Conditions Report - Statewide
The state received some much needed rain in many areas especially along the Front Range. This has dropped the temperatures, increased stream flows and has improved fishing conditions overall for rivers and lakes. This weekend's weather forecast looks to be dry for most of the state with warmer temperatures. Although the forecast looks to be back to hot and dry, nightly temperatures are still dropping due to the time of year so fishing in general should pick up for many areas. Stream flows will drop back to their previous levels so be mindful of the water temperatures and stop fishing if they reach about 66 degrees or higher. High elevation lakes and streams are experiencing more drastic seasonal changes so take advantage before we start getting freezes in the high country.
Colorado Fishing Atlas
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
Eleven Mile State Park
As of 9/7/2018, the trout fishing has been really good for this time of year with reports of some decent sized fish being landed. Current surface water temperatures are about 62 degrees. Anglers enjoyed some excellent fishing during the full moon period that occurred late August as fish were hitting top water Rapalas at night when skies were clear. As we approach the new moon phase, anglers are expecting the daylight bite to be best early in the morning and the action to die off later in the afternoon. Tasmanian Devils and Kastmasters have done well from boats while trolling or drift casting. The weeds are still somewhat high so make sure to keep lines clean. Shore anglers are having luck with night crawlers and various spinners and lures. Kokanee fishing is poor at the moment. There have been a few reports of them heading up the river but lake fishing for them is difficult. Pike fishing has also been decent. Live bait, spinners and using crankbaits that can avoid the weeds are all working well.
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 9/7/2018, the fishing has been decent as we start to approach fall. For fly anglers the story will be underwater nymphs and midges such as damsel nymphs and chironomids in the red and black colors but terrestrials are also producing. A hopper dropper set up with a Chubby Chernobyl followed by one of the above listed droppers could be a good option. Look for weed lines and lanes to find feeding fish. Much like we usually see at Spinney reports of tube jigs, Kastmasters and Tasmanian Devils in the same weed lines are still catching good numbers of trout 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 9/7/2018, 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 right now 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: 170 CFS near Canyon mouth and 81 CFS at Fort Collins (9/7/2018)
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)
As of 9/7/2018, Clear Creek has experienced a couple bumps in flows from the recent rains, but as we approach the weekend and especially with the dryer forecast, expect the flows to level back down to the previous flows of around 70 CFS. Fish are going to be feeding on the typical summertime insect menu. A hopper dropper rig with an Amy's Ant, Hippy Stomper or a smaller Chubby Chernobyl followed by a hair's ear or Two Bit Hooker in the #16 size range should produce some fish. Some reports of worms in red and natural colors have also been a good choice for a dropper fly. Flows: 84.9 CFS (9/6/2018)
Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado
Arkansas River-Lake Pueblo
As of 9/3/2018, the CPW issued a voluntary closure of the Arkansas River below the Pueblo dam to I-25 due to extremely low flows and warm water temperatures. The closure was initially instated August 31st. Reports of increased flows are being released from the dam so keep a look out for announcements of the closure being lifted in the near future. 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 9/7/2018, the surface water temperature is around 68 degrees and water levels are at about 68 percent capacity. Fishing has been fair lately but is expected to start picking up with the cooler nights and shorter days ahead. Early mornings are still going to be the best bet, as the lake temperature will be at the lowest point during the early morning. Bass can be taken on top water baits in the early morning hours, as well as soft plastics, buzzbaits, and crankbaits. Walleye will continue to be found mainly in deeper water, but as water temperatures continue to decline, the walleye will also move up into shallower water in search of prey so try some reactionary style lures and rigs. Lindy rigs, grubs, spoons, and live bait are currently producing walleye. Not many reports on trout fishing right now. Catfish are being caught on the west end using chicken liver and worms. Boaters are reminded that summer boat ramp hours (5 AM to 11 PM) are in effect.
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 9/7/2018, the current flows are allowing for some excellent wade fishing. The caddis and golden stoneflies are still the main food source for the trout but look for blue winged olives to start appearing as we get to that time of year for the fall hatch. Below the Lake Creek confluence the flows increased some which typically causes the fish to school in the riffles or pocket waters. The fish in this section of stream will be posted up in faster moving water where oxygen is more abundant so try a heavier nymph rig that will get you down to the fish. Reports of hopper dropper rigs are working with a Pat's Rubber Legs trailed by a baetis, pheasant tail or Two Bit Hookers. Stimulators and terrestrials have also enticed trout for anglers. Terrestrials to use include various hoppers, Amy's Aunts or a Chubby Chernobyl.
Upper Arkansas - Buena Vista
Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area
This 762-acre impoundment is located off of E. Quincy Avenue, two miles east of E-470. As of 9/7/2018, the trout fishing from shore has been slow to fair. The dam has been the most productive area for trout using PowerBait. Boaters reporting slow to fair conditions on trout trolling with night crawlers and lures. Anchoring in 25-35 feet of water and dropping down PowerBait and nightcrawlers have worked well recently for some anglers. Perch action is fair to good from boats using jigs. The walleye action is currently slow. There has been a handful of reports of some walleye being caught using bottom bouncers and jigs. Aurora Reservoir is restricted to electric motors only. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours for September are 6:00am-8:00pm. Aurora Reservoir
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 9/7/2018, the fishing remains good with a lot of the same techniques still bringing in good numbers of fish. Early in the morning focus on shallow water in the 6-10 feet depth range and use reactionary lures as these fish are on the prowl. During the warmer hours of the day, fish will be further from the shorelines but can still be found fairly shallow, suspended in the 10-20 foot range. Crankbaits will get you the best opportunities using lead core line. Some anglers are getting less but bigger fish when trolling along the dam or western half of the reservoir. In these areas you will want to use bigger crank baits in the size 7 and still use lead core line.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
As of 9/7/2018, the bass fishing currently is rated as slow to fair. Try fishing chatter baits just outside the weed lines in 10-15 feet of water. Decent reports of yellow perch are coming in and being caught using various jigs just outside the weed lines at around 10 feet or so of water. Park Hours for September 6:00am-8:00pm. 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 9/7/2018, the walleye are still fairly tough to figure out as opposed to Cherry Creek. Walleye have been reported hanging around deep water structures but consistent catches are few and far between. The bass bite is a different story as anglers are reporting good catches in many areas. Specifically, in the western portion of the reservoir, the gravel humps have been storing good numbers of fish. Anglers have been getting success using Senkos, bass jigs, and even spinner baits!
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 9/7/2018, the story is relatively the same as our last report. Flows are still very low so sight fishing will produce the best success as these fish will be spooky and on the lookout for clumsy presentations. The key will be sighting fish before casting so you can get a good drift before the fish sees your fly. Mysis shrimp patterns dropped with midge and mayfly patterns will produce right now. As you get lower in the river, pale morning duns, stoneflies and caddis are hatching and picking up a few fish for anglers. Flows: 55 CFS (9/5/2018)
Blue River - Silverthorne
Frying Pan River
As of 9/7/2018, the flows have been bumped significantly and are above the historical average. The green drake hatches are officially here, hatching every afternoon and are especially apparent on the upper half of the river. These insects hatch in the middle of the river so look to cast your green drakes where flows are fast and a little rough. Pale morning duns are also going to be an available hatch now through fall. The trico spinner fall hatch has been abundant in the evenings when the day's weather has been mild with plenty of sun and no rain or wind. Flies that are on right now include green drakes, pale morning duns, craneflies, caddis, blue winged olives, midges and mysis shrimp. Flows: CFS 225 (9/7/2018)
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.