River fishing continues to be excellent and should continue until we have a cold snap that starts icing things up. Tailwater sections and the lower Colorado and Roaring Fork often offer open-water opportunities most of the winter.
The Colorado from Parshall downstream has been offering good fishing with a variety of patterns. Midges and mayflies are the primary surface action, although attractor pattern continue to trigger strikes (consider terrestrials to be attractors at this time). Nymphing, especially with eggs or San Juan worms is effective. Fishing deeper water, especially when stained with streamers is a great tactic right now. That makes the lower Colorado and Roaring Fork great sections to fish when the weather is clear. As most river sections are in the 40s for temperatures, the best action is often in the afternoons once things have warmed slightly.
The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir has been fishing well, especially with Mysis patterns, thanks to the heavier than normal flows. When there’s good cloud cover look for some solid dry-fly actions with midges and blue wing olives.
Anglers continue to access Jefferson Lake. When the winds are calm, folks are doing decent for rainbows. Surprisingly there haven’t been any reports of lakers, but tossing minnow lures, spoons and jigs should be productive for them at this time.
Antero Reservoir reports are mixed, with some days outstanding, especially with bait worked tight to the bottom, and other days nothing. The good news is that most of the fish are in the 14- to 21-inch range — surprising, as the reservoir was recently stocked with small cutbows. Nearby Eleven Mile Reservoir has also been spotty, fishing much the same as Antero. Note: water temps in the reservoirs have dropped into the mid-40s. We’ll have a few more weeks of ice-free conditions barring a serious cold snap.
Wolford Mountain Reservoir continues to produce good numbers of rainbows. Those looking for kokanee are having mixed success. A few are reporting catching them on pink tubes below a float. Best action has been when the winds are down.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for www.fishexplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily.