Colorado Parks and Wildlife has issued two new voluntary fishing closures around the state. They are asking anglers to stop fishing from noon through 6:00 am for the Conejos River and the Arkansas tail water below Pueblo Reservoir.
Extremely low flows combined with overly warm temperatures has raised the water temperatures in each river to dangerously high levels for trout survival.
Any time a river’s water temperature reaches 68 degrees and above that is the threshold to where all anglers should cease trout fishing. It is at that point that there has been too much oxygen dissolved in the river for a trout to be successfully released. Carp, bass, walleye and other warm water species are still good to be targeted but catching a trout at that water temperature will likely end in their death.
Voluntary closures remain in place in the following rivers: The Eagle, Roaring Fork, White River, Colorado from State Bridge to Rifle, Fraser River, Crystal River, Tomichi Creek, and Rio Grande River.
Please stay tuned for the latest updates on all rivers.
Summer is a fantastic time to fish rivers and creeks but it also is the perfect time to strap on a backpack and explore some high mountain lakes. Colorado has a vast number of high alpine lakes loaded with trout.
I was lucky enough to have a few days off last week so fellow guide Reid Eakins and myself hit the road in search of high mountain cutthroats. What we have found is that the more remote you get, the better the fishing will be; with this in mind, we ventured South down to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The plan was to spend 3 days in the backcountry fishing. With our packs loaded with fishing gear and the backpacking essentials (whiskey, of course), we hit the trails.
The first day we hiked 4.5 miles to our first destination. We set up camp in the early evening and fished well into the evening hours. Fish were rising but it was a challenge to figure out what they were eating. Finally, after switching several flies, Reid started picking fish up on a thin mint fly; they took the fly on a very slow retrieve. The next day, we hiked up to another lake looking for bigger cutthroats. We found fish to be eating scuds just below the surface on a very fast retrieve. After a long day of fishing and hiking we relaxed at our campsite sipping whiskey and sharing fish stories.
Backpacking and fishing go great together; it is a great opportunity to get away from the hustle of city life and explore what the Colorado mountains have to offer.
Give your local creeks or rivers a break and explore some high mountain lakes!
Anglers please beware, as of this writing, the water temperature measured on the Big Thompson river is peaking at 71 degrees. We want to give notice to the entire Colorado fishing community that the river is reaching critically hot water temperatures. Please do not fish this river, or any river, once the temperature reaches 68 degrees and above.
As we reported earlier in the month, monitoring the water temperature of your river is very important in these types of conditions. The fact is, Colorado is in a severe drought so there isn’t a lot of water flowing through our rivers and the current heat wave we find ourselves in is exacerbating the situation.
When the river does reach the breaking point, 68 degrees and above, it does not mean that you have to hang up the rod. High alpine lakes and small creeks are still great options, with half of the angling pressure to boot.
For the sake of our river’s entire eco-system, thank you for your consideration.
Our beautiful state is celebrating it’s 142nd birthday today! Colorado Day is a day for Coloradans to come together and celebrate our unique history as well as our beautiful outdoors that we all love and cherish.
one of our many beautiful state parks that will have free admission on 08/06/18
The 416 Fire, which up to this point has burned nearly 54,000 acres in the Durango area, reared it’s ugly head again this week. Massive rains hit the area on Tuesday causing mudslides to hit the river and fill the beautiful Animas river with ash, mud, and all sorts of debris. This has sparked a massive fish kill in the Animas River as rainbow and brown trout, along with flannel mouth and blue head suckers, struggle to find oxygen in the depleted river.
The affected section of river spans 15 miles north of Durango all the way down into New Mexico.
The fish of the Animas River are fighting for every breath they take right now
At this point, biologists are estimating the kill to be in the thousands of fish, but a clearer picture will not be available until the river’s flow subsides and clarity returns– which could be as late as September.
The cause of the 416 Fire is still under investigation but this travesty is the result of a wildfire in a very dry part of the state. Unfortunately, we are seeing way too many of these wildfires in our beautiful state. From one Coloradan to another, heck, from one human being to another– please do not have any camp fires this Summer and please exercise extreme caution when in Colorado’s outdoors this Summer. There is too much on the line for every one of us that live here, and our wildlife included, for reckless and irresponsible behavior.
The guys over at Colorado Trout Unlimited produced this great chart showing when is a good time to fish for trout and when its just too hot. We have been experiencing very warm temperatures across the state and we have been seeing scary warm water temps. Please buy a thermometer if you don’t already have one and measure the water temperatures throughout the day. A great alternative is to hike up to a high mountain lake or chase some warm water species. Give the trout a break!
Colorado’s hunting and angling community has a new shop to call home. Basin and Bend, located in Evergreen, has opened as a retail shop that not only provides the newest and best products but also has a direct focus on outdoor, environmental and wildlife conservation.
Basin and Bend works with environmentally friendly manufacturers and they themselves go above and beyond by donating 11% of their total revenue to conservation projects. Not only does Basin and Bend offer the finest hunting and angling gear, they also provide guided fly fishing trips on Bear Creek, Clear Creek, and the Deckers section of the South Platte river.
In a world where environmental degradation has become more of the norm rather than the exception, it’s refreshing to see a local business doing their part to give back to our country’s natural beauty.
Stop by the shop at 27985 Meadow Dr Suite 200, Evergreen, CO 80439 and help support local business and our own beautiful state.
What a wekend! As I write this blog post I am still feeling a bit groggy from a exhausting but fun filled weekend. The MileHigh25 is a fly fishing tournament that focuses on catching 25 different species of fish in Colorado. Each team is made up of 2 anglers and has two days to catch as many species as possible. Day one is 6am to 8pm and day two is 6am to 3pm. Each team has to upload photos of each species to a app which is used to score the event. Most species wins but if there is a tiebreaker then it goes to points.. Here is a list of the 25 species:
TIGER MUSKIE – 500 pts
WIPER – 500 pts
TIGER TROUT – 400 pts
LAKE TROUT – 400 pts
KOKANEE – 400 pt
GRAYLING – 300 pts
GRASS CARP – 300 pts
SPLAKE – 300 pts
CATFISH – 300 pts
MIRROR CARP – 300 pts
WHITEFISH – 200 pts
NORTHERN PIKE – 200 pts
COMMON CARP – 200 pts
SMALLMOUTH BASS – 200 pts
LARGEMOUTH BASS – 200 pts
WALLEYE – 200 pts
CRAPPIE – 100 pts
PERCH – 50 pts
SUCKER – 50 pts
BLUEGILL – 50 pts
SUNFISH – 50 pts
BROOK TROUT – 50 pts
CUTTHROAT TROUT – 50 pts
RAINBOW TROUT – 50 pts
BROWN TROUT – 50 pts
This was our second year doing the event. Last year we ended up with 11 species and learned a lot. Going into the event this year we had high hopes and had done more pre fishing. However we ended up with 13 species which put us in 8th place out of 53 teams. The winning team had a whopping 20 species. This year the species that gave us the hardest time were the crappie, sucker, and wiper. It is very frustrating when you target a fish that you catch all the time and can’t seem to find one. I highly recommend this competition to any fly angler on the front range. We nearly put 600 miles on the truck over the weekend and woke up at 3am both days. I’m exhausted but already thinking about next year. Check out the link below for more information about the event
The Colorado Wildlife Council rolled out a marketing program in late 2017, for the purpose of bringing awareness to the importance that hunting and fishing bring to our great state of Colorado.
Colorado sees a $6.1 billion boost to our economy from hunting and angling, much of which goes to small towns like; Meeker, Gunnison, Salida, Kiowa, San Luis and many more.
Hunters are also responsible for environmental conservation and animal protection. Hunters (and anglers) fund more than 70 percent of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s wildlife management programs which has gone on to help protect and sustain Big Horn Sheep, the Shiras Moose, Lynx and many more species. Hunting and fishing license fees have also gone on to help keep Colorado beautiful– recycling and cleanup programs as well habitat restoration projects– have all been funded by these funds.
Long story short, hunting and hunters have an immeasurable impact to Colorado’s benefit. So, get out and go hug a hunter!
Are you looking to get into the fly fishing industry for the first time? Are you a knowledgeable angler but lacking guide experience? Are you an experienced guide looking to join the Front Range’s best team? Do you have what it takes to deliver excellent fly fishing service and instruction?
We are hiring professional fly fishing guides, both new to the profession and seasoned veterans alike, to join our Denver based operation. For those new to guiding we offer top-notch training and for those that have been in the industry you’ll quickly realize what an opportunity this is.
Our philosophy aims to deliver the finest customer service, friendliest smile, and best fly fishing instruction that the Front Range has to offer. This is a fantastic opportunity to make great money, meet awesome clients, and guide on Colorado’s beautiful waters.
Please email me your resume and why you’d be a good fit. Make sure that you include a phone number and email address so I can contact you immediately. Tight lines!