Short of heading far south or down the hill to Pueblo, open-water fishing is now limited to tailwaters such as the Blue River below Dillon and Green Mountain reservoirs or the South Platte River below Eleven Mile and Spinney reservoirs. The winter river pattern is generally to nymph small midge or shrimp patterns on light tippet, 6x or finer. Look for some surface action early or late or under cloudy conditions.
Ice fishing is going to be the best bet for most folks for the next several weeks. South Park waters have all iced over, although Eleven Mile Reservoir should be approached with extreme caution for at least another week, as thin ice is prevalent in places. Tarryall and Jefferson reservoirs (via a long walk or snowmobile) have the best ice, generally 6 inches or thicker. A small tube tipped with mealworms is an excellent tactic. There's no need to fish deep water; fish are often shallow and close to shore.
Another option is to head over to the Granby area. Grand Lake is putting on a coat of ice, but check locally for thickness before heading out. Granby Reservoir still has open water and is producing a few small lake trout. Of the area waters, Willow Creek is the best bet, fully iced and producing great action with small ice jigs. Pink and chartreuse are great colors, tipped with waxworms or a bit of earthworm. Just don't expect much in terms of size.
Finally, the inlet areas of Dillon and Green Mountain reservoirs are also icing and reasonable choices right now. Just use extreme caution, as thin ice is a distinct possibility, especially over the channel and farther from shore.
- 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 info, visit www.fishexplorer.com.