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!
Colorado native and world famous Alpinist, Hayden Kennedy, tragically killed himself on Oct. 8th, 2017.
Hayden has been known amongst Coloradans for years for his extreme free climbs and pure athleticism but became world renowned in 2012 when he climbed Patagonia’s Cerro Torre mountain and cut the pre-existing bolts put in place to help other climbers summit the challenging peak. Some saw this as a return to the mountain’s pure form while climbers viewed this act as self-indulgent and adding more danger to other’s safety and well-being. Hayden didn’t care. He was a rebel until the end.
Tragically, this past Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, he and his girlfriend were caught in an avalanche near Bozeman, MT. While Hayden was able to survive his girlfriend, Inge Perkins, did not survive and was killed. Hayden made the choice to take his life instead of moving forward without her.
Hayden Kennedy, Colorado native and rebel until the end, will be missed.
Portions of the United States are about to experience the first total solar eclipse on the continent since 1918 and Colorado is right on the doorstep of some of the best views in the nation! Monday, August 21st, will be the day the sky turns black!
While Denver and the rest of Colorado will not be in the direct path of the total solar eclipse, parts of the state will have a 95% eclipse and the viewing will be off of the charts! Below is a video of a total eclipse (of the heart) and the three best viewing locations within the vicinity.
The Museum of Nature and Science in Denver will be hosting activities and safe viewing galleries of the whole eclipse, which will give great tutorials & views, but none of the I-25 traffic.
Speaking of I-25 traffic, Casper, Wyoming will have the best eclipse view of the entire country and it’s only a 3.5 hour drive from Denver! But, and this is a big but, the traffic heading north will be horrendous. If you’re planning on making the trek north please plan ahead.
Beaver Creek ski resort sits a bit of 9,000 feet elevation and the views from atop the slopes should be amazing. The resort will be doing guided 4×4 Jeep tours, gondola rides to the top, and picnic lunches at the ski haus.
All in all, Colorado is set up to for some great viewing this upcoming Monday! Please enjoy the scientific and educational video of solar eclipses that is below.
The Colorado summer is rolling along but for those avid outdoorsman and hunters fall is always on the mind as elk season is coming closer into the crosshairs. Sitka Gear came out with a great video on the intricacies and nuances of calling elk. Bugling is an art, passion, and science all onto it’s own!
If this doesn’t get you primed for the beginning of the season I don’t know what will!
2017 Elk Season Dates
Archery (West of I-25 and Unit 140): Aug 26th-Sept 24th
Muzzleloader : Sept 9th-Sept 17th
Riffle: (1st season) Oct 14th-Oct 18th, (2nd season) Oct 21st-Oct 29th, (3rd season) Nov 4th-Nov 12th, (4th season) Nov 15th- Nov 19th
Colorado anglers are no strangers to fishing in adverse weather and don’t get me wrong, it can be extremely fun and productive to fish through a rain storm, but we urge you to use sound judgement when fishing with thunder and lightning on the horizon. A good rule to follow is the “flash and bang” rule– if you see lightning and then hear thunder within 30 seconds of that then it’s within 6 miles of you and it’s time to get off of the river!
This article by the staff at The Denver Post illustrates our point well. Have fun out there but more importantly, be safe!