Preserve in Arkansas Valley will protect 90 acres of land plus a mile of public fishing

Picture provided by Central Colorado Conservancy.

Picture provided by Central Colorado Conservancy.

The Central Colorado Conservancy (CCC) in the Arkansas Valley announced this week that it had raised the final $50,000 needed for the Ark River Community Preserve in southern Lake County – ensuring that the $1.1 million project can move ahead with the purchase of eight properties along the Arkansas River.

Thanks in part to the generous support of Anglers All and the Jones Family Foundation, Colorado Trout Unlimited and our Collegiate Peaks Chapter were able to make gifts that brought the fundraising total past the goal line for this important project. National Trout Unlimited, the City of Aurora Water Department, Lake County, Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Habitat Program, Gates Family Foundation, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, and Climax Mine Community Investment Fund, as well as many individual gifts, were also contributors to this project.

When completed in the next few years, the Preserve will protect 90 acres and open a mile of river to public fishing on Gold Medal Trout Waters.  The area is also an important corridor and wintering ground for wildlife, including bighorn sheep, elk, moose, mountain lions, bobcats, and bears and bald eagles and red-tailed hawks hunt this stretch to feed their young.

The CCC newsletter included this quote from outgoing Executive Director Andrew Mackie, “This project is the result of an incredible collaborative effort among the property owner, John Andrick, Lake County Open Space Initiative, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and many other organizations and community members who contributed to the final phase of our fundraising campaign.  So it's fitting that the Preserve is a true community asset that everyone can access and enjoy – from anglers and kayakers to hikers and birders. The broad support also demonstrates the significant role natural areas play in our community identity and quality of life.”

Thank you, Anglers All and Jones Family Foundation, for helping us to help CCC so that this great property will benefit the public in perpetuity.


That "bucket list" trip to Argentina is now yours

A group of 8 lucky anglers will spend a week chasing Golden Dorado and enjoying fine food and wine in Argentina. Guests will join the wonderful crew at Andes Drifters and Parana on the Fly April 4-11, 2020 for 7 nights of accommodations and 6 full days of world-class fishing.
During the first half of this combination trip, anglers will pursue Dorado for 3 days in the world-renowned Iberá Wetlands (Esteros del Iberá), the second largest wetlands in South America. In 2018 the Argentine Government granted Andes Drifters sole outfitter fishing access to a large portion of the marsh. Anglers will have the opportunity to chase Dorado in this vast, unspoiled environment. This mecca, which just recently became available to anglers, is sure to produce a lifetime supply of memories and fish stories.
From there, anglers will enjoy 3 full days fishing for large Dorado on the upper Parana River. Deluxe lodging and top flight meals will be provided by Parana on the Fly Lodge. The lodge is located just 30 yards from a private dock where a fleet of modern motorized skiffs will be waiting to whisk anglers away to chase their quarry!
This deluxe package includes lodging, guides, boats, tackle (if desired), all meals, wine and beverages. Anglers should expect to land a variety of different sized Dorado during this trip. Fish ranging in size from 4 to 12 pounds are quite common and each season several trophy fish above 40 pounds are landed.

Andes Drifters will donate 15% of the cost of each trip back to Colorado TU to support river and fisheries conservation work around the state! In addition to being a great supporter of Colorado TU, Andes Drifters goes above and beyond to ensure a memorable and stress-free experience for its guests. Anglers on the 2019 Colorado TU trip to Argentina had a blast! Space is limited--reserve your spot before its gone!

Spring Pre-Season Prep

Photo by Chad Chorney

Photo by Chad Chorney

Apr 25, 2019 - This is a repost from our business partner’s blog, Rep Your Water.

Post written by Chad Chorney - photographer, guide for Picabo Anglers in Idaho and RepYourWater Ambassador

Spring Pre-Season Prep

 Spring is a great time to take a look at your fly-fishing gear and get ready for the upcoming season. Here are a few things you can do to take care of your rods, reels, waders, boots, and lines.

Fly Lines

Cleaning your fly lines is not only quick and easy, but also extends their life. Before cleaning, inspect the line for any cracks, splits, nicks, etc. A small crack or nick in the line can be fixed with a thin coating of UV epoxy or with a splice; larger problems are best solved by getting a new line. Don’t throw your old lines in the garbage! Flyvines (, will recycle your old lines into bracelets, lanyards, and sun glass retainers.

 To clean your line, all you need are a couple of buckets, warm water, mild dish detergent, and a soft, clean cloth (chamois is a great material to use). One bucket should contain warm water and a bit of the detergent, while the other bucket is used for a clean water rinse. Strip your line into the soapy bucket and let it sit for about a half hour. Next, run the line through the soft cloth as you strip it into the rinse bucket. The final step is to strip the line into a clean, dry bucket, and then wind back on the reel. For optimal results, you can then lightly coat your line with a fly line dressing. Rio Products ( has two great videos on line cleaning and care under the “Learn” heading on their website.

 Fly Rods

 It’s a good idea to inspect and clean your fly rods as well. Check the guides for any nicks or grooves. Look closely at the ferrules and reel seat to determine if any problems exist. Fixing these problems now can save you time on the water later!

Cork rod grips can be cleaned with soapy water and a very soft-bristled brush. To clean the rod itself, use either a damp cloth or a common furniture polish such as Pledge. If using polish, be sure to apply only a light coating, and remove any excess.

Photo by Chad Chorney

Photo by Chad Chorney

Cork rod grips can be cleaned with soapy water and a very soft-bristled brush. To clean the rod itself, use either a damp cloth or a common furniture polish such as Pledge. If using polish, be sure to apply only a light coating, and remove any excess.

 Fly Reels

While fishing, it’s easy for dirt, sand, and grit to find its way into the inner workings of your fly reels. Debris that becomes lodged in the fly reel’s drag, spool, or handle can seriously damage the reel. Rinse your reels in clean water and let them air dry thoroughly. Tough dirt can be removed with a cotton swab, and a can of compressed air is useful at cleaning out tight spaces.

 Waders & Boots

Waders that are very dirty can lose some of their breathability and waterproofing. Most waders can be cleaned via the gentle cycle (cold water only) on household washing machines. It’s critical to use a quality detergent such as Tech Wash; this detergent, and others like it, will not impede the breathability of materials such as Gore-Tex. After washing, waders should be air dried only. Never put your waders in the dryer! Spraying cleaned waders with Revivex will enhance the breathability and performance of waders. Note – it’s a good idea to consult specific wader manufacturers web sites for washing instructions.

Shoelaces on wading boots can degrade over time. Now is a great time top replace wading boot laces and inspect the wading boots for tears, loose soles, etc.

Cleaning your gear as described above won’t take much time, and if you take care of your gear, it will take care of you!

New! Spring 2019 High Country Angler is out!

NEW! High Country Angler Spring 2019

The new spring issue of High Country Angler is now live and you can view it online or download the entire issue for free! This time around you can look forward these stories:

  • A Q& A with Landon Mayer by Frank Martin

  • Still Water Sure Thing: Yellowstone Lake by Brian La Rue

  • Paint By Number Fly Fishing by Peter Stitcher 

  • Your Guide to RMNP by Annie Smith

  • Dry Flies in February by Hayden Mellsop

  • Minturn Anglers by Mark Shulman

  • 50 Years Protecting Rivers by Mike Ledger

  • Corps, EPA Propose Clean Water Act Rollback By David Nickum

  • Public Lands: Best. Idea. Ever by CTU Staff

  • Behind the Fin with Dave Taylor by CTU Staff

  • TU and the Birth of Colorado Instream Flows by CTU Staff

  • Angler's All by CTU Staff

  • Fit to be Tied by Joel Evans

Calling all River Enthusiasts: This is your sneak peek!


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


New Zealand 1.jpg

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!

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!


Experience a true Colorado Dude Ranch


Lost Valley Ranch 3.jpg

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!

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

January Currents: We're just getting started!


The latest issue of Currents is out! See how we are kicking off our 50th Anniversary this year! We also have a list of upcoming events around the state and an exclusive peek at the 50th Anniversary custom rod made by SaraBella Fishing, which will only be available at the River Stewardship Gala on March 7, 2019. 

High Country Angler Winter Issue

That's right, the latest digital issue of High Country Angler, Winter 2019 is now available! This issue features a Q& A with Colorado Governor-Elect Jared Polis, the fishing trip of a lifetime in New Zealand, how raising trout in a classroom inspires youth, stories on both fishing and conservation work on the Dolores, a recap of Greenback Cutthroat recovery efforts, and upcoming events to look forward to in 2019. All of this and more is available to read now. Happy New Year!

I took my dad fishing

Fishing w-Dad.jpg

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.