Editor's note: Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for FishExplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily News. For more local and regional fishing information, visit www.fishexplorer.com.
Ice fishermen are starting to dance with glee as additional water begins to develop a cap, such as Tarryall and Antero in South Park, along with numerous smaller high country waters over 10,000 feet. It is easy to understand why some are venturing on to the ice already: great fishing. If you're one of the first to hit the ice, use extreme caution, don't go alone and consider wearing a life vest when you first venture onto the ice.
For the rest of you, don't be in a hurry to put away the long rods as numerous open waters remain and the majority of larger waters, such as Wolford, Green Mountain, Granby, Dillon and Elevenmile will have open water for two to four weeks, icing up in most years sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Anglers braving the colder weather to fish the last weeks of open water have been doing well. Bait fishing remains the first choice for many, but those needing a bit more activity to stay warm will do just as well throwing spinners and spoons. A top lure this time of year is a small tube jig, 1-3 inches. Let them settle to the bottom and bring them back with a quick lift and drop.
Rivers continue to fish well for most anglers, especially fly fishers, in part, because the fish are settling into their winter haunts. Drifting heavily weighted nymphs such as small stoneflies or copper johns with a midge dropper above is a good tactic. Spin fishers should consider probing these same areas with black marabou jigs.