Blue Mesa Reservoir is a lot higher than it has been over the last three years at this time, which means there is a lot more water to cool down to the point that it can freeze. There has been “safe” ice on the inley area up to about 200 yards west of the Lake City/149 bridge for the last 3-4 weeks. About a week ago, the ice extended from this point all the way down to the mouth of the narrows as it enters Cebolla basin (just west of Elk Creek). From this point to the dam is all still open water. The new ice is now about 5″ thick in most areas, but there are some thinner spots that are hard to see because there is about 3-4″ of a very powdery and tacky snow covering all of the new ice. The reservoir water level has also been dropping and has dropped over a foot in the last week! Needless to say, extreme caution must be used at all times! The nightime lows have consistently been in the -5 to -25 degree range to this ice should thicken up quckly. The few inches of snow on the ice makes dragging a sled very tiresome as the weird combination of moist snow and freezing temps seems to cause this snow to stick to your sled. Fishing has been very good most days for all species, except for kokanee salmon! There have been some nice sized trout, yellow perch, and lake trout showing up at most of the areas we have fished. The rainbows can ben found crusing 1-20 feet deep with lots of them cruising within 5 feet of the surface and most of them feeding all day long. Brown trout have been hanging out in the 10-30′ range and seem to be more active during certain bite windows (usually low light periods) throughout the day. We have had a few different days where we don’t catch any browns until the middle of the day and then that is all we will catch for several hours! More often when the browns move in, the perch move out or tend to shut off. Yellow Perch have been showing up all over the place in 10-30′ of water and are typically relating to the bottom. Small jigging spoons, ice jigs, and plastics have been working for all of these species tipped with a little piece of earthworm, meal worm, or wax worm. The bite has been lite most days so a sensitive rod like the Frabill panfish popper is key to detect most bites! A 1-2″ radical glow tube jig is a great starting offering! Numbers of lake trout can be found in 40-60 feet of water and a 2-5″ tube jig with a piece of sucker meat will get more than it’s fair share of bites! Good luck and God Bless! Be safe out there!
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