Southeast Colorado Fishing Conditions – October 18
Arkansas River Headwaters
Unseasonably warm weather continues to keep things very active on the Arkansas River and the week ahead looks like more of the same. With daytime highs in Salida still forecasted to be in the high 60 to low 70 degree range, water temperatures will continue to stay around 50 degrees. Reports have indicated that Bighorn Sheep Canyon below Salida has generated some excellent fishing over the last week. The warm air temperatures and constant sunshine presage more of the same in the weeks ahead. The fish have been feeding mostly on midges in the mornings, then switching to mayflies and nymph hatches towards the afternoon. Most of the feeding fish have been gravitating towards riffles or broken water, or in some cases to deeper runs where they have access to food without exposing themselves to predators. Currently active aquatic insects include midges, blue wing olive mayflies, red quills, and caddis. Anglers have reported low, clear flows at around 300 cfs. With flows at these levels, and the resulting decline in current velocity, much of the riverbed is now a more suitable habitat for the fish. With the long-range forecast showing warmer than normal and the spawn only now getting underway, we anticipate very good fishing conditions throughout the month of October.
John Martin Reservoir
Anglers have reported that fishing on the reservoir is good for small wiper, with some reports of crappie and walleye also being caught.
The current surface temperature is around 64 degrees and slowly dropping as the days are shorter and nights are getting cooler. The fall bite is just around the corner, as fish will move up to shallower spots to feed to bulk up for winter. Fishing has been fair to good lately. Bass fishing is picking up as they are all gorging on shad. Walleye fishing has been fair to good, with a few smaller walleye beginning to move up into shallower water. Grubs and small crank baits will produce a few bites for walleye in shallow water. There have been a few reports of trout being caught trolling. Catfish are being caught on the west end using chicken liver and worms. Wipers have been far and few between. Boaters are reminded that winter hours are now in effect.
The lake is currently at 738 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6185 feet. The surface temperature has maintained in the low 60 degree range. Anglers have reported that trout fishing from the shore has picked up since the previous weeks, with must success coming from using night crawlers and artificial flies. Most of the trout that have been pulled out have been between 12 and 15 inches. Anglers fishing from boats have had consistent success trolling worm harnesses for trout, however there has been a significant decrease with walleye and perch.