Fishing in the fall: Moderate weather exciting for anglers

The autumnal equinox might bring shorter days, but it hasn’t unduly affected the fishing on Grand Mesa.

Phil Trimm of Western Anglers (244-8658) recently spent a day on several lakes on the Cedaredge side of Grand Mesa, fishing scuds and subsurface patterns in the morning and top-water terrestrials in the afternoon.

“I didn’t take a water temperature but I’d guess it was around 50 degrees or so,” Trimm said. “The fishing was really pretty good.”

This week’s cold snap might slow the action a bit but more moderate weather is expected this weekend and into the week.

“There was a little frost early in the morning but by noon it was pretty nice,” said Trimm. “Once the air warmed up and the bugs got active, the fishing really came alive.”

He said he had good success later in the day using beetle and ant patterns on rising trout.

We stand corrected: In all the reports and stories about the Aug. 19 floods through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River and the Lake Fork of the Gunnison, many, many mentions were made of the “silt” the high water left covering rocks, beaches, campsites and just about anything that spent anytime underwater.

But wait, we were wrong. It wasn’t silt, it was mud, as it was made clear to us by esteemed geologist (and avid angler) John Trammell.

In a recent e-mail, Trammell took several of us to task for repeatedly making the same mistake, that is, confusing silt with mud.

Trammell writes: “A word on silt. The fine sediment you encountered is mud. Silt is composed of particles of silicates — mostly quartz and feldspar — sized between 1/16 and 1/256 millimeters.

“Mud is a mixture of silt and clay. Clay is in the same size range, but is also a mineralogical term.

“I don’t know why fishermen, and a lot of other people who should know better, always refer to fine sediment as silt.

“In rivers, sediment composed entirely of silt is rare.”

There you have it, clearer than mud.

Photographer witnesses Lake Fork flood: We missed initial reports about the Lake Fork flood, but Daily Sentinel photographer Dean Humphrey and his family were camping along the river when the storm hit.

He said the fast-moving storm dumped so much water on the steep canyon below Red Bridge that several large landslides blocked the river four or five miles upstream of where it enters Blue Mesa Reservoir.

Humphrey said 14 people were trapped along the river by the landslides.

He and his family were camped near the entrance to the narrow canyon and he was able to climb over one slide to get and seek help.

He eventually contacted some local residents and asked them to call the Park Service. All this in the dark, late at night.

The next morning day, a Park Service front loader showed up to move the landslides and open the road, but at least one slide was too big to move, Humphrey said.

Ironically, Humphrey said he didn’t get any photos because he was too busy making sure everyone else was safe.

“It was pitch dark, so there wasn’t much to see,” he said. “And the next day the only thing was the big front loader.”

Phone messages to Curecanti National Recreation Area, which administers the Lake Fork below Red Bridge, have not been returned.

Bittles win cabin stay: Jason Bittle and his family were the successful entrants in the Outdoor Heritage Day contest for an overnight stay in the Moose Manor cabin on Grand Mesa.

The rules stipulated each family entering the contest had to visit different areas of Grand Mesa during the summer and write about their visits.

The Bittles were chosen by a random pick.

An award ceremony with the Bittles, U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Colorado Mule Deer Association is at 1 this afternoon at the Grand Mesa Visitors Center on U.S. Highway 65.

Climate conference set in Silverton: The 2010 Climate Conference is Oct. 7-9 in Silverton.

This year’s conference is titled “Managing for Resiliency in the San Juan Mountains — Adaptation and Planning for Climate Change.”

According to a conference press release, the goals of the meeting are to assess existing and potential threats to the San Juan Mountains region posed by climate change and to develop strategies dealing with the effects of climate change on ecosystems and society.

The three-day event includes seminars, workshops and field trips covering such topics as ecosystem health and protocols for impacts of climate change.

The conference is free but a donation to the Mountain Studies Institute is requested.

Online registration through Oct. 1 is available at


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