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Fishing Report - Southwest (4/23)
Changes to the 2012 Fishing Report
From Colorado Parks and Wildlife: Customers who use the weekly seasonal fishing report might notice a few changes this year. First, we're working to improve the product and target it directly to novice anglers looking for basic information and information about great places to fish. The amount of reliable fishing information available to more experienced anglers has expanded exponentially in recent years and the private sector seems to be doing a great job of sharing angler information.
This new report will still guide anglers to places to explore, but it focuses on getting out and getting started. More experienced anglers that are seeking up to the minute conditions are encouraged to check out some of the statewide fishing forums and websites such as fishexplorer.com, coloradofisherman.com or coloradofishing.net. There are also dozens of websites out there that provide local and regional fishing information from other anglers and professional guides and outfitters.
2012-13 fishing licenses on sale now!
Regions: Southeast, Northeast, Northwest, Denver Metro
Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County)
Blue Mesa is boatable and the ice is off. Local anglers say this is the earliest they can remember ice off in quite a few years. Elk Creek and Lake Fork boat ramps are open from 6:30am to 6pm. Base water temps are from 40-42deg. Water levels are about 30 feet below full pool. Fishing around rocky shorelines has been very good for browns and rainbows using marabou jigs and small tube jigs tipped with meal worms.
Lake trout fishing is fair with some bigger fish coming out of 20-50 feet of water jigging large spoons or tube jigs. Kokanee salmon fishing is also good with fish being caught across the west end of the lake trolling from 5-25 feet deep.
Crawford Reservoir (Delta County)
The pike have been hungry! Therefore, they have been biting well lately. We have recently had one caught that was over 19 lbs. Lots of other pike ranging from 9 to 17 pounds and up to 42" have been reported. Pike anglers are encouraged to keep as many fish as they can due to an overabundance of pike in Crawford Reservoir. There are no limits on northern pike at Crawford. Biologists are monitoring the fishery to gather data and work with anglers on a new lake management plan. Crappie have also been reported as more anglers get out along the shore and in boats.
Gunnison Gorge, Gunnison River (Delta County)
The crew at Gunnison River Expeditions sent a note. They say, "Flows are 358 CFS through the Gunnison Gorge. The fishing conditions are very good with clear water at 40 degrees. The blue winged olives, small midge, caddis nymphs, and small March stone flies are the flies of choice. The micro midge and killer mayflies are the most productive. Best time of day is mid day; fishing well all day. The North Fork is wadeable early but the water does come up in the afternoon. The lower Gunnison is blown out."
Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Mancos State Park (Montezuma County)
The snow continues to melt in the high country so the inlet on the north side of the lake is flowing and this is always a good place to fish. Ten inch rainbow trout were stocked monthly through last summer and plenty of holdovers are still around. Fishing has been excellent for rainbow trout around 10-12" and 4-6" yellow perch with an occasional large brown trout. The trout are hanging out in 5-20 feet of water and also around the inlet. Powerbaits are working well, especially garlic. Also try florescent green and gold spinners and worms. Perch love nightcrawler, mealworm, or waxworm so a small jig tipped with nightcrawler works well. Perch are spending their time right down on the bottom of the lake. Perch are small, averaging about 4-6”, but anglers should keep them if they’ll eat them. There is no limit on the number of perch you can possess and they make great fish tacos! This also helps to work towards thinning the perch population in the lake. The daily limit for trout is 4.
Lake San Cristobal (Hinsdale County)
Got word that the ice is off the lake as of April 17.
McPhee Reservoir (Montezuma County)
Ice is off and the reservoir has been stocked this spring. The main boat ramp is open. Nearby Echo Canyon, Groundhog, Pastorius, Totten, Summit, Narraguinnep and Puett Reservoirs are also ice-free and fishable.
Navajo Reservoir State Park (Archuleta County)
Northern pike and catfish have started biting. Water temperature is currently approximately 49 degrees. Call our marina at 970-883-2628 for more information. Colorado and New Mexico fishing licenses are available at the Visitor Center
Ridgway State Park (Ouray County)
The boat ramp opened on March 15. You must have your boat inspected for aquatic invasive species BEFORE launching. We have seen several brown trout in the 5 plus pound category caught lately, with a 9 lb 6oz brown trout caught in recent weeks. There have been at least two browns that were in the 10 lb range. As of April 2 we have stocked 29,000 rainbow trout (from 8" to 14") in the reservoir. Shore fishing has been very good. Try a gold Kastmaster or worms. Boat fishermen are using Rainbow Rapals, Kastmasters and brown leadhead jigs. Fishing at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk has been great. The river flows remained above 60cfs which resulted in a very good survival rate and therefore good numbers of fish to catch. The Ponds at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk have a good population of holdover rainbow and brown trout. Fishing the ponds this spring has been very good. Please remember that the Uncompahgre River running adjacent to the ponds is restricted to flies and lures only and all fish caught must be returned to the water immediately.
Sanchez Reservoir (Costilla County)
Sanchez Reservoir is currently closed to all trailered watercraft. The boat inspection station will open on May 11 at which time trailered boats will be allowed on the reservoir. The inspection station will be open approximately 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Please be aware that the concrete boat ramp is currently closed due to low water. However, boats may be launched from the shoreline after being inspected.
San Luis State Park (Alamosa County)
Anglers are advised that San Luis Lake will not be getting water this year in an effort to reduce salt loading in the lake and the Rio Grande River. A press release explaining the change can be found at http://dnr.state.co.us/newsapp/press.asp?pressid=7633.
Vallecito Reservoir (La Plata County)
Ice is off but no fishing reports out of Vallecito yet. The boat ramp is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. but you need an appointment if you show up on a weekday (call 970-884-2558).