South Park waters are sporting a couple of feet of ice, making moving around a lot of work — and moving may be necessary as fishing is generally slow. Consider trying areas where few have been fishing, as the fish in those areas will be less pressured. Nothing has been working consistently at this time. Tarryall Reservoir has been producing the best, most-stocker-sized trout. Tipped ice jigs (wax, meal or earthworms), worked slowly or even not at all, have produced best.
Wolford Mountain Reservoir has a good ice cap, but the snows have made for some slushy conditions; make sure you wear waterproof footwear if you fish it. The action for rainbows has been excellent. Most fish are holding in 10 to 20 feet of water, even when you’re fishing over much deeper water. Many people have a difficult time not fishing on the bottom, regardless of the water’s depth, but they should work the entire water column. As of late, ice jigs, such as tear drops, in greens and pinks have been effective.
Granby Lake has been fishing well for rainbow trout and the occasional lake trout using typical jigs and baits. Heavy snows on the surface have made getting around difficult, in large part due to the slush layer that has developed under the snow. Nearby Willow Creek Reservoir is also a good alternative for fast trout action, but be prepared for slushy conditions.
For lake trout, consider trying Mount Elbert Forebay or Twin Lakes. Both have been doing well using brightly colored jigs, in the 2- to 3-inch range, preferably tipped with a bit of sucker. Don’t be afraid to fish shallow, less than 20 feet for lake trout.
The warmer weather is opening up the lower sections of the Eagle and the Colorado rivers below Parshall. Just use extreme caution when wading, especially if there are ice shelves present or it the river is flowing ice, especially in the early morning. For the most part, small nymphs are going to be your best bet. But over the next few weeks, expect the small brown and black stonefly imitations to be increasingly important, particularly on the lower sections of the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers (around Glenwood Springs and above).
Dave Coulson is the Colorado editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily.