It will be another fine weekend of fishing near Ridgway this weekend with amicable conditions at both Ridgway Reservoir and down below the dam at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk.
As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, the water level at the reservoir is getting ever closer to spilling into the dam’s overflow intake. According to the Colorado Department of Wildlife, the water temperature is in the upper 40s and getting warmer – meaning the fishing is only getting better. They report that in the past couple of months 17,000 catchable-sized trout have been released in the reservoir and recently an 11-pound brown was pulled out on a Kastmaster. Boaters are reporting good rainbows around, especially at Boat Dock Bay. Salomon eggs and silver or gold Kastmasters have been working for those fishing from the banks.
Fishing the river down below the dam remains good as well, even with higher water flows. As the lake spills, the water temperature of the river will increase and so will the bug production. According to the DOW’s report, when the water temperature of the river reaches 55 degrees the fish become more active and feed heavily. Small pheasant tails (I recommend bead-heads almost all of the time) and heavy, olive-colored streamers fished into backwaters are working well right now.
With higher flows pouring into the Uncompahgre this weekend, be warned that wading is not going to be easy. The ponds at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk will be an excellent alternative for kids; they may keep a limit of four trout per person if they so choose and aren’t limited to artificial flies and lures. While the ponds have not been stocked this season, there have been reports of good rainbows being caught.
While the Memorial Day weekend will draw fishermen to hotspots across the state, those of you in the Ouray and Telluride areas might want to take a little road trip up to Hotchkiss and over to Crawford Reservoir for a day on the water, where the chance to catch a large variety of fish can always be a surprise. The reservoir holds largemouth bass, rainbows, northern pike, yellow perch, black crappie, and yes, channel catfish (my dad would be so excited).
Fishermen fresh off Crawford Reservoir have reported catching trout anywhere from 12-17 inches long and a 26-pound pike was recently caught. If a spring cat is what you are looking for, head over to the south end of the lake where a 21-pound catfish was reportedly caught.
Fishing season is heating up at a state park near you. Happy Memorial Day and happy fishing.