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-fishing season is essentially over, although there are still a few diehards that continue to fish Granby, Grand Lake and some of the higher-elevation lakes. While the ice may be thick enough to support people, getting on and off may be dicey. Use extreme caution, or better yet, take advantage of some excellent early spring open-water fishing.
South Park waters have open water, and both Eleven Mile and Spinney are open to boating. Reports from Eleven Mile have been mixed. However, Spinney's early reports have been excellent, with both fly and lure fishers doing well. A good choice for lures is minnow-style lures. Don't worry about casting distance as the fish are cruising close to shorelines. Fly fishers should follow suit and consider starting with small streamers.
Now is a good time to hit the rivers, just be aware that other than the tailwaters, the rivers will be the clearest in the morning, frequently becoming stained as the day progresses. The Eagle has been fishing very well. When the waters turn off-colored switch over to brightly colored patterns, such as San Juan worms or egg patterns. As the waters muddy, consider using large, dark streamers.
The Dream Stream has been very popular, as large trout from Eleven Mile have moved in. Anglers will do best if they take time to locate fish, rather than blind casting. Well-placed small mayfly nymph patterns and midge patterns are working.
If you have an urge for bass, the warm weather has warmed most Front Range waters. As a result, the black bass fishing has been excellent with fish up to 20 inches being reported. Some of the better waters are Boyd, Aurora, Chatfield, Pueblo and Quincy. Plastic worms, tubes, jig-n-pig, and jerk baits are excellent choices.