Regional Reports - West

Stagecoach Lake

How do you reach Stagecoach Lake's 40-inch pike and fat rainbow trout in winter? Drive. The state keeps the access road, Routt County Road 14, plowed from Highway 131 to Stagecoach State Park on the lake's north shore. The lake might be low, but the ice should be great. Jig big spoons, 1- to 11/2-ounce size, tipped with sucker meat for the northern pike. Go with smaller spoons for plenty of keeper trout, mainly rainbows in the 15- to 18-inch class. Try the lake's west side near the inlet where northerns stack up in winter to feed on rough fish and smaller trout. Or fish the shoreline for rainbows at the Keystone or Morrison Cove access points. By early February, large baits fished with tip-ups take the big pike. Stick a nail through the belly of a dead sucker to sink it about 15 feet deep. The action isn't fast, but pike that hit the big baits are generally large. Contact: Stagecoach State Park (970-736-2436).