Summit County Fishing Report: When reservoirs remain icy, head for streams and rivers |

Summit County Fishing Report: When reservoirs remain icy, head for streams and rivers

High Country reservoirs remain mostly iced up, and rivers are now mostly opened up. This offers fishing opportunities for almost all anglers, except those wishing to fish from a boat – unless, however, they opt to head down the hill, as there are plenty of waters open to boating along the Front Range.

South Park waters remain a popular destination for ice anglers, especially Antero Reservoir with its liberalized limits. However, being allowed to keep more fish doesn’t make fishing any better, as the crowds are discovering. The good news is there is still more than a foot of ice and the edges remain solid, although cleats are recommended, as the surface is slick. Small jigs tipped with a wax worm remain a good option.

Elevenmile Reservoir is probably the better bet. Like Antero, it has a good coat of ice and a slick surface. Many are doing well fishing waters less than 25 feet deep with small ice jigs. However, just about everything normally used for ice fishing has been producing to some degree. Most fish are healthy but on the smaller side.

The South Platte River, aka Dream Stream, has low flows right now, making for tough fishing. As the waters warm during the day, so does the action. Egg and midge patterns are the mainstays for most anglers at this time.

Williams Fork Reservoir is another good option right now, with solid edges. Fish the deeper water with tubes and sucker meat or night crawler for lake trout. Most fish have been less than the 20 inch mark but good fun and great table fare.

The Eagle River at about Wolcott is fishing very well. Heavily weighted nymphs, such as copper John, bead heads and small brown stones with an unweighted dropper, are good choices. Make the dropper a midge or emerger pattern. Cloudy weather and evenings are producing some dry fly action with midge and blue-winged olive patterns.

The Colorado River has decent fishing, despite some off-colored water on some of the lower sections. Now is a great time for stonefly nymphs, griddle bugs, streamers and larger nymphs, such as prince nymph, egg patterns and pheasant tails.

Dave Coulson is the Colorado state editor for He contributes a

weekly fishing report to the Explore Summit Weekender.

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