Ice-out Trout

In the pre-dawn hours of a frigid night in mid-April, anglers that have traveled from far and near are lined up in front of the closed gates at Spinney Mountain Reservoir in central Colorado.

The early birds have been here for hours, arriving the evening before and spending the night in their vehicles. Being here and being  part of the  opening day scramble at  Spinney has become a tradition among scores of flatwater anglers. 

For them, a few discomforts are easy to  justify when you examine the reasoning behind the madness. Spinney  is  Colorado’s only  Gold Medal fishery with an annual opening day.

In addition,  its fertile waters are famous for producing huge trout, which by-the-way have not seen a fly or lure since the reservoir closed in november. These anglers are driven by visions of waters teeming with big dumb trout that will hit anything that moves – or so the theory goes.

Aside from the opening scramble to be the first to cast a lure into virgin waters, there exists a sense of toleration among  fellow anglers On opening day. Fishing in a crowd isn’t so bad if the fish are biting.

Fishing tactics vary among fly fishers but wading the shoreline and stripping streamers over shallow water probably accounts for more than its share of large trout.

A close second would be fishing a scud or other nymph pattern near the shore.

Scuds are a year-around staple in the trout’s diet, and trout will seldom pass up an easy meal. After ice-out, trout usually cruise the warmer water in the shallows in search of food, putting them within casting distance of wading fly fishers.

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