Colorado River Northwest

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May 28th, 2008
Colorado River Northwest

LAKE POWELL –

Where: Lake Powell
When:05/03/08
Caught: Walleye (one week, 5 boats, 137 Walleye)
Technique: Jigging/grubs and crawler harnesses, no spinner, just beads and a float.
Comments: Walleye seem to be in “post spawn” bite is very light. Catching Smallmouth, Crappie, and Bluegill all day long. Additional info in our newsletter at swwalleye.com or contact me and I will forward an e-mail copy to you.
Name: Deb Prestage/ Southwest Walleye Anglers

By Wayne Gustaveson, Utah Division of Wildlife. Just when we have fishing patterns all figured out – they change. It is transition time once again. Stripers are near spawning and bass are lost in the rapidly rising water. Here are tips to keep up with the expected fish movements this week.

Striped bass males are extremely active lake wide. They are in large schools both in the canyons and the main channel. Schooling nature means there will be many areas without any fish and then a few spots with an endless supply of fish to catch.
Here are a few locations with raging schools. Wahweap Bay near Castle Rock, Buoy 3, Buoy 9, Navajo Canyon (points past the first big island), Padre Bay – Cookie jar, Last Chance at the back of the canyon and half way in on the east Bluff with the first noticeable rock slide, Jacks Arch, Rincon near floating potty, Lake Canyon, and many spots in the northern lake.

Schools up north may be harder to find with murky runoff water clouding their presence. There may actually be more stripers in the upper lake as they run to current when spawning – but they may be harder to find.

With huge schools present in most canyons and bays the best method of locating them is to graph the 30- to 60-foot depth contour. It is fine to troll while looking. When a fish is hooked or a school seen on the graph, mark the spot. The location will often be well out in the bay without a good way to stay on target, unless GPS or floating marker is used to pinpoint the spot. Once marked, that school location may be good for many days. Schools I have graphed recently resemble a tall thin vertical stack with spaces. A tall thin stack without spaces may also be a tree.

Stripers in the main lake are eating plankton so they are more likely to be caught on anchovy bait than reaction lures. One combination that works well is to chum with anchovies and fish with a spoon or crankbait to actually catch fish as they rise in response to chum.

The striper spawn will occur when water warms sufficiently to trigger females into activity. When that occurs, activity shifts to dark hours and daylight fishing slows considerably. Afternoons may be the best fishing time this week. Look for shoreline splashing activity in the evening to find a spawning school that may include a trophy female. Males will all be the 2-pound fish that have been caught so often this spring.
Rapidly rising water has flooded new ground that is far way from where bass were residing. In gently sloping area bass are hard (not impossible) to find. Fish much deeper water to catch the bigger bass. The trick this time of year is to fish vertical habitat where bass can go up and down instead of moving laterally to stay in the comfort zone while water rises. The exception and best place to fish, is the slick rock canyons. Here much of the habitat is vertical cliff with cracks and ledges for cover.

Bass will be in the likely looking spots along walls and in cracks. Some of the best canyons to fish now for bass include: Face, West, Oak, Reflection, Hidden Passage, Escalante River, Iceberg, and Moki. Again the canyons up-lake are still good but the main channel may be muddy.

Fishing remains great – it just requires a slight adjustment to keep up with the moods of the quarry.

LEES FERRY – Report courtesy Lees Ferry Anglers. Today’s Fly Fishing: The sun is out, the temperature is rising, and the midges are hatching. Fish have been seen rising in the back eddies. This is not happening all over the river but I hear tell this is going on at certain spots on the river when conditions are just right. These fish are not all that big but sight casting is a blast, I am sure you’ll agree.

Fishing the riffles is best early in the day as the water is on the rise. After the water peaks your best bet would be to use a deep nymph rig and drift the channel.

I have also had reports that fish are taking dry flies here and there, the dry dropper set-up. There are spots on the river you may have fished in the past that may be vacant now. You may want to check with us here in the shop for the latest information, and the most productive areas to flick a fly. The flies of choice are micro San Juan worms in (worm brown ) scuds, ginger and burnt orange

Walk in: Having received a fresh report I can tell that the confluence is fishing pretty good, even at higher water. The flies of choice are scuds, and zebra midges.

Spin Fishing: Spin fishing is still great! Stop in and pick up some egg patterns and ask us about the recommended rig and best areas to fish. We do have maps available in the fly shop as well.


LAKE MEAD – Lake Mead water levels continue to drop as the elevation is currently at 1,108 feet above msl. Water temperatures are running between 65 and 70 depending where you are on the lake. Backs of coves are warming up nicely and largemouth bass are starting to move in for the spawn. Striper fishing continues to be good. Anglers using artificial lights were catching as many 13 to 18-inch stripers as they wanted to clean.

Catfishing under lights was also very productive using anchovies. Launching conditions at South Cove have continued to deteriorate with the dropping water. Both the dirt ramp and the new concrete the National Park Service just completed are one lane ramps with buoys marking the edges. Use caution not to go off the sides of the metal extensions at either side. According to the Bureau of Reclamation, water levels are projected to dip as low as 1,105 feet above msl later this summer before rebounding slightly by October.
Important notice: With the recent 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.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

LAKE MOHAVE –The fishing is picking up a little on the upper end of the lake. The stripers seen in the fall were fat and full of shad, with schools of shad being chased by striped bass. If the shad are making a comeback, we may see more mid-size stripers in the basin. If you can find schools of shad, throw a small crankbait.

Biologists from both Arizona Game and Fish Department and Nevada Division of Wildlife have continued to install fish habitat in both Carp cove and Box cove. The largemouth and bluegill 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.

Important notice: With the recent 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.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

WILLOW BEACH – Trout are stocked every Friday. The fishing for trout has been good from shore immediately following the stocking. Try using a Jake, Panther Martin, or other spinner’s or spoons. If that doesn’t work you can always use Power Bait. The striper bite is picking up around the Monkey Hole area.

Important notice: With the recent 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.
For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

TOPOCK MARSH –Water level is up, but still be careful while launching. The catfish are biting on night crawlers and anchovies. Bass bite is still not bad. Crappies have shut down. Try night crawlers or anchovies for catfish.

Game and Fish biologists surveyed the Marsh starting on the week of Jan. 15. The largemouth bass population was observed to be very healthy, as well as channel catfish. Crappie were also present, but in smaller numbers.

You can access the marsh by boat at North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing too. For more information on the marsh, contact the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge at (760) 326-3853 or go to http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/index.html.

Important notice: With the recent 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.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM –The striper bite is picking up. Trout were last stocked on March 24-25. This was the last trout stocking until next winter.
Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Important notice: With the recent 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.

For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

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