Fishing

Request for Proposals: Fish Passage and Ditch Diversion Improvement

Fraser-river.jpg

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. 

 

 

 

Do you wet wade?

 Picture via Pixabay.

Picture via Pixabay.

It's hot outside, even up in the mountains. The last thing you want to do is layer up in more clothes. If you're willing to brave the initial shock of cold water, then wet wading can be a great way to experience fly fishing on a whole new level. If you are prone to "cold legs" then please feel free to gear up. But if you are feeling the heat, here are some tips for going wader-less this summer.

WHAT TO WEAR?

Bottoms

Depending on how comfortable you are, there are lots of options to choose from. As a woman, I prefer running shorts (quick dry) or Capri yoga pants.  I suggest picking your pant length based on the area you will be going and how much exposure you're okay with. For example, if you know you will be hiking through brush, trees, and rocks, longer pants would be the way to go.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid jeans when wading. Seriously, the joke that you can tell who is a Colorado tourist because they wear jeans in the snow also applies to the water as well. Natural fiber (cotton, wool, etc.) will weigh you down when wet as well as take forever to dry. You might as well go in your underwear at that point. Shorts work great (unless you burn quickly) and usually any kind of activewear that says "quick dry" or "water wicking" is your best bet. Most outdoor stores sell this type of gear and right now I bet those end of summer sales can get you a great steal. Basically, the purpose of wet wading is to get wet, which may include the clothes you're wearing.

Shoes

This is the most important item you need to be safe out there. Rocks are slippery, currents can be fast, and waterlogged shoes suck. There are so many options for this as you can wear your wading boots, sandals, closed-toe sandals, water shoes, or quick dry sneakers. Below is a list of options that you can opt for. Keep in mind, the most important part is the sole and if it can grip the slippery rocks/surface below, besides that, it's up to you! You can always add on on some grips later on such as spikes. There is some information about certain types of wading shoes transferring invasive species through your soles, laces, or other gear. Your best bet is to always wash your gear off before heading into a new watershed. If you really want to guarantee you're not moving the invasives, you can put your shoes in the freezer overnight. This is a common practice for all those who wade in multiple locations. You can read more about it in the link below.

Some ideas for wet wading footwear:

  • Wading Boots & Neoprene socks
  • Well-fitting strap sandals with a good rubber sole (i.e. Chacos, Teva's)
  • Closed toe water shoes - cross between boot and sandal - great to protect against stubbing toes
  • Quick Dry Sneakers - these usually have a foam, lightweight sole, so not the best of preventing rock slippage
  • Barefoot - recommended only for sandy stretches only, not fun in rocky areas

Tops

If you are planning on wading in past your hips, the same thing applies to your top as it does to the bottoms. Cotton is not the way to go. Choose active/outdoor wear that will dry quickly and allow you to move freely.

 Picture via Pixabay.

Picture via Pixabay.

Tips & Safety

Just because you do not have waders on, doesn't mean that wading safety does not apply.

Check out Trouts 7 Safety tips for Wading

Some notable things to consider for wet wading: 

  1. Use a wading staff/stick to help with high flows, strong currents, and slippery surfaces
  2. Keep your stance sideways and avoid facing up or downriver
  3. When crossing across a river, consider going at an angle - it's easier and safer
  4. Lead with your downriver foot to keep yourself upright

Keep in mind that warmer weather also means warmer water! If it feels unseasonably warm and you are seeing the water temperatures are reaching above 65 degrees Fahrenheit, then it's time to give the fish a break or plan on getting out there earlier and leaving before the afternoon. Check out our handy water thermometer here to see when it's time to give fish a break.

Interested in learning more about wading tips and tricks? Check out these great resources below:

Safe Wading Techniques

Rubber vs. Felt vs. Invasives

The Season of Wet Wading - Duranglers

Run. Catch. No cheating.

DirtbagDiariesFlyathon.png

REPOST from The Dirtbag Diaries Podcast:

"There are a lot of serious problems in this world, but the solutions don’t always have to be serious. Fly-fisherman and trail-runner Andrew Todd channeled his concern for Colorado’s native trout and the watersheds that support them into the creation of a joyful, irreverent, event: The Flyathlon.

The rules:

  1. Run 10-miles
  2. Catch a fish
  3. Don’t be a jack-donkey
  4. No fish in your Camelbak that you brought from somewhere else.

Cordelia Zars–and a group of Flyathletes–on Gunnison, Colorado’s Lake Fork River joined Dirtbag Diaries for an interview, listen below. 

Learn more and register for a Flyathlon at flyathlon.com or check out Andrew’s non-profit at runningrivers.org "

Fishing with Kids: 5 tips to keep them coming back

 Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

Learning a new activity when you are younger can go two ways: amazing or not so great. That probably is still true as an adult, but when taking a child fishing, having a great time or not can make all the difference. Obviously, every child is different, but if there was one thing to keep in mind? Stay excited and someone HAS to catch a fish.

1. Patience and Understanding

 Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

Courtesy of Trout Unlimited/Joshua Duplechain

It goes without saying that most people respond well to learning a new skill if the teacher is patient in the process and understands that mistakes will happen. Having a chill attitude and rolling with the punches will ensure that everyone will have a good time! You might not get to fish much, but there will always be a chance to go out yourself another time. This outing is about the child.

2. Excitement is Contagious

We feed off of each other's excitement, and kids do the same! If you are excited for them to catch a fish or learn how to cast, then that energy can help keep them going even when the struggles of fishing are real! It's easy to become disappointed when someone isn't as receptive to one of your favorite pastimes. When all else fails, snacks help!

3. Perfection is not the goal

We are not perfect, so there is no reason to expect that of a kid. We all mess up. Someone might get hooked (barbless hooks help with this), the line will get tangled, the knots will not hold, snags will happen, and fish might never bite. Sometimes the best thing about fishing is sharing the stories of never catching a fish, and the funny things that happened along the way. Laughing or shrugging off the mishaps makes coming back, much more likely. 

4. Increase Your Chances for Success

 Creative Commons. 

Creative Commons. 

One of the best ways to make the experience a great one is to use kid-friendly equipment. A full setup on the fly rod might be too much at once for beginners, so using a closed spin cast rod or simpler setups (possibly Tenkara) which are much less intimidating. Yes, this might also include using scented bait or fishing in well-stocked ponds, but fishing with kids is about getting them excited and hopefully want to learn the more advanced stuff later on. Also, if you're right there next to them and you just happen to hook a fish, it's a great opportunity to pass off the rod for them to reel it in.

With kids, the simpler the better. Check out this great write up about teaching kids how to fly fish with kid-friendly Tenkara setups. Who knows, you might even end up liking it too!

CPW Getting Started Fishing Gear (Spincast)

101 Places to take a Kid Fishing In Colorado

5. Take a Break

If there is one thing that anglers and fly fishers are, that is persistent. "One more cast, one more fly combo, one more location" is the drive for many to keep going till the sun goes down. Kids might not share that same enthusiasm from the get go and even though we would all like to at least catch a fish, it's easier to leave before the frustration sets in. There’s always next time!

There are so many great resources out there with ideas and tips on getting young ones outside and on the water. We've listed a few below. Feel free to leave a comment on your best tips and tricks to keep beginners coming back for more! 

Other great reads

Fishing Tips From a Parent - with age groups

Introducing Kids to Flyfishing

 

 

5 tips for fishing the drought

 Water temperatures are important to monitor when fishing in the summer. Trout are a coldwater species and therefore respond negatively to warming waters. Need more information about fishing, stream flows. rigging, and locations? Check out our  "Go Fish" page . 

Water temperatures are important to monitor when fishing in the summer. Trout are a coldwater species and therefore respond negatively to warming waters. Need more information about fishing, stream flows. rigging, and locations? Check out our "Go Fish" page

This winter was certainly a tough one for Colorado. Whether you fish small creeks in the high country, irrigate your crops on the Western Slope, or water your lawn in central Denver, we will all be feeling the impacts of the low-water year. According to the latest SNOWTEL analysis offered by the NRCS National Water and Climate Center the percentage of snow-water equivalent (SWE) in Colorado currently ranges from 5% to 44% of normal. While it is true that hydrologic conditions can differ from drainage to drainage – with some areas seeing minimal impact from the low snow totals – overall,

Colorado will see less water in the creeks and rivers this year. Anglers, irrigators, ranchers, municipalities, and recreationalists will all feel the pain this summer, but we are not the only ones. Low flows and hotter days can have serious impacts on fish. With less water and warmer temperatures, the dissolved oxygen content within a stream reach can fluctuate significantly – meaning less holding capacity for fish and bugs. These tough conditions can also affect spawning, migration, and recovery (for example, after being released off the hook).

As anglers, we wait all winter to chase trout during the warmer seasons, but how can we pursue that goal and not over-stress our fisheries? We reached out to our fly shop partners around Colorado and posed that very question:

The fish and wildlife will continue to adapt to these changing conditions, but we can certainly do our part to help them adjust. Take this year as an opportunity to explore new watersheds, improve your handling practices, and better understand your local streams. If you have questions about when and where to fish, you can always ask your local fly shop. 

CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION

 


About the Author

Dan Omasta is the Grassroots Coordinator for Colorado Trout Unlimited, overseeing 24 chapters across the state.