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Fishing Report - Northwest (9/24)
Delaney Buttes, Cowdrey and Lake John (Jackson County)
Here's this week's updated from the folks at Lake John Resort: "Lately we’ve had some subtle changes. Although warmer temperatures are still hugging the Front Range, the North Park area has been experiencing its normal climate variance for this time of year. Seeing your breath and scraping your windshield are now normal morning occurrences. No snow yet, and daytime temps are still very pleasant, but don’t forget to fill up the propane if spending the night. Unlike a few of the other lakes, Lake John’s water level is within a foot of the full mark and continuing to rise. Water temp in John is currently below 60 degrees and crystal clear, and with the shorter daylight hours and cooler nights, weeds are beginning to recede. The actual catching of fish here on LJ has been consistently good throughout the summer and now into the fall. The landing of big brood fish planted a year ago has been less frequent, but the action on 12 to 16 inch rainbows and cutts is great. To make things even more appealing, the fish don’t care about your manner of angling — they’re being cooperative with everyone.
Earlier, I mentioned that the water level in John was good and improving daily, however, that isn’t the case all over. South and East Delaney Butte Lakes, despite receiving a little water recently, are significantly low, although fishing quite well. North Delaney has good water and a decent bite, however, the parking areas around North are packed and resemble a Broncos tailgate party, of course coinciding with the beginning of the brown trout spawn. If fishing the Delaneys be sure to familiarize yourself with all rules, regs, and area closures posted both in the regulations brochure and around the lakes. I’ve also been informed that both Seymour and Slackweiss Reservoirs have very low water levels, but haven’t received any information about Cowdrey Lake lately."
Elkhead Reservoir State Park (Moffat County)
Fishing at Elkhead Reservoir continues to be excellent in its last full week with crappie and bluegills in the north end and small and largemouth bass hitting deeper in the lake. One angler caught a smallmouth and largemouth that were "good sized" and a pair of 38" northern pike.
Harvey Gap State Park (Garfield County)
Anglers are having luck catching perch and pike throughout the lake. Several channel catfish have also been caught recently.
Highline Lake State Park and Mack Mesa Reservoir (Mesa County)
Fishing is improving at Mack Mesa as the weather is beginning to cool down. Seventy 10-pound-plus catfish were stocked in Highline and Mack Mesa on Sept. 12. Bluegill, bass, and crappie are still out there waiting to be caught in Highline and Mack Mesa. As things cool off keep checking back as we will be stocking fall trout soon.
James M. Robb Colorado River State Park (Mesa County)
Catfish are really biting at Fruita. Liver seems to be working best. Trout are being caught at Island Acres and Fruita early in the morning and late evening. Most fish are small in size. Popular forms of bait have been worms, PowerBait and flies. Bass fishing at Connected Lakes has really picked up over the last few days with reports of bass up to 6 pounds.
Lake Granby (Grand County)
Fishing has really picked up, especially on the east shoreline and around the islands. Cooler temperatures are here and the fall scenery is hard to beat but take a good jacket for the early morning fishing, it seems to be the best time of day for trout action.
Pearl Lake State Park (Routt County)
Fish early for best results. The willows near the spillway have been a good location using flies and lures.
Rifle Gap State Park (Garfield County)
Recent stockings have the trout anglers seeing an increase in action on the reservoir. Stream action is also going well as fall temperatures have arrived. Rainbow and brown trout are found in East Rifle Creek which flows through Rifle Falls. Fish up to 19 inches long have been taken, with six to nine inch fish being the average size. Brown and Black flies or spinners work the best.
Stagecoach State Park (Routt County)
The fall colors have peaked and the views can't be beat. Trout fishing has been slower but anglers fishing from shore are catching 4-pound trout on salmon eggs. Pike are moving into the shallows and fishing has been great from shore with many being caught on spinners and kastmasters. In order to assure the trout resource at Stagecoach, wildlife managers are trying to balance the pike population. Anglers are encouraged to keep any pike caught. Some pike are tagged with orange tags at the base of the dorsal fin for study, please report catch information to number on tag. Tailwaters fishing has been great. Reports of anglers catching 35 fish in an hour have been common and blue winged olives, elk hair caddis and san juan worms seem to be doing the trick. Small sections of shoreline have been roped off to help prevent erosion. During the busy season for the Tailwaters, anglers are asked to be mindful of the resources and help avoid overcrowding.
Steamboat Lake State Park (Routt County)
Fishing from shore has been pretty good in the morning but tapers off as the day warms up. Shore fishing in the morning has been best at Rainbow Ridge and Meadow Point. Fishermen have been successful using night crawlers or power bait as well as spinners and various flies. Later in the day, fish the deep water by the dam. Boaters have been doing well using minnow lures and spinners in the lake.
Sylvan Lake State Park (Eagle County)
Last stocked with catchable-size rainbow on Aug. 21, fishing has been good with worms and PowerBait. Anglers are also doing well with a variety of small, drab-looking flies and spinners.
Vega State Park (Mesa County)
Water levels have dropped at Vega and officials say all boat ramps will be closed in the park effective Monday, Oct. 1. This is a month earlier than usual. For this last weekend, boaters can still use the Island boat ramp. Early Settlers and Oak Point ramps are already closed for the season. After Oct. 1, Vega will remain open to shore fishing and ice fishing until next spring when boat ramps will reopen. Anglers are having a great time with the cooler temperatures. In general, try PowerBait (pink, yellow and purple), worms, and Panther Martins. Please remember to stop at the entrance station and/or visitor's center and have your boat inspected prior to launching. A Clean, Drain and Dry inspection with a seal applied can speed up your entry into the park. You can buy fishing licenses at the Visitor's Center open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun - Thurs and 7 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Williams Fork Reservoir (Grand County)
Boat ramp is closed for the year. Hand-launched boats only.