River fishing continues to be outstanding at this time — all are low, clear and very wadable. While water temperatures have dropped into the high 30s and low 40s, the action has been good on most waters with standard nymphs or streamers. Cloudy days and evenings offer some good blue wing olive and midge hatches.
Right now is a great time to fish the lower Colorado River. It’s clear and fishing well, including some unusually good dry-fly fishing. Many are using streamers looking for aggressive brown, although there are some good-sized rainbows. Other good waters to fish include the Roaring Fork and Eagle rivers. Both are very wadable, making for a good day’s fishing on those warmer fall days.
The Blue River below Dillon has been good and will offer decent fishing throughout the winter. Many have been anticipating the kokanee run, but it has failed to materialize. A few fish have been seen in the lower river above Green Mountain, but the numbers are low. A better choice would be the Dream Stream, but with low flows and crowds, there are better fishing options.
Skim ice is showing on many of the South Park reservoirs, including Antero and Tarryall. Both reservoirs and Elevenmile still have open water and are fishing well. We should get another week of open-water fishing, maybe two at Elevenmile.
Wolford Mountain Reservoir has been producing decent numbers of kokanee (no snagging). A favorite technique is to use small ice-style jigs below a float. Small tube and crappie jigs are also effective. Long-rodders have been doing well on small versions of salmon flies and other streamers.
Granby is still boatable, just remember to follow the clean, drain and dry protocols. Lake trout fishing has been excellent, with white tube jigs tipped with sucker producing well. Work around the islands and dike faces in water 25 to 50 feet deep. Electronics help in locating fish.
Final note: Increasing numbers of reports are coming in on ice fishing lakes above 11,000 feet in elevation. If you go, use extreme caution, as 2 to 4 inches of ice is typical for most. With each passing week, ice-fishing opportunities will increase. Enjoy open water while you can.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily.