Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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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, ...


Fly Fishing Film Tour to stop by downtown GJ

By Dave Buchanan

The Fly Fishing Film Tour is headed back to Grand Junction. This one-of-a-kind marketing and outreach effort for the fly-fishing industry, which features many of the world’s best angling filmmakers taking viewers on trips around the world, will be at the Mesa Theater on March 24. Discount tickets are available at Western Anglers, 534 Main St. This year, viewers will see 12 destinations, from Mongolia to Cuba to Montana, with some of the world’s top anglers trying for ...

Online option now available for hunters to obtain certificate

By Dave Buchanan

With the big-game license application deadline of April 7 about two months away, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is making it easier for all prospective first-time hunters to obtain their required hunter-education certificate. Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, is required to pass a state-approved hunter-education course prior to applying for or purchasing a license. An online home-study course covering safety and hunting information is available and will be followed by a hands-on ...


Commission makes changes to big-game hunting regulations

By Dave Buchanan

Several changes to the state’s big-game hunting regulations were approved last week by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission. All the changes are effective for the 2015 big-game hunting season. Archers now are allowed to use lighted nocks when hunting. Lighted nocks aren’t new but there has been some controversy over whether their use offers an unfair advantage to hunters. These nocks, which may be turned on manually or light once the arrow is released, can assist an ...


The vertical angle of winter

By Joel L. Evans

We all learned at an early age how the earth revolves around the sun. Combined with a slight tilt of the earth, seasons of warm and cold follow the revolution. Changes are minor in the middle latitudes and extreme in the northern and southern bands. Colorado is somewhere in-between. I like in-between. I like fishing between the betweens. Summer between fall between winter between spring. Similar to the differing angle of the sun from summer to winter, our winter casts can take on a ...


Vega getaway

By Dave Buchanan

VEGA RESERVOIR — In the annals of marital bliss, this particular act might not seem like much to remember, unless you’re a hardwater angler who enjoys the companionship of marriage. “I let her use that hole today,” said a sagacious Keith Hofland, nodding toward his wife, Tish, who was standing a few feet away and whose compact ice-fishing rod was bent double from yet another plump rainbow trout headed into the bright sun. Obviously a man who knows the value of a ...


Shad should make ‘15 a great year

By Wayne Gustaveson

The resurgence of the threadfin shad population in 2014 at Lake Powell afforded anglers a great year for sport fishing, and it appears fishing in 2015 will remain strong. Shad came back last summer in record numbers, and all fish species responded by continuing to grow rapidly through the fall. Now, with winter nearly halfway done, feeding continues for striped bass. Fish health and condition is remarkable; striped bass have not been this healthy since 1993. When shad are at a low ...


Antero Reservoir to be drained, dam rebuilt, this summer

By Dave Buchanan

The legacy of ups and downs at Antero Reservoir’s popular fishery in wind-swept South Park is on the down. Way down. Western Slope anglers making the southern-route trek to Denver for the January sportsmen’s shows drive right past Antero Reservoir, and those who stop to cast a line or two often are surprised by the results. The 2,500-acre reservoir can grow large trout and grow them quickly, and if you catch the reservoir when the fates smile, you may leave with plenty of ...


Ice on Rifle Gap Reservoir means it’s time for fishing tournament

By Dave Buchanan

The 17th annual Mountain Air Mechanical Rifle Gap Ice Fishing Tournament, cosponsored with the Rifle Chamber of Commerce and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, is set for Jan. 17-18. The competition runs at 8 a.m. until 
3 p.m. on Jan. 17 and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on 
Jan. 18. The awards ceremony will take place after Sunday’s competition closes. Prizes will be awarded for largest rainbow trout, brown trout and yellow perch. Anglers 18 years and older can win cash prizes up to ...


Merwin net plays role in corralling kokanee

By Dave Buchanan

A new tool in the arsenal of state fisheries biologists helped boost this year’s harvest of kokanee salmon eggs. Biologists Jon Ewert of Hot Sulphur Springs and Jim White in Durango this year used a Merwin net to corral kokanee salmon that otherwise might have escaped the fall egg harvest. The net, a style previously used successfully by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, attaches at one end to shore and then runs out a long (up to 150 yards) lead into the lake or ...


Net profits

By Dave Buchanan

The building blocks of Colorado’s most popular lake fisheries are no larger than an eraser on a pencil and much more fragile. Whether you’re one of the thousands of boaters spinning circles all summer around Blue Mesa Reservoir in search of kokanee salmon or one of the fewer but no less intense hunters of trophy lake trout at Blue Mesa and Granby Reservoir, your pursuit would be much-less promising without the millions of kokanee eggs gathered each fall at a handful of ...


‘A Taste of Yellowstone’

By Dave Buchanan

There’s more to Yellowstone National Park than often meets the eye or ear. Particularly for anglers, who can find a world of options in the park’s 1,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 100 lakes. On Jan. 15, Montrose angler Joel Evans will present “A Taste of Yellowstone,” a recounting of his most-recent visit to America’s first national park and his fishing adventures there. The presentation is part of the monthly meeting of the Grand Valley ...


Western Slope experts headline at Fly Fishing Show

By Dave Buchanan

Western Slope anglers who are headed to The Fly Fishing Show from Friday through Sunday at the Denver Mart will see a lot of familiar names and faces. Some of the most popular features of the show are the hands-on classes in casting and fly-tying offered throughout the long weekend. Novices to professionals can get some intensive practice and lessons from some of the top names in fly fishing, all with years of experience in fishing Western waters and handling Western trout. Fly anglers ...

Fly Fishing Show gives anglers a good reason to celebrate

By Dave Buchanan

Fishing season never closes in Colorado, but you can celebrate an unofficial opening day when Denver’s 14th annual Fly Fishing Show casts off Jan. 9-11 at the Denver Mart’s Pavilion Building. The spacious pavilion, 451 E. 58th Ave., will host a virtual three-ring circus of all-things-fly-fishing, including casting demonstrations, fly-tying theaters, angling and travel films, a women’s fly fishing showcase and the newest fishing tackle and gear, all aimed at Rocky ...


When winter fishing, how low can you go?

By Dave Buchanan

As the winter closes in on regional rivers, slush ice and shelf ice squeeze anglers into the tailwaters where water temperatures stay around 40 degrees year-round. That means the biggest difference in fishing those waters winter or summer is how much cold can the angler stand. “One thing about the Fryingpan is that we’re so high and the water so cold our hatches are late morning and afternoon” year-round, said Will Sands of Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt. “That ...

Ring in 2015 at Steamboat Great Outdoors Ice Fishing Tournament

By Dave Buchanan

Get a jumpstart on fishing in 2015 at the 4th annual Steamboat Great Outdoors Ice Fishing Tournament Jan. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Stagecoach State Park. Co-hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Steamboat Great Outdoors, the one-day hardwater tournament attracts hundreds of competitors chasing cash prizes and the lake’s big trout. “I can’t think of a better way to enjoy winter than with some fishing and some good, old-fashioned competition,” Park Manager ...


Fishing Fryingpan

By Dave Buchanan

BASALT — The shortest day of the year was a work in chiaroscuro, even Dickensian one might say, with none of the Colorado sunshine for which the state is known. Such days are rare in western Colorado, although some might argue that point given the generally overcast skies of the past week or so in the Grand Valley. At the turn of the last century, sunny days were in part the domain of entrepreneurs, such as those running the La Veta Hotel in Gunnison with its well-known offer to ...

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