Summit County Fishing Report: “Tween” time with ice on the way
special to the Weekender
It’s ’tween time, the period when we’re transitioning from open to hard water. It’s a time when keeping up with conditions is difficult. The bitter arctic air mass slid in and provided a quick start to the icing process, but warmer weather and winds have since reversed things in some areas — making for hazardous ice conditions. On the plus side, the lower river sections are primarily ice-free and fishing well.
The Colorado River from Dotsero upstream to the Pumphouse is running low and clear. There have been some shore ice forming and morning ice flows. The best fishing is during the afternoons after the waters have warmed slightly. Blue-winged olives and midges are the primary fare, although attractor patterns have been somewhat effective. The Eagle River is much the same as the Upper Colorado. Look for most of the fish in the deeper runs.
The Blue River below Dillon Reservoir is fishing decent. Midges, both dries and nymphs, are the best bet there, and that will likely remain true throughout the winter. As the winter progresses expect this area to remain popular, as it’s one of the closer open water sections to the Denver Metro area.
Even though Dillon Reservoir has a lot of open water, the inlet areas — especially the Snake — have a coat of ice that’s been attracting lots of ice fishers. It even looks like a small tent city at times. Those getting on the water early are having solid success for kokanee and the occasional trout. Several methods are working. Small bright jigs, especially pink-tipped with shrimp or waxworms, have been effective. The fish are smallish, but an occasional decent-sized fish shows up.
Officers Gulch Pond is frozen and seeing a few anglers; however, the layers of slush and snow make for wet fishing and can be a bit nerve-racking. Under such conditions, consider fishing in snowshoes. Use extreme caution and stay off the ice if you have any doubt about your safety.
South Park’s Spinney Reservoir is iced over and consequently closed to fishing for the season. Antero has ice, but there’s still open water in places. Fishing has been fair, but extreme caution is required. Elevenmile is mostly open water.
The best ice can be found at Tarryall Reservoir, where it’s reportedly over 6 inches thick in most places. Small jigs in water under 15 feet deep have been effective. Consider tipping the jigs with a waxworm, mealworm or bit of earthworm.
For some late-season open-water fishing consider Granby and Grand lakes. A number of lake trout have been showing up at those spots.
Dave Coulson is the Colorado editor for http://www.fishexplorer.com. He writes a weekly fishing report for the Weekender.
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