Colorado fishing report for week of July 2, 2017

Michel CooperLast Update : Wednesday 5 July 2017 - 2:40 AM
Colorado fishing report for week of July 2, 2017

Information is provided by Colorado Parks & Wildlife employees and local fishing enthusiasts. Fishing conditions change on a con​stant basis. Much can ​change in a week from the time this fishing conditions report is produced.

Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir 

The water temperature is 66 degrees. The trout fishing from shore has slowed down and is rated as slow to fair with an occasional good report. Most of the trout are being caught from the dam. Boat anglers are reporting fair to good success on trout trolling with pop gear, crawlers, and silver bright colored spoons and spinners. The trout will be deeper now, so focus on casting out further and fishing deeper water. The walleye fishing is fair to good trolling with bottom bouncers and jigs tipped with crawlers and leeches. The perch fishing is picking up and is fair to good using jigs and worms.

Cherry Creek Reservoir

The water temperature is 73 degrees. Boat traffic and inflows have caused weeds to surface from the lake bottom, so be prepared for a few snags. The carp are still active and many anglers are intentionally and unintentionally catching them throughout the reservoir. The walleye are still biting well, but they have moved to deeper depths around 15 feet.

Quincy Reservoir

The water temperature is 70 degrees and the water levels have dropped about a foot. Water visibility is about 2 to 3 feet. Anglers are reporting good success catching largemouth bass and pan fish, but the smallmouth bass have seemed to move into deeper water. Effective lures include soft plastics in natural colors with light weight. The top water biting is getting better, so try using poppers and dry flies. Pistol Petes and wooly buggers have also been effective.

Northeast Colorado

Antero Reservoir

The water temperature is 63 degrees. The fish are staying in the deeper water around 10 to 12 feet down near the lake bottom. Anglers using hand launched boats are having the most success. The morning fishing has been excellent, but the fishing slows down significantly around 9 a.m. Wooly buggers are the most effective pattern when the wind is up, otherwise the fish will be biting midge patterns and smaller nymphs and dry flies. Olive and black are currently the most effective colors.

Arvada Reservoir

The trout fishing has been excellent with the recent stocking of rainbow trout. Anglers are still catching fish from the shore, but as the water temperature rises, expect the fish to move into deeper water. Orange, pink, and green PowerBait has been effective for all species throughout the day, but the fish are more active in the mornings and evenings, causing them to hit more active lures like Daredevils and Kastmasters. The pan fish and perch fishing has been rated as fair to good.

Barr Lake

The water temperature is 73 degrees and the lake is full. The lake has been popular lately, so arrive at the lake early if you want to find a parking spot. Anglers are reporting good success catching trout, walleye, and carp. The trout are biting PowerBait and spinners. Anglers are catching the walleye on crawler harnesses and some lures. Bottom bouncers with a worm are also working. The carp are being caught using blade baits.

Boyd Lake

The water temperature is 68 degrees with a depth of 55 feet. The reservoir is 96 percent full. The largemouth and white bass fishing is good for anglers using worms and various lures. The smallmouth bass fishing has slowed down significantly. The walleye are biting well on bottom bouncers with worms and a whistle. The trout fishing is currently excellent for anglers using pink and green PowerBait. They are also biting worms, spinners, and flies.

Chambers Lake

Anglers are reporting good success catching rainbow trout in the 10 to 12 inch range. The fishing is great near the boat launch. Spin anglers are having luck using silver Kastmasters and fly anglers are catching fish on streamers and damsel fly nymphs.

Dream Stream

Flows are back up with an expected peak in runoff flows entering Spinney Reservoir. Denver Water released some additional water from Antero Reservoir, so inflows are now at 514 cubic feet per second. Even with all this water, the City of Aurora does not expect Spinney Reservoir to fill until sometime in July. Currently the fishing is good at the Dream Stream. Effective patterns include No. 14 UV Scud, No. 14 San Juan Worm, No. 12 Chamois Leech, No. 10 Pine Squirrel Leech, No. 18 Mercury Flashback Pheasant Tails, No. 18 Buckskins, caddis larva, and No. 18 Barr’s Emerger and No. 16 Barr’s Graphic Caddis. Elk Hair Caddis, yellow Stimulators, Amy’s Ant, and Stalcup’s Tricos are fooling trout on the surface. Do not rule out leech patterns and other streamers as they can produce some nice fish during the afternoon when things tend to slow down.​ ​​The lower section of the river is fishing better from the bridge downstream to the reservoir for anglers using small nymphs and egg patterns.

Eleven Mile Reservoir

The trout fishing is rated as excellent. There are large fish being landed lately. Several different methods are working. Trolling Kastmasters, Rapalas and Krocodiles have all done well for boat anglers. For deeper boat trolling, go to Needlefish, Mack’s, or Arnies. Orange has become hot as a popular color with the fish. Pinks and greens are only slightly less effective. The large trout are hugging the bottom in deep water. Night crawlers floated with a marshmallow from shore, especially at night has been effective. Use a downrigger or lead core in order to be successful. The bite has been good throughout the day. The kokanee salmon fishing is rated as fair to good. Anglers who are dragging Pop Gear, Sling Blades or Dodgers trailed by a three foot leader and a variety of different baits like Dick Nite and Arnies or just a piece of crawler are currently doing the best. The fish are still deep out from North Shore and down to Duck Island. Orange is a good consistent color.

Jackson Lake

The water temperature is 73 degrees and the reservoir is almost full. The water is murky with visibility around 2 feet. The wiper, walleye, trout, and crappie are all biting well. Spin and fly anglers are all having luck from a boat or the shore. Fly anglers should use a two or three fly rig under an indicator or dry fly. Spin anglers are having luck using Kastmasters and gold Panther Martins.

Jefferson Lake

The water temperature is 55 degrees. The lake was recently stocked and the fishing is excellent. The trout are biting almost anything, but anglers are having success using gold and red spinners and wooly buggers. Dry flies are also working well with a nymph dropper about 3 feet below the dry fly. Green damselfly nymphs are working very well with a slow stripping action.

Pinewood Reservoir

The water temperature is 60 degrees and the reservoir is low. The inlet is flowing without much output, causing the reservoir to fill very slowly. The fishing has been slow for all anglers, but some fish are being caught. The trout and tiger muskie have been biting dry flies including caddis, damselflies, bees, and beetles. Some anglers are having luck using spoons and spinners.

Tarryall Reservoir

The fishing is rated as good in the mornings and evenings. The fishing slows down significantly between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The trout are biting well on PowerBait, eggs, and crawlers. Fish near the bottom of the lake since the fish seem to be staying deep. The fish can become picky, so try all different colors, depths, and locations around the reservoir. The weeds are becoming thick, so be prepared to get a few snags.

Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River

The Arkansas River is quickly dropping and clearing, with the flows having dropped about 40 percent over the last week. The river is flowing near 2,000 cfs in Salida. If you have been waiting for the river to drop to attempt to fish, now is the time to go. The water is still fairly high, but is clear and the trout are hanging tight along the shoreline and looking up. This is big dry fly and streamer season, the time of year we wait for. The fishing will only improve over the next few weeks as the flows decline further.​

Arkansas River Headwaters

The upper river is in excellent shape and improving by the day. Hayden Meadows is fishing well and the river below Twin Lakes is quickly coming into shape. Visibility is good on the upper river. We are already seeing good caddis and golden/yellow sally stonefly activity mixed with drakes through Hayden Meadows down to Granite.

Lake Pueblo

The surface temperature is 71 degrees. Fishing has been good lately. Look for the walleye in slightly deeper water now that temperatures have gone up. Lindy rigs, grubs, and live bait are producing walleye. The bass fishing has been consistent for anglers using soft plastics, spinner baits, and crank baits. Fishing during the mornings and evenings will produce better results. We have not received many reports on the trout fishing. The wipers have been far and few between.

Rampart Reservoir

The water temperature is 62 degrees and the reservoir is still low. The water clarity is clear. The trout fishing has been the most consistent for shore and boat anglers. Stripping streamers from the shore and trolling with Tasmanian Devils from a boat have been the most effective. The lake trout fishing is currently slow and we have not received any reports of recent catches.

Northwest Colorado​​​​

Delaney Butte Lakes

South and East Delaney Butte Lakes are fishing well, but anglers are still struggling to catch fish on North Delaney Butte Lake. The warm weather is creating great midge hatches and anglers are having luck using chironomid patterns. Look for the best midge hatches around or near weed beds. If you are not getting any bites, try changing the depth of your rig rather than switching flies. Anglers have been seeing strong callibaetis hatches recently, so expect the fish to switch to these patterns in the near future. Using a tandem rig with a callibaetis on top and a chironomid below is currently the most effective method. Also try using mini leeches, scuds, and water boatmen patterns if the fishing is slow.

Rifle Falls

Rainbow and cutthroat trout are found in East Rifle Creek which flows through Rifle Falls. Fish up to 19 inches long have been taken, with 6 to 9 inch fish being the average size. Brown and black flies or spinners work the best. Bait, except for live fish, can be used.

State Forest State Park

At the beaver ponds, worms, copper johns, and silver spinners are popular with anglers seeking to catch brook trout. At North Michigan Reservoir, most anglers are using PowerBait, worms, and caddis dry flies and having great success catching close to their bag limits of rainbow trout.  We have not received any reports on the conditions at Ranger Lakes or the high alpine lakes yet, but many anglers have already been catching rainbow trout with worms at Ranger Lakes.

Steamboat Lake

The water temperature is 65 degrees and the lake is full. The water clarity is clear. Anglers are catching good quality rainbow trout and cuttbow trout in the 14 to 18 inch range using marshmallow baits and PowerBait. The inlet and outlet creeks are fishing well for fly anglers using dry flies and dry-dropper rigs.


All boat ramps are open at this time and the lake is full. All boats must have an inspection prior to launching. Fishing has been good with angler’s reporting catching some nice rainbow trout in the 12 to 16 inch range using PowerBait, worms, and spinners. We are currently under a Stage I Fire Ban. You may still have fires in our fire pits only. Smoking is allowed only inside an enclosed vehicle. You may also still use camp cook stoves and lanterns at this time. Fireworks are never allowed in the park.

Southwest Colorado​​

Animas River

The river is flowing around 1,900 cfs. The river is dropping and clearing up by the day. The dry fly fishing is heating up in the mornings and evenings for anglers using caddis patterns. Large flies are still producing fish, so also try nymphing with some stoneflies and worms, or throw a big streamer near the bank.​

San Juan River

The river is flowing around 450 cfs. The river is dropping quickly and clearing up by the day. Anglers are reporting easy wading conditions with the lower flows and great dry fly fishing. The caddis are hatching well and some anglers are starting to see large drakes emerging. Nymphing is still a good option for anglers using stoneflies and wooly buggers.


Rivers and Creeks​

Flows are rising as we approach full on spring runoff. Some rivers and creeks are still manageable, but a majority of the rivers are becoming swollen with water, eliminating most wading opportunities. Look for the fish to be near the banks where the high flows are more reasonable. This is the time of year to use large flies and lures such as stoneflies, worms, streamers, and spinners. If you are not having luck at your local river, try heading up in elevation to the headwaters of creeks and rivers where flows are ideal and sometimes only fishable this time of year. Anglers are also having success fishing tailwaters below dams, where flows stay more consistent compared to lower river areas.​

Source: denverpost

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2017-07-05 2017-07-05
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Michel Cooper