Information is provided by Colorado Parks & Wildlife employees and local fishing enthusiasts. Fishing conditions can change from the time this report is produced.
The fishing is rated as fair to good and the water level is low. The perch and walleye fishing is still the most productive for anglers fishing in 20 to 30 feet of water with tube jigs and crawlers. Some anglers are catching trout in the 12 to 15 inch range on PowerBait. Fly anglers are having luck using streamers, damsel fly nymphs, and dry flies in the evening.
The surface temperature is 64 degrees and the water level is around 3 feet down. The water clarity is around 6 feet down. Both fly and spinner anglers are having luck catching bass and trout. The fly anglers are having luck using streamers and worm patterns under an indicator. Spinner anglers are having luck using spoons and Kastmasters. The morning fishing has been the most productive and anglers in a boat are catching the most fish.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
The surface temperature is 72 degrees. Anglers are still reporting seeing shad in the water, which has made the fishing difficult due to the amount of food available to the fish. There are still plenty of weeds floating around the reservoir, so anglers should avoid these patches and keep their lures free of weeds. Some anglers are catching walleye in areas with less bait fish using jigs and spoons. The reservoir is less busy now that school has started back up, so boat angling opportunities are improving by the day.
Anglers are reporting fair to good fishing this week. The bass are becoming more active and anglers are having luck throughout the reservoir. Soft plastics like worms and chatter baits are working well as well as top water lures for those avoiding the weeds. The perch are actively biting on jigs with grub tails. Some anglers are catching fish on plastic crayfish patterns as well.
The fishing has been great as of recently. Look for the excellent fishing to continue for weeks to come. Anglers should prepare for hatches of midges, caddis, yellow sallies, blue winged olives, and tricos. Flows have returned to their normal historic levels now that things have dried out a bit. Look for excellent fishing with dries and nymphs for weeks to come. Effective patterns include No. 14 San Juan Worms, No. 14 Scuds, No. 10 Pine Squirrel Leech, No. 18 Mercury Flashback Pheasant Tails, No. 18 Buckskins, caddis larva, No. 18 Barr’s Emerger (PMD) and No. 16 Barr’s Graphic Caddis. Anglers can expect to see excellent hatches of pale morning duns, caddis, and tricos. The slower pools, back channels, and tail outs are providing some good surface activity.
Eleven Mile Reservoir
The trout fishing is currently good and the fish are beefing up on crayfish. Many fish being caught are a variety of sizes. The best patterns and lures include tube and marabou jigs, wooly buggers, and crayfish patterns. Bait anglers continue to do well on PowerBait and a night crawler and marshmallow combo. The kokanee salmon fishing has been slow to fair and the action is sporadic. The bite has been early, then late in the day. The best chances to catch fish are still near the North Shore to Duck Island, although a few big fish are still being caught off of Rocking Chair, Lazy Boy, and Rodgers Mountain. The fish are sill hugging the bottom in whatever depth you are in. Every now and then you might get surprised to find them up high in the teens. Green, pink, and orange are currently the best colors. Dodgers and pop gear are still helping. Mack’s Wedding Rings and Kokanee Killers are a good choice and of course we catch everything in this lake on a Kastmaster. The northern pike fishing is rated as fair to good and the action continues to improve. Spinner baits, Husky Jerks, X-Raps, and large spoons all have seen some good action. Work the weed lines on the West end or the drop offs around the rocks at North Shore or Rocky Flats. Timing is not very predictable. North Shore in the shallows has seen decent action late morning early afternoon.
The current surface temperature is 71 degrees and the water level is low. Anglers are reporting great smallmouth bass fishing. Most of the bass are averaging from 12 to 15 inches in length. The fish are aggressive and striking the lures with force. Anglers are getting the most bites on jerk baits, tube jigs, and plastic minnows. Look for the fish to be near the weed beds and sandy areas throughout the reservoir.
The lake level is still decent and is roughly about 4 feet down. The current surface temperature is 74 degrees. We are open to boating. The fishing had been good for channel catfish, walleye, freshwater drum, and wiper in the early morning and in late evening.
Joe Wright Reservoir
The fishing is rated as good for both trout and grayling. Spinner anglers using spoons and a fly and bubble combination are getting the most bites. Fly anglers are having luck using large dry flies such as Chernobyl’s, elk hair caddis, and attractor dry flies. Dropping a beadhead nymph below the dry fly is also getting some bites. The fishing is good throughout the reservoir, but the fishing near the inlet has been the most consistent.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir
The surface temperature is 72 degrees and the reservoir is full. Fly anglers are having luck using dry flies and dry/dropper rigs. Anglers are reporting seeing good hatches of caddis and callibaetis. Elk hair caddis and attractor dry flies are working great when the conditions are ideal. The fish are being caught at all water depths including the shallows near the shoreline. Spinner anglers are having some luck using Kastmasters and spoons. We have not received any reports on the northern pike fishing as of recently.
Arkansas River Headwaters
The upper river is in excellent shape and is easy to wade. We are seeing caddis and pale morning dun activity through Hayden Meadows down to Granite. Grasshoppers are beginning to become more important as the larger aquatic insect activity in the river slows down. Keep a thermometer handy, because warm afternoon temperatures can make for tough conditions if the water gets above 65 degrees. The flows at the middle river have increased slightly as Clear Creek Reservoir releases more water. At these flows, it is not recommended to try to wade across the river anywhere in the middle basin. We are still experiencing good dry fly fishing, with the trout responding to attractor dries imitating grasshoppers and stoneflies. Do not be afraid of tying on smaller patterns. Midges as droppers in the morning have been productive, and mayfly nymphs in sizes 16 to 18 work well through the afternoon. The key is finding the right water. At these lower flows, the fish are beginning to disperse away from the shoreline, so spend more time picking apart likely lies or towards the main current and adjusting dropper depth until you find the sweet spot.
Clear Creek Reservoir
The trout angling from a boat has been fair at Clear Creek Reservoir. Shore angling for trout has been rated as slow. Both sherbet colored PowerBait or yellow Berkley’s Floating Magnum Eggs can be productive for shore anglers in late August. A majority of the boat anglers reported catching multiple trout with very few boat anglers not landing a fish. Boat anglers landed several trout by trolling a cowbell and worm combination. Only one kokanee salmon was netted from a boat this week. The reservoir is closed to trailer motorized watercrafts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The current boating hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The surface temperature is 75 degrees and consistent throughout the reservoir. The fishing is rated as slow to fair. Anglers are catching plenty of pan fish in less than 20 feet of water on a variety of lures. The bigger fish are being caught in the deeper depths due to the warm water temperatures, but they have been difficult to catch. Worms and jigs tipped with bait are working the best from a boat. Shore anglers are having a tough time catching anything other than bluegill.
Recent reports are that the crappie, catfish, and trout in the 12 to 13 inch range are biting well, especially from a boat in the middle of the lake. Boats must be inspected or a receipt and seal must be dropped into the box provided before being launched. Both Mack Mesa and Highline Lakes are open for shore fishing. Both lakes have been stocked with over 6,000 9 to 12 inch trout in March and April. The best place to fish at Mack Mesa is currently near the pier.
The fishing is rated as fair to good and the lake is full. The trout are feeding actively and most anglers are catching their bag limit. The fish are biting a variety of lures in a variety of colors. Spinners in gold and red are the most effective. Fly anglers are having luck using streamers and nymphs below a bubble during the day, and dry flies are working great in the evening if the wind is not bad.
The surface temperature is 57 degrees and the lake is full. Anglers are reporting good fishing for trout in the western cove as of recently. Streamers and large nymphs dropped below an indicator are working well throughout the lake. Spinner anglers are having luck using spoons and Kastmasters in gold and silver colors. PowerBait is also very effective. Some anglers reported catching brook trout near the inlet.
The Island boat ramp is open. Early Settlers and Oak Point boat ramps are closed for the season. All boats must have an inspection prior to launching. Boat inspection hours are from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The fishing has been good with anglers reporting catching some nice rainbows in the 12 to 16 inch range using PowerBait, worms and spinners.
Williams Fork Reservoir
The surface temperature is 68 degrees and around 4 feet low. The water clarity is low and anglers are reporting a green tint to the water color. The fishing is rated as poor to fair. Some anglers are catching trout on PowerBait and spinners in the deeper water. The larger fish are in the deeper water in 80 to 100 feet of water, but anglers are not having much luck getting them to bite. The kokanee are stacked up in large schools, but they are not currently feeding actively.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
The fishing is rated as fair to good until the heavy evening winds come in. Boat anglers are having the most success using a downrigger with orange and pink Arnies. Most of the fish are being caught in 40 to 60 feet of water. Some anglers are also catching fish jigging near Elk Creek Marina, but jigging has been slow lately. The kokanee and lake trout are feeding the most actively in the deeper water, while the trout are biting some flies and lures near the shoreline. A majority of the lake trout are being caught by anglers finding the schools of kokanee and fishing directly below the school of fish.
San Juan River
The river is flowing around 90 cubic feet per second through Pagosa Springs and the water clarity is partially stained. The river is low and slow, so fluorocarbon tippet in size 5x and 6x is a must. Small midge and blue winged olive patterns are working the best. Some leech patterns and streamers are working during mid day when all else fails. The dry fly fishing is excellent in the evening when the caddis and baetis start hatching. Look for the fish to be in the fast riffles during the day in less than 2 feet of water.
Rivers and Creeks
It is officially dry fly season and the fish are actively feeding on the surface. It is also mosquito and horsefly season. Large dry flies such as Elk Hair Caddis and Chernobyl’s are working well throughout the state. The fish are starting to transition into smaller nymphs since the water temperatures are above average. Anglers should use small leader and tippet sizes since the water clarity is ideal. Rainfall will be the only factor that changes water conditions throughout the end of summer and fall.