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 weekendâ€™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.
Eleven Mile State Park
The trout fishing has been 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.
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. Senkoâ€™s will always get some takers so adjust your retrievals until you find the appropriate action that sparks the fishâ€™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.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir
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.
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. Senkoâ€™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.
Flows are remaining fairly low at around 10 cubic feet per second 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 Nos. 18-20 range.
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon
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.
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 Amyâ€™s Ant, Hippy Stomper or a smaller Chubby Chernobyl followed by a hairâ€™s ear or Two Bit Hooker in the No. 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.
Arkansas River-Lake Pueblo
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
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.
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 a.m.-11 p.m.) are in effect.
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 â€śhookâ€ť over the years and can reach very decent sizes.
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 Patâ€™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, Amyâ€™s Aunts or a Chubby Chernobyl.
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.
The fishing remains good with 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.
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 a.m.-8 p.m. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Electric motors only and hand launched watercraft only-trailers and vehicles prohibited in the water.
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.
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.
Stagecoach State Park
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.
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.
Frying Pan River
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 dayâ€™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.
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 Stateâ€™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, Hareâ€™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 Nos. 14-16 sizes. For bigger dry flies use Chubby Chernobyls and stimulators in the Nos. 12-16 sizes.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
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.
Taylor Park Reservoir
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
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.
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.