Colorado River Northwest

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August 25th, 2008

LAKE POWELL – Report Courtesy Wayne Gustaveson, Utah Division of Wildlife: Lake elevation: 3,632 Water temp: 80-87 F. Waning moon, good night bite.

Hite remains the best fishing destination this week. Bright moon will further compress dwindling boils to evening events only. Slurps begin about 2 PM but they are quick. It is very difficult to get the boat in position to cast while the fish are still on top. The last hour of light is prime time and that event alone will be worth the trip as many fish can be caught in a short time on surface lures. The stretch between

Buoy 129 -131 has many surfacing schools.

During the rest of the day stripers can still be caught in big numbers. Trolling a shallow running crankbait prompts a hookup every time a striper school is seen on the graph. There are many schools to be seen so this is quite a productive technique. Plastic swim baits, shad colored crankbaits and your favorite trolling bait all work very well. The Thinfin by Cordell worked great for one recently returning fishing party. I am sure spoons will work just as good.

There are many stripers to catch in the 1.5 pound range that are fat and prime for table fare. Take plenty of ice to keep the fillets cool. Bass are picked up incidentally while trolling. Targeting bass would be very productive as well.

The San Juan is good but takes second place to Hite. Boils are not common. Surfacing stripers have been reported at the confluence of the San Juan and main channel. These were larger fish that stayed up for a long time. Unfortunately they come up at random times making it hard to predict the event. With full moon, Jacks Arch Cove would be a good place to spend an evening. Piute Canyon is the hotspot for boils but competition with houseboats and skiers may detract. In late summer and fall the spot where river joins lake, Spencers Camp, is always a dependable fish catching spot on the San Juan.


Trolling works very well now at Hite.


Over the rest of the lake, look for random boils at infrequent times. Two-fish-slurps happen often but fish are not easy to approach or catch. When boils do come up they often have staying power and catching many fish is possible. Finding the random boil is the hard part.


Bass fishing continues to improve particularly in the above mentioned inflow areas. But smallmouth are caught on rock structure away from brush at 25 plus feet.

Catfishing is excellent and big bluegill are ready for anyone that wants to toss a live worm into brushy cover.

LEES FERRY – From Lees Ferry Anglers, LEES FERRY – From Lees Ferry Anglers, by: Natalie Jensen

Today’s Fish rating Upriver: 6.5 Walk-In: 5.5

Today’s Weather: Mostly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms in our region. We did receive a good down pour late afternoon. The temperatures ranged from 72 on the low and 95 degrees on the high. Overall a great day.

Today’s Crowd Rating   Upriver: 1.0 NO CROWDS!  Walk In: 1.0

Key: 1 = Sleep late and fish where you want.        10 = Very crowded, get up early!

Fly Fishing: Another day of good fishing. Most were fishing from the boat while drifting. Even a dry dropper rig produced some takes just off the banks. The flies of choice were scuds and midges off the bottom.  A strike indicator is a must and plenty of split shot. You should be cleaning algae off you flies about every third cast. Reportedly, there was some action on the cicada patterns. When working the along the banks with a cicada rig you can increase your odds by giving your fly some life with quick little strips to twitch your fly. Also work the inside seams with a dry dropper rig, using a cicada for your indicator and dropping a zebra midge. Good luck and tight lines!

Walk in: Sorry no new reports.  As last reported the fishing has been better in the morning hours.  Use usual rig, dry with a dropper, midges, scuds and San Juan worms.

Spin Fishing: Spin fishing is off the charts right now; use an egg pattern in the drifts.  Black and olive marabou jigs are a good bet also!

Fishing Synopsis and Forecast by Terry Gunn 7/26/08

Recent Fishing: The Cicadas began singing in June and by early July the trout were starting to key on this winged meal. The hatch was normal by historical standards but not the “bumper crop” of last year. The numbers of cicadas are such that the fish are feeding on them near the rocky shores but not in the middle of the river like last summer. It is always a treat to catch Lees Ferry trout on big dry flies; July and August is the time to do it. The cicadas appear to be declining as their life cycle is short but there will be some flying around for the rest of the summer and the fish will continue keying on them even as the cicadas die off. The cicada fishing is always best on cloudy or overcast days.

Drifting from the boat with heavy nymph rigs has been very productive! The high flows of summer restrict the areas that are productive to wade but open up vast areas that are productive to the drifting angler. We have been having terrific success with scuds and San Juan worms, attached to 10 to 15-ft leaders, with heavy shot and a strike indicator. The key to success is to stay over fish, get the flies down to the bottom, and get a long, perfect dead drift.

If you can take the heat; the summer is a very productive time to fish the Ferry and provides the most consistent and least crowded fishing of the entire year.

I recently heard the spawn this year was 10X normal. I have never seen so many fry and small trout in the river.

LAKE MEAD – Lake Mead water levels have held steady as the elevation is currently at around 1,105 feet above msl.  Nighttime striper fishing has been really good again.  Anglers using artificial lights are catching as many 13- to 18-inch stripers as they want to clean.  Catfishing under lights is also very productive using anchovies.

Artificial lights tend to be most productive if fished with a waning quarter moon.  Aug. 30 is the next new moon so trolling crankbaits during the day may slow a little, and submersed lights should become more effective. Launching conditions at South Cove have remained nearly the same for the last two months. The new concrete ramp the National Park Service just completed is one lane with buoys marking the edges.  Use caution not to go off the sides of the metal extensions at either side. National Park Service is working to keep the ramp open.

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 for small striper’s has been pretty good.  Try using cut anchovies at night.  If you have submersible lights try using them around the new moon.  The lake level has remained pretty steady and is running at 640 feet above msl. The stripers seen in the fall were fat and full of shad, with schools of shad being chased by striped bass.  No sign of shad this year so far.  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, 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.

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.  Fishing was a bit spotty for those fishing from the shoreline with about half the angler’s having success. Most of the success has been coming from or around the new pier.  Try using a Power Bait, green Power Worms or salmon eggs.  Anglers report the fishing being best before 07:30. The striper fishing has been picking up.  As the water in the basin of Lake Mohave warms, the bigger fish move into the colder water in the Willow beach 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 fishing has been pretty slow.  A few bass are being caught, but overall slow.

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 has been slow.  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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