Summit County Fishing Report: Reservoirs and tailwaters best options |

Summit County Fishing Report: Reservoirs and tailwaters best options

Dave Coulson
Special to the Daily
A smallmouth bass, the quarry at a free fishing tournament on Ridgway Reservoir from July 11-19.
Getty Images / Special to the Daily | iStockphoto

For those looking to fish rivers, tailwaters — such as the Dream Stream, Blue River below Dillon Reservoir or Williams Fork — are going to be your best bet at this time. Most of the ice-free rivers are running high and off-colored as runoff is in full swing and will continue through June.

The Dream Stream is reportedly seeing a number of fish moving up from Eleven Mile Reservoir, rewarding anglers with some trophy-class fish. Don’t be afraid to give streamers a try, especially if the run hasn’t seen anyone fishing in the previous hour or so. It is also a good idea to visit with your fellow anglers. If the majority are using similar flies and not catching, try something else.

Eleven Mile Reservoir has been fishing a bit on the slow side. There are a lot of insects out and repellent is recommended, especially in the evening — which is also the time for the best surface action. Don’t hesitate to fish well after sunset, and switch over to streamers as soon as the fish quit dimpling the surface.

Tarryall Reservoir has been well stocked and is providing great action on a variety of baits.

Spinney Mountain and Antero reservoirs are seeing a good number of chironomids coming off, so working large midge patterns near shore is an excellent tactic. For whatever reason, many fly-fishers are also catching good numbers of trout on egg patterns.

Williams Fork Reservoir is nearly full with a strong flow of water coming in; it should reach capacity before too long. Near the inlet the visibility is greatly reduced. Good numbers of pike are being seen shallow, but not many have been caught. The best action has been for the abundant rainbow trout.

Turquoise Lake is now ice free and the boat ramps are slated to open by June 6 provided they are covered with water. Montgomery Reservoir has enough open water to fish and the action has been excellent for many anglers, primarily on bait.

If you’re looking for something a bit different, consider heading either west to Rifle Gap Reservoir or east to Chatfield Lake — south of Denver — where the smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent.

Lots of great options at this time; the biggest problem is choosing a place to fish.

Dave Coulson is the Colorado editor for and writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily News.

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