Summit County Fishing Report: Ice fishing a non-viable option |

Summit County Fishing Report: Ice fishing a non-viable option

Dave Coulson

Unseasonably warm weather continues to provide anglers with an abundance of open water options, much to the dismay of hard water anglers chomping at the bit to drill holes in the ice. Frozen water is showing at South Park waters, such as Eleve Mile, Tarryall and Antero reservoirs. A few brave souls have been setting out on the “thin” ice, in most cases under 4 inches, with some success, but the open water anglers are also doing well. It’s a strange mix of conditions, but in a couple weeks the waters will likely be fully capped and far safer. Note: Spinney Reservoir does not allow ice fishing.

Dillon Reservoir continues to be mostly ice-free and producing a few fish. Most anglers are concentrating on the inlet areas where they are reportedly picking up mostly brown trout and an occasional kokanee and rainbow. Streamers and minnow-style lures are a good bet for the browns; nymphing egg patterns and San Juan worms will work for the other species.

Downstream from Dillon Reservoir the Blue River continues to be popular, but has slipped into winter mode and is considered highly technical fishing at this time. Fine tippets, midges and a good presentation are the order of the day. While fish are catchable, it’s not easy going.

For easier fishing, head downstream to Green Mountain or Wolford reservoirs. Both are ice-free and producing fair trout action on a variety of trout baits. Off the dam at Wolford continues to produce a few kokanee, but the action has slowed.

Grand Lake-area reservoirs also remain mostly ice-free at this time. Often overlooked, Willow Creek Reservoir is producing decent numbers of smallish rainbows from the shore with spinners and small spoons.

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

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