Colorado River Fishing Report

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Old Nevada Mead Mohave and Colorado River Reports

Major Reservoirs of the Colorado River from the top of Arizona to the bottom.

coloradorivermap

Smaller Fishing Spots and Lakes of the Colorado River

South of Lake Powell Locations Water Level River Flows

South of Mead River Locations Water Level, River Flows

South of Mohave Locations Water Level, Flows

South of Havasu and Parker Strip Locations Water Level, Flows

Blythe To Yuma Locations Water Level, Flows "Imperial Dam"

Colorado River Flows

Water Levels and Flows From the USGS. For more gauged locations along the Colorado River or To check the water level of any river in AZ Visit this Water Level for Arizona Page.

Colorado River Fishing Report: Arizona, Nevada and California 

mead

Lake Powell

Report from Wayne's Words

 Spawning is in full gear in some lake locations. Fishing success was hot last weekend on the San Juan but then faltered with the recent cold front. The next warming trend will bring that same fishing success to most of Lake Powell. Find water temperature exceeding 65 degrees and fishing should be super.  Read More

 Lees Ferry

LEES FERRY -- April 19, 2011 by Lees Ferry Anglers (www.leesferry.com)  

Today’s Weather: Partly cloudy, high of 78 degrees. It looks like the temperature should be in the high 70s for the remainder of the week. If you have time get out of the house and come fish.

Fly Fishing: The fishing has been astounding. And these trout are fat and sassy and healthy as can be.

The river is in great shape with many abundant wading locations. Concentrating on the softer inside seams and the drop offs. Nymphing has been highly productive. Varying the length of the leader and split shot amount depending on the water you are fishing.

Using a double zebra midge rig has worked great. Keep in mind to use different colors and sizes. Another option to try is a zebra midge with a glow bug dropper. San Juan worm with a zebra midge dropper has also produced successful results.

There are a few fish still on the spawning beds and the spawn has slowed down some.
Using a dry fly dropping a zebra midge has been effective in certain areas with a few fish taking the dry.

Expect to have a blast if you come this week.

Walk in: The flows are currently at a constant 16,000cfs, as of the fourth, which are remarkably ideal conditions for the walk-in area.

Fishing has been excellent, focusing a lot of attention in the Upper and Lower Boulder fields. Concentrating much of the time on the softer seams especially near and around boulders. The fish tend to hang around the drop offs throughout this section of water. The Paria riffle has also been fishing very well.

Fishing two zebra midges of various sizes and colors has been productive. Another good option is to fish a zebra midge above a smaller glow bug. San Juan Worms have also been effective as a lead fly dropping either a zebra midge or glow bug below.

A good tip is to vary your length between the indicator and lead fly as well as to adjust the amount of split shot depending on the water depth and the area you are fishing in order to produce more results. Start fishing in close gradually working your way out to deeper water.
There are lots of fish to be caught, all very healthy. Fishing is great at the walk-in and the weather is spectacular.

Spin Fishing: Spin fishing is off the charts! We’ve been hammering fish the last few days. Bouncing glow bugs off the bottom has been working remarkably well and produced many strikes. You can also try fishing gold Castmasters or black and gold Panther Martin.

If you have some news you would like to report about fishing lees ferry, the walk-in section or up river please e-mail your report to: anglers@leesferry.com Attn. Lees Ferry Fishing Report We would be happy to have your input, and pass it along.

Terry Gunn 4/4/11: Good News!! As of today, the water flows have dropped back to 16,000-cfs constant for the near future (most likely until May 1). This is very good news for the fishing during this time of year. Early April is historically the beginning of epic midge hatches, and also the lower flows should allow access to several wading spots to take advantage of the prolific midge hatches and increased trout feeding activity. In addition to the feeding fish, there are spawning fish throughout the river and many fish are spawning in shallow water areas that has seen no spawning activity since the 90’s due to the lower water flows that have resulted from the drought. We have been using dry dropper rigs, heavy nymph rigs, and double tiny rigs depending on the spots that we are fishing. The fishing this spring both upriver and the walk-in should be great despite the higher water. The fish are happy and crowds are non-existent so now is a great time to visit the Ferry!

A reminder that we will be seeing high water flows until September, 2011. The reason for these high flows is an attempt to increase the water volume in Lake Meade and this is the largest snow pack that the Rockies has seen since 1997 which provides enough water to allow the
high releases. It is important to remember that the higher releases are really good for the heath of the river and fish…every “fishing boom period” at Lees Ferry has been preceded by extended high water flows just like the flows that we are currently getting.

We currently had a group that fishes with us every year for the past 25 years and they say that this trip was the BEST trip that they have ever experienced here at the Ferry.

Rory,

I took my son, two nephews, and brother in law to Lees Ferry for their first fly fishing trip.  They are all hooked ( pun intended).  Everyone caught a lot of fish and had a great time on the river.
Best Regards,

Chris Rich

 

Lake Mead

News From the Nevada Division of Wildlife April 27, 2011

LAKE MEAD – Windy conditions have kept many anglers at home. Those who have made it out to the lake have found fair action for small stripers off of rocky points in the Vegas Bay and Overton arms of the lake. The fish are biting on a variety of shad imitations, anchovies or sardines. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are in shallow water and biting shallow-diving crankbaits, spinner baits and plastics. Carp will hit sweet corn threaded on a number four bait hook and fished over an area chummed with frozen corn. These often overlooked fish will provide a good fight.

AZGFD April 28, 2011

LAKE MEAD – The current water level is around 1,096 feet above msl. Lake levels have been fairly steady the last month.  The Largemouth are biting.  Try plastics in 5-8 ft.  Striper fishing has been slow, even at night under lights. Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice.  Check the moon phases before you go – new moon May 2, waning moon past last quarter right now.  Dark nights work best when fishing under light.  Fish for strippers in 50 plus feet of water to find the larger fish.   If you can locate the shad, the stripers are not far behind.  Trolling usually works best in areas were shad are found and best done in the early mornings and evenings. 

Launching conditions at South Cove have improved as the water level has gone up. There are currently four lanes.  Launching conditions in general are better at Temple Bar than South Cove.

WILLOW BEACH 

– Willow beach is stocked every Friday with 3,000 13” rainbow trout.  Garlic and salmon peach Power Baits were being used most for trout.  Power Worms, Jakes, Panther Martin and Rooster Tails are also usually effective.   Construction near the river is mostly complete and the new store and parking lots are open. 

 

Important notice: With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see. If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Lake Mohave

NDOW April 28, 2011

LAKE MOHAVE – Striper fishing is beginning to pick up. Drifted anchovies are taking the fish, though you may need to experiment with both cut and whole anchovies. Near Willow Beach, anglers are still catching striped bass with trout imitating swimbaits.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass, some topping five-pounds, are keeping anglers busy. The fish are in shallow water and hitting jigs and plastics. Trout anglers will find good fishing following the weekly trout plants. 

AZGFD April 28, 2011

LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level is around 642 feet above msl.  The smallmouth are hitting soft baits when worked slowly.  Trolling with anchovies in 30-50ft has been producing some stripers, while catfish are on the bottom.    While the number of stripers in Mohave has been decreasing, the quality of the fish caught has increased.

Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. New moon May 2, waning moon past last quarter right now. Cut anchovies usually work the best. 

Biologists from both Arizona Game and Fish Department and Nevada Division of Wildlife with the help of volunteers, National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation personnel have continued to install fish habitat in Carp Cove, Box Cove, Shoshone, and Arrowhead.  Fish habitat consists of PVC structures, wood pallet structures, tamarisk bundles, and some Christmas trees. The largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill and catfish are really utilizing the new structures. Additional habitat will be added at several locations over the next two years. These structures are fish magnets.

There is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier just south of the main launch ramp at Katherine's Landing. If you fish Mohave and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others. 

Topock Gorge

Read the full report this week Here. I'll have it on this page next week from Georgia

Lake Havasu

Make sure your setitng the hook good with those Havasu Smallmouth. This was heart breaking.

Rorys Tips AZGFD April 28, 2011

In nature's rhythym of the land and water, when the Palo Verde trees bloom bright yellow in the upper Sonoran Desert, it's topwater time. However, this year, nature is throwing us a slight curve.

Typically when spring hits full stride, we have lots of largemouth bass, smallouth bass and striped bass not just in post-spawn mode, but sufficently recovered from the spawning process that they aggressively feed, quite often on shad at the top of the water column, or better yet on spawning shad in some of the early bird lakes such as Alamo and Havasu.

Also, we usually see the crappie spawn during the April full moon (or sooner in places like Alamo). That didn't happen either, at least not so we could tell. However, with a waning moon, night fishing using lights is now viable. The new moon is May 2 and the next full moon is May 17.

Things are a little topsy-turvy this year, in part because of a cold spring storm that dumped snow in the high country and even on mid-elevation upper Sonoran desert habitats and drove temperatures in winter extremes. That unusual storm chilled down water temperatures, kind of the reverse of an Indian Summer (Eskimo Spring?).

Anyway, it's still topwater time, kind of, but not quite as robust as most years. But be prepared to go to the bottom of the water column as well. You can find largemouth bass in all three stages right now -- pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn.

Great reports from Lake Havasu for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and stripers. Havasu is like a big shallow solar bowl in the desert (similar to Alamo Lake). But while Alamo didn't quite heat up as expected, water temp wise, Havasu apparently did. Not sure it's status vis a vie spring break activities, but when the younger crowd isn't on the water, it's worth a trip. You might also want to try the Parker Strip for smallmouth bass. It's a blast to fish smallies in the current below Parker Dam.

Good reports this past week from both Lake Powell and Lees Ferry in northern Arizona. For Powell, if the anticipated higher winds visit this week, you might not want to be out on the water there. We'll see what happens. Had an angler call who fished the Ferry with this family and had one of his best fishing trips ever (Chris, I never saw your pics).

 

LAKE HAVASU -- Picture on the left is a 34-pound striped bass weighing 34 pounds measuring 42 inches long with a 27-inch girth caught by George Lloyd of Lake Havasu
using a Luckycraft Pointer 128 lure on April 19 at 6:30a.m.
Photo by: John Galbraith of BassTackleMaster.com

Lake Havasu Fishing Report: Level 449.22.

Striper bite good using cut anchoviesbottom fishing in 35 to 55 ft of wateron the dropoff into the old river channel where stripers are schooling up to spawn now.Best time for this bite is after 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m. Early am bite is good fora few "quality" fish using shad colored Rat-L-Traps and Pointer 128s.

Redear sunfish fishing is starting to get good now with large numbers of panfishmoving shallow in preparation for spawning.

Evening catfish bite good using sardines,squid or chicken livers.

Largemouth and Smallmouth bite excellent;  sight fishing for spawningbass in the shallows. Tubes (Gitzits)and creature baits like the brush hog are excellent choices now. Flippin Senkos into cattails is a great way
to catch aggressive post spawn bass. Green Pumpkin & Watermelon/Cremeare the best colors now.

Please practice catch and release duringthis spawning time to give our bass a chance to reproduce and make ourfishery even better.
This Report was provided by John Galbraith of BassTackleMaster.com, Lake Havasu City, Az.

AZGFD April 28, 2011

LAKE HAVASU & TOPOCK GORGE -- Lake Havasu and the river upstream of the lake is becoming an excellent destination for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Fishing for largemouth bass, as well as smallmouth bass, is expected to be good to excellent this spring. There is a 13-inch minimum size limit for bass on the lower Colorado River.

Largemouth bass in the four to six pound range are becoming very common on Lake Havasu, with occasional fish exceeding 10 pounds.

Smallmouth bass are becoming more and more common, and bags at bass tournaments are now showing close to a 50/50 mix of largemouth and smallmouth bass.  If you are unfamiliar with smallmouth bass, they are very aggressive and scrappy, and will give you a much more exciting battle than a similarly-sized largemouth.  Smallmouth bass generally do not grow as large as largemouth, but four and five-pound smallmouth are becoming common.

Both bass species tend to be in very good condition in this water body.  Perhaps because of the exceptionally clear water in Lake Havasu, they are also some of the most strikingly colored fish in the Region.  The warmer weather should cause the bite to improve, making crankbaits and topwater lures a good choice as the water warms.

Striped bass fishing will likely continue to be fair to poor, with catch rates far below what have been experienced in past years.  Striped bass are very dependent on threadfin shad for forage.  Shad numbers appear to be on the increase, but all reports indicate that striper-fishing has not seen a dramatic comeback, nor do we have terribly high expectations that it will.

Remember, schools of shad move around, and populations tend to fluctuate, so spots that have been “hot” in the past may no longer be so if the shad have moved elsewhere, or are in lower numbers.  Historically, the majority of striped bass in Lake Havasu tend to be smaller fish of 1 to 2 pounds, with an occasional 20-30 pound fish.  It seems that the smaller fish are much more uncommon than they were several years ago.  The jury is still out on the effects the quagga mussel infestation in Lake Havasu may have on the fish community in Lake Havasu, but the arrival of the mussel has seemed to coincide with a decrease in the catch rates for striped bass. Live shad seems to be the most productive bait for stripers, with cut anchovies not seeming to work as well as they did in years past.

Angling for bluegill and redear sunfish will be good to excellent.  Lake Havasu is well known for large (2-3 pound) redear sunfish, and with the proliferation of the quagga mussel in the lake, we are seeing large redears becoming more common.  Redear sunfish are also known as “shell crackers,” due to their preference, and morphological adaptation, for eating clams and mussels, so they may actually benefit from the presence of the invasive quagga mussel.  Bluegills will also eat quagga mussels, although they are not as well adapted for capitalizing on this suddenly abundant food source.  Redear sunfish up to four pounds (or even larger) are found in the lake.  Decent crappie numbers can be found, primarily in the lower end of the lake (Bill Williams River Arm), but fishing for crappie is likely to be only fair.

Threadfin shad are also an important food source for crappie, and the abundance of this species hinges on the size of the shad population. Flathead catfish can be found throughout the lake, but the larger individual, up to 40 pounds, or greater, can be found in the lower portion of the lake, especially in the Bill Williams River arm. Fishing for flatheads should improve as the water warms this spring. Live bait is the key for flatheads, as they are extremely predatory and are unlikely to strike much other than a lively bait fish. Channel catfish are also found throughout the lake, and they will take a variety of live bait, cut bait and commercial preparations.

COLORADO RIVER (PARKER STRIP AREA) -- Fishing for smallmouth bass over two pounds in size is expected to be good to excellent.  In addition, redear sunfish should also be good in the pound-plus sizes.   The Parker Strip is well known for its smallmouth bass fishing, especially in the area from the dam to several miles downstream.  The Parker Strip is also home to some really impressive, dinner-plate sized redear sunfish of two pounds or larger.  Channel and flathead catfish fishing is always fair in this section of the Colorado River.  Below the dam, striper fishing should also be fair, using live shad or anchovies.  Largemouth bass are abundant, especially in the downstream portions of the Parker Strip.  Channel and flathead catfish fishing will be fair to good in this section of the Colorado River as the weather warms up.

Take precautions to make sure your boat and equipment is clean before leaving the water to make sure you don’t spread quagga mussels to other water by accident.    

COLORADO RIVER (BETWEEN PALO VERDE DIVERSION DAM AND WALTER’S CAMP) -- This area should be fair for both smallmouth bass (in the channel) up river from the I-10 Bridge and largemouth bass (in the backwaters) throughout the entire area.  Channel and flathead catfish are always fair to good in this section of the Colorado River.  Most of the flathead catfish will be in the 2 to 5 pound size range with an occasional fish over 40 pounds.  Flathead catfish surveys last May yielded a handful of fish between 15 and 50 pounds in this section of the river, although the majority of fish were much smaller.  The time for fishing for both species of catfish will be late spring and throughout the summer.  Generally, when fishing for catfish, the hotter the weather, the better the fishing. Lively bait is the key to successful flathead fishing. Using the largest baitfish you can come by will increase the odds of catching a larger flathead.

This section of the Colorado River, all the way down to Yuma, is where the invasive vegetative species known as Giant Salvinia is located.  Quagga mussels are also found here.  If using a boat, make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before leaving the area.

COLORADO RIVER (BETWEEN WALTER’S CAMP AND PICACHO STATE PARK) -- This section of the Colorado River is relatively remote and can only be accessed by boat from either end.  Fishing is expected to be good to excellent for flathead catfish with sizes over 40 pounds.  The best time will be late spring and on into the summer (the hotter the better).  Backwaters are somewhat limited in this stretch of the river, but the few that are there will be good for largemouth bass and other sunfish (bluegill, redear and occasionally black crappie).  Channel catfish are also very numerous in this section of the river. Smaller numbers of smallmouth bass and striped bass also occur.

The invasive vegetative species, giant salvinia, as well as quagga mussels, are found in this stretch of the river.  If using a boat, make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before leaving the area.

COLORADO RIVER (BETWEEN PICACHO STATE PARK AND IMPERIAL DAM) -- This area is expected to be good to excellent for largemouth bass, channel catfish, and flathead catfish.  Bass and channel catfish in excess of 5 pounds are present along with flathead catfish as large as 40 pounds not uncommon, occasionally much larger.  There is definitely a state record or two lurking in these waters.  Only very heavy fishing tackle will suffice for the really large fish.  Bluegills, redear sunfish and black crappie are also present in the various backwaters.  Occasional striped bass will be caught in the channels connecting backwaters and the main river channel. Smallmouth bass seem to be on the increase in the lower river above Imperial Dam. They generally prefer swifter water and rockier substrate than largemouth bass, and certainly aren’t as numerous, but they are very aggressive and very scrappy fighters and well worth seeking out.

The invasive vegetative species, giant salvinia, as well as quagga mussels, are found in this stretch of the river.  If using a boat, make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before leaving the area.

COLORADO RIVER (BETWEEN LAGUNA AND MORELOS DAMS) -- This area will be good for largemouth bass and flathead catfish.  Bass in excess of 5 pounds are common and flathead catfish over 20 pounds are a good bet.  In this area, accessibility to the river is dependent on the amount of water being released.  Usually shallow draft boats are a must.  The lower end has had some dredging work done and a larger boat may be able to get on the river in that area.  Be aware that some sections of the river are within Quechan tribal boundaries, and a tribal permit is required to fish there.  Boundaries are not well marked, so doing some research prior to fishing this section may prevent hassles while you are out there.

The invasive vegetative species, giant salvinia, as well as quagga mussels, are found in this stretch of the river.  If using a boat, make sure that boats, live wells, engines, and trailers are clean before leaving the area.

With the increase in border issues and illegal activity on the lower end of this stretch, we recommend exercising extreme caution, avoiding nighttime use, or even staying away from the area altogether (Pilot Knob to Morelos Dam).

Last Updated on Monday, 09 May 2011 12:08
 

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