Ice fishing is just around the corner. There are a few reports of waters over 11,000 having partial or full caps — and even reports of a few anglers ice fishing on 2 to 3 inches of ice, marginal by many standards. Ice is on the way, so enjoy open water while you can.
There are a few closures of note. Spinney closes for the season Oct. 31. Williams Fork boat ramps are already closed for the season. The lower gate to Jefferson and the Sunset ramp at Granby Lake will be locked Nov. 1. Be aware that over the next month we can expect many ramps and high mountain roads to close for the winter. A call ahead can save a disappointing trip.
Rivers are in fantastic shape and fishing well for the most part. While tailwaters such as the Blue River below Green Mountain and Dillon reservoirs are always good options, it is far better to enjoy the free-flowing sections of the Eagle, Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers. All are fishing well, with decent midge and blue-wing olive hatches offering some dry-fly action. This time of year streamers are very effective for larger fish, especially aggressive, spawning brown.
Please respect any spawning area redds you encounter and don’t wade them.
The lower Colorado is running clear, and right now it is offering some great steamer fishing. Nymphing is another good option with many of the standard patterns, such as prince, copper John, pheasant tail, stonefly and San Juan worms.
Dillon Reservoir is nearly full and the inlets are seeing a bit of ice. A number of anglers have been looking for kokanee with limited success. It’s far better to concentrate on trout, which can be found very shallow and near shore right now. Work the rocky areas for browns.
Granby has cooled into the high 40s. The lake trout are wrapping up the spawn and the next few weeks is a great time to shore-fish for them. Throwing jigs and spoons is a great approach.
Williams Fork Reservoir has been fishing fair for lake trout. Most anglers have been looking for kokanee, which have failed to make much of a showing to date. Wolford is faring better for the kokanee (no snagging permitted); anglers there are starting to pick up a few on wax-worm-tipped jigs below a float. Pink streamers are also a decent option.
South Park’s Elevenmile Reservoir has been producing fairly well. Bait is popular, but the fly-fishers using streamers near shore from tubes are having some of the best action. A 30-inch rainbow was caught there last week.
Get out and enjoy the open water while it lasts.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily.