Summit County Fishing Report: Options before the ice age
Special to the Daily
With each passing week Old Man Winter’s icy grip will get stronger and open-water fishing opportunities will become increasingly limited. We’ve already seen many boat ramps close for the season. So before heading to the lake with a boat, be sure to check the water’s website. Note that for some waters that also includes hand-launched craft.
There’s a smattering of reports that ice is showing up on a few small, higher mountain lakes such as Saint Mary’s and a couple in Rocky Mountain National Park. If you’re an early ice fisher, be safe. Go with a partner, wear a life vest, carry a throw rope, ice picks and a change of clothes. Also be sure to test the ice carefully as you venture out. Early ice fishing can be some of the best of the season, but no fish is worth a life.
The Eagle River is fishing well at this time, especially with streamers and nymphs worked through the deeper riffles and runs.
Overcast weather will give the best dry-fly action and is also a good time to throw streamers. When nymphing, consider using a two-fly rig with an attractor pattern such as an egg for one of the flies.
Conditions on the upper and lower sections of the Colorado River are much the same as the Eagle, but the larger water can make it a bit more challenging to locate fish.
Fish tend to be deeper at this time. Be aware that many of the feeder creeks into the Colorado have seasonal closures to protect spawning fish. Double-check the regulations before heading out.
The flows on the Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir have recently been reduced to 300 cfs, making the area far more wader-friendly. Just expect the fish to be spooked more easily in the lower water.
Anglers have reported skim ice around the Snake River inlet area on colder mornings. Fishing has generally been slow. Nearby Officers Gulch Pond is still open and producing a fair number of brook trout on small jigs.
Wolford Mountain Reservoir is seeing good numbers of kokanee along the dam area. Small lures and jigs have been productive, especially brightly colored ones. Pink is a standard choice. Expect large crowds in the area on the weekends.
Another good place to catch, but not keep, kokanee is South Park’s South Platte River, in the Dream Stream section. You may have to do a bit of walking to locate a school, but anglers are finding them.
Fishing for smaller rainbows also has been decent.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado editor for fishexplorer.com.
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