The rivers are holding up better than one might expect for this time of year. With the cooler weather last week, run-off slowed and the flows dropped. Once the temperatures rise again, so will the flows. The Eagle River above Wolcott, Roaring Fork River (especially above Carbondale), and Gore Creek have been running fairly clear. On the Eagle there have been some outstanding hatches of blue-winged olive midday.
For the most part the lower Colorado River is muddy, although flows have dropped. If you decide to fish the off-colored waters, remember that blacks, oranges and red colors will give the best visibility — avoid light, bright colors.
Tail water fisheries are always an option this time of year, but they also attract large crowds. Either fish during the week when the traffic is lighter, or consider fishing one of the many reservoirs that are now open.
Dillon Reservoir is quickly opening up. Now is a great time to fish ice free, windblown shores. Few people target areas where you have to cast into the wind, but the rewards are often worth it, especially during low light periods.
Wolford Mountain Reservoir is several feet down and will be filling over the next few weeks. Right now the water is rather muddy. Few anglers are having any success.
Granby Lake is cold; water temperatures are in the low 40s making this an ideal time to fly fish large streamers for lake trout. There have been reports of a few lake trout to 30 inches being caught. Browns have been active also with an occasional larger fish, to 20 inches, coming to the net. The reservoir is open to boating and the inspectors are in place, make sure your boat is clean and dry.
Eleven Mile Reservoir has been producing mixed reports. No consistency on location or methods. Crankbaits, spoons, streamers and various baits all seem to have an equal chance of success or failure. Nearby Spinney Mountain Reservoir has been doing better. Minnow style lures, such as Rapalas have been producing some nice trout and the occasional northern pike. Fly fishers have been doing well on a variety of things, including leeches, egg patterns and midges. When the winds are up, working the windblown shoreline with streamers is a good bet.
For those just wishing to catch a lot of fish, give Sylvan Lake a go. It’s been well stocked and the fishing has been excellent. Everything seems to be working to some degree at this time.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado editor for www.fishexplorer.com and writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily News.