Colorado River Northwest

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September 9th, 2009

LAKE POWELL- Courtesy Wayne Gustaveson, Utah Division of Wildlife (wayneswords.com).
Aug. 25, 2009. Lake elevation: 3,638. Water temp: 75 – 78 F

This report will be updated after Labor Day when Wayne returns.

Both air and water temperature are cooling which will have the exact opposite effect on fishing. The heat of summer is over making it more comfortable for anglers as well as fish. Shad have grown larger than a piece of linguini and are now bite size. All these factors align to keep fishing success at it best.

Fall is topwater time on the big lake. Striper boils have already heated up and they will build and continue through September. Timing is the most critical factor as it seems there are willing striper schools and harried shad in almost every canyon. Daylight allows shad to join up after a night of individual random feeding. As shad schools form, stripers attack. Before the sun peaks over the horizon single bass and stripers whack shad in the center of lake. It looks like trout feeding in a high mountain lake. As the first sun rays hit the water shad join into schools and stripers form into bigger bunches to continue the assault. Surface feeding activity continues for an hour and on some days much longer. But, get on the water early for best success. The first hour of daylight is critical.

The very best spots may be Tapestry Wall, Halls buoy field, Slick Rock Canyon and Warm Creek but there are a hundred spots that are a close second.

On a calm afternoon surface feeding action starts up again after 4 PM but afternoon winds keep boils down. If wind happens make sure to be on the water early the next morning to take advantage of hungry stripers.
Stripers will feed anytime of day. Boils seen midday will be some of the biggest and longer lasting as both striper and shad school size is large. When they come together after a rest the result is perhaps an hour long feeding spree. Stay ready for this prize event.

Recent reports of boils have come from almost every canyon between Wahweap and Hite. More fish are being caught from Bullfrog upstream. Slightly bigger fish are being caught from Rainbow downstream. Fishing is good in all directions. Just go give it a try at first light.

When boils quit just hit the shoreline and toss rattletraps for bass or spoons for more stripers. It is time to start speed reeling. After a boil quits drop a spoon to the bottom in 50 feet of water and then reel it as fast as possible to 25 feet. Then drop it to the bottom again and repeat. More stripers will be caught this way than in boils during September.

LEES FERRY – Report by: Ted Welling, Aug. 30.
Fly Fishing: Another great day of fishing here at the ferry.

Some anglers are having outstanding results with heavy nymphing and landing some great looking larger fish in the 17 to 20 inch range.

I have changed the rating not because the number of fish landed has increased but the overall health and size of these trout.

The cicadas have come and gone for the season and it was a minimal hatch this year at best, may-be next year. We are still landing a few on dry flies here and there but, not like 3 weeks ago along the tree lined shore. If that is what you prefer there are lot of fish stacked in the back eddies. However, if there is any kind of wind blowing the back eddies are sure to be vacant.

On a more positive note, we have noticed the midge hatches have been more and more prolific every day. Well, if the weather is in check with no wind or rain.

All in all, if the conditions remain we will most likely see some amazing fall season fishing. At the start of September the flows will be a constant 10,000 cfs thru Oct. 31. We here at lees ferry anglers believe the fishing will be just awesome during this time. We will keep you posted. T

Walk in: Word has it that this section is fishing well anglers are using the same bugs as up river. Dries –n- droppers, scuds, San Juan worms, and zebra midges. Anglers report fishing is productive from the boulder field all the way to the confluence.

Spin Fishing: I did a little spin fishing the past few days and did well.
I was using both a panther martin and a vibrax blue fox and I can’t tell you what worked better. Both did the trick. It was not on fire or nothing but, I was pleased. So, if you have been thinking of fishing,,,,,,

C’mon down, fishing is good at lees ferry. Ted

LAKE MEAD –Lake Mead water level have remained fairly steady.  The current level is around 1,094 feet above msl.  The striper bite has been good. Fishing under submersible lights at night yielded large numbers of fish.  The lights are more productive when used around the new moon, on dark nights.  The next new moon is on Friday, Sept. 18.  Most stripers being caught are in the 1 lb range, with occasional fish up to two lbs.  Stripers are being caught 12’ – 60’ of water.  Catfish are biting well on anchovies.

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 641 feet above msl. Fishing for stripers seems to be fair.  Stripers are being caught while trolling or still fishing with anchovies. Submersible lights are very effective for stripers when used on dark nights.  The next new moon is on Friday, Sept. 18.  Bass are located both in shallow and on fish habitat in 15-20 ft.

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.  Trout anglers fishing from shore were catching trout on and around the pier area.  Those successful at landing trout were fishing with salmon-egg scented Power Bait, flies, and Power worms.  Most fishermen were successful in the early morning and around noon, when the wind picked up.  The striper bite should be good.

The desert bighorn sheep are in the rut, so this is a great time to fish and possibly see some rams bumping heads (or at least hear them – it sounds like a rifle shot echoing in the canyons).

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 and the bite has been fair.  Both bass and catfish are biting.  Catfish are biting on anchovies and night crawlers.

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 –One angler reported catching good size trout and small stripers in the area of Veterans Bridge.  The striper bite has been pretty good.

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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