Conditions Report - Statewide
Rivers and Creeks
As we are approach the spring season, we will begin seeing increased flows and decreased clarity in our waters. This means anglers must use a bit larger and flashier presentations when fishing these conditions. The spawn beds from the Rainbows may still be active, so be cautious of redds when wading along the rivers. There are still waters that are iced over at higher elevations and shaded portions of canyons, so anglers will have to primarily rely on tailwaters--the waters below dams or other structures that regulates water flow. The regulated water flow keeps the spots from freezing over and provides warmth for the cold-blooded trout. Even with the warmer conditions of these waters, the fish will still behave sluggishly. Fish diets in the winter are made up primarily of midges and an assortment of small blue-winged olive nymphs and are occasionally supplemented by larger mayflies, annelids, trout eggs, stoneflies, and even caddis larva. Winter fishing typically consists of a lot of nymph fishing since the trout are not overly active due to the cold water temperatures, so try using stonefly nymphs and imitation midges. Remember that the hatches are much smaller in the winter, so keep your flies in the #16 to #20 range. It is also important to be mindful of your split shot usage. With the fish being sluggish, they aren't going to divert too much energy for food, so making sure those flies drift directly in their path is important. Be sure not to use too much split shot though because the last thing you'll want to do is to have to retrieve a snag in those cold waters. As the trout continue to get a later start, anglers should mirror that and look for ideal times to be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Colorado Fishing Atlas
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
Eleven Mile State Park
As of 4/22/2018 the trout fishing has been fair, starting to see some better action. Kastmasters in Gold or Brook Trout patterns have been working well for trout with the afternoons being better than the mornings. Night anglers have also reported success from shore.
Eleven Mile State Park
This 2,967 acre reservoir is located approximately 32 miles east of Greeley and 10 miles north of Wiggins. As of 4/23/2018 the water clarity is only about one foot and the weather patterns recently have slowed the fishing for all species. The lake level is full with a surface water temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The carp are starting to become active in the shallows as they begin to spawn. For up-to-date fishing and ice conditions contact the park directly at 970-645-2551.
Boyd Lake is open to boating, Aquatic Nuisance Species Inspection hours for the month of April are 7:00 am-7:00 pm daily. As of 4/26/2018 water temperatures are in the low 50's fishing has been good for trout using traditional baits all over the lake. White Bass fishing has been poor with only a few being caught. Bass Fishing is getting better, jerk baits for Smallmouth and lipless crankbaits or spinnerbaits for Largemouth. The walleye fishing has been fair, anglers should expect to work for them but the fishing is expected to get better in the coming weeks. Reminder - No fishing from marina slips or docks (next to is okay but can't use them in any way. PLEASE NOTE: Any live fish collected for use as bait may only be used in the same body of water from which they were collected. All live bait/fish from a commercial source and transported by anglers must at all times be accompanied by a receipt for the source. See the Colorado Fishing Regulations for further clarification and information.
As of 4/27/2018 flow was around 74 CFS at Golden with visibility beginning to be affected by increasing flows. Fishing has been fair for browns, rainbows, and cuts using Stimulators, Griffith's Gnat, Midges, Pheasant Tails, and Prince Nymphs in black or dark colors. As we approach summer dry flies have begun to produce fish, Blue Wing Olive patterns have been the most productive.
As of 4/21/2018, Water temperature is about 48 with some warmer temps in the shallow coves. Fishing is fair for all species. The Reservoir is OPEN to BOATING. The Inlet is ON and the Outlet is OFF. Only a small number of fishermen are getting out each day so reports are sporadic.
As of 4/24/2018 the Inlet Bay ramp is open to boating 7:00 am- 7:00 pm seven days a week. With water temperatures nearing 50 degrees fishing for walleyes and smallmouth bass has been getting better, expect to find the smallmouth along rock faces with jerk baits being a good bait. Anglers have reported catching both walleye and smallmouth using the same presentations.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir
As of 4/22/2018, water temperature is in the mid 40's and visibility is around 5 feet into the water. We are hearing that quite a few fish are being caught. Some reports of some nice rainbows being caught on wooly buggers or egg patterns. The pike have been caught using larger jerk baits trolled slowly. We hope to get more information as we get more of our staff on duty.
Spinney Mountain State Park
This 2200 acre impoundment is located north of US Highway 24 between Antero Junction and the town of Hartsel. Antero Reservoir is open to the public. Fishing has been slow, but patient anglers have been catching fish 16 inches plus Cutbows and Rainbows using in-line spinners and wooly buggers.
Saint Vrain State Park
There are 11 fishable ponds at St. Vrain that are stocked on a regular basis. Bald Eagle Pond is artificial flies and lures only. Bald Eagle Pond and Blue Heron Reservoir are trophy bass fisheries: all bass caught on these 2 ponds must be immediately returned to the water! Only 1 catfish in your standard bag and possession limit can exceed 20 inches on Blue Heron Reservoir. Blue Heron has been producing some good sized Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, and Saugeye on jigs and lures. Trout fishing is very productive in spring and fall depending on stocking. Stocked trout are only 8-10 inches in length and we do not recommend keeping them until they have matured and are of a healthy size: around 12-24 inches. Overfishing these waters results in smaller, less productive populations.
Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado
April 24th - Upper River: The river up in Hayden Meadows is low, clear, and fairly cold. A release of 120 cfs from Twin Lakes is about doubling the flows from Lake Creek downstream. This additional water also helps to moderate the daily water temperature swings. While we generally encourage folks to fish further downstream this time of year, the upper river definitely provides some excellent SOLITUDE. And, with the longer days and warmer nights, we are seeing an uptick in bug/fish activity, including plenty of midges and some strengthening blue wing olive hatches as far upstream as Granite. Focus on the deeper, slower water in the mornings with a stonefly and a midge, and hope for hatches in the afternoon! Fish will respond to stonefly nymphs, caddis larva, and midges, with blue winged olive patterns turning on in the afternoons. Expect subtle takes! April 24th- Middle River: Cloud cover should prompt some excellent blue winged olive hatches in the afternoon today! We've seen good caddis hatches up to Salida, but only scattered hatches of free-swimming caddis in the middle basin so far. This could change very quickly this week as the water warms up. Flows will come up tonight ~50 cfs and leave us in the mid 300's the rest of week, after Twin Lakes' release is readjusted. Morning midge activity (drifting larva, pupa, and daily hatches) has been strong and anglers should be prepared for a blue wing hatch in the afternoon with duns and emergers in #16-18! We've had a good reports from the BV area with blue wings through town and above town. Nymphing is still effective here, with morning stonefly molts, caddis larva and midge drifts getting fish moving around before lunch, and shallow dry dropper techniques work well in the afternoons. Afternoons have brought more blue winged olive nymphs onto the menu, as the nymphs drift in a daily fashion. Take time to analyze the water ahead of you thoroughly, and adjust your tactics accordingly! April 24th - Below Salida: *Caddis! Excellent reports from the weekend of some of the stronger hatches that we've encountered in several years, and already today we've had guests returning to the shop looking for more Puterbaugh Foam Caddis and Elk Hair Caddis for the afternoons. Larva are the ticket early in the day, pupa mid-day and the dries work well during the emergence or when egg-layers return to the water. Patterns should be #14-16. Bugs have jumped upstream and can be found all the way up to the Stockyard BrIdge. No caddis hatching above town yet based on our reports, but it could happen any day this week as the water warms up. The Arkansas River is flowing at 318 cfs at Wellsville this morning and the water quality is excellent. Warm temperatures and longer days are pushing the water temperature into the high 40s and fish are feeding actively and opportunistically on a variety of aquatic insects. Currently, we are seeing strong morning midge activity, blue wing olive mayflies throughout the day, and several varieties/sizes of adult caddis. We also had our first sightings of significant cranefly activity over the weekend. A warm winter and low flows since January have generated optimal feeding conditions for our brown trout population and most of the fish are in excellent condition. This hatch will continue to be experienced further upstream as the water warms.
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
The lake is at 1010 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6205.79 feet. Shore anglers are catching trout on homemade dough bait and PowerBait (green color) all along south shore and Reilly Canyon. Some trout have also been caught using smaller spoons or in-line spinners. No reports of walleye as of 04/24/2018. Boating is open for the season. Please be advised that all boats must be inspected prior to launching.
As of 4/25/2018 both the North and South ramps are open as the water level has started to drop. Fishing for walleye has been good using jerk baits in 10 to 15 feet of water. Some reports of walleye being caught jigging with minnows or worms. No reports of crappie as of yet. Bass fishing has been fair with jerk baits and soft plastics. Main lake points are a good place to look this time of year for active feeding fish. Water temperatures are in the mid 50's and water clarity is good on the east end of the lake and decreasing towards the west end of the lake.
As of 4/24/2018 anglers have reported success with smallmouth bass recently. Anglers have reported some success catching catfish using worms.The surface temperature of Horseshoe Lake is about 50 degrees. Visitors have reported less success in Horseshoe, but some smaller trout are being caught. Variations of PowerBait including rainbow and cheese styles have been used to catch fish recently.
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
Delaney Butte Lakes
As of 4/23/2018 all the Delaney's are open water. The roads to the lakes are accessible but can be muddy. The boat ramp areas of both North and South Delaney are slick and muddy. Several fishermen are reporting good fishing on all the Delaney's with flies. There have been reports of some really nice trout being caught.
Delaney Butte Lakes SWA
Highline Lake/Mack Mesa Lake
Highline Lake was stocked with rainbow trout in early February as well as early and mid-March so fishing should be good. Mesa was also stocked with rainbow trout in early February and early and mid-March so fishing should be good. Highline and Mack Mesa were both stocked with 800 12 inch trout and another 1,000 in early March. Highline Lake and Mack Mesa are both open for boating. Please stop at the Visitor Center at the East Entrance or call 970-858-7208 to request an ANS inspection before launching. Anglers may contact Highline State Park for updates on fishing conditions.
Highline Lake/Mack Mesa Lake
Harvey Gap Reservoir
As of 4/21/2018, perch of all sizes along with some pike and trout are reported being caught. Anglers are reporting that worms are working well for the perch and trout with the pike being caught on lures. The water level in Harvey Gap was very low for much of the fall of 2017 as a result of a reservoir drawdown conducted by Silt Water Conservancy District to inspect the reservoir's outlet. During this period of low water level, CPW put a public fish salvage regulation on the lake in which bag and possession limits were removed for all fish species. This public fish salvage is no longer active as it was removed once the reservoir started to refill. Conversations with anglers and a survey conducted by CPW in the fall immediately prior to the lake beginning to refill showed that the same species were present in the reservoir following the drawdown compared to prior to the drawdown (i.e. tiger muskie, rainbow trout, black crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, yellow perch, channel catfish, northern pike, and smallmouth bass). In addition to stocking tiger muskie, rainbow trout, and channel catfish, CPW will be stocking increased numbers of bluegill and black crappie in 2018 to help the fishery recover from the drawdown more rapidly. Special fishing regulations at Harvey Gap Reservoir include a minimum size of 15 inches for largemouth bass and a bag and possession limit of 2 for channel catfish. Standard bag and possession limits apply for all other species. Bag and possession limits for smallmouth bass and northern Pike are unlimited. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CAN DISTINGUISH TIGER MUSKIE FROM NORTHERN PIKE. ALL TIGER MUSKIE LESS THAN 36 INCHES MUST BE RELEASED ALIVE. For more information regarding tiger muskie, please contact CPW Area Aquatic Biologist Ben Felt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anglers may contact Harvey Gap/Rifle Gap State Park, Phone: 970-625-1607 for updates on fishing conditions.
Harvey Gap Reservoir
Rifle Gap Reservoir
The east half of the lake is open water. Pike crappie, and trout are being caught on the east end. Special fishing regulations at Rifle Gap Reservoir include a bag and possession limit of 1 walleye 18 inches or greater; bag and possession limit for yellow perch is 20.
Rifle Gap Reservoir
As of 4/21/2018, much of the lake is ice free. Shore fishing ONLY at this time. We plan to open the Island boat ramp on May 1st. Please keep in mind that the shoreline is extremely muddy and it is easy to become stuck while driving near the lake. We have opened Fishermen's Flats, but please be aware of the mud. The Gravel Pit is open; however, it is extremely muddy as well. Walking in on foot is recommended. Fishing is excellent with anglers catching rainbows and cutthroats in the 15-17 inch range using PowerBait, worms and spinners.
James M. Robb
As of 4/22/2018 all lakes are free of ice and offer ample shoreline fishing opportunities. Old Orchard, Roan's Pond, and Corn Lake have all been recently stocked. Anglers have reported success on a variety of different baits and flies. Send in a fishing report and let us know what you are finding success with!
James M. Robb
As of 4/26/20018 Boats have started to arrive on Lake John as the lake is all open water and boats can access the whole length of the lake. None of the boat docks are in yet. Anglers have been having great success from both shore and boats using a wide variety of baits such as wooly buggers or Kastmasters.
Beginning the end of March and through the summer of 2018, the lake will be drained for construction.
Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area
This 762-acre impoundment is located off of E. Quincy Avenue, two miles east of E-470. As of 4/26/2018 Water temperature is nearing 50 degrees degrees. Weather conditions continue to make it difficult to fish from shore or watercraft. Trout fishing from shore has started to pick up. Reports of trout being caught using PowerBait and crawlers from the dam and open areas along the shoreline. Walleye action from shore is slow. A few reports from boaters catching walleye using jigs and jerk baits. Should start to see the fishing pick up this month as the water temperature continues to rise. A few reports of smallmouth bass being caught using jigs. Restricted to electric motors only. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours April 6:00am-8:30pm.
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 4/26/2018 walleye fishing is continuing to be good throughout the day in the deeper portions of the lake, some walleye are also being caught on shallower structure. Fishing for trout has been productive both from shore or boat using many different techniques.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
As of 4/24/2018 Water temperature is in the mid 50's. Weather conditions have made shore and watercraft angling difficult. Bass fishing is increasing with the warming water temperatures and the fish looking to actively feed before the spawn. Some reports from boaters and shore anglers using jigs, jerk baits and crawdad soft plastics fished slowly. Trout fishing is slow to fair using spoons and spinners. Park Hours for April 6:00am-8:30pm. 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. Boat rental is closed due to low water levels.
This 1,356 impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park, in Littleton. There are two entrances to the park the west entrance is on S. Wadsworth Blvd, one mile south of C-470 and the east entrance is off of Titan Rd. Both the North and South Boat Ramps are now open. As of 4/26/2018 water temperature is 56 degrees and increasing. Walleye fishing has been getting better, the low light periods of the day are still producing the best. Trout have been caught using a variety of baits from shore. Smallmouth Bass have also been active along rocky shores in the lake with fish being caught on various presentations.. Please note that due to the Chatfield Reallocation construction fishing access from the west side of the park (Massey Draw - Kingfisher) is closed. Please access the lake from the east side of the reservoir.
Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
Blue Mesa Reservoir
This 8,900 acre reservoir is located west of Gunnison. As of 4/22/2018, Trout fishing has been very good with fish being caught at various depths using multiple presentations, Kokanee Salmon fishing has been good 20 to 50 feet below the surface. Lake trout fishing has been picking up, some anglers are reporting large fish being caught and released. Anglers can check on current conditions and boat ramp inspection schedules by contacting Curecanti National Recreation Area at (970-641-2337).
Blue Mesa Reservoir
As of 4/23/2018 Pike have been reported to be caught in the shallows as they prepare to spawn. With water temperatures increasing expect crappie fishing to pick up using small jigs and crankbaits. Some reports of large catfish being caught.
Crawford State Park
As of 4/10/2018, The lake is open water and has been stocked with rainbow trout already this spring. Additional stockings will occur through the summer. 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 opportunity at an 18-20 inch trout and a few 12 inch-plus perch. 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 in-line spinners (Panther Martins, Mepps) from boats is another approach at the trout. Hand-launchable boats (non-motorized kayaks, canoes, belly boats, etc) are a great way to fish the lake in this off-season. This is the first year in more than 15 years that the lake has not gotten decent ice to fish.A park pass is required on vehicles in the park. Daily park passes are available at the self-serve pay station at the park entrance.
Mancos State Park
Navajo State Park
As of 4/24/2018 fishing is getting better every day as the water temperatures continue to rise. Crappie fishing is starting to pick up early in the morning. Some Smallmouth Bass are being caught along with a few Pike. Jigs work well for the Crappie with John Deere green being a good choice. Tube jigs work well for the Smallmouth Bass and Pike.