As early as the middle of last week, the Front Range witnessed temps in the negatives. A very, very hard freeze. Then, just to tease us, 64 degrees on Sunday. A 64 degree day in mid-February--especially in the midst of all the foul weather we've had--makes for a no-brainer when going fishing. Trick is, where is there actual running water without six inches of ice covering it? Good question.
Well, I can tell you where not to go. Don't waste your time on South Boulder in Eldo or anywhere below. Too damn much ice from last week. I didn't drive up below Gross, but I'm assuming there's a little fishable water up there. If anyone's been there in the last few days, please chime in.
Don't wrestle with Clear Creek. The canyon, obviously, is frozen. And although you might find an opening here and there (like most any other frozen, Front Range creek), there's a pretty thick shell of ice covering the majority of the water through Golden.
Just a few days before that, I tried my luck up in Evergreen on Bear Creek. There was a good half-mile or so of fishable water below the dam before it turned to ice and a blanket of snow. Still, not a ton of water and super clear. Plus, the cracking of the shelf-ice below your feet is sure to spook the few cold trout that are in there. I managed to pluck just one little guy out of there--a handsome little brown. And I mean little. But at least I can call it a successful day, right? Especially since one can reward oneself with a cold Pabst at the Little Bear Saloon after fishing.
Customer's are reporting good, but limited fishing on the Big T below the dam. Also, the Vrain is fishing decent up the canyon towards the big dam. Boulder Creek is hit-or-miss. Ice and lethargic fish continue to make it tough.
But with the temps rising throughout the week--upper 50s to mid-60s--plenty of ice will be melting away and making for more options come next weekend.
My advice: Make the drive up I-70 to the Blue, Eagle, Roaring Fork, or Pan. Until we get more consistent warmer temps, we're just going to have to deal with the ice.