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March 14, 2017
Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area
The reservoir is closed to boating but is scheduled to open on March 15th. Trout fishing is rated as slow to fair. There have been a few reports of trout being caught on PowerBait. Anglers have reported catching walleye from the dam and coves using jerk baits and jigs. For more information, call 303-326-8425.
The walleye bite is going well all across the lake. Larger fish around the 27 inch mark have been pulled out near the dam as well as along the Massey Draw and Swim Beach areas. Anglers are having success trolling worm harnesses. Anglers have been catching rainbows in the 10 to 16-inch range using worms and PowerBait. Just a reminder: The dam will be closed to fishing for the walleye spawn from March 15th to April 15th.
Cherry Creek Reservoir
The reservoir is now open for boating. Fishing is off to a slow start. For more information call the Cherry Creek State Park at 303-690-1166.
The reservoir is now open for boating. The current water temperature is 39 degrees. Fishing for trout has been slow, with a few anglers reporting success using spinners, spoons, and leech patterns. Bass fishing has been slow, with a few reports of bass being caught using jigs and lipless crankbaits. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only.
Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado
The current water temperature is approximately 40 degrees with a depth of 43 feet. Fishing for blue gill has been fair. Anglers have found success fishing near the marina inlet with wax and meal worms. Fishing for trout has been excellent. Anglers have found success using minnows and wax or meal worms at the marina inlet and entire north end. Fishing for Yellow perch has been good. Anglers have found success using tube jigs and meal or wax worms at Heron Cove and the marina.
Boyd Lake State Park
The flows are low, but fishing has been good. After recently being stocked, there is a surplus of fish in the 8 to 12-inch range right now. The smaller fish have been gobbling on midge pupa at the mid column and eating single adults and clusters on the surface. The midge hatches have been incredible lately, especially on the overcast days. It’s hard to go wrong with a #24 to 26 Parachute Adams to fool these surface feeders. A #18 Griffith Gnat is an excellent choice for the clusters. Anglers willing to work hard and battle the elements are catching a few resident rainbows in the 14 to 18-inch range, with an occasional cutbow or brown. There are a few lake-run fish that are beginning to enter the system. Be sure to pinch your barbs and watch your step in the shallow riffles to avoid stepping on redds. Suggested patterns for anglers include, #18-22 Pheasant Tails; Barr Emergers, Jujubaetis, Matt’s Midges, Black Beauties, and Mercury Blood Midges all in the #20 to 22 range; and #20-26 Parachute Adams.
The current water temperature is around 36 degrees with flows at 90 cfs. Anglers have had success catching rainbows using egg patterns and focusing on the faster riffles. Try sticking to peach, chartreuse, or pink. Anglers have also reported that small leech patterns are working well. As beatis flies begin to make their presence more and more known, grey Mercury RSII’s are getting a lot of action.
Eleven Mile Reservoir
Fishing for trout has been fair to good. Both shore and ice present opportunities at the moment, but anglers should use caution. Night crawlers seem to be the best early season bait. Flies and Maribou jigs also work well this time of the year. Orange egg patterns, scuds, jointed Rapala’s, and Flatfish have all worked well for anglers. Fishing for kokanee salmon and northern pike have slowed with very few reports coming in.
Eleven Mile State Park
The lake is now open to boating. The water temperature is approximately 36 degrees. Anglers have been catching a mixed bag of crappie, walleye, and trout.
Jackson Lake State Park
The lake is at about 40 degrees and full. Anglers have been catching a mixed bag of crappie and walleye off the south ramp parking lot. Crappie that have come out of the marine and Elks bay have been in the afternoon and early evening.
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Conditions Report- Southeast Colorado
Arkansas River Headwaters
Fishing has been increasingly productive as the river has warmed and the period of direct daily sunlight increases. Midge hatches have been consistent and we have daily morning drifts of free-living caddis larvae. Golden stonefly nymphs are also molting at this time of the year, making themselves more available to fish. The energy will shift significantly in the next two weeks as the spring BWO hatch gets underway. This hatch always seems to be “the switch” – the fundamental change in the economics of a trout’s life, making it worth the expenditure of calories to move out of the deep, slow winter water and into the pocket-water feeding lies for which the Arkansas River is known. With this dispersal of the fish, much more of the river corridor becomes productive fishing water, dispersing anglers as well. Recent stomach checks have shown large quantities of mature mayfly nymphs, indicating that the BWO hatch is imminent. Absent that surface activity, most anglers are still employing multi-nymph rigs combining stoneflies, caddis larvae, and midge larva/pupae. However, trailing a mayfly nymph, particularly in the afternoons, now seems to be a logical and effective add-on. Direct sunlight is as important as air temperature, so focus on those blue-sky days! Warm, sunny days will still find plenty of fish on the feed in pocket water with mid-speed current and good structure, but expect most fish to be congregated in the deeper, slower runs we term “winter water”. There they can be best tempted by striated midge patterns like black beauties and zebras, golden stonefly nymphs, and “meat & potatoes” nymphs like pheasant tails and hares ears. Try focusing fishing efforts on the period of peak sun coverage and warmth between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (Courtesy of ArkAnglers).
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Brush Hollow Reservoir
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) The reservoir is ice-free at this time, and fishing has been slow. Anglers have caught a few perch on the north end with worms and jigs. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Salida Area Office at 719-530-5520.
Clear Creek Reservoir
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Clear Creek has about 10 inches of ice covering the whole reservoir. Fishing has been fair. Anglers have had success catching trout with meal worms, jigs, and PowerBait. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Salida Area Office at 719-530-5520.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Cottonwood has about 12 inches of ice and fishing for trout is good. Anglers are reporting catching trout with meal worms, jigs, and PowerBait. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Salida Area Office at 719-530-5520.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Crystal Lakes has about 10 inches of ice, and trout fishing has been good. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Salida Area Office at 719-530-5520. Just a reminder: Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Frantz now has open water. Fishing for trout has been good, and anglers have had success using meal worms and PowerBait. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Salida Area Office at 719-530-5520.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Hayden Meadows is fishing well at this time and has about 10 inches of ice. Trout are being caught with meal worms and PowerBait. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Salida Area Office at 719-530-5520.
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) There is almost no ice remaining on the lake due to recent warm temperatures and high winds. Any remaining ice should be considered extremely unstable and unsafe. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Pueblo Office at 719-561-5300 or the DWM, Bob Holder at 719-680-1410.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Most of the ice is gone or broken up due to recent high winds and warm temperatures, and is considered extremely unsafe to traverse. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Pueblo Area Office at 719-561-5300 or the DWM, Bob Holder at 719-680-1410.
Just a reminder: Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures only.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Ohaver is iced over with about 10 to 12 inches. There is a spring near the center of the lake that keeps the ice weak in that area, so use caution near the center. Fishing has been good, and trout are being caught on most types of bait. The lake is only accessible by snowmobile at this time. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Salida Area Office at 719-530-5520.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Both the lower and upper ponds at Riverside have open water. Fishing is good, and anglers have had success using PowerBait and worms. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Salida Area Office at 719-530-5520.
San Isabel Lake
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) There is now open water around most of the lake and soft spots in the remaining ice. Conditions are not safe for ice fishing at this time. Any remaining ice is expected to be gone in the next few weeks. For current conditions, contact the Pueblo Area Office at 719-561-5300.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Skaguay has about 12 to 16 inches of ice covering the reservoir. Trout fishing has been good, and anglers have had success using nightcrawlers and green PowerBait. Most trout are being caught in 10 to 12 feet of water. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Salida Area Office at 719-530-5520.
The lake is now open for boating, and every boat must be inspected unless it is sealed with a Trinidad seal and receipt. Fishing from shore has been good, with anglers reported 16 to 20 inch trout being caught around the lake using worms and PowerBait. Boaters have just started, but worm harnesses and jigs have been working well.
Trinidad Lake State Park
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Twin Lakes is iced over with roughly 14 to 18 inches of ice. The ice has become more stable, but there are still pockets of slush forming on the ice during the day. The ice near the south shore of the lower lake is unstable. Fishing has been poor with anglers using jigs, grubs, sucker meat, meal worms, and PowerBait. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Salida Area Office at 719-530-5520.
Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado
The current temperature is roughly 40 degrees with flows at 81 cfs. With the lower flows and recent crowds, the trout have been extremely spooky lately. Anglers have found success using egg patterns in the early mornings and late afternoons, then switching to small midges in the afternoon like Black Beauties or Disco Midges. The crowd favorite has been using a stonefly to an egg, then trailed by a midge. The water is still cold, so focus efforts in the winter holes.
Delaney Buttes / Lake John
(Ice conditions as of 3/12/2017) The lakes are still pushing about 20 inches of good ice, but you can expect a few inches of slush on the surface on warmer days. Lately, anglers have had success using a jig or lure tipped with meal worms, night crawlers, or shrimp. Anglers can expect to catch a mixed bag of rainbow, cutbow, and brown trout. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, please contact the Lake John Resort at 970-723-3326, or the North Park Chamber of Commerce at 970-723-4600.
Be advised: Special regulations exist for fishing this property, so anglers should consult their 2017 Fishing Regulations brochure.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Ice at the shore is deteriorating quickly and conditions are currently unsafe for ice fishing. Prior to ice conditions becoming unsafe, the northern pike fishing was good with quality sized fish being caught. Anglers are encouraged to keep smallmouth bass and northern pike caught in the reservoir to help limit predation on largemouth bass and rainbow trout. Please contact the Elkhead/Yampa River State Park headquarters are 970-276-2061 for the latest conditions and additional information about the parks.
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) The reservoir is completely ice free. For more information please contact the CPW Area Aquatic Biologist Ben Felt at email@example.com. Anglers may also contact the Harvey Gap State Park at 970-625-1607.
Just a reminder: be sure to know how to identify tiger muskie from northern pike. All tiger muskie less than 36 inches must be release alive.
Harvey Gap State Park
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) Ice persists on the ponds and fishing has been variable. Please use caution on the ice if the weather continues to stay unusually warm. An assortment of terminal tackle continues to work well, including tube jigs, jigs tipped with PowerBait, wax worms, and nightcrawlers.
The current water temperature is around 40 degrees, with flows around 82 cfs. Midges have been coming off during the mid day hours, giving opportunity for surface feeders. Nymphing the deep bends and seams has also been productive. Smaller midge and egg patterns as well as mysis have been working well for anglers.
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) The ice at Lake Avery is approximately 9 inches thick. Caution should be exercised as ice conditions can change, and may not be consistent over the entire reservoir. Anglers continue to report catching multiple rainbow trout, especially between the boat ramp and the dam. Crappie fishing is slow, but anglers are encouraged to harvest their limit of this illegally introduced species. Please contact the CPW Meeker office at 970-878-6090 for the latest conditions and information about accessing the State Wildlife Area.
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) The ice is still more than 12 inches throughout most of the lake, and the slush problems have cleared up. ATV’s are the preferred method of transport under current conditions, as there is very little snow on the ice. Use caution around the boat ramps and avoid the middle of the ramps on sunny spring days because of the thin ice. Fishing has been good to excellent for trout.
Mack Mesa Lake/ Highline Lake
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) There is no longer ice on the lakes and anglers have been fishing from the shore. Anglers may contact Highline Lake State Park at 970-858-7208 for updates on fishing conditions.
Only hand propelled or electric powered boats are allowed on Mack Mesa.
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) The reservoir is currently ice free. Open water fishing has been slow for trout and yellow perch. The boat ramp will reopen on April 1st. Anglers may contact the Rifle Gap State Park at 970-625-1607 for weekly updates on ice conditions and fishing reports.
Rio Blanco Lake
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Ice conditions at Rio Blanco Lake are unsafe for ice fishing, due to most of the lake being open. Please contact the CPW Meeker office at 970-878-6090 for the latest conditions and information about accessing the State Wildlife Area.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Ice has developed to Freeman Mesa and beyond, and can be accessed for fishing. A complete ice over is not expected this year, and many areas of unsafe ice exist so please use caution. For information on the water, contact the U.S. Forest Service at 303-963-2266.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017)
Fishing has been very good for catchable rainbow trout throughout the lake coves and at the inlet area in about 8 to 12 feet of water. Higher catch rates on larger trout in the 18 to 24 inch range have been reported. Anglers have had success using jigs tipped with PowerBait, wax worms, nightcrawlers, tube jigs, and kastmasters. The ice is approximately 30 inches thick in the coves, but thins out towards the center of the lake. There is approximately 3 to 6 inches of snow cover and minimal slush at this point. There is warmer weather forecasted, which could result in more slush. Northern pike fishing has been slow, but some small ones are being caught sporadically. For more information, contact Stagecoach State Park at 970-736-8342
Stagecoach State Park
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Fishing has been good for rainbow trout and Snake River cutthroat trout in approximately 3 to 12 feet of water. Fishing has been good in the bays and along the point bars. Mill Creek Bay, Meadow Point, and the marina cover have been successful spots for anglers, as well as Willow Creek bay and the hump/point bar to the north of Large Island. Anglers have had success using jigs tipped with PowerBait or wax worms, tube jigs, kastmasters, and rapalas. The ice is approximately 36 inches thick in the coves and thins out towards the center of the lake. There is about 6 to 8 inches of snow cover, with minimal slush. For more information, anglers can contact the Steamboat Lake State Park at 970-879-3922.
(Ice conditions as of 3/4/2017) The lake has approximately 16 to 18 inches of ice. Anglers have reported good fishing for rainbow trout and cutbows in the 12 to 18 inch range. The dam and island have proven successful while using meal or wax worms on fluorescent ice jigs. There is a layer of snow and lush on top of the ice which is especially wet in the afternoon, so waterproof shoes are advised. Please keep in mind that ice thickness varies depending on the spot and will deteriorate throughout the day, so please use caution. For more information, contact Vega Reservoir State Park at 970-487-3407.
Vega State Park
Wolford Mountain Reservoir
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) The ice is about 9 to 10 inches thick throughout most of the lake. There are some areas of open water associated with pressure ridges, so caution is advised. Fishing has been good for rainbows near the boat ramp, campground, and marina. Anglers also had success catching kokanee near the dam.
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Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado
Big Meadows Reservoir
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) The ice is about 2 feet thick with a thin layer of slush on the surface. Fishing has been good and anglers have been catching rainbow trout at the upper end in the shallows. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office at 719-587-6900.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) Good ice is still limited to the upper portions of the reservoir from the inlet area near the Lake City Bridge to just west of the Elk Creek Marina. There are just a few inches of snow on the surface in many areas. Ice thickness is variable, so anglers should use caution. Most of the Cebolla and Sapinero basins have open water. Portions of these lower two basins that have ice are unsafe. Fishing has been good for brown and rainbow trout, and kokanee. Fishing for lake trout and yellow perch has been slow. Using a jigging machine and flashers may improve your chances for kokanee. Anglers can check on current ice conditions by contacting Curecanti National Recreation Area at 970-641-2337 or by visiting the National Park Service website.
Echo Canyon Reservoir
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) Ice is about 4 inches thick near the shorelines and about 10 to 12 inches thick towards the middle. Use caution on the south shorelines due to the ice thinning on warmer days. Fishing has been slow. For more information please contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Durango office at 970-247-0855.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) Island Lake has about 12 inches of ice with slushy conditions on the surface. Anglers have the opportunity to catch 10 to 12 inch rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, and splake. Most splake are less than 14 inches, but there is a possibility for ones at 10 pounds. For larger splake, use tube jigs or bucktail jigs to imitate suckers. For action on smaller splake, rainbow trout, and brook trout, smaller jigs tipped with shrimp, meal worms, or wax worms have proven highly effective. Check with the USFS for road and ice conditions at 970-874-6600, or contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Montrose office at 970-252-6000.
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) Ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly and are considered unsafe for the remainder of the season. The lake is fishing well for rainbow, brown, and Snake River cutthroat trout, with many of them running between 12 and 15 inches with the occasional measuring in at over 18 inches. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the CPW Montrose office at 970-252-6000.
Mountain Home Reservoir
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) Fishing has been moderate to good for rainbows in the 12 to 15 inch range. Anglers have had success using jigs tipped with meal worms. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office at 719-587-6900.
Rito Hondo Lake (Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) The ice is about 12 to 14 inches thick. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, please contact the Monte Vista office at 719-587-6900.
Rito Hondo Lake
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) The ice is about 12 to 14 inches thick. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, please contact the Monte Vista office at 719-587-6900.
Road Canyon Reservoir
(Ice conditions as of 3/7/2017) Ice thickness is at about 10 to 12 inches, with about 3 to 4 inches of water on the surface. Extreme caution should be used around the solar water circulators due to the thinness of the ice at these areas. Fishing has slowed this last month, but the occasional rainbow or brook trout are still being caught using jigs tipped with meal or wax worms, especially in the morning. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office at 719-587-6900.
A Fish Consumption advisory issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Safety recommends that anglers do not consume any northern pike from Sanchez Reservoir. Walleye over 15 inches in length should only be consumed for a maximum of one meal per month for the general population; children under 6 years old, pregnant women, nursing women, and women who plan on being pregnant are advised to not consume any walleye over 15 inches.
San Juan River
The current water temperature is roughly 36 degrees, with flows at 523 cfs. Anglers have had success using nymph rigs. Try a San Juan worm, or leech pattern trailed by a small midge emerger. The BWO hatches have been sporadic.
(Ice conditions as of 3/8/2017) There is about 10 to 12 inches of ice on the north end of the reservoir, but thin ice and open water can be found towards the dam and at the middle of the reservoir. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Durango office at 970-247-0855.
Conditions Report - Statewide
Rivers and Creeks
Although we are approaching the spring season, we are still seeing low flows and clear waters. This means anglers must be more careful not to spook the fish when approaching the water. Browns have also finished spawning for the season, so be cautious of redds when wading along the rivers. There are still waters that are iced over, so anglers will have to primarily rely on tailwaters, which refer to the waters below dams or any other structure that regulates water flow. The regulated water flow keeps the spots from freezing over and provides warmth for the cold-blooded trout. Even with the warmer conditions of these waters, the fish will still behave sluggishly. Fish diets in the winter are made up primarily of midges and an assortment of small blue-winged olive nymphs and are occasionally supplemented by larger mayflies, annelids, trout eggs, stoneflies, and even caddis larva. Winter fishing typically consists of a lot of nymph fishing since the trout are not overly active due to the cold water temperatures, so try using stonefly nymphs and imitation midges. Remember that the hatches are much smaller in the winter, so keep your flies in the #16 to #20 range. It is also important to be mindful of your split shot usage. With the fish being sluggish, they aren’t going to divert too much energy for food, so making sure those flies drift directly in their path is important. Be sure not to use too much split shot though because the last thing you’ll want to do is to have to retrieve a snag in those cold waters. As the trout continue to get a later start, anglers should mirror that and look for ideal times to be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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