Ice fishing has begun for those who like to push the limits - with reports of a few people fishing thin, unsafe ice (less than 4 inches thick) at Antero Reservoir. Most of the reservoir is open water, as is the case with other South Park waters, but that will change over the next couple of weeks. All have some skim ice around inlets and other shallow areas. If you decide to check things out, use extreme caution venturing out onto the ice, as conditions are generally unsafe at this time.
However, the Dream Stream is a good winter option, especially on warm days, near freezing, when the sun is shining and the winds are down. At those times, anglers will find fishing downright tolerable. The kokanee run is over, for the most part. A few residual fish remain, but most of the action will be with the resident fish. Right now, flows are up, spreading the fish out. While small fare is always productive in the winter, streamers are a good bet during high flows.
The Blue River above Dillon has reports of kokanee present in good numbers. Remember that this is fly-and-lure-only water; snagging is not permitted. While most lean toward using bright, colored flies for kokanee, standard nymphs, especially on the larger side, often produce well. Midge patterns are a good choice for trout.
Below Dillon Reservoir, the Blue River is a great winter option, especially during the week when fishing pressure is down. While small tippets coupled with mysis shrimp patterns or midges are the typical fare, don't hesitate to give larger fare and small streamers a try now and then. Trying something "different" is often a good tactic.
Don't overlook fishing on Green Mountain Reservoir at this time. With the drop in water temperatures, look for lake trout to move to shallow water, especially near rocky shorelines. Minnow-style baits, large spoons and tube jigs are all decent choices.
- 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 info, visit www.fishexplorer.com.