Editor's note: Dave Coulson is the Colorado state
Cold weather and hot fishing is the story for the Blue River drainage. Starting with the tailwater fishery below Dillon Reservoir, anglers are doing well. It's one of those rare times when the fish seem willing to eat just about any fly drifted by. Many anglers have upsized their leaders to 5, even 4X tippet. Good patterns include RS2s, bead head nymphs, midges, copper John's and the dependable Mysis shrimp patterns.
Moving downstream to Green Mountain Reservoir, anglers are finding the inlet a great place to start even though the water is dingy. Fly fishers are using large dark nymphs, woolly buggers, San Juan worms and egg patterns. The key is to get your pattern seen. Work slowly, and once you locate a fish, stay with it as they are stacked up right now.
The reservoir itself is ice-free. While not many are weighting in on the main lake, this is a good time to fish big minnow-style lures or streamers, if a fly fisher. Simply, as long as the water temperatures stay under 50 degrees, lake trout will be cruising shallow near shore.
Below Green Mountain, the Blue River is fishing well. The low flows are allowing for easy wading and access to fish not normally seen, while midges and mayfly nymphs are the standards and producing well. Look for evening hatches of midges and blue-wing olives to bring fish to the surface.
The Eagle River, especially the upper section from Minturn down, has been fishing extremely well. This may continue, but with warm weather coming look for the lower river sections to start muddying up.