Spring-like conditions one day, winter-like storms the next; such is the life in the High Country as spring tries to take hold. One spring sign is that the rivers, for the most part, are ice-free and fishing well — not fantastic, but well.
The Eagle River from Avon to Gypsum is a great option right now, especially midday. Anglers are fishing the deeper runs with midge nymphs, attractor-style nymphs (think prince or copper John) and stonefly nymphs (small black and brown).
After a snow or rainstorm, look for things to muddy up for a couple of days.
The Colorado River from the Pumphouse downstream is floatable at this time, and a number have been taking advantage of the early ice-free conditions. Patterns are much the same as on the Eagle River.
The Blue River in the Silverthorne area and downstream has been fishing fair with midges and Mysis Shrimp patterns, standard fare this time of year. While conventional wisdom had most folks fishing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when temperature are warmest, a few hardy souls fishing very late or early have been doing well with Mysis.
Downstream, Green Mountain Reservoir is still well iced and producing a number of lake trout, but the action has slowed. Although once the edges start to thin, expect action to pick up as the oxygen levels increase. Deeper water, more than 40 feet, and tube jigs tipped with sucker meat continues to be the favored tactic.
South Park waters continue to sport thick ice; outside of the few days after snowstorms, getting around has been easy. No issues at this time with shorelines, where the ice thins out first. Tarryall has slowed greatly. It’s still producing, but the bite is very light and inattentive anglers will head home empty handed. Eleven Mile Reservoir has been fishing the best, but that’s not saying a lot, as most are having a tough time catching anything of size. Antero probably ought to be avoided at this time.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily News.