Fishing Report: Rainbow, brown trout available in ample supply in lakes
Fishing across Colorado has settled into an early summer mode. Conditions generally are good, or at least improving in much of the state.Large mountain reservoirs such as the South Park and North Park lakes and Blue Mesa and Taylor reservoirs on the Western Slope remain good bets for trout fishermen. Fish still are in relatively shallow water, within casting distance of shoreline anglers, and active throughout the day. Rainbow and brown trout are the top attraction in most of the lakes, but some also have lake trout, also known as mackinaw, and kokanee salmon. Lake trout are the largest members of the trout/char family, and during much of the year they are found in deep water and difficult to catch without specialized deep-trolling equipment. In spring and early summer they may be in shallower areas, where they can be taken on conventional fishing tackle. Likely waters for mackinaw this time of year include Taylor, Turquoise and Granby reservoirs, as well as Twin Lakes, the Mount Elbert Forebay, Jefferson Lake and the Catamount reservoirs on the north slope of Pikes Peak.Stream fishermen, meanwhile, are looking toward the end of the runoff. Most rivers already have dropped. Many already are fishably clear, and most should be in prime condition in another week to 10 days. Warm-water fishing across much of the state is approaching its peak. Bass, wipers, walleyes and other fish have become increasingly active as water temperatures have warmed. With continued hot weather, however, good fishing increasingly is becoming and early morning and late-afternoon affair. For the complete, statewide fishing report, visit http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/Reports/StatewideConditions/.Denver MetroClear Creek (above Hwy. 119) – The river is high but clear. Fish near the edges of the river for trout holding off the bank. Use a Prince nymph and a No. 12-16 green Copper John, fished deep. Be very careful during the runoff. For more information, call 303-421-4025. Clear Lake – The lake south of Georgetown off the Guanella Pass road has catchable-sized rainbow trout and also some brook trout and a few browns. Fishing can be fairly good on a variety of baits and lures, but success largely depends on periodic stocking. No boats are permitted on the lake. A campground is available one mile to the south. South Platte River (Waterton Canyon) – The water is clear, and fly fishermen have noted blue-wing-olive and midge activity. The section from Strontia Springs Dam downstream to 300 yards above the Marston diversion structure is restricted to artificial flies and lures and offers the best fishing. The most effective lures for spin-fishermen are small Panther Martins, Mepps or Blue Fox spinners. Night crawlers are most effective in the unrestricted lower stretch. NorthwestBlue River (below Green Mountain Reservoir) – The low flows of 60 cfs are keeping the fish pooled up. Fishing for them has been good. With warm weather, watch for BWOs and duns. For current conditions, call the Fishin’ Hole in Kremmling at (970) 724-9407. Blue River (Dillon to Green Mtn. Res.) – The water is spilling over the glory hole in Dillon Reservoir. Most recently, the flow below the reservoir has been 933 cfs. It was up to 1,010 cfs last week. We’re back to a lot of weight, large Mysis shrimp and San Juan worms, silver Copper Johns, golden stonefly nymphs, and bead-head Hare’s Ears. As the flow drops, watch for the PMDs, caddis and golden stones to emerge and hatch, and later in the month, green drakes. Multiple, concurrent hatches will occur, and the challenge is finding which insect the fish are keying in on. Be ready with nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners. Colorado River (below Parshall) – With the flows being controlled, levels on the Colorado at Parshall are good and fishing is excellent. Lots of PMDs are hatching. The stretch upstream of Pumphouse also is fishing very well with caddis and PMDs. For current conditions, call the Fishin’ Hole in Kremmling at (970) 724-9407. Colorado River (Glenwood to Rifle) – The Colorado River still is very high and discolored, making fishing impossible. The river has been flowing at 11,200 cfs below Glenwood Springs. The river should reach peak flows in the next few days. Expect the river to become fishable at the end of the month, once flows dissipate and the green drake hatch begins. For current conditions, contact the Taylor Creek Flyshop in Basalt at 970-927-4374. Colorado River (near Granby) – Egg patterns, San Juan worms, small nymphs, black midges, Woolly Buggers and Copper Johns have been working fairly well. Also, look for signs of different hatches beginning. Stoneflies are hatching. Even though some parts of the Colorado are muddy, the Parshall hole is fishing well and is fairly clear. The stream flow below Windy Gap last weekend ranged from 95 to 161 cfs. The Williams Fork below the reservoir is flowing around 448 cfs, down from over 900 cfs. 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. For current conditions call Budget Tackle in Granby at (970) 887-9344. Fryingpan River – The Frying Pan River is clear, flowing at 131 cfs below Ruedi Reservoir, and fishing has truly been exceptional. BWO’s are hatching in good numbers daily from noon to 3 p.m. Caddis are also in abundance on the lower sections of river around dusk. Nymph fishing has been exceptional in the mornings, giving way to equally good hatches of BWO’s in the afternoons. Hot flies include: Poxyback Baetis, BTS Baetis, RS-2s, Johnny Flashes, Barr BWO Emergers, BWO Sparkleduns, BWO Quill Paras, Frying Pan Emergers, Pearl and Elk Caddis, E/C Caddis, and Pheasant Tails. Green Mountain Reservoir – The lake is about 10 feet down and filling rapidly. Trout fishing continues to be good from the shore using salmon eggs and night crawlers. Boaters are catching a few kokanee using bright colors. Rio Blanco Lake – Fishermen still are catching crappie on yellow and chartreuse jigs, and bass fishing has improved. Rainbow Rapalas have produced some good action for bass, though the fish have not been especially large. Some “hammer handle” northern pike have been taken on red-and-white Dardevle-type spoons, and some catfish have been taken on the traditional catfish baits. For current conditions, call Wyatt’s Sporting Goods in Meeker at (970) 878-4428. Roaring Fork River – The Roaring Fork River most recently has been too high and muddy to fish effectively. Flows are expected to peak this week and have been 478 cfs in Aspen, 2,980 cfs in Basalt and 5,700 cfs in Glenwood Springs. The river below Aspen should become fishable by the end of the week. In the meantime, fishing has been exceptional on the Frying Pan. River clarity seems to be on a weather-dependent, day-to-day basis. Contact the Taylor Creek Flyshop in Basalt for daily conditions at 970-927-4374. White River – The river dropped significantly the past few days, going from 2,600 cfs to 1,500 cfs on Tuesday. Even so, it remains high, fast, discolored and practically unfishable. Another week to 10 days should bring greatly improved conditions. For updates, call Wyatt’s Sporting Goods in Meeker at (970) 878-4428. Williams Fork Reservoir – As the lake nears full, look for big northern pike in the shallows. Lake trout are being caught in deeper water. Fish the fingers for trout and the flats for pike. Try off the points for big lakers; up in the inlet for good-sized trout. For current conditions, call the Fishin’ Hole in Kremmling at (970) 724-9407. Williams Fork River – With flows at 448 cfs, fishing remains good. BWOs and blue duns have produced some surface activity. For current conditions, call the Fishin’ Hole in Kremmling at (970) 724-9407. Yampa River (Stagecoach through Steamboat) – The river remains high, but has dropped significantly during the past week. The water is a dark-ice-tea color, and wading still is difficult. Float fishermen have been enjoying fair success on streamer flies dragged near the bottom through eddies and other slower water. Large and small yellow stoneflies also have been evident, and fishing with stonefly nymphs has produced some fish. The river should be in prime condition in a week to 10 days. Directly below Stagecoach Dam, the river is low and clear. Smaller flies such as RS-2s and blue-wing emergers are working there. Call the Steamboat Fly Fishing Company at (970) 879-6552 for current conditions.SoutheastArkansas River No.3 (Through Pueblo) – After a couple of weeks of very high flows, the level has receded to about 2,120 cfs. Fishing is difficult at that volume of flow, but some fish can be taken at the edges of the current and in areas of slack water. Suggested rigs are a bead-head nymph with a Pheasant Tail dropper, or a large Woolly Bugger. While flows are expected to drop, they are subject to irrigation demands and could vary widely through the summer. Call the Ark Anglers shop in Pueblo at (719) 543-3900 for current conditions. Frequent stocking of this stretch usually makes for excellent fishing. Habitat improvements have created deeper pools and structure for the fish to thrive in even when releases from Pueblo Dam are minimal. Standard fishing regulations and limits are in effect on this section of the river. Arkansas River (Buena Vista to Salida) – Flows over the past weekend remained high, with 1,950 cfs at Granite and 2,400 cfs at Buena Vista. Flows should drop this week, as the snowpack is expended. Golden and Yellow Sally stoneflies are active in this reach. Go to http://www.arkanglers.com for more information. Arkansas River (Leadville to Buena Vista) – Flows remained steady through the weekend on the upper river, with 650 cfs at Hayden Meadows and 1,950 cfs at Granite. Flows are expected to recede this week, with resulting improvements to clarity. Golden stoneflies are beginning to appear on this section of the river. For more information, visit http://www.arkanglers.com or call our Buena Vista shop at 719-395-1796. Arkansas River (Salida to Canon City) – The river peaked over the weekend and will be receding this week, though still relatively high, and with 2-3 feet of visibility. Golden stoneflies and Yellow Sallies are active on this reach, as well as some evening caddis. Go to http://www.arkanglers.com for updated reports. Clear Creek Reservoir – Fishing for trout from shore and boats remains fair to good on night crawlers, Power Bait and small, silver-finish spoons. Fly-bubble fishermen have enjoyed some good activity, primarily around the inlet area. The lake typically produces very good fishing for rainbow, cutthroat and a few large brown trout. It also has kokanee salmon, mostly less than 13 inches with a few over 15, and fishing for them should be good in 2006. The water-supply reservoir was full last year and also will be filled to capacity in 2006. Elevenmile Reservoir – The reservoir is open to boating 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. The bag and possession limit is 10 kokanee salmon and four trout, of which only two can be 16 inches or longer. No limit applies to northern pike. Trout action is good to excellent. Hot-color Power Bait (especially orange and green), various jigs and spoons, night crawlers, Kastmasters, Dardevles and Pistol Petes are working well. Several rainbow trout exceeding 20 inches were landed last week. Pike fishing is improving using Rapalas and tube jigs. Kokanee salmon action is good to excellent from boats using Pop Geer, Kastmasters, and various pink, orange, and green trolling spoons. Gold and pink have been the best colors. South Platte River, Elevenmile Canyon – Flows from Elevenmile Dam have been around 142 cfs, and fishing for wild rainbow trout and occasional browns remains fairly good. Emerging midges and blue-wing-olive mayflies provide some dry-fly action, but most of the activity remains sub-surface on the typical small nymphs. The annul Trico hatch should be starting soon, but still has not been evident. Hot flies include Barr’s Blue-Wing-Olive Emergers, WD 40s, RS-2s bead-head Flashback Pheasant Tails and Johnny Flashes. Call the Peak Fly Shop at (719) 260-1415 for updates or log on to http://www.thepeakflyshop.com. SouthwestGunnison River (below Crystal Dam) – The flow at the East Portal is about 924 cfs. Clarity is Gunnison green. Red Canyon “went” on Thursday and dirtied the water in the inner gorge. Fishing has been steady. Scuds, Caddis Pupa, Caddis Larva and adults, BWOs, RS-2s, Adams, Parachute Adams, Pheasant Tails, Flashback Pheasant Tails and an assortment of different-colored midges have been the go-to patterns. Stoneflies are thick in Ute Park. This is prime time week for the gorge from Ute Park up to Chukar. For current conditions call the Cimarron Creek Flyshop at 970-249-0408. Gunnison River (through the canyon) – The flow is 924 cfs. The water has been off-color but is clearing. The stoneflies are here, and fishing is great – possibly the hottest in the state. Fish are taking stoneflies on top along the lower stretch. Stones are up to about Ute Park. The top fly is a Rogue Foam Giant Stone, size 4. PMDs, caddis and Yellow Sallies also are hot. Big Woolly Buggers are still hot in the morning. Some dry-fly activity and emerging caddis also have been reported. No motorized craft are allowed above the North Fork tributary. Other restrictions include: Gold Medal Water, catch-and-release, flies-and-lures only. No rainbow trout may be kept. The Gunnison River Pleasure Park is offering ferry service to help anglers access the upper river. Call 970-872-2525 for current information.
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