Colorado River Northwest

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September 18th, 2009

LAKE POWELL- Courtesy Wayne Gustaveson, Utah Division of Wildlife (wayneswords.com).
Sept. 9,  Lake elevation: 3,636. Water temp: 77 – 80 F

Full moon last week again slowed boils at Wahweap and Bullfrog. They didn’t stop, just got inconsistent. But it seems that Hite stripers started to boil again after taking a month off. This week boils are slow and infrequent although a long lasting random boil can be found anytime. The best place to look is at Hite which is not red hot but boils there are more consistent and longer lasting than at any other location.

For the rest of the lake here is the strategy learned from a recent trip to the San Juan. Early morning is prime time as predator and prey move at first light. A large school of fish was graphed at 35 feet in the channel 200 yards from camp near Neskahi Canyon. The spoon was dropped and the quick bite confirmed that these fish were stripers. The school followed the hooked fish toward the surface and many active stripers were caught vertically jigging before the school and the boat drifted apart.

I then headed toward Piute Canyon but stopped to investigate two splashes over a long point protruding into the bay. Surface lures cast to the splashes were immediately swallowed by hungry bass and stripers. Both species were having their way with a shad school. The surface action was intense for the next 30 minutes but most of the splashes came from smallmouth bass up to 2 pounds. Stripers left but could be found again on the edge of the point where bottom depth was 30-40 feet. Spoons were the best offering and both bass and stripers were caught.

The best plan is use the graph and look for schools of bait or stripers. When found stripers will immediately take spoons. Bounce the lure off the bottom twice, then speed reel the spoon back through the water column. Stripers and bass are very willing to chase spoons when shad are near. If a boil surfaces use a topwater lure, but plan on fishing with spoons for the best chance of putting fish in the cooler.

I am sure that trolling a deep diving shad-imitating lure in these same situations will fill the cooler just as fast as spooning. Use your favorite method. There are many fish waiting for their next meal. I think in times when surface boils are scarce that hungry fish will be eager to tackle a trolled lure. So troll, jig deep and watch the graph while waiting for the next boil to pop up. This week the wise angler will go slowly and graph the bottom instead of cruising many miles looking for infrequent surface action. Striper school will be on the edge of the main channel and very willing to consume baits down at their level from 20-40 feet.

It is interesting to note that we discovered an oxygen depletion layer in water deeper than 40 feet in the San Juan main channel. That makes it easier to find stripers as they consistently hold at 35-40 feet while not actively feeding. There is no need to fish at 60 feet since predators will avoid that oxygen poor zone. This depletion does not seem to be a problem in the main lake, only at Hite and upper San Juan.

LEES FERRY – Report by: Ted Welling, Wednesday Sept. 9, 2009, courtesy Lees Ferry Anglers. http://www.leesferry.com/

Fly Fishing: The rivers flows have changed once again it will flow at a constant 10,000 cfs for the next 55 days. The trout have already started to settle in with the new flow and are on the feed. I was out on Thursday and went all the way to the dam and fished my way back down river. I did well at every spot I had stopped to fish.

Some riffles were on fire and others were just good. I was wading all day using a nymph rig and the same fly set-up. Well I did switch up a bit but I fished a San Juan worm and a midge either a black and silver zebra or a laser midge. The trout were in a very good mood. They still are; today was reported as very good fishing.

The midge hatches were thick out there I was spitting them out of my mouth like I had dipped some skoal. The midges would build up on my eyebrows and in my mustache each time I would head for another riffle. I had black spots on my teeth when I got home mostly because I was happy and had a lot of fun with my fishing buddy all because the fishing was so good. We hope to see you soon.

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. There are a couple other lures that are working well, stop by the shop and I will put you on the right track. Ted

LAKE MEAD –Lake Mead water level have remained fairly steady. The current level is around 1,093 feet above msl. The striper bite has been fair to 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 this week, on Friday, Sept. 18.  Most stripers being caught are in the 1-pound range, with occasional fish up to two pounds.  Stripers are being caught 12 to 60 feet 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 and catfish seems to be fair. Stripers and catfish are being caught still fishing with anchovies. Submersible lights are very effective for stripers when used on dark nights.  The next new moon is this week, 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.

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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