Fishing Report: High Country rivers slowly starting to open |

Fishing Report: High Country rivers slowly starting to open

With spring runoff conditions variable, finding the right spot to fish is essential.

Rivers continue to offer the best bet for open-water fishing in the High Country.

With each passing week, they will continue to open and run ice free. This is a great time — until runoff gets underway — to chase larger-than-average fish in moving water. Look for small black and brown stonefly nymphs to become increasingly effective, especially as the fish begin to move out of their deep-water haunts.

Now if you find yourself needing to fish open, still waters, ponds and reservoirs up and down the Front Range are opening quickly. Although heading to the plains somehow just doesn’t have the same ring as heading to the mountains to fish. Meanwhile, most High Country lakes continue to have good ice caps that likely will stay in place for several more weeks.

Fishing has been slow at Dillon Reservoir, including at the Snake River inlet. Farther downriver, Green Mountain Reservoir has several inches of snow over thick ice. Several report good lake trout fishing in 50 to 70 feet of water. Most fish are coming off the bottom, but it does pay to occasionally fish the entire water column. A variety of baits are working — spawn sacs, jigging lures and tubes tipped with suckers or worms. A bit farther down the road, Williams Fork Reservoir is producing a few rainbows in shallow water near shore. The bite is light, so a soft rod tip or spring bobber is recommended.

Granby Lake remains a good option for lake trout. However, the recent snows have left a deep snow cover, making it difficult to get around on foot. Snow machines are highly recommended. Most are using small 2- to 3-inch jigs tipped with sucker, shad or worms.

South Park waters remain fully capped. Antero is extremely slow with no reports of anyone having much success. Eleven Mile Reservoir is a better bet — not by much — with a few fish being caught. Better action can be had at Tarryall, where the fishing has been fair for smallish rainbows and an occasional northern. A few hardy souls have been making the hike into Jefferson, where they’ve done well on small rainbows using baits such as salmon eggs and worms.

Dave Coulson is the Colorado editor for

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