As we move through April, the ice will begin to rapidly dissipate, but until then there will be a few more weeks of ice fishing. As always, bear in mind that the ice thins along shorelines and at inlet areas, so extreme caution is suggested when venturing onto the ice at this time of year.
Green Mountain Reservoir has well more than a foot of ice and is generally free of slush. The inlet has begun to open, so avoid ice fishing there, though it will soon offer open-water fishing. Fishing has been good for rainbow trout in most areas for those using smaller ice jigs tipped with mealworms. Fishing shallow waters is more productive for rainbows. Lake trout have been showing up in deeper water, more than 40 feet, especially early in the day.
Granby Reservoir still has a good foot of ice covered by slush and snow. Fishing has been fair for mostly small lake trout. Work shallower waters for decent trout action.
South Park waters continue to attract anglers. Eleven Mile Reservoir has more than a foot of ice in most places, although there are reports of open water at the inlet area of Cross Creek. Reports have been mixed, with some having good success fishing shallow water and others finding a light bite requiring close attention to their rods. The key is to keep changing things up and moving, as necessary, to find fish. Tarryall Reservoir also has a good ice cap, but most are reporting slow action, which is unusual for this reservoir.
For those looking for good lake trout action, Twin Lakes is a good option at this time. Just watch out for soft shorelines and slushy surface conditions by mid-afternoon. The channels between the lake and the outlet channels are open at this time. Ice thickness in most areas is reported to be more than 2 feet. The lake trout have been hitting well on sucker-tipped jigs and spoons, with fish up to 3 feet being reported.
Rivers continue to offer excellent open-water fishing. The Colorado River from Glenwood downstream is seeing some large midge hatches, offering some excellent evening dry fly action. During the day, stonefly and large mayfly nymphs are producing.
If you catch it when the water is off-colored, don’t hesitate to upsize your offerings and consider trying streamers.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily News.