Conditions for the week of Aug. 30. Information is provided by Colorado Parks & Wildlife employees and local fishing enthusiasts. Keep in mind that fishing conditions change on a constant basis. Much can change in a week from the time this fishing conditions report is produced.
Metro Denver Area
Trout fishing from shore is slow to fair. Some reports of trout being caught using PowerBait from a slip rig from the west and east end of the dam. The trout are deep, so try casting out 40 to 50 yards. Boaters are reporting slow to fair success on trout trolling slowly with lures and crawlers in deep water. The walleye action from boats is rated at fair to good using bottom bouncers and jigs in 20 to 30 feet of water. Perch action is good using jigs and worms throughout the reservoir. A few reports of largemouth bass being caught using plastics. Park hours for September are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Boaters be aware boating times of operation are being reduced daily due to loss of daylight.
Bass fishing overall is rated as fair, but we have received a few good reports from anglers. Most of the bass are being caught in the early mornings and evenings using soft plastics, drop shots, and chatter baits in 15 feet of water just outside of the weed line. Trout action is slow at this time. Perch fishing is fair to good using jigs. Boating hours for September are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Boaters be aware boating times of operation are being reduced daily due to loss of daylight.
The current water temperature is around 73 degrees with water clarity up to four feet. The water level is slowly dropping. In the upcoming weeks look for the fish to begin spreading out and feeding more aggressively with lower water levels and cooler water temperatures. Dragging bait with bottom bouncers and lindy rigs are still producing fish, but in the next month look for the walleye to start hanging out in the deeper basins chasing shad. When the walleye move deeper, try casting lipless crank baits into schools of bait fish. The pan fish are shallow and being caught from shore. Try a worm on the bottom or under a bobber if fishing from shore. In a boat, dragging small jigs or pulling worms on lindy rigs are catching fish.
The current water temperature is around 74 degrees. Fishing is rated as fair to good for anglers fishing from boat and shore. Anglers are catching plenty of trout and the walleye are also biting well. Boaters trolling as slow speeds in ten feet of water are having the most success using PowerBait and gulp worms. Be cautious of recreational boaters.
The river is currently flowing at 157 c.f.s. with a water temperature around 55 degrees. Fishing during the early parts of the morning is the best time. The fish are mainly holding in the riffles and the seams of fast and slow moving water throughout the earlier parts of the day. During the afternoon, the fish are spreading back out into the rocks and the shallow heads of riffles. Focus on these areas with hopper dropper rigs.
Eleven Mile Reservoir
The current water temperature is around 63 degrees. Trout fishing is rated as good to very good for anglers fishing from boat and shore. Anglers are catching big trout. Try using tube jigs, Kastmasters, and multi color PowerBait. The kokanee salmon fishing is slow with anglers catching some fish in 30 feet of water using sling blades and dodgers. The northern pike fishing is rated as fair to good for anglers using spinner baits and husky jerks.
The current surface water temperature is approximately 73 degrees. The lake level is currently full. Fishing has picked up recently. Fishing is rated as fair to good for wipers, walleye, drum, channel catfish and trout.
The lake is currently around 84 degrees. A 14 pound, 32 inch wiper was caught up the Darby Arm this week and anglers are also catching fish on the Inlet Grove Campground shoreline. The catfish continue biting well near the Cunningham arm and the West Trailhead using worms, cut bait, and shrimp. A few walleye have come out at Balance Rock and Darby point off jigs.
The Milk Run, Browns Canyon, and the Big Bend area are all in excellent condition and fishing well. The annual late summer decrease in releases from Twin Lakes has now transpired and the river is moving slower, allowing fish to again make full use of the available habitat and permitting wade anglers to get off the shoreline and out into the main body of the channel. The decrease in flows has corresponded nicely with a decrease in air temperature. Red quills, blue winged olives, midges, caddis, and some late golden stoneflies make up the majority of the hatch activity, but hoppers, beetles and ants continue to proliferate along the shoreline. With recreational boating traffic now negligible in the Browns Canyon/Big Bend area, we enter a period of late summer fishing when solitude returns to the river. This is a great time of year to get on the water.
The water levels at Blue Lake are dropping. Anglers have reported catching a few saugeye and channel catfish recently. The high water boat ramp is usable.
Clear Creek Reservoir
Trout fishing at Clear Creek Reservoir has been extremely poor for boat anglers and fair from the shoreline. The best shore fishing for trout has been during the morning. Successful shore anglers caught a few trout on yellow PowerBait and worms off the bottom. A few shore anglers even caught 18 to 22 inch rainbow trout at the boat ramp parking lot area. Most boat anglers reported not landing a single fish. Only one angler was able to land trout from a boat on Sunday. The boat angler that caught a few trout on Sunday used yellow spoons near the inlet of the reservoir. Boat anglers targeting trout experienced some success on Tasmanian Devil lures too. The kokanee salmon fishing remains very slow. Kokanee salmon usually go for squid tipped with corn near the dam of the reservoir. The reservoir is closed to trailer motorized watercrafts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The current boating hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and beginning September 8, boating hours will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fishing has been rated as poor to fair. Anglers have reported catching a few smaller wiper in the 12 to 14 inch range. Fishing for all other species is slow.
North Gateway Park
Fishing remains slow for most species. Anglers are catching small bluegill and catfish throughout the lake.
The current surface temperature is around 74 degrees. Juvenile smallmouth bass and perch are being caught from areas of cover using night crawlers. We are also seeing a few trout being caught on PowerBait from shore. Early mornings and later evenings continue to be the most productive time to fish. The catfish are still hit or miss throughout the lake for anglers fishing at night using worms and liver. Fishing from shore has slowed down recently. Boat anglers are still catching trout, walleye, and perch using jigs tipped with a night crawler or artificial minnow. Some boaters are catching fish trolling worm harnesses.
The current water temperature is around 63 degrees. Fishing has been the best in the morning for trout and kokanee. Anglers are catching plenty of fish on the Northeast side of the lake near the shoreline. Anglers are reporting that the kokanee are starting to congregate near the Colorado River inlet. Look for the fish to be staging in 10 feet of water near the inlet.
This summer has been fairly tough for quantities of trout granted to anglers. To catch fish, anglers are moving often, switching lures, seeking different depths throughout the lake. It seems the reason for the decline in numbers of fish being landed is because of the ease the trout have of acquiring the food source available to them. The numbers of minnows in Lake John has exploded, and the fish have it too easy. They do not appear to want anything else when this abundant cuisine is so readily available. This is quite obvious when about every fish you catch is so full of minnows that they regurgitate a handful while you are trying to land them. You cannot use minnows here in North Park, so that leaves the anglers testing imitations and look-alikes, which are having mediocre success at best.
The fishing has been rated from poor to fair recently. No reports of grayling being caught. The trout are biting well for anglers fishing near the dam. Fishing has been slow mid afternoon, so anglers should try early mornings and later evenings for the best success.
Early morning and later evening have been the most productive time to fish. Fishing has been slow around mid afternoon. Smaller fish are being caught throughout the reservoir. Rainbow Ridge and Meadow Point have been fishing well over the weekend with many anglers doing well with PowerBait in that area. Meadow Point and Rainbow Ridge have moss in them, so anglers have been headed to the Sage Flats and the dam area to stay away from the moss and algae.
The reservoir has a current water temperature at 65 degrees. Both shore anglers and boaters are reporting good fishing for stocker-sized rainbows in the 8 to 14 inch range with a few larger fish in the 18 to 22 inch range being caught. The catch is mostly rainbow trout, but there have been some brown trout caught as well. The kokanee bite is picking up in the Dallas Creek area and fish are at 40 feet in the main channel. Downriggers with spoons and dodgers are the way to go. Look for fishing to get a lot better in the weeks to come. Snagging season starts September 1, and the limit is 10 fish. Bass fishing continues to be slow. Try the west side and free access gate south of Dutch Charlie with jigs and spinner baits. Shore fisherman should try gold Kastmasters and green PowerBait, or worms off the bobber for trout. Boat anglers are having luck with countdown Rapalas and spoons near the dam and around the opening to Mears Bay.
The river flows are currently around 356 c.f.s. and fishing is great. Big bug activity is now happening with the lower water levels. Adjust your weight and get it down in the strike zone. San Juan worms, rs-2, zebra midges, and caddis are the go-to flies. Dry flies are working great. There are a lot of grasshoppers out and a great hatch of pink Cahill’s in the afternoon. Green drakes are hatching in the mornings. Hopper-dropper rigs are the best setup.
Rivers and Creeks
Water conditions and insect hatches will now remain consistent until autumn. Fishing reports for specific rivers and creeks throughout the summer have a tendency to provide an influx of repetitive information. Use the following information as a general guide for fishing Colorado’s rivers and creeks in the month of August.
The month of August in Colorado means lower water flows and crystal clear water. The calm and clear water will cause the fish to become spookier, so being stealthy and presenting delicate casts becomes more important this time of year. Anglers will need to start focusing on using lighter leaders and tippet to ensure the fish do not see their fishing line. This is when using fluorocarbon fishing line becomes more important than monofilament.
The warmer water temperatures will cause additional stress on the fish, so catch and release anglers should reel in and release their fish as quickly as possible to avoid over exhaustion. Although your fishing line should be small, your flies and lures can still be big. The primary hatches throughout the month will consist of large caddis, attractors, and terrestrials. If the fish are not biting grasshopper patterns, be sure to try other terrestrial patterns such as ants, crickets, spiders, and beetles. The best times to fish in August are from sunrise to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to sunset. When the day becomes hot and the bites slow down, try nymph fishing the deep holes and fast eddies.
The most productive nymphs this time of year consist of prince nymphs, hare’s ear, pheasant tails, and copper johns. Dry flies and nymphs from a size 8 to 18 will produce the most strikes in August. If you are fishing a freestone river or creek, larger flies can be used. If you are fishing the tailwater below a dam, smaller flies should be used. Common techniques include a single or double dry fly rig, as well as a single or double nymph rig. Special techniques include a dry dropper rig or a triple nymph rig. If the nymph fishing is slow, try adding another split shot to your line. Often, the difference between an angler and a good angler is one split shot.