Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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The thin blue line

By Dave Buchanan

The small stuff. We hear about it several times in our lives, mostly as in “Don’t sweat …” It comes almost as a barb, a bit of smack talk for something that should exist unnoticed, below our threshold of attention. But instead of disregarding that advice, now is the time when anglers should do just the opposite. Big rivers are OK, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever see a movie called “A Trickle Runs Through It,” but summer and small-stream ...


Small streams feature plenty of fish, just not as big

By Dave Buchanan

In a world that glorifies bigness, small streams stand out if only for the very lack of that. Stories abound of 100-fish days, 22-inch browns, 100-foot casts ­— ad infinitum. It’s not bad to catch 100 fish in a day, or to gloat over out-muscling a 24-inch brown trout fought to exhaustion or being able to cast 100-feet when 90 percent of the fish you’re going to catch are within 30 feet. Is it? Small streams have, in a condensed sort of way, all of the ...

Learning to hunt deer starts here

By Dave Buchanan

Colorado remains one of the West’s premier deer-hunting destinations, whether you’re a veteran hunter or someone just entering the ranks. But wildlife managers know one major reason for people not hunting is a lack of qualified mentors sharing the finer points of hunting. That’s where Mule Deer Hunting 101 comes in. The class is hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Mule Deer Association and is targeted toward inexperienced or novice hunters without a ...


Novice programs aimed at youth, female hunters

By Dave Buchanan

Novice hunters and anglers, specifically women and youth, are invited to register for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Outreach Program. The program provides guidance and mentoring to novice women and youth hunters through various clinics, workshops and private-land hunts designed to introduce the knowledge, skills, ethics and traditions of hunting. The registration deadline for “Women Afield” and the “Youth Hunting” programs and the hunts planned for ...


Quest for 52 rivers finds fishing only part of the benefits

By Dave Buchanan

When we last touched base with Denver writer, photographer and fly fisher Shelley Walchak, she was fresh from a mid-January fishing trip to the Taylor River north of Gunnison. Anyone familiar with the Gunnison country in winter knows there is more to this story, and suffice it to say that trip, with its waist-deep snow and high temperature of minus-10 degrees, will long stay in Walchak’s memory. At the time, Walchak was fresh into her quest to fish 52 different rivers in seven ...


Weather is hot, fishing is hotter at Lake Powell

By Dave Buchanan

The water is boiling at Lake Powell, but not simply because it’s nearly 100 degrees at the southern Utah reservoir. The water is churning because stripers finally are boiling, feeding on maturing shad and settling into an random feeding schedule of small slurps early and late in the day mixed with larger boils during the day. That’s the latest word from Utah Fisheries biologist Wayne Gustaveson on his Lake Powell fishing website http://www.wayneswords.com. “It is ...


Colorado Mesa bass fishing duo takes big prize in Oklahoma

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Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade had never competed in a bass fishing tournament. The first time they did, the Colorado Mesa University students slayed the giants. The bass fishing duo, who grew up fishing on small ponds in Colorado and Utah, captured the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference tournament title a week ago on Grand Lake near Monkey Island, Oklahoma, against the best collegiate competition in bass fishing country. “If you look at the schools we were up against, ...

Share what you know: Every hunt has a story

By Staff

The paint is still wet on the first day of summer, and already it’s time to think about the fall hunt. With less than six weeks before the opening day of archery season, it’s also time for you to think about all of those unforgettable hunts you’ve enjoyed and how much you want to share those stories with other hunt lovers. I mean, you do want to share them, don’t you? The annual Colorado Hunter magazine will hit the stands in late July, and we are looking for ...


Damselfly delight

By Dave Buchanan

Coming soon to a lake near you: Matchstick-thin blue fairies dancing a jig, luring hungry trout like the Sirens luring lonely sailors. Well, no, they aren’t really fairies, but unlike the Sirens, this isn’t a myth. Each spring, anglers regale in the first appearance of damselflies and the trout that eat them. Damselflies, closely related to dragonflies but slimmer and perched with their wings folded along the body instead out to the sides, are among the first of the top-water ...


Paying his dues

By Dave Buchanan

According to the Ford Motor Company, a 2015 Ford F-150 pickup is 79.9 inches wide. Which means Mike Ashcraft on Saturday caught enough inches of carp to stretch across an F-150’s front seat and still have 18 inches hanging out both doors. Ashcraft, who works for Elkhorn Construction and sounds like a totally sane angler in all other respects, spent Saturday competing with 32 other anglers in Carpocalypse 2014, the second catch-and-release, fly fishing-only carp tournament sponsored ...


Trophy striper lends itself to research at Lake Powell

By Dave Buchanan

A chance encounter with a dying striper at Lake Powell has helped fisheries biologists better understand the life cycles of that lake’s biggest fish. According to Utah Lake Powell fisheries biologist Wayne Gustaveson, he received a call at his office in Page, Arizona, early last Saturday about a big striper being caught at the mouth of Warm Creek in the southern end of the lake. When Gustaveson arrived, he found Adam Jones and Deborah Williams (no hometowns given) holding a dead ...


Ready for the Carpocalypse

By Dave Buchanan

Except for the southwest corner of the state, where most of the snowpack (such as it was again this year) has melted, there still remains a few weeks between runoff and clear water. That’s OK with a handful of local anglers who know their biggest fish of the year is catchable now, within a 10-minute drive from home. “Man, that’s why I love carp,” fishing guide Justin Edge said when I caught up with him last week at Connected Lakes. “These fish are some of ...


What you need to know before going carp fishing

By Dave Buchanan

Under the general heading of “Know Before You Go,” having at least some idea of how and where to catch carp will be of service prior to Saturday’s Carpocalypse 2014. This is the one-day carp-only fly fishing tournament held on waters around the Grand Valley and sponsored by Western Anglers Fly Shop and Edgewater Brewery. You can register up to Saturday morning at the shop (413 Main St., 244-8658) or online at www. westernanglers.com. Much has changed in the world of ...


Local lakes offer some of best fishing despite conditions

By Dave Buchanan

With streams and river at high tide throughout the state, an angler eager to scratch the fishing itch needs look no further than the local lakes. Although the conditions may not be perfect, nearly every pond or lake in the Grand Valley right now offers the chance of catching your biggest freshwater fish of the year. And what’s better, you can win prizes, get T-shirts and enjoy an adult malted beverage or two, courtesy of Edgewater Brewery and Western Anglers Fly Shop. That’s ...

Hurry up! Get out there and enjoy Free Fishing Weekend

By Dave Buchanan

Check the calendar. This is Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Free Fishing Weekend, so what are you doing at home? Oh, don’t let a little (OK, a lot) of water put you off your game. If you look, there is someplace just for you, which for the moment means fishing a lake or dam-controlled river. You just have to figure out where and how. “The river is ripping right now, so the rafting is pretty hot,” said Mark Mohney at Willowfly Anglers, 970-641-1303, in Almont, ...

Keeping a keen eye on the Colorado River

By Dave Buchanan

Only a fish watches the Colorado River closer than angling guide Jack Bombardier. Bombardier and his wife, Terena, live in and work out of their home a double-haul from the Colorado, a few miles downstream of Burns. A double-haul, that is, when the river isn’t advancing up the front lawn at full gallop, driven by advancing snowmelt. Bombardier (http://www.confluencecasting.com, 970-524-1440) recently shared a few thoughts on spring along the Colorado River from his entertaining ...


Jack on the rocks

By Dave Buchanan

DOTSERO – Like most fishing guides, Jack Bombardier has an array of photos on his website showing clients catching fish. This month, however, it’s not fish Bombardier wants to catch. He’s hoping to snag the fishing dock that Bombardier last saw sitting a few yards in front of his house a few miles upstream of Dotsero. That was before the runoff-charged waters of the Colorado River swept over the dock, on which Bombardier earlier piled a load of large rocks to hold it ...

Big Sky Open attracts archers

By Dave Buchanan

Archers from around the U.S. will descend upon Grand Junction from June 13-15 for the 34th Big Sky Archery Open at the DoubleTree Hotel. The $20,000 Open is hosted by a small group of target archers and endorsed by the Grand Mesa Bowmen. The Big Sky Open is a three-day target tournament that draws both professional and amateur archers, including some of the best-known names in archery. All compete on the same field, featuring an outdoor V-Formation format shooting from 20 to 65 yards ...


Remember Rapala as National Fishing Week begins

By Dave Buchanan

The story of what probably is the world’s No. 1-fished lure began nearly 80 years ago with a simple observation by Finnish angler Lauri Rapala. In 1936, while fishing the waters of Finland’s Lake Paijanne, Rapala was struck by one obvious yet up-to-then unremarked fact: Big fish eat little fish, particularly the wounded ones. As the Finnish angler went about his day, he noticed how, again and again, predator fish would dart into a school of minnows and attack the one that ...


Free fishing weekend is June 7-8

By Dave Buchanan

The next best thing to going fishing is going fishing for free. All of you would-be anglers a little short of cash can get a free fishing fix June 7-8, Colorado’s Free Fishing Weekend. Don’t just take Mr. Outside’s word for it; Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering two days of no-fee, no-license fishing. “Colorado certainly offers tremendous fishing opportunities,” Parks and Wildlife’s Aquatic Section Manager Greg Gerlich said. “However, we ...

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