Lees Ferry Anglers Report

Colorado River - Lees Ferry

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

Oct. 4 report courtesy of Kevin Campbell, Lees Ferry Anglers. Fishing remains great. Flows have been lowered for October. Riffles and runs below riffles are producing fish. Drifting is working great. Spin fishing continues to produce as well. As of Oct. 1, the flows are dropping again. The Colorado is now fluctuating between 6,300 to 9,300 cfs. Updates on the flow can be viewed in the Dam Operations section. The Bureau of Reclamation makes their updates on the 15th of each month. 

Dry/ dropper rigs and shallow double nymph rigs are both working great. Bead-headed midges in a variety of colors and sizes 20-16 fished on 5x or 6x below the dry is the name of the game. I personally start with black and cycle through gray, flashy, and purple to start the day. Other flies in the shop that are working great are these jig hook flies available in our shop: black perdigons, copper perdigons and rainbow assassin. In recent days, several trout have been taking the dry fly as well. Stimulators with rubber legs seem to get the attention of the fish as well as smaller cicada dries like the Elvira. As far as double nymphing rigs go, use either two different midges in tandem or an attractor like a scud, worm or egg followed by a midge. If using two different midges, tie the heavier one at the bottom of the rig. In addition to nymphs, swinging and/or casting and retrieving streamers like wooly buggers and leaches is working very well. This is done with a sink-tip fly line or sinking leader depending on depth and current speed. Favorite buggers include olive, black/ wine and peacock/ black and brown.  

Boat Drifting
Drifting from the boat remains productive with orange or yellow glo bugs (eggs), large orange and ginger scuds and red, tan and brown San Juan worms.

Walk-in report
If you have a report on the walk-in, please pass it along to anglers@leesferry.comand we’ll include the information for other anglers. Streamers like wooly buggers on sink-tip lines still working best like last month. Also, a scud or San Juan worm followed by a midge with split shot to get it deep in pocket water and runs. Spin fishing the walk-in is good from the top of the boulder field all the way up to half a mile past the boat landing. Gold 1/4 or 1/8 ounce Kastmasters and 1/4 ounce Panther Martins and other spinners are the best. Also working are small, Rapalas in rainbow trout, gold and silver colors. Cast out, then retrieve them at a steady speed (and maybe even give it a little twitch here and there) to trigger a strike.  

Upriver Spin Fishing
Spin fishing upriver remains good for both rainbows and browns. Please remember, Arizona Game and Fish regulations require barbless hooks on everything. Smash them down with a needle nose pliers or my favorite tool, smooth jaw hemostats. As the fall months arrive, bottom bouncing is working again with large glo-bugs in orange, pink or yellow. Longer leaders of at least 2 feet behind the weight is best with the grassy bottom. Recent reports have Rapala-style minnows working very well. One note on these. I personally take the belly treble off and only fish the barbless tail hook. fishing two trebles will often tear up the trout’s mouth and we want to be easy on these precious fish. Also working as always are marabou jigs, Kastmaster spoons, spinners like Panther Martins and Rooster Tails. When fishing jigs, don’t be too subtle with your presentation. Cast out and let it sink until the jig is near the bottom but not on the bottom collecting grass. Vertically snap the jig 1 to 3 feet and let it settle back until it gets tight to your rod tip and repeat. Strikes will come as the jig falls back down. You’re basically making a hook set each time you hop the jig this way. The same snappy motion can be used with Kastmasters as well.

More Reports

Arizona Game & Fish Department Reports
for Monday, October 30th, 2023

Kaibab Lake: Kaibab Lake Report
Cataract Lake: Cataract Lake Report
City Reservoir: City Reservoir Report
Dogtown Lake: Access to the lake is open, but the campground is closed for the winter
Santa Fe Reservoir: Santa Fe Reservoir Report
Whitehorse Lake: Whitehorse Lake Report
J. D. Dam Lake: JD Dam Report
Russel Tank: Russell Tank Report
Upper & Lower Lake Mary: Upper and Lower Lake Mary Report
Francis Short Pond: Frances Short Pond Report
Ashurst Lake: Ashurst Lake Report
Kinnikinick Lake: The lake is full and turbid
Oak Creek: Oak Creek Report
West Clear Creek: Smallmouth bass are unlimited harvest in West Clear Creek
Wet Beaver Creek : Bass are unlimited harvest in Wet Beaver and Beaver Creeks