Conservation

There are many issues facing our fly fishing waters and these posts chronicle important happenings in the world of fly fishing conservation.

Colorado’s Greenback Cutthroat

In an effort to reintroduce Colorado’s only native trout– the Greenback Cutthroat– back into the wild, more than 50 volunteers from Trout Unlimited in conjunction with Colorado Park’s & Wildlife, hauled these wild beauties into high mountain streams to be released.

So many times the news can be sad and depressing so it’s good to watch videos like the one above and walk away with a smile on the face.

Tight lines, folks!

Colorado’s Greenback Cutthroat

Colorado’s last remaining pure genetic Greenback Cutthroat population lives in Bear Creek, which is about 20 minutes Southwest of Colorado Springs, has become a top priority for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. A native trout that was once thought extinct is making a comeback due to the hard work of Cheyenne Mountain’s Trout Unlimited branch as well as our very own CPW. This is a great story that deserves the attention of all local and non-local anglers!

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/06/13/greenback-cutthroats-extinction-colorado-fish/

As anglers who love to fly fish we fully support all conservation efforts to help keep our native trout alive. To everybody involved– keep up the strong work!

Shedding Some Light on Fly Fishing Conservation

By Sara Golden–

There are quite a few topics that are covered consistently on fly fishing blogs. Everybody likes to read the newest gear reviews and fishing reports from exclusive locations. That’s what people generally enjoy reading and don’t get me wrong, I totally see why, in fact I myself spend a big part of my free time on fly fishing blogs absorbing those articles.
That being said, there are certain topics that -in my opinion- need a little bit more attention. As with most other sports, that heavily rely on nature, conservation should play a much bigger role in the scene than it does.

Why do we need it
A big part of why I enjoy fly fishing more than any other form of angling is how close it brings you to nature. While this might sound a little cheesy, just compare spin casting from shore to the process of stalking up on a beautiful fish you spotted, wading to the perfect position and present that carefully chosen fly just in the right way. IMG_1196A basic knowledge of entomology and observing present insects might have played a role and if the right conditions are given, you might just land that fish you were after. However, those conditions are more sensitive than most people think and especially trout as a species rely heavily on cold and perfectly clean water. Only minor changes to an environment lead up to dying fish and a collapsing ecosystem.
While you might think about big factories unloading their waste right now, the average trout river usually faces different challenges. In today’s age we have one big problem, more and more people want to enjoy the outdoors and everything that comes with it. While the revenue of fishing license sales went down in Colorado (http://www.krdo.com/news/money/fishing-hunting-license-revenue-down-in-colorado/33627880), there is no doubt that rivers get more and more crowded. Hatcheries struggle keeping up and face higher costs than they once did. People working for wildlife management lose their jobs and Colorado considers doubling costs for hunting and fishing licenses (http://www.denverpost.com/2016/08/27/colorado-parks-wildlife-hunting-fishing-licenses-cost/).
Those sensitive environments we talked about earlier face more and more challenges, overfishing, pollution and the lack of practiced catch and release, just to name a few.

A Few Basic Guidelines
It should be obvious by now, that it’s crucial to this sport to have some basic guidelines that every fly fisher should follow, although they aren’t defined by law. After all, you probably want to be able to catch trout in your favorite river, even a few decades from now, don’t you?

Practice Catch & Release
While frowned upon in most parts of Europe it’s still pretty common in the US to take that nice trout you caught home. Don’t get me wrong here, I love eating freshly caught fish myself. In terms of taste it beats everything you can buy and every once in awhile, I catch dinner myself. However, the huge majority of fish you catch should go straight back into the river. Sure you could hit your daily limits easily on some days, but do you really have to? Released trout have a survival rate of over 90% (http://www.westernsportsman.com/2014/01/fish-mortality-catch-and-release/) which assures, that others or even you are able to enjoy reeling that fish in on another day.

Handle Fish With Respectfullsizeoutput_1a
9 out of 10 released fish survive. Sounds pretty good right? Well, there is a catch. Achieving those results is only possible if you handle fish the correct way. A few basic rules that have a big impact on said rate:
-Reel that fish in as fast as possible
-Reduce air time to a bare minimum
-Wet your hands before handling
-Use your landing net only if needed
It all comes down to reducing the stress for fish you are catching. Keep those basics in mind, follow them and you might land the trout another time.

Never Pull Trout Out Of Redds
This should be self evident but going after trout during spawn is highly questionable. Especially if you see big fish swimming over bright and clean gravel, leave them alone! These are their spawning beds, referred to as redds, and disturbing them at this point is an absolute no-go!

Wade Only If Necessary
Since those complex environments we talked about earlier are pretty fragile, walking over all those aquatic organisms eaten by trout doesn’t really help. Wading is a big part of this sport and generally it’s impact is negligible, IF you limit it down to only what’s necessary. If you feel like reading a bit more about that topic check this article about The Impact Of Wading Fly Fishers. (http://www.wadinglab.com/impact-of-wading-fly-fishers/)

Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints
You probably heard that one before and I really like the philosophy behind it. Leave nothing behind. No trash, no flies and especially no line. Take it to the next level. See something that doesn’t belong next to a river? Take it with you when you leave.

My Final Words
I hope my point came across and hope even more, that people reading this realize how easy it is to make a difference. Try to limit the negative impact you have on those eco-systems we all enjoy fishing in. After all it benefits everyone and sticking to a few basic rules isn’t that big of a hassle, if you get a healthy river full of beautiful trout in return.
Tight lines!

A little bit about Sara: Based in Oregon, I picked up fly fishing pretty early in my life. Since then I am pretty much hooked, always looking for the next pool to fish. I am currently travelling Europe and when time allows, I enjoy writing about topics like conservation or fly fishing gear. Occasionally I get some work published on different fly fishing blogs and might start my own one in the future.

Fish of the Week

The grayling is known as the “Lady of the Stream.” In England and Wales, they can be fished for throughout the core fishing season (June 16 to March 14), providing exciting sport on the fly when the trout season is closed. There is no closed season for grayling in Scotland; where they have been introduced. The grayling is the dry fly fisherman’s fish with popular flies including Royal Coachmen’s and Humpys. “Czech-nymphing” is a very productive tactic for anglers fishing grayling in colder periods. The method involves moving a series of Czech nymphs under the tip of the fly rod with the flow of the river and the nymphs should entice the grayling to take one.

Grayling on the fly

For the dry fly fisherman, there may be no better fish than the grayling…

In Colorado, many streams and lakes offer fly anglers the chance at their first grayling. Joe Wright Reservoir and Joe Wright Creek are a great place to start for Colorado fly anglers looking to hook grayling.

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Fish of the Week!

Due to popular demand, Colorado Fly Fishing Reports has been asked to post weekly fish of the week! With so many fishes out there, it is truly fascinating as a Modern Fly-Fisherman to dream about all the possible angling destinations and fish species in the world!

Barramundi!

Barramundi!

This week’s fish of the week is the barramundi or Asian sea bass (Lates calcarifer) is a species of catadromous fish.  The species is widely distributed from Southeast Asia to Papau New Guinea and Northern Australia. Known in Thai Language as pla kapong, it is very popular in Thai Cuisine.

A lunker for sure!

A lunker for sure!

Barramundi inhabit coastal waters, estuaries, lagoons, and rivers; they are found in clear to turbid water, usually within a temperature range of 26−30 °C. This species does not undertake extensive migrations within or between river systems, which has presumably influenced establishment of genetically distinct stocks in Northern Australia.

Thanks to Colorado fly fishing guide, George Gumerman for awesome Barramundi on the fly photos!

Thanks to Colorado fly fishing guide, George Gumerman for awesome Barramundi on the fly photos!

Highly prized by anglers for their good fighting ability, barramundi are reputed to be good at avoiding fixed nets and are best caught on lines and with lures. Fly-fishing for barramundi is highly possible but generally a new frontier for fly anglers.

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

International Sportsman’s Expo comes to Denver January 12-15

Looking for something to do this weekend? Join The International Sportsman’s Expo to celebrate for the 40th year in Colorado. More than 525 exhibiting companies offering gear…expertise and travel adventures. 125+ free seminars. Expert-led clinics. Archery, casting and a new elk-calling contest. And check out the giant Youth Activity Center, hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

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Location: Colorado Convention Center
 700 14th Street
 Denver, CO 80202

Hours

Thu 12 11am – 8pm
Fri 13 11am – 8pm
Sat 14 10am – 8pm
Sun 15 10am – 5pm

 Tickets

Adult Admission – $17.00
 Youth under 16 – Free!

 No Pets
 No Weapons, Firearms or Ammunition

Parking

Parking & Shuttles: $5 per car at Park Ave. & Wazee (near Coors Field). Limited wheelchair and scooter rental available at UPS Business Center

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports Invites You to The Fly Fishing Show!

Well, we hope you have enjoyed your Holidays and are settled back into “The Grind.” Winter is in full swing in Colorado, with temperatures at a high of only 10 degrees today! The weekend is fast approaching and with the colder temps it might be a good weekend to leave the river to the trout, ducks & geese and instead head downtown to The Fly Fishing Show!

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The show is a great place to get deals on the latest and greatest fly fishing gear, enter a raffle to win a trip to your dream fly fishing destination or just grab a cold beer and hang out and talk fishing. Here is the info you need this weekend:

Show Hours Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 9am – 5:30pm, Sunday 9am – 4:30 pm

Admission is cash only at the gate and a one-day pass is only $15. Back again this year is the International Fly Fishing Film Festival, one night only Friday January 6th at 6:30 PM, $15 ticket.

If you can't be on the river this weekend, why not join us for swapping lies & stories at The Fly Fishing Show?

If you can’t be on the river this weekend, why not join us for swapping lies & stories at The Fly Fishing Show?

The show is a great place to learn from authors, outfitters, fly-fishing guides and fly tiers. Weather you are looking for fly tying materials, books, DVDs, rods, reels, waders or apparel, you simply don’t want to miss The Fly Fishing Show!

Check it out at: www.flyfishingshow.com

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Denver Trout Unlimited

As they say, “A gentleman is one who puts more back into the world than he takes out.” And when it comes to Colorado Fly Fishing and conservation this saying couldn’t ring closer to home. As fisherman, it is our duty to ensure that the streams, rivers and lakes we hold so dear to our hearts are preserved and protected for generations yet to come.

Denver Trout Unlimited

If you consider yourself a serious trout fisherman, then you owe it to yourself to join DTU…

Fortunately, in Denver we are lucky to host one of the most active and beneficial Trout Unlimited Chapters in the country through Denver Trout Unlimited. With many projects and fundraising solutions including:

Matching funds grants for restorations:

  • $10,000 – Carson’s Nature Center proof of concept South Platte restoration.
  • $15,000 – Overland Park Pond Restoration as a Gateway Fishery
  • $25,000 – Florida Ave – Overland Stretch RISO Restoration
  • $10,000 – Sheridan River Run Park aquatic habitat project with the understanding that LUNKER habitat pipes will be installed.
  • $10,000 for an Analysis and Interpretation of Aquatic Habitat Changes as a result of the Chatfield Reallocation project.
  • $3,000 for in-stream boulder clusters in the Grant-Frontier Park restoration.

Studies to trigger restoration and better flows:

  • $16,000 for a study of the downstream impact of additional “environmental pool” releases from the expanded Chatfield reservoir.
  • $50,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support Sustainable South Platte Aquatic Habitat through cooperative municipal water use.
  • $6,000 to start a “Calls & Release Coalition” to coordinate release timing for optimum S. Platte flows.
  • $4,000 Denver South Platte Minimum Flow for Aquatic River Health study.

The above is just but a small sampling of projects sponsored by Denver Trout Unlimited. For more information or to join Denver TU, check out their website today at: http://www.denvertu.org

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

The Colorado Cast & Blast!

Well fellow outdoorsman, tomorrow is September 1st and marks the opening of Colorado’s upland bird season! There is just something unexplainable about it, but fly-fishing and bird hunting just seem to go together. Maybe it is tying flies from a wild bird you harvested with your favorite bird dog? Or, maybe it is hiking into a backcountry area in search of Colorado blue grouse and high country brook trout? Whatever it is, if you like to fly fish, you probably enjoy bird hunting too! So as we sit on the eve of September 1st, we at Colorado Fly Fishing Reports thought we would compile a list of our Top 3, Colorado Cast & Blast Combinations:

Number One: Plan a trip out west, northwest, southwest, directly west, it really doesn’t matter as in Colorado blue grouse can virtually be found anywhere west of I-25. Areas like Gunnison, Steamboat and Durango all offer hunters ample national forest access for grouse hunting and camping. And when the hunting gets slow you can exchange your shotgun for a fly rod and hit the water during September and what many say is the best month of the year to fish Colorado! Just a little scouting and planning and you are well on your way to a successful blue grouse hunting and fly-fishing trip.

Colorado blue grouse hunting

Colorado Blue Grouse Hunting!

Number Two: For the hunter and fly-fisherman that also doesn’t mind a little adventure, hiking above 11,000 feet for White Tailed Ptarmigan might be just the ticket. These birds are unique and abundant in Colorado for the hunter willing to put in some scouting and a little legwork. Climb above 11,000 feet into the alpine tundra and you have a good chance at finding the smallest of the grouse species. But don’t leave your backpacking fly rod at home as during your travels you are sure to wander by high mountain streams filled with wild trout!

Colorado Ptarmigan Hunting

Nothing says your a Colorado outdoors person like bagging a limit of White Tailed Ptarmigan!

Number 3: There might be no better way to experience the west than taking a trip to Northwest Colorado or Wyoming to hunt Sage Grouse! In Colorado, your best bet is to head to the Kremmling or North Park area where you can pursue these elusive game birds as well as fish such famous streams as The Blue River & The North Platte!

Colorado Sage Grouse

Nothing can take you to the “West” like Colorado Sage Grouse Hunting!

You may have noticed that we didn’t give away any “secret spots” or drop any pins for your iPhone! One of the most beautiful things about Colorado is it’s ample public land! Do a little research, talk to your local game warden and start scouting out some spots, when it comes to blue grouse, ptarmigan and sage grouse in Colorado the options are endless for bagging these beautiful game birds and getting in a little fly rod time as well.

Colorado Brook Trout

Sometimes the rewards from a little scouting and legwork can be big!

Whatever you do, get outside this September and take some time to explore and respect this amazing & beautiful resource that we call Colorado!

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Denver Carp Slam!

It is that time of year again; the Denver Carp Slam will be underway on Saturday, September 10th! The proceeds from the tournament help support Denver Trout Unlimited Projects along the South Platte River:

Be sure to check out the event or stop by the after party! The After Party, Evening on the South Platte is THE PARTY to attend this summer. Great Food, Beer, Fantastic Wines, Live Music (MTHDS), Silent Auction, Awards Ceremony.

Denver Carp Slam

Denver Carp Slam!

Public transportation is recommended if you plan to imbibe! Park at an RTD lot and take the light rail or A-Line Commuter rail into Union Station, then walk or Mall Ride 2 blocks west to DaVita. If you plan to drive, $5 parking is available at the DaVita lot behind the building, entrance at 16th & Chestnut.

Carp Slam

For the party of the summer, check out The Carp Slam: After Party!

For more information on the Carp Slam & After Party check it out at:

http://carpslam.org

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports