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Dave Bryant
"Ice Stick" - Guest Blogger

Icing Dillon Reservoir's Snake River Inlet

Guest Blog by: Dave Bryant 12/4/2013
Here we are with a cold snap coming. The good thing is you don't have to wait for ice.

The Snake River inlet at Dillon Reservoir is the first to cap every year. With the exception of no water in the inlet last year, I could not wait for the early action. I have been making the same trip for 20 years the day after Thanksgiving to catch my limit of ten kokanee salmon to hit the smoker. As animals and fish adapt to time and temperature and making their movements towards spawning or other migrations, my internal clock has also been set for these fish. Some years I have been by myself the week before only to see a few regulars. Almost like the bears meeting for a salmon feast, the anglers come armed and ready.

What to expect:

In past years the ice will usually be ready no earlier than the weekend before Thanksgiving and will build up quick to a solid eight to twelve by mid December. Last week we were at a solid 4 to 5 inches.

Anglers will see a very early morning bite and then will come to a sudden stop. The rainbow trout are usually pretty active and a dozen night crawlers will harvest your suckers for a good lake trout season. Kokes will range from 8 to thirteen inches. The salmon are bigger this year. Seems to be more males right now. There should be another group of fish moving in this week. A few nice splake have been known to show up but are not very common. The salmon run will last from the end of November into the first few days of December. If by chance you do miss them don’t give up, the trout fishing is usually pretty good. Use extreme caution this time of year on the early ice. Always think safety first!


Ice grips on the bottom of your boats is very helpful. Expect 4 to 12 inches of snow in the next week. The usual kokanee lures, spoons and castmasters work pretty well. My favorite rig is a 1/16th ounce jig up inside a small crappie size pink tube with a piece of fresh raw shrimp on it. Due to the deeper water this year the spoon bite has been better.

Here are some of my hot plastics picks for tackle: Lake Fork Tackle, Lindy Fishing Tackle,

How to get there:

Take I-70 west to Silverthorne. Take US 6 East and go under I-70 and proceed about 3 to 4 miles to the Snake River inlet. Take a right at the light (Swan Mtn Road) and continue down a quarter mile to the turn into the perking lot on the right side of the road. This is marked as fishing access to the Summit Cove area. Your fishing will be only about 80 to 100 feet from the car. You shouldn’t have to go much further than that. There are plenty of Salmon for everyone. This is usually a social gathering so please have some fun and help out some other anglers.

Special Regulations:

There is no snagging in this area. The limit is 10 kokanee and all other Colorado Parks and Wildlife regulations apply.

Be Safe!

Blog content © Dave Bryant
Blog Comments
lastcast, 12/4/2013 10:21:37 AM
I was up last sat and sunday.. the bite is very early in the morning. Excellent write up. I took my 5 year old daughter and she was slaying them! She is starting to get a feel for the vex.
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