April fools! There is open water on Stagecoach Reservoir on April 1. Can't be true, can it? It's true.
The unseasonable warmth has opened up about one-quarter of Stagecoach Reservoir at the west end where the Yampa River inlet is located. A brisk wind was eating away at the edge of the ice, several hundred yards out into the bay, Friday.
There were reports this week that big rainbows hungrily were cruising the edge of the ice and that northern pike literally were stacked up at the inlet. The rumor went on to say that the pike were eating any fly or lure that was twitched in front of their noses.
The joke was on anglers Friday, as the wind seemed to have dispersed the pike. And it was far too windy to dare to launch a float tube in search of the rainbows. No more than eight anglers were catching an occasional trout at midday Friday.
Still, ice-off is one of the best times of year at Stagecoach in terms of angling success. The wise anglers this week will get on the water early to avoid gusty spring winds.
The flies of choice are streamers -- and white streamers in particular for pike. If you're after the toothy pike, as opposed to the rainbow and Snake River cutthroat trout, use a stout piece of monofilament tipped by a wire leader. And bring along a pair of needle-nose pliers.
A one-day admission pass to Stagecoach Reservoir State Park is $5.
-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org