Rivers continue to offer some great open-water fishing, with most running low, clear and ice-free. If you fish them, be aware that you may encounter rainbows in spawning mode. If you do, please avoid fishing and/or wading redds; there’s no need to undo what nature’s trying to accomplish. Front Range and low elevation western reservoirs have been open, some to boating, but most High Country lakes and reservoirs continue to sport a solid ice cap. Look for the inlet areas to open first, and use extreme caution getting on the ice, as shorelines will thin first.
The Blue River below Dillon is running at more than 200 cubic feet per second, and these strong flows make it a great time to drift Mysis patterns. While midges always work to a degree, stronger currents are also a good time to dig out the streamers.
To the west, Gore Creek has been fishing well with midge and blue-wing olive patterns. Due to the low flows and crystal clear waters, fines tippets and a stealthy approach are suggested. Further downstream, the Eagle River from Minturn to Gypsum continues to fish well. Anglers are having success drifting attractors (think eggs), stonefly nymphs and midge patterns. As the waters warm, some have been encountering hatches of blue-winged olives providing short periods of dry fly action.
Keep heading downstream to the lower Colorado for a chance at a trophy fish at this time. The water is stained at times, but large, dark patterns, especially streamers, can be productive. Use caution when wading the Glenwood area.
Ice fishers will find good ice at Green Mountain Reservoir away from the inlet. The lake trout action has been decent on small white tube jigs tipped with something. Most are fishing waters in the 40- to 80-foot range. Another lake trout option is Granby Reservoir, which has a good ice cap that is coated with a snow layer that makes for tough walking on warm days. The bite has been extremely inconsistent, going from hot to cold and back in the blink of an eye; be persistent and you’ll succeed. Standard fare has been working, jigs tipped with sucker.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Explore Summit Weekender.