Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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It’s April, and that means it’s time to secure licenses

By Dave Buchanan

Nothing like April to make you think of spring, taxes and turkey hunting. Or getting a 2015 hunting and fishing license, for that matter. It’s not like you had to wait for April 1 to get those 2015 tags — the 2015 turkey licenses went on sale March 11 — but now it’s time you have one to fish, hunt and putter around on that ATV. The spring turkey season begins April 11 and runs through May 24 in most of the valid turkey units, but a few units differ. A complete ...


Early fishing at Lake Powell is 
a great catch

By Wayne Gustaveson

April 1 is here, but this is no joke: Fishing success makes it seem like the end of April and early May. Bass and stripers took little notice of the jokesters holiday as they have been swimming in warming water for the past two weeks. We usually have to wait until mid-April for the magic 60-degree water temperatures that start bass and crappie spawning, but those temperatures are already here. Here is the summary of current conditions. Largemouth and smallmouth bass have been active in ...


The rainbow time machine

By Joel L. Evans

If this story was a movie, the kind you hear about but never actually see, it might go something like this: Curious young boy meets crazy old professor who invents and attaches a time machine to a fancy car. Together they travel where no man has gone before: Back To The Future. Not without travails, their time travel gives a glimpse of what we commoners can expect to encounter in the coming years. Eric Gardunio, Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologist, like the professor, is ...

GJ lawmaker Willett eyes legislation for bear hunting

By Dave Buchanan

A Grand Junction lawmaker who sought a summer hunting season for black bears will instead try to persuade state officials to study what he calls a bear overpopulation and find ways to reduce conflicts with humans. House Bill 1099, sponsored by Rep. Yeulin Willett, R-Grand Junction, originally proposed establishing an annual “general purpose” hunt for black bears between Aug. 1 and Sept. 1, after which the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission would have the option to ...

Turkey Hunting 101 at Parks and Wildlife

By Dave Buchanan

With an estimated 7 million-plus wild turkeys in 49 states, turkey hunting continues to be the fastest growing hunting activity. Prospective and experienced gobbler hunters can take advantage of expert guidance from Colorado Parks and Wildlife in a free, one-evening seminar titled “Turkey Hunting 101,” set for 
6 p.m. on April 9 at the Parks and Wildlife Hunter Education Building, 711 Independent Ave. The clinic is co-sponsored by Parks and Wildlife and the Western ...


Beginner’s blues

By Staff

Fish on! I did not want to hear that shout one more time. At the moment, I just wanted to grab my fly rod between both hands and crack it over my knee. I couldn’t buy or bribe a fish. My day was all about tangles and wind knots. As a beginning fly fisher, I remember being totally exhilarated and frustrated with the experience. Today, I still feel the same Zen magic when standing in a stream with the water rushing past my legs. When first learning to fly fish, that magic was ...


Catch and donate northern pike

By Dave Buchanan

If you head this spring or summer toward Utah Lake near Provo, take your fishing rod and keep an eye out for northern pike. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources needs help in reducing the lake’s population of northern pike and is asking anglers to take as many pike as they can and then donate the fish to science. DWR officials say Utah Lake is a prime example of what happens when fish are taken from one body of water and placed illegally in another body of water. Mike Slater, ...


Catching up with ‘BOOMER’

By Dave Buchanan

This writer formerly worked for a publisher who regularly would remind anyone within hearing that Carl “Boomer” Stout of Dutch John, Utah, was the best fishing guide on the Green River. This opinion frequently was voiced shortly after said publisher returned from one of his regular jaunts to the Green and a day fishing in the company of Boomer Stout. Given the local Green River lore that says the 7-mile “A” section of the river below Flaming Gorge Dam has an ...


Good Hope Bay hot spot for stripers at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,591. Water Temperature: 50-54 F. PAGE, Ariz. ­— The striper hot spot this week at Lake Powell is Good Hope Bay. This will be a recurring theme in 2015. Striper numbers and shad forage are higher in the northern lake. Reports from Good Hope this week indicate it is possible to catch 100 stripers per day while graphing and spooning. Begin the search in Good Hope Bay near Red Canyon, graphing the 25-to-45-foot contour looking for big striper schools. Stop the ...

Seminar will help a hunter get licensed

By Dave Buchanan

Hunters puzzling over the complexities of obtaining a limited big-game hunting license can get help with the process. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting a License and Application 101 class from 6 to 8 p.m. on March 24 at the Northwest Region Hunter Education Complex, 711 Independent Ave. in Grand Junction. The application deadline for the 2015 limited license draw is April 7. Space is limited for the one-time class and preregistration is required. Visit ...


Spring turkey hunt open to youth

By Dave Buchanan

Hunters under the age of 18 have the opportunity to win one of two private-land spring turkey hunts on May 2-3 near Craig. Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Craig-area landowners are offering the hunts as part of the agency’s Hunter Outreach Program, aimed at instilling respect for wildlife, the outdoors and the traditions of hunting in Colorado’s youth. “This is the second year that we have offered this opportunity in this area,” District Wildlife Manager Mike ...


Thursday gathering hooks women fly-fishers

By Dave Buchanan

It’s estimated, according to the SheLovesFlyFishing.com website, that of the 18.2 million anglers in the U.S. considering themselves fly fishers, 35 percent of them, or roughly 6.4 million, are women. If you spend any time on the stream, that number won’t surprise you, although it’s certainly grown in the past two decades. It’s because of that growth that groups such as Casting For Recovery, a fly-fishing-based support program for breast-cancer survivors, is ...



By Dave Buchanan

A person might think that after more than 40 years in the fly fishing business, Jack Dennis has done it all. But leave it to Dennis to find something else. There is no question the well-known fishing guide, fly innovator, author and popular speaker has done more than most of us can even imagine accomplishing in the fishing business. Fly fishing has taken Dennis, who two years ago retired to Salt Lake City after selling his famed and highly successful fly shop in Jackson, Wyoming, ...


CMU team finishes 14th at College Fishing event at Lake Texoma

By Dave Buchanan

Cold and windy conditions created difficult fishing conditions for the 50 two-person teams competing Saturday in the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference event at Lake Texoma on the Texas-Oklahoma border. The short story is that only one team weighed a five-bass limit. The Central Oklahoma University duo of Colten Hutson and Brock Enmeier won the one-day tournament with a limit weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the FLW College ...


Patience is key to catching big – really, really big – trout

By Dave Buchanan

Too many anglers don’t have the patience to catch a really big fish, claims fishing guide Matt McCannel of RIGS Adventure Company and fly shop in Ridgway. “I think too many people go fishing just to go fishing,” McCannel offered while walking along the Uncompahgre River below Ridgway Dam. “That’s fine as far as it goes, and you may accidentally hook a big fish, but you probably won’t.” Which, he is quick to add, is just what happened to ...


Now that’s a true fish tale

By Dave Buchanan

Perhaps the pen is mightier than the fishing rod, too. As if catching a 32-inch brown trout weighing an estimated 15-plus pounds wasn’t enough, Matt McCannel says a new book to be published this spring might tip the public’s attention toward the Uncompahgre River below Ridgway Dam. “Not many people really know about this river but this area is going to be featured in Terry Gunn’s new book,” said McCannel, the head fishing guide for RIGS Adventure Shop in ...

Eric Gardunio to give overview of river fishery

By Dave Buchanan

Eric Gardunio, Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologist in Montrose, will speak about the current status of the Gunnison River at the Grand Valley Anglers Trout Unlimited meeting 7 p.m. Thursday at the Grand Vista Hotel, 2790 Crossroads Blvd. Dinner will be available starting at
5:30 p.m. Gardunio will give an overview of the Gunnison River fishery from Crystal Dam to below Pleasure Park. He will share some results of the preliminary data collected relating to the genetic ...


Take a trip to tropics with ‘Waypoints’ fly fishing film

By Dave Buchanan

Forget thinking it’s spring — the brief change in weather this week may signal a return to winter. And what better way to celebrate some dreary cold weather than watching a movie about fishing in tropical paradises around the world? Waypoints, produced by Jim Klug and Chris Patterson of Confluence Films, is a multi-segmented fly fishing film shot around the world in freshwater and saltwater. You’ll notice it’s not winter everywhere. Waypoints features locations ...


Mixed bag on Gunnison

By Pat Oglesby

Temperatures reaching nearly 60 degrees last week at the Pleasure Park on the Gunnison River made anglers think it was March and not the middle of February. Anglers this winter have encountered little snow while hiking the river trail from Pleasure Park upstream toward the Smith Fork, making for a pleasant hike. Although it has been an open winter with mild temperatures, reports of fishing success have been mixed. Anglers patiently stalking fish to find their holding lanes reported an ...


Western Anglers going strong after 20-plus years

By Dave Buchanan

The Beatles once sang, “It was 20 years ago today,” and nothing could be more fitting (give or take a year) to celebrate Saturday’s 21st anniversary of Western Anglers Fly Shop in Grand Junction. Owner Jerry Schaeffer during the past two decades has earned a well-deserved reputation as an avid supporter of fly fishing and all it entails, plus the business and music scene of downtown Grand Junction. Schaeffer’s store at 413 Main St. has survived booms and busts, ...

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