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Here are my explanations of some pike waters on the west slope. They are listed best-worst.

#1: The yampa river. A good number of pike in the 15-40+" range were caught last year by us, and I heard of a 54" being caught there before as well, from a very credible source. Average pike is around 30", and average day is 3-6 per angler. Fish have excellent body condition and eat mostly small smallmouth and some crawdads. Best lures are buzzbaits, big panther martins, and rattletraps.
Please release all pike caught on the yampa. Smallmouth are a bonus fish. I've caught them in the a range of 3-20.5", and seen some bigger.
#2: Stagecoach Reservoir. A ton of Small 15-20" northerns. They feast on a lot of large crawdads, and once they get larger I bet will eat the odd trout and small pike. The 15-20" fish have average body condition and the larger fish have good body condition. There are also some gator-sized pike in there, having had one on a split second myself that was well over 40", and my bro later that day hooking one in the low 40" range. I also caught a nice 10 or so pound pike that day. Caught a lot of 24-28" in the inlet area, and saw many monsters chase in my lures. 20 pike days are easy. Good lures are buzzbaits, zoom super flukes, and tube jigs. You can keep a few small pike from here. No harm done. Trout are a bonus fish. I had a big brown on on a buzzbait once. Nice, fat healthy fish 12-18" usually, and some bigger.
#3: Crawford Resevoir. A lot of pike in a variety of sizes abound. I've seen 11-45" pike personally, and a relative of mine used to flyfish it with bunny leeches in the spring and caught several fish approaching 50" and even above. The pike have good body condition and feast on yellow perch, and eat the occaisional bass, catfish, stocker trout, and crappie. Since they were illegally introduced, they have flourished and also improved the condition of every other species present. They truly have been a blessing. These pike are educated fish. Buzzbaits will work in certain situations though. Good lures are rattletraps, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits. Bunny leeches also work very well here. Release pike if they are not mortally wounded. BTW: check water clarity before going. Bonus fish are yellow perch, some SLAB crappie, some decent largemouth and smallmouth, and some catfish.
#4: Harvey Gap. This lake is down from its heyday (as is crawford actually), but it still hosts some big fish. The pike have tremendous body condition and feast on a variety of fish like perch, stocker trout, bluegills, and crappie. These are by far the most educated northerns I have seen. I've been stumped here many a times, as has any angler. I've cashed in on some decent fish though. These pike are tricky; most of them think buzzbaits are a joke. Use careful presentations: jointed rapalas, zoom superflukes, and bunny leeches to entice the monsters. I've seen some huge fish here but sadly have not cashed in on them. Release all pike caught here. A nice channel catfish population, and the rare tiger muskie (only place ever stocked with them on the west slope) make this lake an interesting, but downright tricky, place to fish.
#5: Rifle gap: A great population of northerns is starting to get established. Fish have decent body condition. Most fish are in the low 20" range, although there are some larger. Read in the daily sentinel of like a 45" 28 pounder caught there on 4 lb test with a nightcrawler last year. Buzzbaits, big spoons, spinnerbaits, and the like will all work here.
#6: Taylor park reservoir. Has a decent population of northerns of all sizes. Northerns have average body condition. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, big spoons, and zoom superflukes are the trick here. Good areas are shallow areas in the evening. A great evening bite for pike here. Definitely strange, but it can be attributed to the trout feeding on insects in the shallows, and the pike following. Educated pike and tough lake conditions make them difficult to catch, but not too hard. Nothing like harvey's difficulty. It is okay to harvest a small pike or two.
#7: Rio Blanco Lake: A nice population of small northern pike here. Mostly 18-28" with the rare fish larger. Fairly educated pike. Lake is blazing hot in the summer and it is ugly. Not much else to catch, but has a tremendous population of channel cats. There are stunted panfish of all species besides bluegill (the bluegill are doing okay). Bass fishing is poor. Body condition of pike is poor. Spinnerbaits and shallow (2-3 ft) diving cranks work well. It is okay to harvest a few small pike.

The Real #2: Lake X. Monstrous pike are here. Plain and simple. They have basically anything they want to feed on; a ton of different kinds of fish, crustaceans, insect life, little kids, etc. release all pike you catch here. Hard to say its not #1 but the yampa river really is that special.

Later all!
 

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We must not forget Willies Fork, which yeilded the current state record Northern of 30.6 pounds in 1996. Great spawing grounds in the spring in the flats near three rocks (can only see the three rocks when the lake is drawn down way low), and also in the finger bays. Forage fish are trout, lakers, suckers, but mainly Kokanee. Fish have access to deep water around most of the lake and can be spread out.

Elkhead Reservoir - Near Steamboat. Currently closed for expansion and set to reopen in 2007. Never fished it, but have heard of good numbers and size of pike. Good small mouth population as well.

We all know about 11-Mile and Spinney, but they may not be considered Western Slope fisheries.

Point of Interest: To be in the exact center of the state of Colorado you would have to be in a boat in the middle of Spinney Mountain Reservoir.

TFB covered it pretty well.
 
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