Open-water fishing is limited primarily to tail waters, such as the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir. On warmer days and afternoons, the lower Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers will often be running ice-free. Small nymphs fished deep are typically the best bet this time of year, although midge hatches on cloudy days can result in good surface action.
Dillon Reservoir Snake River area continues to produce a few kokanee, although they are near the end of the run and not in the best of shape. Best action is often before the sun hits the water. The reservoir is generally capped, but be sure of ice depth before venturing out over deeper waters.
South Park waters have slowed over the past couple of weeks. Antero still produces a few fish, but if action is your goal, there are far better options. If you do fish at Antero, shallow and early will increase your chances. Eleven Mile is doing a little better, but numbers are way down, and most are struggling to see limit’s worth of fish in a day’s fishing.
Downstream, Williams Fork Reservoir is sporting more than a foot of ice and producing a few small lake trout and rainbows. Pike have been generally slow.
Green Mountain Reservoir has a good coat of ice and has been fishing decent for both lake trout and rainbows. A few snowmobiles have been running the surface. Nearby Wolford Mountain Reservoir has been producing good numbers of trout and kokanees. Most fish are coming on jigs. Color is not all that important, but lure action is. Starting near the bottom with a quick lift and slow drop was the ticket for one party.
Taylor Park Reservoir has nearly a foot of ice and is doing excellent for small lake trout in water 40 feet and deeper. Another option that is picking up for lake trout is Granby. The ice is typically 6 inches and thicker. Snow machines are starting to show in force. Looking for areas where a “flat” breaks to deeper waters is a good option at this time. Fishing closer to shore will often produce good numbers of rainbows. If fishing is slow, head to Willow Creek for fast action with small trout.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily and Explore Summit Weekender.