Fishing Report: Is it a walleye, or is it a saugeye?
PUEBLO – Last week one angler at Pueblo Reservoir who had been releasing undersized walleyes all morning saw another angler keeping fish under the 18-inch size limit. When asked what he was doing, the offending angler replied that they were saugeyes, on which there is no size limit.He was wrong on both counts. First, there are no saugeyes in Pueblo Reservoir, so either he was mistaken or deliberately poaching. Second, while a statewide size limit on saugeyes exists, a 15-inch limit does apply on certain waters listed in the Fishing Regulations and Property Directory.A good rule of thumb: If there is a size limit in reservoirs that contain both saugeyes and walleyes, it usually applies to both species. This is true, for example, at Jumbo, Prewitt and North Sterling. The best way to tell the difference between a saugeye and a walleye is that a saugeye has spots on its dorsal fin and a walleye doesn’t.Lastly, anglers should always know the size and possession limits in any waters they fish. Ignorance is no excuse to avoid a citation.Denver MetroClear Creek (above Hwy. 119) – Heavy rains this past week made the creek high and discolored. Best time to fish is early morning and late afternoon. Flyfishers do well with Flashbacks and small red Brassies. Some fish in the 16 to 18-inch range have been landed. Best lures are small Mepps or Panther Martins. Clear Lake – Some very nice trout are being caught here on salmon eggs and pink Power Bait. The north side seems to be most productive. South Platte River (Waterton Canyon) – The upper part of the river has been fishing well early and late in the day. Fishing here is restricted to flies and lures only. Best flies: Flashback Hare’s Ears or Brassies. Best lures: small Mepps or Blue Fox spinners in chrome. Lower stretches are fishing well with small crawlers. NorthwestBlue River (below Green Mountain Reservoir) – River is running low, slow and clear, but fishing is only fair. Anglers say there are too many bugs competing with their flies: caddis, PMDs and grasshoppers. Use No. 14-16 Elk Hair Caddis or a No. 10 Joe’s Hopper. The tailwater beneath the dam is subject to periodic security closures. There are three other public accesses on BLM land downriver to the confluence with the Colorado, but they are narrow and anglers are warned to stay off adjoining private property. Blue River (Dillon to Green Mtn. Res.) – The flow from Dillon Reservoir remains 52 cfs and the water is clear. Midges continue to dominate bug life in the tailwater section. Use No. 20-24 Black Beauties, GT Perfect Emergers, Barr’s Midge Larva and a Brook’s Sprout on the surface during hatches. From Silverthorne to Green Mountain Reservoir, caddis and small stoneflies with a few BWOs and PMDs are the major hatches. Use No. 14-16 Caddis and Stones. Trout unlimited is conducting a survey below Dillon Reservoir on numbers and types of fish caught. The results of this survey will be used to determine the quality of fishing and ways to improve it. Colorado River (below Parshall) – Fishing is very good with Caddis, Pale Morning Duns and Yellow Sallies hatching all the way from Radium to Parshall. Use No. 14-16 tan caddis patterns, No. 18-20 PMDs and No. 16 Yellow Sally. Flow is about 322 cfs near Kremmling. Colorado River (Glenwood to Rifle) – The Colorado River is high and muddy from Glenwood Springs to Rifle. Current flow in Glenwood is 4,110 cfs. Recent float trips have yielded some fish on H&L Variants and Royal Wulffs along the banks, but overall fishing is slow. However, look for good hatches of Pale Morning Duns and Green Drakes as the water clears. Colorado River (near Granby) – Runoff has increased with warmer weather but the river is fishing well. Nymphs and midges still work and surface action is starting to pick up with Parachute Adams and Elk Hairs leading the way. Dry/dropper rigs, Stimulators and Irresistibles also catch fish and larger patterns are getting hits. In the immediate Granby area and downstream to the bridge at the west end of Byers Canyon, bait fishing is permitted and two fish may be kept. Elkhead Reservoir – Lake has cleared and crappie fishing is very good. Some of the fish run up to 14 inches. Smallmouth bass are also moving into the shallows to spawn and pike fishing remains fair to good. Yellow jigs with a red head work best for crappie. Buzzbaits, Rapalas and Mepps Black Furies all catch pike. Most bass are being caught on jigheads with chartreuse Twister tails. Limit for smallmouth and largemouth bass is two fish at least 15 inches long Fryingpan River – The river is clear, flowing at 112 cfs below Ruedi Reservoir, and fishing is excellent. Lots of surface action on Blue Wing Olives from noon until 4 p.m. Tiny No. 20-22 BWO imitations fished on 7X tippets are a must for successful dry fly-fishing. Midges and Mysis Shrimp are still plentiful in the first mile or so below the dam. Good flies include Harrops BWO Thorax, BWO Sparkleduns, BWO No Hackles, Sprout Midges, and Stimulators. Subsurface recommendations include Poxyback Baetis, RS2, CDC Loopwing, Harrops Biot Emerger, Will’s Epoxy Mysis and Tim’s Mysis. Grand Lake – Trout fishing for rainbows remains good at the river inlet, channel mouth and near the boat ramp. Eggs and Bower Bait are most productive. Some lake trout are being caught on sucker meat and large spoons. Trolling is a good option. The lake level remains full. Bag and possession limit for lake trout is 4 fish, only one of which may be over 36 inches. Until June 30, all lake trout between 26 and 36 inches must be released. Many small feeder streams, where there is public access, have good brook trout populations. Green Mountain Reservoir – Lake level continues to rise. Shore fishing has slowed, but anglers are still catching a few trout on worms. Boaters are doing better with pink, red and green assorted lures. Rifle Gap Reservoir – The lake level is 36 feet below capacity but there is still plenty of water and the boat ramp is usable. Trout fishing has been excellent with anglers limiting out on rainbows of 14 to 18 inches. Use gold Kastmasters, worms, popcorn shrimp or Power Bait. The southeast and west end of the reservoir are hotspots. Perch have been biting well on worms and popcorn shrimp near the dam. Upstream at Rifle Falls, brown trout bite well in the afternoons on flies and worms and rainbows are hitting on spinners. The bag and possession limit for smallmouths is two fish 15 inches or larger and all bass caught between May 1 and June 15 must be released. Rio Blanco Lake – Pike fishing is very good, as this lake’s local pike population has been augmented by fish removed from the Yampa River. Anglers report seeing some real jaw-droppers but haven’t been able to land any. Crappie and bluegill are hitting very well on small white and yellow jigs with Twister tails. Chartreuse was the best color over the weekend. Roaring Fork River – Despite increased runoff due to warm weather, fishing has been surprisingly good. The river is clear from Carbondale to Aspen, with high, muddy flows below the confluence of the Crystal River. Flows are near Aspen, 1,020 cfs in Basalt and 2,320 cfs in Glenwood Springs. Good hatches of caddis and stoneflies are starting to come out. Dry/droppers work well along the banks and nymphing has also been productive. Hot flies: Stimulators, Peacock Caddis, BWO No Hackles, Beerhead Baetis, BH Princes, Poxyback Baetis and Lite Brite Caddis Larva. White River – Runoff is declining and the water is relatively clear. Flows are down to 974 cfs near Buford and 659 cfs near Meeker. Flyfishers are starting to get topwater action with caddis and mosquitoes. Also try Adams. yellow Stimulators, black Woolly Buggers and Royal Coachmen. Williams Fork Reservoir – Anglers are catching a lot of trout in the inlet using No. 7 Rapalas in rainbow trout, black and silver or red and white colors. Pike fishing is good and getting better using red and white Dardevles or sucker meat. Quite a few lunkers have been pulled out of the fingers on the west side. Kokanee are hitting well on trolled Needlefish and Wedding Rings in 18 to 20 feet of water. Lake trout have moved into much deeper water and few have been caught lately. Williams Fork River – Running very low at 17 cfs and fishing is poor. Caddis and Pale Morning Duns are hatching regularly but fish are spooky because of the clear water. Fishing should improve if Williams Fork Reservoir fills up and begins releasing more water. Yampa River (Stagecoach through Steamboat) – Fishing has been consistently good in the tailwater below Stagecoach Reservoir. Midge hatches and Blue Wing Olives are keeping the fish active. Look for BWOs in the evening on sunny days. Flow in downtown Steamboat Springs is 786 cfs and starting to fish well now that runoff is subsiding. Bigger Stonefly Nymphs or Woolly Buggers with a red rubberleg Prince or red Copper John trailer will produce fish along the banks and in eddies. Light-colored streamers also work. Pike fishing is good in the back sloughs. Beginning at the Stagecoach tailwater, several river sections are restricted to flies and lures only and/or catch-and-release. See Page 78 of the regulations. Call the Steamboat Fishing Company at (970) 879-6552 for the latest conditions. SoutheastArkansas River No. 3 (Through Pueblo) – Flows beneath Pueblo Dam are very high and muddy, making fishing difficult. But this section of river has been repeatedly stocked and fishing is fair to good when clear. Arkansas River (Buena Vista to Salida) – Flow is about 1,400 cfs and clear. Runoff is over. Fish are actively feeding on Golden Stonefly and Yellow Sally nymphs; also hitting yellow stimulators and foam flies on top. Arkansas River (Leadville to Buena Vista) – The upper river is clear and flowing at about 300 cfs in Hayden Meadows, 700 cfs in the Granite Gorge. Stoneflies are migrating toward the banks and hoppers are starting to appear in the meadow. Use hopper patterns, stimulators, foam flies, Epoxyback Stones and Yellow Sallies. Arkansas River (Salida to Canon City) – Runoff is over and the river is clearing up very quickly. The stonefly hatch is on and fishing is really good, particularly along the edges. Use stimulators, foam flies, Epoxyback Stones and Yellow Sallies. Clear Creek Reservoir – Fishing remains good for stocked trout, which seem to be most active from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and again in early evening. Use Power Bait, worms or a Montera’s Marvel with a KP dark olive leech dropper. Elevenmile Reservoir – Mayflies are still hatching and trout fishing remains fair. From shore, try Rocky Flats in the North Shore Camp Area, Howbert Point and the Back Country peninsula. Use white or brass Needlefish, Dick Nites, pink or chartreuse Imperial Magic dough bait, rubber worms, night crawlers and egg patterns. Boaters are seeing better action towards the west end of the lake. Salmon are concentrated in the deeper water around the northeast corner of Deer Island. And pike can be found in the weed beds at Parking Lot and Corral Cove. South Platte River (btwn Spinney and Elevenmile) – The river is flowing at 219 cfs and fishing has been very good. Hatches include baetis and Mayflies. Use a No. 16 Light Tan Hare’s Ear, Red Copper John, Pheasant Tail, red Midge Larva or pupa. SouthwestGunnison River (below Crystal Dam) – Flows are 360 cfs and the water is a little off-color. Nymphing remains the best bet but a dry/dropper can be productive, especially in areas with structure and aerated water. Recommended nymphs: No. 10 Halfback, No. 20-26 midges (larva, pupa and emerger phases), Pheasant Tails, Flashback PTs and beadhead versions, Copper Johns, Woolly Buggers. Dries: No. 14 Stimulator and Elk Hair Caddis, No. 16 PMD and Adams. Downstream of the Portal, look for big stones to be in the Warner area this week. Lots of hatches of PMDs, Golden Sallies, Caddis from Chukar down to the forks. Call the Cimarron Creek Fly Shop at (970) 249-0408 for updates. Gunnison River (through the canyon) – Flow through the canyon is 365 cfs and fishing is incredibly good. Water above the confluence with the North Fork is clear. The mature salmonfly hatch has moved upstream past Chukar Trail.
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