baits and jigging Rapalas have been producing with high profile patterns such as chartreuse and fluorescent colors. After the morning hours, the fish are retreating to deeper water. Best chances for success in the warmer hours of the day is trolling at faster speeds, 2-2.2 MPH. For the shore fisherman, some walleye are still catchable at around 10 feet once the temperatures rise but your best chances will be early in the morning when they are feeding in the shallows.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
As of 8/31/2018, the reservoir water temperatures have been reported in the mid 70's and the water level is at full. The fishing for warm water species has really picked up lately. Topwater bass fishing has been getting anglers on both the fly and lures a lot of success. The early part of the day will be the best time to fish but the evening hours will also produce. Poppers are going to work best early in the morning and leaches, wooly buggers, and poppers will produce bass for fly anglers. Park hours for August 5:30am-9:00pm. 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.
This 1,356 impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 8/31/2018, the smallmouth action has picked up quite a bit lately. Look to find feeding smallmouths near obstruct structures and rocks. Smallmouth fishing near the dam has been very productive with reports of anglers having success with chartreuse and white clouser minnows. Reports of walleye have also come in using the same technique. Fly anglers are landing some nice catfish using leach patterns at dusk. School is back so boat traffic has eased up some during the weekdays.
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
Rifle Gap Reservoir
As of 8/7/2018 pike and trout are being caught throughout the lake. Bass fishing has been good near the Cedar Campground as well as near the dam. Keep in mind that there are a couple of fishing regulations that are specific to Rifle Gap: Walleye - Bag/possession limit= 1 fish Size= Must be 18 inches or greater All other species are same as the statewide regulations.
Rifle Gap Reservoir
As of 8/31/2018, the Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps are CLOSED for the season. The Island boat ramp remains open on a day to day basis due to the extremely low water levels. Please call the park prior to arrival for boat ramp closure information. Fishing is good, yellow PowerBait is landing some nice rainbows and cutthroats. Do not forget to stop at the entrance and have your boat inspected prior to launching. Please note that the last remaining boat ramp closed for the season on Wednesday. s.
James M. Robb
As of 8/20/2018, the trout fishing has slowed down with the warm weather but fishing for sunfish and bluegill is good. All lakes are expected to be stocked in the fall when conditions allow so keep your eyes out for our stocking reports as the season approaches. 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 7/28/2018 the lake is starting to experience some algae blooms which can make the fishing tougher with decreased water clarity. Some pike have been caught on various baits along the edges of the weed beds. Trout fishing has been good using lures like in-line spinners or spoons for the larger fish.
As of 8/22/2018, the flows are well below average. With flows this low and high sun intensity, these well-educated trout will be skittish so try moving slowly and do some sight fishing. Keep the rigs somewhat simple and don't overdue them with too many flies that could spook the fish, especially with the heavy pressure they see during the summer months. Reports of Mysis shrimp #16-22, Barr's Emergers and Bling Midges have landed some nice trout. Other flies that are having some success are #18-22 pheasant tails in black or natural colors and very small Juju baetis sized #20-26. Flows: 55 CFS (8/22/2018)
Blue River - Silverthorne
Frying Pan River
As of 8/22/2018, the green drakes have been hatching in full swing so make sure to bring plenty and pack enough sizes to best match what is currently coming off the water. Drakes tend to move around the river so try not to stay in one spot for too long. Pale Morning Duns are also abundant right now and success using some sparkle duns, thorax duns, and others with extended bodies have been reported. The mysis shrimp are on the menu for waters closer to Ruedi, below the outlet. Flows are a little under the historic average. Flows: CFS 180 (8/22/2018)
Frying Pan - Ruedi
As of 8/31/2018, the river has maintained high, steady flows because of the demand of water needed for the Shoshone Power Plant. These flows are above the historical average which is rare for a lot of the State's rivers during this dry summer. Note that the closure from the State Bridge to Rifle has been lifted so take advantage of some hungry trout while minding the water temperatures if it gets too hot. The upper Colorado is producing some great caddisfly, yellow sally and Pale Morning Dun hatches and fish have been feeding off the surface consistently. Hopper dropper setups are a good idea to cover the top water action and the subsurface zones. With the high flows, you want to make sure your dropper gets down in the water column so try Tungsten beaded nymphs. Some suggested dropper flies are Tungsten Torpedos, Hare's Ears, Flashback Pheasant Tails and Nitro Pupas all in about the #14-16 sizes. Some dries that are currently working for anglers include the Elk Hair Caddis, Front End Loader and Clacka Caddis in the #14-16 sizes. For bigger dry flies use Chubby Chernobyls and stimulators in the #12-16 sizes. Flows: 1440 CFS (8/330/2018)
Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
Blue Mesa Reservoir
This 8,900-acre reservoir is located west of Gunnison. As of 8/31/2018, our last report stated that the kokanee are scattering and the jig would slow. Reports are suggesting that the salmon are still schooling before their run so many anglers are able to get their limits while fishing the reservoir. It remains to be seen how much longer anglers will be able to catch these pre-spawn salmon but for now, it is still producing a lot of good fish. Fly anglers are reporting more and more kokanee spawning in the river recently as well so the big spawn is getting closer. 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 8/31/2018, fishing has more or less been similar to our last report a couple weeks ago. The big changes are the nightly temperatures. They are dropping and so are the surface water temperatures which are at about 66 degrees currently. The pike fishing has really picked up with these temperature changes. Pike are currently hitting inline spinners especially a Mepps. Plastics such as tube jigs have landed some decent pike as well. Look for the pike to be hugging the shorelines and keep an eye out for some big cruisers that are hunting along the banks or other structures. The trout bite has also been decent with reports of cowbells really bringing in some good catches.
Taylor Park Reservoir
As of 8/22/2018, the fishing at Navajo Lake is good. The numbers of fish being caught has slowed down a bit in August, due to the warmer water temperatures, but a wide variety of fish species are still being caught. Smallmouth bass are being landed using jigs mostly in the main channels where the water is a bit cooler. Reports of pike are being caught using any lure that resembles a bait fish. Good numbers of catfish have been reported using night crawlers or various catfish baits. The boat ramp at Navajo State Park in Arboles is open and in good condition.
Navajo State Park
As of 8/23/2018, the fishing for trout has been good and the most productive lures have been spinners and Rapalas. Anglers bait fishing with salmon eggs and night crawlers have also been successful. A few smallmouths are being caught on spinners and drop shot rigs with small gulp minnows. No reports of Kokanee salmon have been recorded yet. The fishing ponds at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk has been slow but anglers have caught several trout with small worms and flies. Pa-Co-Chu-Puk River has been fishing well with small nymphs, pale morning duns, and nymphs. Reports of Green Drake hatches have been coming off. Pink Cahill's have been producing well. Terrestrial season is here with hoppers picking up fish. Success with streamer fishing has also been reported by anglers recently.
As of 8/31/2018, the river has been fishing well right now with reports of baetis nymphs and dries bringing in some good catches through most of the day. With the low flows and clear water, it is recommended that you tie on longer leaders to your flies which will help you avoid tipping off the fish. Hatches currently coming off the river are Blue Winged Olives, tricos, and occasionally some Pale Morning Duns and Caddis hatches. Cloud cover and possible precipitation are expected this holiday weekend so the dry fly action should be on mid-morning to later in the day. Deeper runs are housing a few kokanee right now so fishing some egg patterns could produce some decent feeding trout behind the spawning salmon.