If you’re looking for a winter fishing challenge, visit some of the top ice-fishing destinations in Northern Colorado. Here are our favorites.
As winter approaches and the lakes freeze over, swap your fly-fishing rod for your ice fishing rod.
If you’ve never been ice fishing before, it may take some getting used to, but you may enjoy it so much you find yourself missing it when summer comes again.
Here are our top ice fishing destinations in Northern Colorado.
#1 – Chambers Lake, Rustic
You can fish at Chambers Lake all year round, but the best time to fish here would be during the winter months, where the lake can remain frozen until April. To get to some of the fishing spots, you’ll need to hike, so be prepared. If you’re looking for trout, you should start by hiking to the inlet bay.
For lake trout and cutthroat trout, you should fish either early in the morning or late afternoon, and you can usually attract their attention with a jig. If rainbow trout is your goal, start at the inlet bay, where you can use spinners or spoons to attract their attention.
It’s important to note that you can’t go snagging the kokanee salmon when fishing here. If you need to stock up on bait or lures, pop-into St Peter’s Fly Shop.
#2 – Twin Lake Reservoirs
Nestled at the base of Mt Elbert and Collegiate Peaks Wilderness lies a lake where you can go ice fishing for trout, longnose suckers, snake river cutthroat, or white snake.
It’s well-known for its ice fishing, and if you’re a seasoned ice fisherman, you could even join the annual Ice Fishing Derby that takes place in February. The peak fishing season starts in May, where you could catch a trophy trout using jigs.
It’s just as exciting in the summer, although you’d have more success using deep water jigs with sucker meat. Your hands may smell for a couple of days, but it will be worth it if you catch a trout that’s 34 inches in length.
If you need to stock up on lures or bait, you can always stop at Roaring Fork Anglers. At the end of your fishing day, have dinner at Twin Lakes Inn and Saloon, where you can enjoy their Camarones Riendo.
#3 – Lake Granby
In December, ice anglers wait eagerly for when the lake has frozen over enough, which is normally just before Christmas. The ice can get as thick as 18 inches, but the good news is that there’s no slush.
You can participate in the 3 Lakes Ice Fishing Competition that’s held annually in January. In these waters, you could land yourself a trophy trout as large as 32 inches long. Most anglers come to catch the lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, or the kokanee salmon.
Try to fish early in the morning, and you’ll find that using a jig that’s tipped with either mealworms or wax worms will attract the fish. You could also set your rod with a small spoon that’s tipped with a group if they’re not biting on the worms.
If you’re looking to hire a private charter or you need to stock up on bait, then head down to Granby Bait n Tackle.
Ice fishing offers an interesting challenge, and you may have to get more creative with your bait to get the fish to bite.
Remember to order your fishing license from Colorado Parks and Wildlife website at least 10 days before you plan to go fishing. This will ensure that you’re able to head out on the ice and catch that trophy trout.
Kenneth Reaves has been a professional angler for over two decades and enjoys ice fishing as much as he does angling. He gets out on the water (or ice) every chance he gets and shares his knowledge and passion over Perfect Captain.