Spring fishing, like the weather, is often mixed. With no major snowstorms in the immediate forecast, now is a great time to get out. Other than inlet areas, most High Country waters remain tightly locked up with ice and will remain that way for a while longer. So if ice fishing isn’t your thing, try the rivers or head down the hill to lower elevations (either east or west) where folks are enjoying open, boatable waters
The Dream Stream (South Park) has been seeing a lot of fishermen looking for big trout that run upstream out of Elevenmile Reservoir this time of year. Even though the river flows are low a few nice fish have been spotted. Most reports indicate the fishing is slow, but light tippets coupled with midge patterns will produce a few fish on any given day.
Elevenmile Reservoir has an icecap of a foot or more over most the lake. Those still willing to drill a few holes can expect some decent fishing, although few fish of size are being caught at this time. Concentrate on the shallower waters, under 15 feet with small ice jigs. Tipping them is always a good idea.
Below Dillon Reservoir, the Blue River is still experiencing elevated flows, in the 400 cfs range, which continues to make for some excellent Mysis action. While a variety of midges and other nymphs will also produce, this is a great time to try small streamers, especially if you get on the water early to midweek before the crowds hit.
Dillon Reservoir is still icecap and a reasonable hard-water option, if only for the close proximity. Use extreme caution around inlet areas near open water. For safety, alone you’re better to fish other areas. Another option is nearby Officers Gulch Pond for brook trout. As the edges thin the action will get increasingly better with a flush of highly oxygenated water. Black crappie-styled jigs are an effective lure choice at this time.
Both Gore Creek and the Eagle River have been fishing well as of late. On Gore Creek, small flies and tippets are the order of the day. With the Eagle you have a bit more flexibility. Many anglers have been enjoying afternoon blue-winged olive hatches. Even though the river is warming, most of the fish are still holding in the deeper runs. Look for stonefly patterns to be increasingly effective over the next few weeks.
Finally, on all the rivers, it won’t take much in terms of warm days and/or a spring rain to discolor them. If they’re not totally mud, dig out the streamers and pound the shorelines.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily News.