Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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Late-summer rains improve fishing at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

PAGE, Ariz. – Late-summer weather patterns bring much-needed rain to Lake Powell, not enough to offset the lake’s decline of a foot per week (3,592.5-feet elevation as of Monday) but enough to offer cooler water temperatures, which were 77-81 degrees reported Monday. The result is fishing for stripers and smallmouth bass remains exceptional. It’s wise to remember that although the water level is 107 feet below full, the reservoir still is more than 460 feet deep at the ...

Summer wildfires will impact hunting in numerous ways

By Dave Buchanan

Among the topics set for this week’s Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting in Trinidad is a consideration of emergency regulations dealing with the impacts of the summer’s wildfires on hunting. There weren’t any specific regulations announced before the meeting, but it’s not surprising some concern has arisen after the fires this year in Colorado. The National Interagency Fire Center reported this year alone wildfires have burned more than 2.46 million acres ...


Stealth angling

By Staff

There are numerous places where fishing extends well into the fall, but August marks the beginning of the end for anglers divining high-country streams with a fly rod. One such end-is-near location is the stream-rich country in the broad arc of mountains running from Taylor Park to Kebler Pass. Spring Creek starts well above Gunnison in the laps of Italian and American Flag mountains, works its way past the dam at 10,000-foot-high Spring Creek Reservoir and wends through meadow and ...

Parks and Wildlife offers free bowhunter education class

By Dave Buchanan

A free bowhunter education class is being offered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Aug. 17-18 at Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife Area. Colorado does not require archery hunters to take the bowhunter education class, although some states mandate such education prior to obtaining an archery hunting license. Colorado’s Bowhunter Education card is accepted anywhere such certification is required. The free course will cover such topics as the bowhunter’s responsibilities, ...


Utah proposing license-fee break for youth anglers

By Dave Buchanan

In an effort to foster more youth interest in fishing, a new regulation being proposed by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources would allow that state’s anglers who are 14 to 17 years of age to purchase a 365-day fishing license for $16. As it is now, once an angler turns 14 he or she must buy the same $26 license adults buy. The DWR also is recommending an increase in the cost of a 365-day fishing license for those 18 to 65 years old. If approved, a fishing license for those 18 ...


Taking a lake break

By Dave Buchanan

The clear waters of Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap reservoirs are in contrast to the rain-swollen streams found across much of the Western Slope. This seasonal break in the steamy, 100-degree weather came none too soon as warming and dropping water levels in rivers and streams had raised concerns from guide shops about possible long-term impacts to valuable fisheries. Prior to the weekend storms, the Roaring Fork River was running about 365 cubic feet per second, low enough the website for ...

Leftover licenses go on sale Aug. 6

By Staff

In years past, the biggest day for hunting-license sales was just prior to the start of the season. Now, with all deer licenses and most elk licenses available through the state’s computer drawing, the biggest sales day comes in early August, when all those licenses that didn’t go via the computer are made available on a first-come, first-served basis. This year, that’s Aug. 6, when at 9 a.m. an estimated 33,000 elk licenses, 6,800 deer licenses and 3,800 pronghorn ...


Hunter Outreach programs help women, youth gain valuable hunting knowledge

By Dave Buchanan

It’s the “chicken or the egg” question: Which is lost first, the desire to go hunting or the knowledge of how to hunt? That the hunting population is aging and shrinking isn’t much of a secret, and some of that isn’t simply because of old hunters getting older. Much of it has to with too many other diversions, fewer licenses available (which is a dubious argument on its own) and no one from whom to learn how to hunt. Colorado Parks and Wildlife can’t ...


Song of summer

By Dave Buchanan

Late last night, just as Scorpio was emerging in the southern sky, a song of summer began. The rasp of crickets sounding across the back lawn is more than a simple way to estimate the temperature (count the chirps in 15 seconds, add 39 to get degrees Fahrenheit), it’s also a signal that it’s time to carry a few extra terrestrials with you when you fish. Not E.T., of course, but crickets, grasshoppers, ants, beetle and cicadas. How important are terrestrials in a ...

Once it’s down, the hard work of hunting begins

By Dave Buchanan

When the shooting stops, the work begins. Every big-game hunter, no matter his or her weapon of choice, lives by the above mantra. In comparison to the labors involved in skinning, cleaning, boning and carrying out an animal bigger than a rabbit, all that stalking and shooting seems pretty casual. And while the stalking and shooting obviously are important, taking care of that hunk of meat so it’s fit to eat is what makes the hunt a true success. With that in mind, and the first ...

‘Wind hatch’ on high lakes 
a challenge

By Dave Buchanan

Fishing terrestrial insect patterns isn’t limited to small streams where the encroaching brush grabs your rod, clothes and hat on each cast. Granted, there may be more land-grown insects on those creeks where the stream-side vegetation hangs well out over the water, but even lakes can offer great dry-fly fishing with ants, beetles and other terrestrial insects. “Take a beetle pattern with you when you go up on Grand Mesa, and you’ll always be successful,” said ...


The contradiction of accessible remoteness

By Staff

Inaccessible or remote. Consider the difference as comparable to fishing real estate. Inaccessible could be the wonderful river immediately next to the busy paved road in the middle of town, a river with no public access. Remote could be the questionable river along a dirt road for miles and miles in the backcountry with ample public access. Certainly, fishermen prefer the latter over the former. In a word, actually in a name, remote is Cebolla. Cebolla is the Spanish word for onion. ...


My fishing story

By Staff

While Daily Sentinel outdoors writer Dave Buchanan was busy penning a hiking column about Crag Crest Trail last week, I went fishing. It’s a switch in rolls, although those who have read these pages over the years have certainly discovered many of my hiking destinations either take me along a fishable river, or to some lovely trout lake in the mountains. Especially this time of year. Same with Buchanan. Many of his fishing stories include a memorable hike. One picturesque hike ...

Limited deer hunts offered soon at local wildlife areas

By Dave Buchanan

Deer hunters interested in a unique, close-to-home opportunity can apply for six limited-license, special-access hunts being offered on state wildlife areas along the Colorado River. The hunts will take place on the Tilman Bishop SWA and the Orchard Mesa and Grand Junction wildlife areas. The hunts are sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Western Colorado Wildlife Habitat Association. Three of the hunts will be held during the regular archery ...

Wildlife commission to adopt Harvey Gap fishing regs

By Dave Buchanan

The final adoption of regulations prohibiting certain types of fishing at Harvey Gap Reservoir will be considered Thursday and Friday when the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meets in Walden. The new regulations prohibit using spearfishing, archery or gigs in an effort to protect newly transplanted tiger muskies. Additionally, the commission will update small game hunting regulations, including increasing the daily bag limit for dark geese in the Central Flyway to 5 birds, and ...


It’s all very basic when it comes to carp fishing

By Dave Buchanan

The basics of carp fishing are basic, indeed. That 4- or 5-weight trout rod will suffice, although you might go a bit heavier if you’re fishing in weeds or brush. Use 3x or 4x tippet, although 2x will be OK in discolored water or if the fish are particularly well-muscled. Remember, these fish were originally brought to the U.S. in 1831 to augment local diets and have long been known as hard-fighting sport fish with highly refined senses of smell, sight and hearing. And how about ...


Fish tales from 
Carpocalypse 2013

By Dave Buchanan

There is something to be said about fly-fishing for carp. And as any dedicated carp chaser will tell you, most of it is good. “It’s a really challenging fish, it’s big and strong and we have an unlimited amount of opportunity on the Colorado and lower Gunnison rivers,” said Justin Edge, a fishing guide for Western Anglers Fly Shop in Grand Junction and certainly a dedicated pursuer of old Mr. Rubberlips.“I probably go out two or three times a week and every ...


No distress here: The damsels are back

By Dave Buchanan

The bugs of summer are back. Not just any bugs, like the ghostly slugs nibbling away at your garden or the well-armored cockroaches that appear a day after the exterminator leaves, but those bugs that attract rising fish make a day on a high-country lake an experience to remember all year. A few hours spent at any lake on Grand Mesa this month reveals how prolific insect life can be in the summer at 10,000 feet. Ants, beetles, mosquitoes (of course), damselflies and the impressive ...


It’‘s all about location in quest for quality fishing

By Wayne Gustaveson

Runoff is slowing and Lake Powell has topped out at 3,601 feet elevation. That means the Castle Rock Cut is wet but not passable. However, fishing is still great, making it worthwhile to head upstream from Wahweap or to take a fishing rod along when heading out from Bullfrog or Halls Marina. Lake location often determines which fish may be caught. While all species are available in each canyon, there are some habitats that favor a particular species. For instance, the steep canyon walls ...


The story on runoff: Call first

By Dave Buchanan

ALMONT — In most years, mid-June means runoff: high, discolored water that grinds boulders into rocks, sweeps rivers and streams from bank to bank and keeps fish-hungry anglers dabbling along the edges of their favorite water. The winter snowpack was uneven, and it wasn’t until late in the year many high-country areas started seeing close to normal snowfall. The question most asked is: Where is runoff this year? Earlier this month some water forecasters were predicting the ...

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