Fishing

Calling all River Enthusiasts: This is your sneak peek!

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The Colorado TU River Stewardship Gala is the largest celebration of Colorado’s rivers and world-class fishing opportunities. In 2018, nearly 400 guests helped to raise over $100,000 for Colorado TU’s conservation efforts throughout the state. Funds from the River Stewardship Gala go towards CTU’s work in youth education, protecting statewide instream flows and temperature, reintroducing and protecting native trout, and preserving and restoring the state’s fisheries and their watersheds.

This year, Colorado TU is celebrating its 50th anniversary and we will be honoring William Reilly, the former EPA Administrator who vetoed Two Forks Dam and helped spawn new, more collaborative approaches to water management, with the 2019 River Stewardship Award. Join us at the Gala and support our work for healthy rivers and fish in Colorado! (P.S. Tickets have sold out over the past 3 years!)

Auction Sneak Peek

50th Anniversary Custom Sarabella Rod and Abel Reel

This year’s gala will be featuring a one-of-a-kind custom Colorado Trout Unlimited 50th anniversary SaraBella Fishing rod and custom 50th anniversary Abel reel - two Colorado companies partnering with Colorado TU to celebrate 50 years of protecting rivers! This custom 9’ 6 weight fly rod featuring a curvy grip, natural finish, native juniper reel seat, a blue to green body, custom silver 50th CTU logo and tagline, and a fighting butt to land all those trophy fish in style. (see in pictures above)

Fly Fishing Adventure of a Lifetime in New Zealand

 

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New Zealand is famed for its beauty and the quality of fly fishing you can enjoy!  This package for two includes five days of guided fly fishing – one of which is a helicopter trip into remote New Zealand backcountry – with seven nights accommodations, breakfast and lunch provided daily, and roundtrip airfare from San Francisco to New Zealand.  This is the fly fishing adventure you’ve been waiting for!  www.distantwatersnz.com

Want to getaway in March?  Distant Waters has one spot open on an amazing New Zealand fly fishing adventure.  The trip starts March 6th, 2019 and is discounted exclusively for Colorado TU supporters.  Learn more here.

 



Fish and Stay along Montana’s Fabled Madison River!

 

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Situated on the banks of the Madison River just 3 miles north of Ennis, Montana, anglers are offered unparalleled access to all the best blue-ribbon fly fishing in southwestern Montana. This getaway for 2 includes luxury accommodations for 2 nights, delicious meals including streamside lunch and gourmet dinners, and a full day of guided fishing on the Madison. The lucky winner of this trip will be “just a cast away” from their finest Montana fishing experience ever!  www.madisonvalleyranch.com

 

Experience a true Colorado Dude Ranch

 

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Enjoy an unforgettable Colorado guest ranch experience at Lost Valley Ranch!  The winner of this all-inclusive Dude Ranch Vacation package will enjoy a weekend getaway for 2, including lodging, meals, and a variety of outdoor activities.  Nestled among the beauty of Pike National Forest and just 70 miles southwest of Denver, Lost Valley Ranch is a great place to escape for a fun-filled weekend!  www.lostvalleyranch.com

But wait, there’s more:

  • 6-day, 5-night float trip for 2 on the Middle Fork of the Salmon from Middle Fork Adventures

  • "A Diamond Takes Shape Slowly" – framed artist print by Judy Haas of Telluride

  • 3-day, 2-night stay at the Flat Tops Wilderness Camp plus guided fishing for 2 from Ripple Creek Lodge

  • Full-day walk/wade for 2 on your favorite Southwestern Colorado river with Duranglers

  • Green River gear bag and Thunderhead submersible backpack from Fishpond

  • Full-day walk/wade for 2 on waters near Sheridan, Wyoming with Rock Creek Anglers

  • Bring three of your friends and brew your own beer with Horse and Dragon Brewing

  • Two nights lodging in a Breckenridge condo plus a float fishing trip on a private put-in on the Colorado River from Mountain Angler

Behind the Fin with Cooper Hyland

Cooper loves helping others catch fish!

Cooper loves helping others catch fish!

Join us Behind the Fin with 13-year-old Cooper Hyland, JR Fishing Guide and TU Member.

How long have you been a TU member?

I have been a Trout Unlimited member for about 2 years now.


Why did you become a member and what chapter are you involved with?

I became a TU member because I met the manager of our local chapter, Greg Hardy, when I was fishing and he said it was a good way to help our fish so that they could be big and strong for all fisherman.


What is your favorite activity or project you have done with TU?

My favorite project that I have done with TU is the group fly tying session it was very cool to have so many people to learn from and so many secret flies.


Do you have a favorite place to fish or fun fishing story?

My favorite fishing story is when I was teaching a kid to fish and he was getting very discouraged because he could not get any fish and the last 5 minutes we were trolling with a Rapala and a huge brown trout ate it. When we got the monster on he was on a heavy rod and he almost broke it. As we got it into the boat the fish was in the net and before we get it into the boat he spun his head and snapped the hook and got away.  We had no picture of the fish. I felt so bad that we did not catch the fish, But a couple months later the mom of the kid called me to thank me for introducing him to the sport she says that he has become a self-made fisherman and is now fishing at least 1 time per week.

What does being a part of TU mean to you?

Being a TU member means a lot, but to me but I think that what it means to me the most is that I can sleep knowing that we are keeping our waterways safe and clean for future fisherman. 


What other hobbies or activities do you like to do? 

Some of my other hobbies include rocketry, engineering, electronics, and math.

Colorado leaders join bipartisan rally to help save LWCF

LWCFCoalition.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 29, 2018

CONTACT: Justin Bartolomeo

(202) 789-4365

jbartolomeo@hdmk.org

Bipartisan Conservation Champions Rally to Save LWCF by Year’s End

Washington, D.C. – Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) champions in the House and Senate rallied on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with conservation leaders and outdoor recreation advocates today calling on Congress to reauthorize and fully fund America’s most important conservation and recreation program before the end of the year.

"Two months ago, America lost one of its best conservation tools,” said Lynn Scarlett, Former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Interior and head of External Affairs at The Nature Conservancy. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund helps protect national parks, expand outdoor recreation opportunities and bolster local economies, all at no cost to the American taxpayer. It’s too important to continue leaving its future in doubt. Now more than ever, we have the bipartisan momentum to get LWCF the permanent reauthorization and full funding it deserves. For the protection of our lands, waters and the benefits their conservation bring to communities and our economy, now is the time to save LWCF.”

“Colorado’s beautiful public lands rely on the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Congress needs to ensure it remains in place for years to come,” said Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO). “I’ll continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that we do what is right and permanently reauthorize and fully fund this vital outdoors conservation program.”

“The expiration of a widely popular program like LWCF demonstrates just how broken Washington is. If we don’t want to find ourselves in this exact position again down the road, we must permanently reauthorize LWCF. And if we want to grow our outdoor recreation economy and protect treasured landscapes, we must fully fund it. I’ll keep working across the aisle to find a solution that gives this conservation tool the longevity and funding it deserves,” said Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO).

“Since it was enacted 54 years ago, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect many of the nation’s most popular national parks, forests, and public lands. It has provided millions of Americans the opportunity to hunt, fish, hike, vacation and enjoy the beauty of nature and our great American landscapes,” said Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “It has pumped billions of dollars into the outdoor economy and provided millions of good jobs.

“Protecting our public lands is good for the environment, it’s good for the economy and it’s good for the health and welfare of our people. Money made available through the Land and Water Conservation Fund is money well spent,” Senator Cantwell added.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund remains the single most successful conservation program in American history,” said Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). “Nearly every congressional district in the country benefits from its funding – at no cost to the taxpayer – and millions enjoy the parks, ballfields, and landscapes it maintains every day. My colleagues and I will continue to push for a permanent reauthorization of this important program.

About the Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is America’s most important conservation program, responsible for protecting parks, trails, wildlife refuges and recreation areas at the federal, state and local level. For more than 50 years, it has provided critical funding for land and water conservation projects, access to recreation including hunting and fishing, and the continued historic preservation of our nation’s iconic landmarks from coast-to-coast. LWCF does not use any taxpayer dollars – it is funded using a small portion of revenues from offshore oil and gas royalty payments. Outdoor recreation, conservation and historic preservation activities contribute more than $887 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supporting 7.6 million jobs.

About the LWCF Coalition

The LWCF Coalition is comprised of more than 1,000 state and regional conservation and recreation organizations of all sizes, land owners, small businesses, ranchers, sportsmen, veterans, the outdoor recreation industry and conservationists working together to protect America’s public lands and safeguard our shared outdoor heritage for future generations. The Coalition is united in its advocacy for the permanent reauthorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which will ensure the continued conservation of our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, wilderness, civil war battlefields, working lands and state and local parks. For more information on LWCF and the places in each state that LWCF funds have protected, visit www.lwcfcoalition.org.

I took my dad fishing

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! On this day we would like to share a story from one of our CTU staff about taking her dad fly fishing in Colorado. We hope everyone has a safe holiday and finds time to spend it with friends, family, or the great outdoors!

Written By Bianca Martinez-McGrath, CTU Youth Education VISTA

Bianca’s dad holding a rainbow trout before releasing back into the water.

Bianca’s dad holding a rainbow trout before releasing back into the water.

Over the past 5 years, I have moved around to a lot of different places. It has gotten to the point where my parents are quick to ask me “where are you going next?” so they can start planning their next vacation to come see me. So, when my parents decided to come to Colorado a couple months after I first arrived, I knew I had to make this trip memorable for them. I took them to see the Garden of the Gods and to a Cuban-inspired jazz show in Downtown Denver. We went up to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado and, considering my new position with Colorado Trout Unlimited, I knew it would only make sense to take my dad fly fishing.  
 
I knew this would be a perfect opportunity for both of us because I had only been fly fishing a couple of times and my dad had been fly fishing once or twice as a child. Our guided trip with Scott Dickson of Trouts Fly Fishing shop began early with a snowy drive over to Deckers so we could fish on the South Platte. Throughout the day, we would experience just about every season of weather that exists. My goal for this trip was to learn as much as possible from Scott, see my dad catch a fish, and catch one for myself. Although I had been fly fishing a couple of times before, all I had gotten in contact with were a couple of fish that managed to unhook themselves and a few very aggressive rocks.  

Bianca holding a brown trout she caught and released immediately after.

Bianca holding a brown trout she caught and released immediately after.

After six hours of fishing, my dad ended up being able to catch a good amount of trout. I could tell from how little quiet time there was on the way back to Denver that he enjoyed every moment of it. As for me, I caught a few Brown trout and got to see my dad fully enjoy the experience, an experience that has motivated many members of Trout Unlimited to protect and conserve their cold-water fisheries. It has been almost three years since I lived near my parents, so having this experience with my dad was an important one for me. I am only hoping that fly fishing becomes something we can do at all of the new destinations that we experience together.  

Request for Proposals: Fish Passage and Ditch Diversion Improvement

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Trout Unlimited (TU), in coordination with the Town of Granby (Town), Grand County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is soliciting Proposals for Design Services for a diversion structure on the Fraser River in Granby, Colorado.  Proposals shall be received by TU via U.S. Mail and email by no later than January 4, 2019 at 5:00 pm at the following address:

Mely Whiting

P.O. Box 1544

Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

mwhiting@tu.org

Intent to submit a proposal shall be submitted via email to Mely Whiting at mwhiting@tu.org by December 21, 2018.  Only those contractors that submit an “intent to submit proposals” will be considered for a final proposal. The intent to submit proposal should list the primary contact and their contact information.

Consulting services shall be led by a primary Contractor, whose team should include appropriate fish passage engineers/scientists, river modeling and scour analysis experts, ditch diversion designers, and experience in water rights related to ditch diversions in Colorado. Contractor selection will be made through a combination of Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) and Cost Based Processes as described in this Request for Proposals (RFP). Please refer to the following sections for details on the project, conditions, schedule, proposal requirements, and selection process.

QUESTIONS and ONSITE FIELD VISIT

An onsite, field visit will occur on November 28, 2018 to answer questions about the project aspects.  Interested contractors are highly encouraged to attend.  Please meet at the Town of Granby Town Hall, Zero Jasper Avenue, Granby, Colorado at 2:00 pm on November 28, 2018. All questions relating to this RFP should be addressed to Mely Whiting by email, at mwhiting@tu.org.  Questions are due in writing by no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 5, 2018.  All questions will be addressed in one batch with answers sent out to all recipients by December 14, 2018.

IMPORTANT DATES:

  • November 14, 2018 Request For Proposals Announced

  • November 28, 2018 2:00pm Onsite Field Visit and Answer Questions at the Town of Grandby Town Hall

  • December 5, 2018 5:00pm All Questions due in writing by December to Mely Whiting by email, at mwhiting@tu.org

  • December 21, 2018 Intent to submit a proposal shall be submitted via email to Mely Whiting at mwhiting@tu.org

  • January 4, 2018 at 5:00pm Proposals shall be receivd by TU via U.S. Mail and email by no later than at the following address:

    Mely Whiting

    P.O. Box 1544

    Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

    mwhiting@tu.org

    Please download the full proposal details and requirements by clicking the button below:

Read the Latest Currents Newsletter

In an important victory for Colorado's rivers, communities and taxpayers, voters last night decided that Amendment 74 was NOT for them. We all value private property rights, and governmental “taking” of property already requires compensation under our Constitution. Amendment 74 would have gone far further, jeopardizing important state and local government efforts from water quality protections to even basic land use planning and zoning. Our pocketbooks were also at risk - a similar measure in Oregon led to more than $4 billion in claims against taxpayers. Fortunately 54% of Colorado voters rejected Amendment 74, leaving it far short of the 55% approval it needed to pass.

Local voters also approved new or renewed investment in natural resources such as parks, open space and water in Denver, Chaffee, Eagle and Park counties - good news for our conservation mission in those communities. Of course, Coloradoans also elected our next governor, Jared Polis, and a slate of new legislators. Colorado TU looks forward to working with Governor-elect Polis and with new and returning legislators from both parties on efforts to benefit our fisheries and watersheds, as well as our state's multi-billion outdoor industry.

Thank you to everyone who came out to vote against Amendment 74!

Other Highlights in the latest Currents Newsletter:

  • Colorado Gives Day

  • Frostbite Fish-off

  • Maroon Bells is Protected

  • Angler’s Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Winter Fishing the Cache La Poudre

  • Behind the Fin with Mike Goldblatt

  • Animas/Hermosa Creek Health post 416 Fire Event

  • Win a guided fly fishing trip for 2

  • Bonus Video: Backcountry Gunnison Fall Fly Fishing

Would you like to make that a combo?

Streamers are a large type of fly that are often used to catch large trout and aggressive fish like pike or bass.    NPS Photo  / Forrest Czarnecki

Streamers are a large type of fly that are often used to catch large trout and aggressive fish like pike or bass.

NPS Photo / Forrest Czarnecki

Hopper, copper, dropper. Leave it to fly fishers to have easy to remember sayings about rigging up their line. Using a multi fly rig is just one way to mix up your setup and entice those hard to catch trout. The multi fly concept is not new as British flyfishers in the 1800s would strap on 10 flies at once! The trick is to master attaching your dropper line to the bend of the first fly’s hook and then you’re on your way to create all different kinds of combos. You might even catch two fish at once!

Below are just a few of possible fly combinations to help you get started:

Pro-tip: You can even tie your combos together before heading out to make switching out your rigs quick and easy.

Pink Hendrickson Parachute dry fly.  Wikipedia Commons .

Pink Hendrickson Parachute dry fly. Wikipedia Commons.

  • 2 Dry Flies - Commonly used for increasing chances of catching when you know which fly the fish are going for. You can even use this to try out two different flies to see which one the fish prefer and then adjust after. Your options are endless. This is also an opportunity to use a larger fly as your floater/indicator and your smaller fly for the strikes. Sometimes, the fish will go for both!

  • Hopper Dropper (A favorite late summer rig): This setup is exactly what the name describes, a grasshopper/large floating fly, and a trailing nymph dancing in the water below. This is definitely a way to increase your chances of a strike. The hopper acts as an indicator (or a huge meal for that desperate trout) and the nymph is the safer more appealing option that the fish will usually go for.

  • Dual Streamers (A Fall Classic): The fish are hungry and aggressive during the fall and this rig is sure to entice. You will want to “rope-up” and use heavier tippet to avoid breakage and land the fish quickly.

  • Two Nymphs: Help control your depth and try a two nymph rig. This follows a similar strategy with the dual dry flies.

  • A Streamer and a Nymph (A still water favorite): The larger streamer is most enticing to any fish and the small nymph floating by is a hard one to pass up. This is a less commonly used combo, but can yield some great results year round.

Resources & Learn More

How to tie and fish tandem rigs

Top 5 tandem rigs

Tie the hopper dropper

Voluntary fishing closures across the state

Headwaters of the Roaring Fork River.  Wikimedia Commons

Headwaters of the Roaring Fork River. Wikimedia Commons

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has issued voluntary fishing closures across Colorado. This is in response to the low flows and high temperatures many of our rivers have been experiencing. When stressful conditions like these are present, trout are more likely to not survive after catch-and-release, even if done properly. 

If you have not yet seen the warnings about fishing when the water temperatures are above 65 degrees, check out our Trout Thermometer to know when it's time to give the fish a break. 

CPW will not legally enforce the voluntary closures, but simply ask anglers to plan on going earlier in the day or try other locations.

Voluntary Closures after 12pm

Voluntary Closures Between 2 p.m. and Midnight

Read the full voluntary fishing closures in Northwest Colorado press releas

Full-time Voluntary Closures

Closures NO LONGER in Effect

  • A mandatory fishing closure in place at the tailwater of the Yampa River has been rescinded (see 7/19/18 news release).

CPW regularly updates their fishing conditions online here. So be sure to check before you head out on your fishing excursion. 

Still need more information? Contact your local CPW office. 

 

First Fish on First Fly

Fishing up at Lake San Isabel for the second time that day! I was hooked on catching another one and went back that evening. 

Fishing up at Lake San Isabel for the second time that day! I was hooked on catching another one and went back that evening. 

I finally did it. I caught my first fish (actually 3 in total) on a fly rod. That's right! I officially made my right of passage into the Trout Unlimited family. I think my dad is regretting showing my sister and I how to fly fish - seeing as how we end up being the only ones catching anything. Sorry dad!

He is so small I couldn't believe he ate the fat flying ant that my sister tied. Of course we only got a picture of this smallest one ever, but he was the first!

He is so small I couldn't believe he ate the fat flying ant that my sister tied. Of course we only got a picture of this smallest one ever, but he was the first!

Flashback to that weekend

I was trying to keep my expectations low as it had only been my second time actually going fly fishing. I think it helped that we went to a stocked mountain lake where I could wade in about waist deep. The first one I caught was a tiny rainbow trout that barely fit in my hands. The next two were also rainbows but much larger (9-10 inches) with much more fight. Let's just say they both flopped up and then immediately unhooked themselves to quickly swim away. Of course, the only one we could snap a picture of was the first one. I guess that's just how fishing works - no one will believe that I caught anything larger unless I have a picture to prove it. 

I have to say that I never thought I would enjoy it so much until I felt the tug on the end of my line and then immediately lifting straight up to see the wicked bend of the rod. I now get it. I got it so much that after we came back to my parent's that afternoon, I was all set to go back out again that evening. 

After proving that I could actually catch something on a fly rod, let's just say my dad saw it fitting to purchase me some more gear to get me better prepared. It's not the most expensive, but for a beginner, it gets the job done. Now that I have the flyfishing bug - where should I go next? 

Andrea (Annie) Smith is CTU's Communications and Membership Coordinator.