The Ice-off Cometh

As the sun takes a higher plane in the spring, warm winds blow and start to melt the icy edges of our favorite lakes and reservoirs. This is the ice-off phenomenon. Breaking out of their winter lethargy, trout will cruise the warmer shallows in search of food. Although the unpredictable spring weather conditions can be for the hardy, the rewards can produce some of the largest trout of the season.

We are already starting to see some good fishing but it should only get better! "Ice-off" is an events that anglers look forward to every year, and folks will travel and come to fish specifically for this special time. Trout this time of year can be extremely voracious! They’ve been stuck under the ice for months. A few of the best places to start are inlets and shallow waters. Great time to catch some big ones while the fish are more easily attainable feeding on minnows and crayfish.

We can look forward to Ice-off on Steamboat Lake in the coming weeks. 

Stagecoach is about half open, and it'll get better and better! The fish are moving into the shallower water, and the inlets will be great for about the next month. We recommend using Woolly Buggers, Leech Patterns and Zonkers. The tail waters of Stagecoach are great! This area is providing moving waters that are mostly clear. Lots of bug activity on the surface already; give some Blue Wing Olives, and of course Midges a try. 
The Delaney Buttes Lakes opened up a few weeks ago as well. The is a special location with three fishable lakes and it'll just keep getting better. Fishing Midges, or Midging with an Indicator will be very productive out there. Or try a Leech with a smaller Nymph.

Elk Head Reservoir and the Yampa are still in transition. Give them a little more time to clear out and warm. As always, feel free to give us a call and see what's good right now!

A good rule of thumb during ice-out is to keep working the shoreline till you find trout. Once you find fish, the chances are good that there’s more around. Particularly with spring spawners, they tend to pod into groups. For the first few weeks, it’s probably wise to leave the boats and tubes at home. Most fish will be within casting distance from shore. This can be the most magical time of year and possibly your best chance on some of the biggest stillwater trout of the year. There's really no need to be to the lake at sun up. As the water warms during the day, the afternoons can often times be the best times.

Straight Lines and Happy Fishing!
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