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Summit County fishing report

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Editor’s note: Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for FishExplorer.com. He contributes a weekly fishing report to the Summit Daily News. For more local and regional fishing information, visit www.fishexplorer.com.

While there are a number of reservoirs with “fishable” ice, the numbers are dwindling fast. The problem isn’t so much one of good ice, as it is getting on and off the ice safely. Reservoirs can be especially problematic, as rising levels thin the shoreline even faster. So use extreme caution if you decide to push the ice-fishing envelope.

Eleven Mile and Antero have enough open water on some sections of shoreline to provide open fishing. The few anglers reporting indicate action is generally slow. The Dream Stream is the best bet if you go. A variety of flies and lures are working, and a few of the Eleven Mile browns have moved up into the river.

Heading west is an option, as Rifle Gap is nearly ice-free and trout fishing has been good. Pike have been spotted but no hookups reported. Many Front Range waters have received a trout stocking; as a result the action has been good with most baits and small lures. The real news, though, is the bass action, which is picking up at the larger waters, such as Aurora, Quincy, Chatfield and Boyd. Fish more than 20 inches have been caught. Working tubes, jigs and crayfish patterns early in the day is a good option. Switch to jerk baits and crank baits as the waters warm in the afternoon.

Rivers are the best bet for High Country anglers right now. The South Platte River has been reporting solid action on midges from below Eleven Mile all the way to Denver. The lower Blue has seen a drop in flows, which has moved the fish into the deepest runs. The Frying Pan River reports excellent action on the upper reaches with Mysis shrimp patterns, but expect that to slow as angler traffic picks up.