While it would be nice to call ice fishing season officially over, that’s not completely true, as a few waters have enough ice for the brave souls who won’t give it up, such as Dillon, Grand Lake and Granby Reservoir. Extreme caution should be used if you decide to venture onto the ice, as shorelines can be thin, and even if they aren’t when you get on the ice, they can thin by days end or the ice sheet may shift from the shore if winds are present. Better to seek out open water.
South Park waters have opened up, and Elevenmile Reservoir opened to boating last weekend. Spinney Mountain opens April 30, just be aware that the boat ramp may be icy in the early morning hours. The fishing right after ice-off is often great and one trick that works well, especially for the shore angler fly fishing, is to use weighted midge patterns, 3 to 9 feet or more behind a strike indicator. The key is to set it up so the midge will suspend just off the bottom after the cast and then wait, rather like a worm and bobber rig most of us cut our teeth on. While it may seem strange not to be retrieving after the cast, patience will often pay big time.
Antero is mostly open at this time also thanks to the recent winds, but no reports on the fishing, although there may be some reason to be concerned as a number of dead fish along the shore have been reported.
If you’re up for a little drive, consider heading north to North Park. All the reservoirs look to be open this weekend, and they are well known for their excellent spring fishing.
It’s a good thing that the reservoirs are opening up as most of the rivers, especially the lower ones, are seriously discolored at this time, including the Colorado River around Dotsero and downstream, most of the Eagle River, and Roaring Fork to name a few. If you must fish moving water, stick with the tailwaters, such as the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir or Green Mountain Reservoir and the Dream Stream. These sections are still fishing well, although flows are up as they make room in the reservoirs for spring run-off.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily News.