Colorado Division of Wildlife’s weekly fishing report, April 13, 2010
Seasonal Report: Springtime in the Rockies
Here comes the sun! Springtime in Colorado is a great time of year. It’s that time of year when Coloradoans start venturing out of their winter hold-ups, in search of fresh spring air and the opportunity to have some fun in the outdoors. The time of year when folks start getting that urge to reconnect with nature. What better way to reconnect, than to grab your fishing gear and try your luck at some early season action. The weather this time of year can be unpredictable, so be sure to be prepared for cool mornings and evenings, and the possibility of afternoon showers. Lower elevation lakes have been ice-free for several weeks now. Fishing along the Front Range is in full swing with hatchery trucks on the move, and many of the metro area waters are open to boating as well. High country reservoirs and lakes should be in the early stages of ice-off within the next few weeks, so use extreme caution when attempting to ice-fish this time of year. For fly fishing anglers, spring signals the start of an annual tradition. Early season hatches, such as streamers, BWOs and midges, to name a few, are just around the corner and some have already started to appear on warm and cloudy days. Spring is the perfect time of year to start checking your gear, refining your techniques, and preparing for the prime fishing season.
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Fishing Tip of the Week: Spring Tune up
Spring fishing is here, are you ready?
Angling success is to some degree a matter of luck. Or is it? Successful anglers are more than just lucky, they are prepared. Your tackle and equipment are crucial for success. This is the time of year to organize and tune up your equipment. Nothing can be more disappointing than getting to your favorite spot and realizing your reel doesn’t reel, your rods are missing an eyelet or the fishing line that came with your reel has turned itself into a tangled mess.
Paying close attention to the condition of your equipment will improve your fishing success and help make your trip more enjoyable.
Fishing line – Line should be replaced at least once a year, especially if it has been subjected to extreme heat from being left in a vehicle or in the storage hull of a boat. There are many excellent “mono” lines available. When choosing fishing lines there are several factors to consider. All monofilament line has a “memory”. The longer the line has been on a spool the more it resembles a slinky. Purchase a good quality line with a small diameter, and low visibility. For trout, 4 to 6 pound line should be sufficient in most cases. If you are going after larger fish, you will want to increase the weight of the line. Fishing line is rated by the break strength of the line (referred to as # Test). Many sporting outlets and bait shops can replace the line for you. Often, this is cheaper than replacing it yourself because you only pay for what you need. You are assured the line is spooled properly and the old line is recycled, preventing it from making its way to a landfill.
Reels – Fishing reels do not need to be expensive to catch fish, but they do need to be cleaned and lubricated at regular intervals. If reels are subjected to excessive dirt or sand, they must be cleaned to prevent sticking or possibly damaging internal parts. Cleaning and lubricating is a fairly simple process, which is usually covered in the owner’s manual. Cleaning is done by removing the line spool and either rinsing or using a small soft brush to remove dirt or debris. A good quality reel lube that has Teflon in it and displaces water should be lightly applied to moving parts. Most bait shops offer this service if you do not want to attempt this yourself.
Rods – Fishing rods should be inspected to insure the rod tip and line guides are not broken or damaged. Replacing a broken rod tip or line guide is easy and inexpensive. There are repair kits available that include several different rod tips for different diameter rods. The kits include ferrule cement that comes in stick form and can be melted with matches or a lighter and dabbed onto the rod tip. The new tip is then slipped over the glue and the end of the rod. Make sure it is lined up correctly before the glue hardens. If the tip is not straight, simply heat the rod tip with a match or lighter and position correctly. Replacing line guides is a little more time consuming, but well worth the effort. Line guides may be purchased either single or in packages with various sizes, they are either single or double footed. Remove the damaged or broken line guide and old thread; position the new guide on the rod. Place the end of the thread under the foot and wrap the thread tightly from the end of the foot to the guide. Once the foot is wrapped with thread secure the loose end of the thread with a piece of tape to the rod. Be sure the guide is in-line with the other guides. Coat thread with epoxy or clear fingernail polish and trim excess line once hardened.
NOTE: Braided line can damage rod tips or guides if they are not ceramic or made of a hard material. It is not advised to use braided line with plastic guides.
Tackle – Check your tackle to be certain you have everything you will need for your planned trip. Many times moisture will invade your tackle box leaving your hooks and lures, rusty and in some cases unusable. Dull or rusty hooks are inefficient and should be either cleaned and sharpened or properly discarded. Old Power Bait, salmon eggs or fish attracting scents that have been exposed to hot sun or extreme cold, for prolonged periods of time, will become ineffective and should also be discarded.
Quote of the Week
“Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.” — Ernest Hemingway
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Don’t Get Ticked Off
Ticks become active in March, and throughout the summer months, into early fall. They are generally most active in May, and go dormant as temperatures cool. Ticks are common at higher elevations, where there is shade and undergrowth or overgrown grassy areas. The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick is the most common. Check for ticks on yourself and your children. Products containing DEET are effective deterrents, however some of these products are not recommended for children, or adults, who may have allergic reactions.
Be Bear Aware
Fisherman and campers are reminded that many of their favorite waters are in bear country. Taking simple precautions such as not leaving food out where bears can find it and keeping a clean camping site can avoid potential problems for bears and people alike. The Colorado Division of Wildlife offers brochures and other information for reducing the risk of bear encounters. They are available At DOW offices statewide.
Recent Stocking — 4/13/2010:
Arkansas River #3b — Pueblo
Arvada Reservoir — Arvada
Berthoud City Pond — Berthoud
Chartiers Pond — Fort Morgan
Craig City ponds — In Craig
Craig Justice Center Pond — In Craig
Depoorter Lake — Julesburg
East Wacker Pond — Fort Morgan
Flatiron Reservoir — West of Loveland
Golden Gravel Pond #3, — Longmont
Harvey Gap Reservoir — North of Silt
Harvey Gap Reservoir — North of Silt
Hasty Lake — East of Las Animas
Hugo SWA Ponds — South East of Limon
Izaak Walton LG Pond — Longmont
Jumbo Reservoir — West of Sedgwick
Karval Res — South of Limon
Kenney Reservoir — East of Rangely
Kinney Lake — South of Limon
Kissel Pond — Limon
Mack Mesa — North of Mack
Milavec Reservoir — North of Firestone
North Lake Park Pond — Loveland
Pueblo City Park Lake — Pueblo
Pueblo West Pond — Pueblo West
Rangely Fishing Pond — In Rangely
Sheldon Lake — Fort Collins
St Vrain State Park Coot Pond — I-25 at Longmont
St Vrain State park Mallard Lake — I-25 at Longmont
St Vrain State Park Pintail Lake — I-25 at Longmont
St Vrain State Park Sandpiper Lake — I-25 at Longmont
Thomas Reservoir — Erie
Webster Lake — North Denver
West Wacker Pond — Fort Morgan
Granby Reservoir—Granby Reservoir is still covered with ice, no open water. 4/12/2010
Grand Lake—Grand Lake is still covered with ice, no open water. 4/12/2010
Green Mountain Reservoir—The lake is still frozen over. However, the ice is rotten and not safe. There is some open water down at the inlet. All the campgrounds are still gated and locked. Pearl Lake—Use this link to view our Hahn’s Peak web cam that we turned so you can see the cove behind the Visitor Center http://10.101.8.58/view/index.shtml
Shadow Mountain Reservoir—Still covered with ice, no current fishing report available at this time. 04/12/2010
Steamboat Lake—4/8/10 Ice fishing is still going on with about 2 1/2 feet of ice along with 1 foot of slush also. The recent snow will add to the slush factor as temps get warmer! Use this link to view our Hahn’s Peak web cam that we turned so you can see the cove behind the Visitor Center http://10.101.8.58/view/index.shtml
Yampa River (Stagecoach through Steamboat)—Yampa River has been “on fire”. The river thru town is fishing great. The inlets at the local lakes are just starting to fish. The river is the most productive with darker stonefly nymphs size 8-14 on a lead fly with a San Juan worm as a second. The rubber leg San Juan’s are working best. The nymphing is the most common with some dry fly midge action on the cloud covered warmer days. The water clarity has been good with the river getting muddy in the afternoon, but not much. The run-off has not started yet. The spring fishing has been some of the best anybody can remember.
Blue Mesa Reservoir—Ice is still holding on. Safe ice fishing conditions still exist throughout Iola basin and into the canyon section west to Elk Creek Marina. Look for fishable open water to occur around the 10th to 15th and boat-able open water from the 20th to 25th of this month. Ice out conditions mean peak fishing for browns along the shorelines, and lake trout cruising the shallows. Some of the best fishing of the season will occur from ice out through late May.
Ridgway Reservoir—The lake is getting ready for run-off. Most of the ice will be gone by the weekend of April 10. The boat ramp is open and the Mussel Inspection Station too, is open. The water temperature is in the upper 40s and the fishing is good. Some 11,000 catchable-sized trout have been stocked already. Bank anglers have been doing well using night crawlers, red salmon eggs and silver or gold Kastmasters. We expect the larger Brown Trout to be chasing the stocked Rainbows throughout the Spring. Remember to have your boat clean, drained and dry when you come in to have it inspected before launching. Good luck fishing!
Uncompahgre River in Ridgway Park—Fishing on the river at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk has been slow. Flows are at about 50 cfs, still way below the summer average. The low winter flows negatively impact the habitat for both fish and bugs. Many of the smaller rainbows drifted down river this winter but as the flows increase the fish will return and the fishing will get better.