Fishing with Bernie

Fishing with Bernie is a semi-regular column in which Bernie's guides offer tips to anglers based on what they're seeing in Grand County waters.

Fishing with Bernie Guides Jake Foos, Randy H, and Dan Shannon
A happy angler with a Williams Fork Trophy Lake Trout
Photo / Fishing with Bernie Guide, Randy H.

Grand Lake

Grand Lake is currently in full blown summer mode and that means lake traffic is at its peak right now. Between the sail boaters, kayaks, paddleboards and rental boaters, there are people everywhere on the lake.

Please use extreme caution when navigating on the water. I witnessed a lot of close calls while out fishing this week. Water is being pumped from Shadow Mountain and that has flushed a ton of dirty water and plant life into the lake. With this pumping comes stained water as well. The surface temps have spiked in the past week and the lake is sitting at about 65-68 degrees depending on the weather and time of day. The two river inlets have stopped pumping in good amounts of runoff and most of the current is coming in via the connecting canal with Shadow Mountain.

The rainbow and brown trout fishing remains good, but we found that casting the typical hardware is difficult right now because of how much cabbage you hook up with retrieving your lure. We switched things up a bit and started casting slip bobbers with small jigs and continued to have great success. Tipping the jigs with a small piece of nightcrawler proved to get the most action. Lake trout fishing remains good, but the fish are spread out all over the lake. We used a hunt-and-spot technique this week in 35-80 feet of water to catch our fish. Small soft plastics tipped with a very small piece of sucker meat seemed to get the best action but moving around a lot, locating small groups fish and anchoring on top of them was necessary.

Fishing with Bernie guide Jake Foos

Williams Fork

Ramp hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The lake is at 100% capacity. Inflow is 121 cubic feet per second, outflow is 129 CFS. Surface temps are running 65 to 66 degrees early in the morning in the main channel, and warming to 70 degrees in the afternoon.

Visibility is very good, with the west side of the lake being clearer than the east side. The lake trout bite is very good early morning but slows from around 10-10:30 a.m. until late afternoon. Look for active fish in 70-90 feet of water. Fish in all age groups are biting small tubes or grubs tipped with sucker meat fished tight to the bottom. The bite is light and fast so keep those lines tight. Lake trout have been keeping me entertained, so I haven’t fish for northerns, but the guys I’ve talked to are getting some follows and an occasional hit in the west bays and inlet area.

Best time to fish is early in the morning and a few hours before the ramp closes. Calm sunny days mean a lot of casting and very little action. Rainbow and Kokanee fishing is very slow due to low population.

Fishing with Bernie guide Randy H

Lake Granby

With the summer heat, the water temps are warming in to the low 70s during the afternoons. With that, the rainbow trout and brown trout bite has been very focused on the first and last light of day, when it’s cooler out.

A variety of presentations will produce bites including various bait, bright and flashy Kastmasters or a jerk bait worked with an erratic retrieve. The lake trout bite has been very good as of late despite the warming water temp. The lake trout have continued their push deeper, and are found mostly in water from 50-100 feet deep.

A variety of soft plastic jigs in natural colors tipped with a small piece of sucker will produce bites. Use those electronics to find the groups of fish and be active about moving when the bites stop coming; even a short move has been making a big difference in whether or not the fish are biting. Stay safe while enjoying the water and don’t forget your rain gear when headed out. We have been having frequent afternoon thunderstorms, bringing some much needed rain!

Fishing with Bernie guide Dan Shannon

The Fishing with Bernie team has been guiding in Grand County for over 25 years. For more info please check out, or our Instagram pages
@fishing_with_bernie and @fishingwithaltitude

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