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.
There is little doubt about it. Before long, an ice auger will be standard gear for lake anglers. While there are a number of high-mountain waters icing over, such as Tarryall (four to six inches of ice), Georgetown, Saint Mary's, and even thin ice on Antero, most of the larger reservoirs remain open and likely will through the end of the month. Shallow coves and inlets, such as the Snake at Dillon are icing now and will see some early fishers, but extreme caution is necessary on early ice.
Open water is still the best option on many waters, such as Granby, Grand Lake, Green Mountain and Wolford. Rainbow and brown trout are still the best action. Fly fishers will do best with streamers and sinking or sink tip lines. A good tactic is to get the fly to the bottom and use a quick strip/pause retrieve, heavy on the pause. Spin fishers should consider jigs - especially tubes or marabou, 1/8 to 1/4 ounce in dark colors is a good choice. Of course, baits will always produce a few fish.
Rivers continue to produce - and will right up to ice up. Concentrate your efforts on the deeper sections. If fishing tail waters, such as the Blue, Taylor or Frying Pan, consider working midges. Carry a variety of colors and sizes and switch on until you figure out the flavor of the day, although black or reds are a good start. On main river sections, try larger patterns. Small stoneflies are always a good starting point.