Colorado Fishing Report for September 10, 2013

Lake Sunset

Check out Colorado Parks and Wildlife fishing videos
 “Fly Fishing Colorado” is a feature length video journal highlighting major fly-fishing events and top destinations throughout the state. Fly fishermen of all skill levels will benefit from this comprehensive look at Colorado’s year-round fly-fishing opportunities. Each monthly entry is filled with action at recommended destinations, fly-fishing techniques, major insect hatches and proven fly patterns. This week, check out our video with more fall fishing tips: the fall kokanee run. For more videos, check out the next video in the “Fly Fishing Colorado” series.

Tailwater section of Stagecoach State Park closes for restoration project
A 0.60-mile Tailwater section of Stagecoach State Park will be closed to all public access beginning Sept. 16, 2013 when a scheduled fishery and habitat restoration project is scheduled to begin. It will remain closed for the remainder of the year. The public is asked to use caution as heavy equipment and other materials for the project may be moved into the area prior to the closure. Routt County Road 18 to Sarvis Creek and Pleasant Valley will remain open through the fall; however, parking along the county road is prohibited. Hunters accessing the Blacktail Conservation Easement can find alternate parking locations for the 2013 hunting seasons at the dam parking lot and the Routt County Road 18 parking lot. In addition, hunters may access the Blacktail Mountain Conservation Easement via the Adams State Wildlife Area off Routt County Road 14. The Tailwater Restoration Project will restore habitat and improve the overall fishery resource. The project’s goals include creating specific angler access points that will minimize stream bank erosion and preserve the area for future generations. The cooperative project with the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District is being funded through the Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s Fishing is Fun Program, Yampa Valley Land Trust, Trout Unlimited and private donors.

Public fish salvage at Barr Lake State Park
A public fish salvage at Barr Lake State Park began on Friday, Aug. 30. Due to high irrigation demand created by severe drought, the water level in Barr Lake will be drained to a conservation level of 442 acre feet to meet the needs of its intended agricultural use. The public salvage is being announced in order to optimize use of the fishery resource as outlined: 1) A valid Colorado fishing license is required in accordance with state statutes. 2) A state parks pass is required ($7 Daily Pass or $70 Annual Pass). 3) All legal fishing methods are allowed. 4) Small boats such as kayaks or canoes can be launched –no large boats allowed. 5) Bag, possession and size limits are suspended for Barr Lake only until this emergency public salvage is lifted. 6) The end date of the public salvage effort will be announced by Park Manager Michelle Seubert or district wildlife manager Joe Padia.

2013 Kokanee Giveaway
Fish hatcheries around the state will be giving away free kokanee salmon during the months of October and November. To receive the fish, a valid fishing license is needed. Because kokanee die when they spawn, the agency would rather see the fish be used than wasted. Giveaways will take place at the following locations: Roaring Judy Hatchery (970-641-7070)Oct. 11, 18, 25; Nov. 1, 8. You must be in line by 9 a.m. to receive fish. Vallecito Reservoir (970-247-0855)Vallecito Community Center at 3 p.m. Oct. 11, 18, 25; Nov. 1. Wolford Mountain Reservoir (970-725-6200)Oct. 21, 24, 28, 31; Nov. 4. If fish available: Granby at Shadow Mountain (970-725-6200)Nov. 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25.

Stocking Report
The following waters were recently stocked with catchable (approximately 10″) trout:

Metro Denver
No stockings this week.
Northeast Region
No stockings this week.
Northwest Region
Teal Lake Jackson County; 13 miles west of Coalmont
Southeast Region
Catamount Reservoir, North Teller County; 14 miles west of Green Mountain Falls
Frantz Lake Salida
Twin Lakes (both) Lake County; 20 miles south of Leadville
Southwest Region
Big Meadows Reservoir Mineral County; 13 miles southwest of South Fork

Conditions Report – Metro Denver Area

 Aurora Reservoir (City of Aurora)
Aurora Reservoir is open to boating. Water temperature is 68 degrees. All watercraft must be inspected prior to launch in the lower parking lot at the entrance of the boat ramp. This includes all hand launched watercraft. Trout fishing has slowed down and is rated to slow to fair at this time. From the dam try using PowerBait casted out deep using a slip rig. Boaters have been doing slow to fair trolling with various spoons and crawlers. Walleye action is slow to fair — some reports trolling with bottom bouncers and crawlers. Perch action is slow to fair some reports using jigs tipped with worms.Slow on all other species. Restricted to electric motors only. For more information call 303-690-1286. Park hours for September are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Arvada Reservoir (City of Arvada)
This is the slow time of year, but fishing is still fair at the reservoir. Approximately 3,100 rainbows were stocked on Aug. 20. We had a nice 20-pound catfish taken last week. And for those of you who didn’t see the article in the paper, we had a fisherman who was reeling in a fair sized rainbow trout when a walleye tried to eat the trout and the fisherman landed both. The walleye weighed in at eight pounds and 27 inches. On my questioning of anglers leaving the reservoir, the favorite bait seems to be green PowerBait.

Barr Lake State Park (Adams County)
Due to high irrigation demand, resulting impending draining of Barr Lake and subsequent potential for loss of all fish, public fish salvage is hereby authorized effective August 30, 2013. The public salvage is being annonced in order to optimize use of the fishery resource in accordance with Parks and Wildlife Commision Regulation 104.G. The following emergency salvage regulations apply only to Barr Lake: – A valid fishing license is required – A State Park pass is required ( $7 daily or $70 yearly). – All legal fishing methods are allowed – Bag, possession and size limits are suspended for Barr Lake only until this emergency public salvage is lifted – Notification of the opening and closure will be made through press releases and informational signs posted at strategic locations at Barr Lake – Salvage will begin immediately and will end on a date deemed necessary by the District Wildlife Manager and the Park Manager.

Chatfield State Park (South of Littleton in Douglas and Jefferson Counties)
Fishing at Chatfield has been getting better. Water levels still remain low and are down eight feet, but the river is flowing at a higher rate both in and out of the reservoir. Water temperatures are holding in and around 70 degrees. Perch have been the most popular fish of late. Both shore and boat fishermen have been landing on average 9-inch fish with worms. The east side of the lake has produced the most reports of this species. Walleye have also been producing along the roadbeds, bottom bouncing with a worm. Not many fish over 15 inches have been reported. Smallmouth bass remain easy catches along the dam face with worms or a variety of jigs or spinner lures. Sunfish have been fun for the kids to catch in the ponds with worms. Carp have given some kayakers some fun rides as of late. Several fish over 25 inches have given free rides to some of the smaller vessels. These large fish have been hitting worms lately. Trout and catfish have been on the decline with not many reports being received. Reminder the Swim Beach at Chatfield is now closed for the season.

Cherry Creek State Park (South of I-225, East of I-25 in Arapahoe County)
The water temperature is 72 degrees. The water level remains about 3.5 feet low. At Tower Loop, bluegill, catfish, trout and crappies are being caught using worms. At the West Shades trout are being caught using PowerBait, blue gill using worms and carp using cornmeal. Just a reminder, boaters must stay at least 60 feet away from in front of the tower structure at Tower Loop. Both ramps are open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Just a reminder, the inspection times will change Oct. 1. Due to the low water levels, small water craft are being asked to launch at the West Ramp and Larger craft at the East Ramp. Also, due to the low water levels, be aware of unmarked hazards and shallow areas. No launching is permitted outside the posted hours without previous inspection.

Quincy Reservoir (City of Aurora)
Water temperature is 70 degrees. The water level is good at this time but starting to drop. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted and electric motors only. All watercraft must be inspected prior to launch. Trout fishing is slow to fair in the morning and evening using spoons and flies. Bass fishing is slow to fair using top water lures and soft plastics. No other reports at this time. For more information call 303-693-5463. Park hours for September are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Standley Lake (City of Westminster, Jefferson County)
Standley Lake is open for day boating and permit holders. The current lake temperature is approximately 74 degrees. Fishing times are 6:30 a.m. to sunset and will be strictly enforced. Aquatic bait is not allowed at Standley Lake; this includes salamanders, leeches, crayfish, frogs and minnows. Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) regulations are in effect. Call for more details. A $7 fee is charged for all drive-in traffic. A $15 fee for daily boating is required for canoes, kayaks and small fishing vessels. No belly boats are allowed. Any trailered boat must meet ANS program protocols and are subject to a fifteen day quarantine. Drive-in access is available from 7:00 a.m. to sunset. For more information, contact the Standley Lake Nature Center at (303) 425-1097.

Conditions Report – Northeast Colorado

Boyd Lake State Park (North of Loveland, Larimer County)
No new reports.

Carter Lake (Larimer County)
Fishing for walleye remains good in the evening and morning from shoreline using worms. Anglers are having the most luck using trolling harnesses on boat. Fishing restrictions have changed for lengths and possession limits of Walleye so be sure to check signs prior to keeping any fish. Trout are biting on everything. Crappie are plentiful and biting on everything. The water levels are at a season low. If you’re fishing from shore you’ll get a nice drop in depth off of green cove by the North Pines Sun dance trail head. Local fishermen report the most activity at a depth of 20 feet.

Eldorado Canyon State Park (South Boulder Creek, Boulder County)
The flow in South Boulder Creek is about 21 CFS and fishing conditions are excellent. Fishermen are having success with stimulators, caddis and purple haze.

Eleven Mile State Park (Park County)
Trout fishing is good to very good. Shore and boat anglers are all consistently landing four- to six-pound fish. Standard sizes are running 13 to 7 inches with lots of rainbow, cutbow and cutthroat in the mix. Tasmanian Devils and Kastmasters are doing particularly well, although a wide variety of lures and flies are working. Shore anglers working night crawlers, marshmallows or PowerBait (corn variety) are seeing good success. Coyote Ridge through North Shore, especially Rocky Flats, Suckers Cove, Lazy Boy, and Witchers Cove are all seeing good action. Early afternoon through the evening hours are best right now. Salmon fishing is slow. Try the deeper parts of the lake at 30 to 40 feet in late morning to early afternoon using spoons tipped with meal worms, Swedish pimples, jigs and Kastmasters. Pike is fair. The typical weedbeds along North Shore, Rock Flats, Stoll, Cross Creek and Witchers Cove are still producing a few on spoons and tube jigs Dream Stream is good. Large fish are being caught using midges and Barr’s emergers.

Flatiron Reservoir (Larimer County)
Flatiron produces best with PowerBait and worms from the shoreline. Cheyenne day use is open and allows for fishing from the southern shore of Flatiron. Pinewood continues to fish very well from the cove with flies especially midge imitations. Use Griffins Gnat and small Zebra Midges in the evening. A 40-inch musky was reported from Pinewood and the possibility remains to catch the largest fish of the year. Other parts of the lake fish best with baits and worms and a limit of fish can be caught from the shore. You’ll have the best luck just before the sun comes up! Day passes are available 24/7 at either entrance to the park through an automated pay station next to the gate!

Golden Gate Canyon State Park Ponds (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties)
Golden Gate Canyon State Park offers five fishing ponds open year-round to all park visitors. The ponds are Kriley, Slough, Ranch Ponds East and West, and Dude’s Fishing Hole. Each angler is allowed four fish per day with eight being the maximum number in possession. No live baits are allowed with the exception of worms. Please call the Visitor Center for directions at 303-582-3707.

Horsetooth Reservoir, Lory State Park (Larimer County)
Trout have remained at a low to medium density continuing to go after spinners to worms. Bass are still out in force. Large bass are moving out of the coves early in the morning with the small ones staying in the coves during the day. Warmer water temperatures are continuing to provide very good smallmouth bass fishing. They are going after crank baits, minnows, jigs and worms. Walleye are still hitting hard with a majority of activity in the coves especially in Inlet Bay.

Jackson Lake State Park (Morgan County)
Water levels are low and boating is by hand launch only. Canoes, kayaks, etc. that can be carried to the water are allowed. There is not enough water at the ramp to allow a trailered vessel to be launched. Surface water temperature is approximately 80 degrees. Fishing has slowed down some but people are still catching carp, wipers, walleye and trout. It’s usually best to fish in the early mornings or late evenings. For wipers and walleyes, the bait has been nightcrawlers from the shoreline.

Jumbo Reservoir (Logan and Sedgwick Counties)
Jumbo is now closed to boating; water levels are too low, and still dropping. A few bullheads are being caught, fishing is poor. Jumbo requires an annual fishing license or a state wildlife area permit for anyone 19-64.

North Sterling State Park (Logan County)
Water levels are good with the south boat ramp still in the water. Crappie fishing is slow along the dam, marina and outlet areas on jigs and minnows. Best fishing has been in the mornings and evenings. Lots of catfish are being caught at Balanced Rock, Darby Arm and Elks Bay on worms.

Prewitt Reservoir (Washington County)
Prewitt is closed to boating water levels are down to the pool in the middle. The outlet is not running. A few drums are being caught, otherwise fishing is poor. Prewitt requires an annual fishing license or a state wildlife area permit for anyone 19-64.

Spinney Mountain State Park (Park County)
Trout fishing is good. Fishermen are reporting the most success in the deep waters. Good catches are being seen in the inlets and closer to the dam. Try using a drake fly, hopper dry flies or a black tube jig. Pike fishing is also good. Try using spoons, stickbaits or tube jigs. The best reports are coming from those fishing 100 to 150 meters from the shoreline.

St. Vrain State Park ponds (Weld County)
Believe it or not, there are still plenty of fish to be caught at St. Vrain State Park! This time of the year, most of the ponds are producing primarily warm-water species. Bluegill and crappie are a good place to start. Get a worm and a bobber (and a fishing pole of course) and throw it out there. Sandpiper, Mallard, Killdeer, Coot, Redtail, and even Pelican Ponds are all good places for “panfish.” If bass are more to your liking, try Bald Eagle and Coot Ponds. There are lots of largemouths in each! Lucky Tip: Be either as natural as you can, or as bright/loud as you can because these fish have been playing the “avoid the hook” game all summer. The trout bite is slim but there’s still a chance if you can find a deep/cool channel in one of our ponds. But beware, the few that are left are smart! Try flies/rooster tails/panther martins or some kind of legal bait to bag ’em. Coot, Sandpiper or Mallard ponds are your best bet. If catfish are more to your liking, you’re in luck! There are catfish in every accessible pond on our park. Try stink bait and liver, or something else with a smell! Good luck! Please remember that Bald Eagle Pond has the following restrictions: 1) Fishing with artificial flies and lures only, 2) Scented plastics must be one and a half inches long or longer, and 3) ALL bass must be returned to the water immediately. On that note, the bass are still producing. Try senko’s, drop shots, and crawdad immitations (weedless) for some good morning/evening results. The mid-day bite is slow. Lucky Tip: The bass have been biting on flies too (be as natural as possible and try dragon-fly immitations). The sunfish are still playing the “take the worm” game and can be caught in every accessible pond on our park. Try worms below a bobber around the shorelines and rocks/structure. Good Luck! If you’re planning on coming out, please bring your fishing license and keep it with you.

Conditions Report – Southeast Colorado

Adobe Creek Reservoir/Blue Lake (Kiowa and Bent Counties)
Catfish are biting fair, the crappie bite is slow. Other species are hit or miss. Water levels are low; boat access is limited to one low-water ramp. Shallow draft boats launch easiest; deep draft boats are difficult to launch at this time.

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area/Arkansas River (Lake, Chaffee and Fremont Counties)
Here’s an update from Greg at ArkAnglers: “Cooler weather moving into the valley (highs 70s/lows 50s) for the week will cool the water temperature and keep the trout more active through the afternoons. Significant chance of thunderstorms through Sunday means that side canyon run-off could impact water quality, particularly in the lower reaches of Bighorn Sheep Canyon. With cooler, cloudier weather expect the blue wing olive mayfly hatch to strengthen in the week ahead. Size 18-20 mayfly emergers fished sub-surface in the faster, riffles is a good approach from 1 to 4 p.m. Think about midge pupae and attractor nymphs in the morning, caddis dries into the evening.”

Brush Hollow Reservoir (Fremont County)
The water level has come up and some boats are able to launch from the boat ramp. However, the water level can fluctuate daily. Consequently, access to the boat ramp may also change rapidly. Fishing has been good for bluegill and a small number of bass have been reported being caught.

Clear Creek Reservoir (Chaffee County)
Clear Creek Reservoir boat ramp is open Thursday through Monday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Here is an update from Jerry Hornbuckle: “Fishing at Clear Creek Reservoir continues to be a mixture of some good, some bad. First, here’s the good news. Two people trolling with “Pink Panther” Tasmanian Devils reported catching (and releasing) 49 rainbow trout during a morning’s time, the best report of the week from boat fishermen. Four others fished for tiger muskies using a six-inch Rapala-like crank bait lure. They boated one about 20 inches in length, and lost another approximately twice this size as they tried to boat it. Besides these two that were hooked, two others were seen but didn’t take the lure. With respect to kokanee salmon, three boaters fishing with small spinner lures reported 11 caught. Three other boaters fishing with chartreuse PowerBait reported moderately good results. This latter is significant because although fishing from shore was not particularly good, the best results were with this same color PowerBait. A typical result was catching the four fish limit in three hours. Fishing with other colors sometimes resulted in getting skunked. No results were reported by fly fishermen this past week. Rains and cooler temperatures may have adversely affected fishing this week, with rains forecast to continue the next seven days.”

Lake Henry (Crowley County)
Henry Lake is closed to fishing and all other wildlife-related recreation.

John Martin Reservoir State Park (Bent County)
The stilling basin and the Arkansas River below the dam have produced large catfish, saugeye, and striper using minnows and worms. White bass and wiper are being caught by the dozens out of the reservoir on jigs, minnows, crawfish, and shrimp. Drum, bluegill, carp and walleye have also been caught in the reservoir, but with varying frequency. Please be mindful of all regulations concerning size and creel limits. Good Luck!

Lake Pueblo State Park (Pueblo County)
As the crowds recede and the summer starts to dwindle, the fishing at Lake Pueblo should start to gain some traction. The loss of boats and crowds should reduce the pressure on the on the fish in the reservoir and allow them to continue their normal habits. The weekend saw some fish coming in, but the number have reduced since the beginning of the year. Walleye and wiper are still the hot fish in the water, and fishing from the newly opened for the season old highway 96 access may be the place to try. Below the dam the fish continue to lay low during the hot days, but dusk and dawn continue to provide the angler with hatches. As always please be considerate of all other users here at the park and know they are out enjoying our natural resources just as you are. This is important this time of year as hunting has officially opened on ours and the adjoining wildlife lands. Also, please continue to follow the rules and regulations regarding method of take and bait use while on the river. If you have any questions please stop in at our visitor center or ask a ranger on the park. Tight lines everyone!

Lathrop State Park, Martin Lake and Horseshoe Lake (Huerfano County)
The fishing is picking up on both Martin and Horseshoe. The pike bite is starting to pick up a bit, along with the bass bite as the weather cools off. Overnight fishing isn’t producing quite as much as it was earlier in the summer, but both lakes fishing is picking up. This is a reminder, though, that if you are fishing overnight, you must be actively fishing, and not camping on shore.

Lake Meredith (Crowley County)
Meredith Reservoir is closed to fishing and all other wildlife-related recreation.

Mt. Elbert Forebay (Lake County)
Fishing conditions at Mt. Elbert Forebay last week were fair. A majority of shore anglers reported landing at least one trout. However, only a handful of shore anglers did obtain their limit of four trout. Near the outlet of the reservoir, shore anglers landed a few trout on pink PowerBait. Most of the catches at the southern part of the reservoir were homogeneous groups of 8 to 14 inch rainbow trout. At the inlet of the reservoir, several shore anglers reported 15 to 18 inch lake trout taking worms off the bottom throughout the day. Midday water surface temperatures were in the low 60s.

Nee Gronde Reservoir (Kiowa County)
Carp are biting well, catfish are fair to good. Slow for all other species. Water levels continue to decline and temps are in the mid 70s. Access is difficult around much of the lake due to low water and muddy shorelines.

Rampart Reservoir (El Paso County)
The U.S. Forest Service opened the reservoir to shoreline anglers and hand launched watercraft on May 24. The road across the dam is now open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sunday. It will not be open during the week. Motorized boats are not allowed across the dam and cannot be launched from the boat ramp. Fishing continues to be fair to good for cutbows and rainbows.

Turquoise Lake (Lake County)
The August doldrums are fading and the catch rate is slowly improving for bank fisherman using all kinds of PowerBait salmon eggs.

Trinidad Lake State Park (Las Animas County)
Trinidad Lake is approximately 482 surface acres and the surface temp is in the low to mid 70s. The water is beginning to clear up. We are starting to get more reports of the trout biting. The catfish are biting on chicken liver. Two 30-inch catfish were caught this week. Anglers are reminded to check the regulations for bass and walleye.

Twin Lakes Reservoir (Lake County)
Last week, fishing conditions from shore at Twin Lakes Reservoir were fair. Between 100 to 250 feet away from the power plant, shore anglers landed some rainbow trout on Berkley PowerBait Trout Worms and green PowerBait. Most of the trout activity at the power plant occurred during the morning. Shore anglers caught a few rainbow trout on green and yellow PowerBait at the Whistler Point fishing access. Shore fishing at the upper lake remains very slow. The hours for boat inspections are now from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Dexter Point boat ramp. At Dexter Point boat ramp, around 3,000 rainbow trout were stocked on Sept. 5. Midday water surface temperatures were in the high 60s.


Conditions Report – Northwest Colorado

Colorado River at Glenwood Springs (Garfield County)
Here’s the latest from the Taylor Creek Fly Shop: “Flow is at 2,150 CFS in Glenwood Springs. Due to afternoon and evening rains, the Colorado River is still too discolored to fish effectively.”

Crystal River (Gunnison County)
Here’s a report from the Taylor Creek Fly Shop: “Flow is at 32 CFS in Carbondale. Like the Colorado, the Crystal River below Marble is still too discolored to fish effectively.”

Delaney Buttes, Cowdrey Reservoir and Lake John (Jackson County)
No recent updates.

Elkhead Reservoir State Park (Moffat County)
Pike are biting at Elkhead Reservoir with anglers reporting success five or six feet below the surface. A couple of 23-inch northerns caught by an angler this weekend looked small compared to the 40-inch pulled out by a father and son team on Sunday. Crappie and blue gill are being caught with jigs at the north end of Elkhead Reservoir. The pike pond at Yampa Headquarters gave up a 42-inch northern on Friday afternoon, but a larger pike remains, according to anglers this weekend.

Fryingpan River (Eagle County)
Here’s a report from Taylor Creek Fly Shop: “The Fryingpan is running at 219 CFS below Ruedi Reservoir. The river is experiencing a wealth of insect hatches right now consisting of green drakes, pale morning duns, blue wing olives, caddis, rusty spinners and midges. With such an abundance of insects, it is important to keep a sharp eye out on what exactly the fish are feeding on. The dry fly fishing has been as good as we’ve seen all summer thus far. Look for the best hatches to take place closer to the dam from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Light fluorocarbon tippets of 6x and 7x are crucial to success.”

Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County)
No recent reports.

Highline Lake State Park and Mack Mesa Reservoir (Mesa County)
No recent updates.

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park (Mesa County)
Channel catfish are biting on worms in the Colorado River. The Fruita section, Connected Lakes and Corn Lake all have boat ramp access to the river. Bluegill and trout are biting on worms at Fruita and Island Acres. Try using worms at Corn Lake to catch some bullhead catfish.

Lake Granby (Grand County)
Here’s an update from Tracy Featherston, the Lake Granby skipper from “Lake Granby is minus-27 feet below full, clarity is to six feet and surface temperature is 67 degrees. Salmon fishing should start to pick up with kokanee starting to school. Lakers are very hard to catch lately in 60 to 120 feet of water. Please take great care if you catch a large laker in deep water — by taking time reeling the fish in so the fish can release its bladder bag.”

Pearl Lake State Park (Routt County)
No recent updates.

Rifle Falls, Rifle Gap State Park (Garfield County)
Fishing is good in Rifle Gap State Park! Lots of large perch being caught, especially near the Cedar Loop shoreline. Trout are being caught throughout the lake. Pike and Walleye are being caught near the dam.

Roaring Fork River (Garfield County)
Latest info from Taylor Creek Fly Shop: “Flow is at 188 CFS below Maroon Creek, 427 CFS in Emma, and 630 CFS in Glenwood Springs. Long gone are the days of fishing large attractor flies, as smaller blue wing olive patterns are now dominating along the river. Think along the lines of “tiny and shiny” nymph and emerger patterns to fish the best like BLMs, Mercury RS2s and Freestone Emergers. Look to the deeper pools and seams away from the banks to fish the best right now during the afternoons. Big fly anglers should look to early mornings to yield the best streamer fishing. Hoppers are catching some fish in the pocket water too!”

Stagecoach State Park (Routt County)
The Tailwaters will be closed to all public access beginning Sept. 16, 2013 for the restoration project. It is expected to be closed through the end of the year. Contact the park office for more information. Trout have moved to deeper, cooler water. Orange or green PowerBait, wooly buggers, Tasmanian devils, and worms are working well for trout. Anglers have been successful fishing from the shore or a boat. Pike activity has picked up with a few 20-plus pound fish being landed in the shallows at the inlet. Buzz baits have been working well for pike. The harvest of pike at Stagecoach is encouraged. Please don’t throw them on shore or in the dumpsters but take as many as you like for the fryer. Algae are beginning to bloom. Emergers, midges, and prince nymphs in dark colors have yielded some beautiful rainbows at the tailwaters below the dam. Small sections of shoreline have been roped off to help prevent erosion. If the tailwaters parking lot is full, please park at the dam or come back another time to avoid overcrowding.

State Forest State Park (Jackson County)
No recent updates.

Steamboat Lake State Park (Routt County)
Bank fishermen have been hitting Meadow Point and Rainbow Ridge area pretty hard with worms and eggs being the bait of choice. SPinners have been working very well also I have not heard from boat fisherman lately, so no report for them.

Sylvan Lake State Park (Eagle County)
Gold spinners and and PowerBaits are working well, and small caddis or black nymphs are, too. There is a good mix of rainbow, cutthroat and even brookies and browns. Good time to try the beaver ponds on West Brush Creek.

Vega State Park (Mesa County)
Fishing is steady at the gravel pit area and off of Fisherman’s Flats. The shoreline is muddy at this time. Please remember to have your boat inspected prior to launching. The inspection station is open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Yampa River State Park (Routt County)
The Yampa River continues to fish well with recent rains raising levels slightly. Brown trout between Hayden and Craig are fishing well, anglers are reporting.

Conditions Report – Southwest Colorado

Crawford State Park (Delta County)
No recent updates.

Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison River (Gunnison – Delta County)
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison Gorge is running around 536 CFS. The river is starting to clear with about four feet of visibility and improving every day. Flies that have been working are streamers, caddis emergers, and San Juan worms. The Lower Gunnison at the Confluence is running around 635 CFS. It is also clearing up and fishing well. San Juan worms, copper johns, streamers and Pat’s rubber legs have been working well.

Mancos State Park, Jackson Gulch Reservoir (Montezuma County)
Jackson Gulch reservoir has come up several feet due to recent rains. However, the lake is still very low and the water level remains below the boat ramp. In spite of the low lake level fishing has been excellent for 10 to 12 inch rainbow trout and 6 to 7 inch yellow perch with an occasional large brown trout. Trout are biting on several types of PowerBait but especially bright green with glitter, as well as worms, grasshoppers, and salmon eggs. Spinners such as panther martins and Kastmasters have seen some success. Fly fisherfolk have been catching their limit using small dry flies, especially in the early morning and late evening hours along the dam. Perch love all kinds of worms: nightcrawlers, mealworms, or waxworms. Perch are small, averaging about 6 to 7 inch, but anglers should keep them if they’ll eat them — they make yummy fish tacos! There is no limit on the number of perch you keep; the daily limit for trout is 4. A park pass is required when utilizing the park.

Navajo State Park (Archuleta County)
Crappie fishing has slowed some; however, the smallmouth bass have been biting recently. Water temperature is currently approximately 75 degrees. Colorado and New Mexico fishing licenses for 2013-14 are available at the Visitor Center at this time. Please remember to bring sunscreen, insect repellent and clothes appropriate for changes in the weather.

Ridgway State Park (Ouray County)
The reservoir is 86.6 percent capacity and falling. Our most recent stocking of the reservoir, with 2,000 catchable rainbow trout, occurred on July 23. Both shore fishermen and boaters are reporting very good fishing for stocker-sized fish (eight to 12 inches) with a few larger fish (18 to 20 inches) being caught. The catch is mostly rainbows, but there have also been some browns and smallmouth bass.

Rio Grande River (Rio Grande County)
No recent updates.

Taylor Reservoir (Gunnison County)
Here’s an update from Dee Dee at Taylor Park Marina: “Trolling for rainbows is still very good. Try lead line with about 3 1/2 colors with cowbells and nightcrawlers. A couple of guys did really well with the lead line and Dick Nites. Still not a lot going on with Macks, as I think they are starting their spawn. Northern Pike are getting active. We saw about half a dozen caught this weekend in the 4 to 6 pound range. They were trolling on the north end of the lake and over by the Willow Creek cove.”

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