Colorado River Northwest

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May 27th, 2009

LAKE POWELL – By Wayne Gustaveson. Lake elevation: 3,619. Water temp: 68 – 73 F.

Lake Powell tributaries are now depositing 90,000 acre feet per day in the lake. That volume of water brings mud, cold temperature, and driftwood. Fishing in the muddy water is difficult at best. For this week fish clear water. The mudline is well downstream from Good Hope Bay in the main stem and at Neskahi and Piute bay on the San Juan.

Lake Powell has risen 4 feet in a week. The shoreline is rapidly changing. Expect to reposition the boat every day if camped on shore. Do not leave vehicles close to the waters edge when camping for an extended period.

To avoid false starts do not fish shallow flats that were dry desert soil the previous day. Fish are not there yet. Instead look for a ravine with steep sides and brush where fish can move vertically with rising water and changing temperatures.

Cautions aside, the good news is that fish can still be caught. Bass fishing is excellent for 1-2 pound smallmouth bass. An occasionally largemouth or crappie is still caught in the brush. Best bushes are those just recently covered by water as they were home to bass before the lake rose so fast.

With the backs of canyons changing daily, a better strategy is to fish main channel cliffs, cracks and cuts. The deep water ends of rocky points allow one to find bass by gradually working deeper along the point until fish are caught. Once the active fish depth zone is known, concentrate efforts on that specific depth for best success.

Striped bass are being caught more often but still only in modest numbers. Some anglers are finding stripers in the traditional main channel spots including the dam, power plant intake, Navajo Canyon and Moki Wall. It is necessary to fish much deeper than in past years. Stripers are holding at 50-80 feet in the main channel, so let the bait go deep and chum often to attract attention and get fish to rise in the water column.

More consistent action is found trolling in 25 feet of water. That pattern has been in place all spring and continues to produce the majority of the striper harvest. Some good trolling locations include backs of major canyons where bottom depth is 15-25 feet. Try Warm Creek, Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance, Rock Creek, Jacks Arch, Escalante, Lake Canyon, Bullfrog, Halls Creek, and Red Canyon. Troll over the shallow water between the Halls Ferry Ramp and houseboat buoy field. Again catching 10 stripers a day is good and 20 or more is perfection.

One very bright spot is the potential walleye catch this week. Rising water causes bank sloughing and muddy coves. Warm temperatures energize walleye to their peak feeding response of the year. Cast night crawlers to coves or troll muddy main channel shoreline with Wally Diver lures to target hungry walleye.

Catfish have come alive now with warm water. The can be caught with ease along main channel beaches in the evening with hotdogs, chicken liver or anchovies.
Bluegill are larger than normal. These forgotten fish will provide excellent fishing and table fare for those willing to use live worms in the brush.

LEES FERRY – Fishing Report Courtesy Lees Ferry Anglers: Report by: Ted Welling

Fly Fishing: It was another great day of fishing here at the ferry. Fish were in a good mood and ready to play, loads of fish in the back eddies sipping midges. Just about anywhere you saw foam and a few ducks you could bet there were fish just under the surface. It almost looks like a light rain is falling in that particular spot. The trick is to locate yourself so you can cast to them without spooking them.

The drift is another tricky task, you can see them but, sometimes it is hard to get your fly to do what is needed to hook these fish.

The riffles are fishing well too, some better than others but, that will change from day to day.

There is an incredible amount of moss growing on the river bottom, it is a bit of a pain but that will bode well for the trout’s food base. I have been here quite a few years now and I cannot remember seeing it this green.
We are using laser midges, zebra midges, San Juan worms, the dry and dropper rig. Or even a double midge rig. It was just one of those perfect days here today. Hope you can make it here soon. Tight lines, T

Walk in: This area is fishing as well. You don’t need be in the water waist deep; knee deep will do fine. Out in the water just enough to keep your line out and off the rocks. You will see a kind of line in the water where it turns from light to a darker color, that’s where you want to flick your fly and send it down stream with a good dead drift.

Flies of choice are the San Juan worm, brassies, zebra midges, the laser midge, midge x and the like. T
Spin Fishing: Fishing with glo bugs and San Juan worms on the bottom seems to be the trick.

BE SURE YOU CRIMP THE BARBS.

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.
-Ted Welling, Lees Ferry Anglers & Cliff Dwellers Lodge

LAKE MEAD –Lake Mead water levels are dropping at about one foot per week. The current level is 1,098 feet above msl. The striper bite has been great.  Both trolling and fishing under lights at night yielded large numbers of fish.  The lights are more productive when used around the new moon, on dark nights.  The last new moon was on Sunday May 24, so look for the fishing be really good at night.  Two pound stripers are not uncommon.

Launching conditions at South Cove will continue to deteriorate as the water level continues to drop.  The concrete ramp the National Park Service completed last year is one lane with cones 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.  Temple Bar launch ramp is two lanes.  Launching conditions in general are better at temple bar than south cove.

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.

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 lake level is around 642 feet above msl.  Fishing for stripers seems to be pretty good in the southern portion of the lake. Submersible lights are very effective for stripers when used on dark nights.  The last new moon was on Sunday the 24th, so look for the fishing be really good at night.  The new fish cleaning station at Katherine’s Landing  is operational.  Bass are located on fish habitat in 15-20 ft.  As the water warms look for the fish to become more active.

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 and now Shoshone.  Fish habitat consists of PVC structures, wood pallet structures, Tamarisk bundles, and some Christmas trees. 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 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 www.azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

WILLOW BEACH – Trout are stocked every Friday.  Fishing has been pretty poor.  Only 1 of 16 anglers sampled were successful on Saturday.   While no striper were caught on Saturday,  two were caught on the May 20; a 14-pound and a 25-pound striper.

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

TOPOCK MARSH – The water level is up, but the fishing has been really slow.  Some bass are being caught, but fishing in general is slow.

You can access the marsh by boat at the 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 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 www.azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM –No new reports.  The striper bite has been slow.

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 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 www.azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

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