Fishing Report: Summertime hatches appearing on most Colorado rivers
With the official arrival of summer, Colorado anglers are finding elements of both the heydays and the dog days.Rivers across the state are dropping and clearing after the peak of runoff. Though many remain a little high and off-color, most at least are fishably clear. Virtually all will be in good condition in another week to 10 days.Summertime hatches including pale-morning-dun mayflies, caddis and golden stoneflies have appeared on most.Green drakes – the largest of the mayflies – have been evident on lower portions of several rivers, including the Colorado, Roaring Fork and Gunnison above Blue Mesa Reservoir. The hatch typically begins on the lower sections and gradually progresses upstream. At time easy, at times ultra demanding, the drakes offer potentially great surface fishing through July and into August.Fly fishermen also can enjoy some good opportunities on lakes. Damselflies, Callibaetis mayflies and midges are active at different times of the day on mountain reservoirs and lakes statewide. Warming temperatures, however, also are sending fish into deeper water for longer periods. Fishing from shore generally is better early and late in the day, and boating fishermen tend to find trout, kokanee salmon and mackinaw in deeper water. The arrival of summer also is the time to head for Colorado’s high country, where conditions for the most part are prime. Virtually all alpine lakes are free of ice, and though some snowdrifts and mud may linger, they are accessible. Mountain creeks and beaver ponds also are inviting, offering a great way to escape the summer heat.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 San Juan worm or a Prince Nymph and fish deep. 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 downstrem 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) – With the reservoir nearing full, the flows are up to 500 cfs. Fishing is very good. Watch for BWOs and duns on the water. Hoppers should work, as well. For current conditions, call the Fishin’ Hole in Kremmling at (970) 724-9407. Blue River (Dillon to Green Mtn. Res.) – The flow from Dillon Reservoir is a perfect 425 cfs. It’s dropping about 75-100 cfs per day. The tailwater section in Silverthorne is fishing well with larger Mysis shrimp and San Juan worms, and with Candy Canes, red and silver Copper Johns in size 18-20, Barr’s BWO and PMD emergers and Poxyback PMDs. Some “clouds of caddis” have been reported downstream near Blue River Campground and Palmer Gulch. Size 18 Black Caddis have been working best, with a caddis pupa dropper. Small black or olive stoneflies also are in the air. 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 stretchs 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 has been flowing around 5,980 cfs in Glenwood Springs. The river is rapidly clearing and dropping daily. Fishing has picked up dramatically the past few days. A myriad of hatches are taking place, including salmonflies, golden stoneflies, caddis, PMDs, and even the first signs of green drakes! The best fishing is during the afternoons into the evening hours. Hot flies include: B/C Salmonfly, Triple Deckers, PMD Paras, Ethawing Caddis, Drake Sparkleduns, Princes, Poxybiot Stones, 20 Inchers, Electric Caddis, and Pheasant Tails. Contact the Taylor Creek Flyshop for daily conditions 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. Caddis have been working noticeably. The Parshall hole is fishing well. This whole area was very busy last weekend. The stream flow below Windy Gap last weekend was running in the 200 cfs range. The Williams Fork near Parshall is flowing around 365 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 – Conditions are prime, with flows around 130 cfs. Fishing has been very good. BWOs and PMDs have been hatching from late morning through early afternoon on most days, giving way to caddis in the late afternoon into early evening. Nymph fishing has been productive in the mornings giving way to sueface activity later. Flows are expected to remain stable for some time. 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. For updates, call the Taylor Creek Flyshop, (970) 927-4374. Green Mountain Reservoir – The lake is full. Boat fishermen are trolling using bright colors. Night crawlers and salmon eggs are still the most popular bait for fishing from shore. Rifle Gap Reservoir – The lake is 5 feet below full. The water temperature is 65 degrees. Try deep-running lures or streamer flies for pike. Trout have been hitting Panther Martin spinners and streamer flies. Perch fishing is picking up using a No. 8 hook tipped with a small piece of worm. Try fishing on the northwest end of the island for perch. A few visitors caught walleyes last weekend. The boat ramp and docks are in the water. For walleyes, use a deep-running lure or jig. The regulation on walleyes at Rifle Gap now reads, “Bag, possession limit and minimum size for walleyes is 3, 18 inches long.” The 2006 fishing regulations, fishing information and State Parks annual passes are available at the visitor center. Rio Blanco Lake – The water level appears to be the best in several years, and fishermen continue catching crappie, bass, northern pike and catfish. Small jigs, especially in yellow or chatreuse, have been taking the crappie. Rainbow Rapalas have produced some good action for bass, though the fish have not been especially large. Northern pike have been taking red-and-white Dardevles and similar lures, but the fish have not been especially large. For current conditions, call Wyatt’s Sporting Goods in Meeker at (970) 878-4428. Roaring Fork River – The Roaring Fork has been high and discolored through much of its length, but the runoff has peaked. the river is clearing and conditions are improving daily. Prince Nymphs and stoneflies are the go-to patterns, but some early evidence of green drakes on the lower river has been reported. Contact the Taylor Creek Flyshop in Basalt for daily conditions at 970-927-4374. White River – The river has dropped siginficantly, and though still a little fast and discolored, it has become fishable. Woolly Buggers and bead-head nymphs have produced some fish in the upper sections. Conditions are improving daily, and in another week to 10 days should be prime. For updates, call Wyatt’s Sporting Goods in Meeker at (970) 878-4428. Williams Fork Reservoir – With the lake spilling, 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 300 cfs, fishing remains good. BWOs and blue duns have produced some surface activity. Hoppers are out, also. 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 primne 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) – The river has begun to drop. The current flow is 1,140 cfs. Fish are holding in structure where they are protected from the current. Fish can be taken on No. 18-20 bead-head nymph patterns fished 3 1/2 to 4 feet off your indicator. Double dropper rigs using a No. 12 red San Juan worm should be effective. 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. 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) – The river is dropping and clearing, though wading still might be difficult. Golden and Yellow Sally stoneflies are active in this reach, as are pale morning duns. Hopper patterns also work well here. Go to http://www.arkanglers.com for more information. Arkansas River (Leadville to Buena Vista) – Flows have been receding and the water is clearing. Golden stoneflies and some caddis have been evident on the water. 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 is dropping and clearing, but wading still is pretty much confined to the edges. 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. Trolling with Pop Geer and worms along the south shore has been productive. Fly-bubble fishermen have enjoyed some good activity, primarily around the inlet area in the late afternoon. 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 this 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. The best action seems to occur at depths between 25 to 30 feet. South Platte River (btwn Spinney and Elevenmile) – Flows from Spinney Mountain Dam have been increased during the past several days and on Saturday were at a 181 cfs. The river has been fishing well, with many anglers having success landing trout of 12 inches and up. The river is open to catch-and-release fishing with artificial flies and lures. Effective flies have been orange and yellow egg patterns, No. 18-20 scuds, No. 16 San Juan worms, No. 20-22 Miracle Nymphs, No. 20-22 RS-2s, No. 20-22 Midge Pupae (Black, gray and red), No. 18-22 Copper Johns, No. 20-22 Parachute Adams and No. 20-24 Mercury Midges. SouthwestGunnison River (through the canyon) – The flow is 1,170 cfs and the water is clear. 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 Yellow Sally, Size 14 and 16. 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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