Outdoors - Hunting and Fishing

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First of year fishing report eyes slow start to season

By Special to the Sentinel

April 3, 2012 Anglers should remember to purchase have a 2012 fishing license before heading out. Licenses are valid April 1 through March 31. AQUATIC NUISANCE SPECIES REMINDER: Boaters are reminded that mandatory inspections are in place at many of the lakes and reservoirs around the state again this year. Boaters are reminded to clean, drain and dry their boats and equipment to prevent the spread of invasive species. Information about inspection requirements, hours and procedures can ...


Fly-fishing expo not to be missed

By Dave Buchanan

The Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition returns Friday and Saturday to the DoubleTree Hotel. And as they allegedly said in the newsreels, “Movie at 7.” It’s a movie, and an expo, you really shouldn’t miss. The movie is the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour (or f3t, for short) and consists of many movies in one, a series of action-packed short films by some of the world’s most-talented angling filmmakers, including RA Beatty of Basalt. The film tour visits 120 ...


Expo’s behind-the-scene support runs deep, steady

By Dave Buchanan

It bears noting that the Western Colorado Fly Fishing Exposition set for Friday and Saturday at the DoubleTree Hotel is sponsored and run by the Grand Valley Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Federation of Fly Fishers. This hard-working committee of volunteers, led by Pat and Carol Oglesby, Steve McCall and numerous others, has steered the expo into its 14th year and has seen it become the largest fly-fishing show between Denver and Salt Lake City. In 14 years, expo watchers have ...

Last-minute big-game applications still accepted until midnight Tuesday

By Dave Buchanan

It’s not too late to file that application for a Colorado 2012 big-game hunting license. The application deadline is Tuesday April 3 and Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters of the wealth of information and planning resources the agency offers to hunters in their license quest. Parks and Wildlife director Rick Cables said hunters have all the resources they need right at their fingertips, including online resources, a secure license application protal and hunt planners at ...

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Lake Powell bass moving up toward spawn

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,635 asl Water Temperature 52-60 F March 29 – PAGE, ARiz. – Bass are moving up to spawn. Water temperature is still a cool 52 F in the early morning. But on calm sunny days water temperature escalates to over 60 degrees in the shallows by late afternoon. Weather is expected to be calm and sunny for the weekend. Expect both large and smallmouth bass to move into the shallows and begin building nests. Wind and cold will then return early next week so spawning ...

Local lakes to begin boating season

By Staff

Spring means boating in western Colorado and Harvey Gap and Rifle Gap state parks will open Sunday for boating. Crawford State Park will follow, opening April 6. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials caution boaters to make sure all required safety equipment is aboard and keep watch for possible floating debris. Always be aware that unmarked hazards may exist and if any is discovered, notify the park staff. Also, all trailered vessels must go through an aquatic nuisance species (ANS) ...

032212 Lake Powell Brian H.

Early Lake Powell bass are larger, more willing in March

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,635 asl   Water Temperature 50-57 F PAGE, Ariz. – Imagine my surprise when checking the water level to find out that Lake Powell has risen since the last report.  Normally lake level does not climb until April.  The recent wet storm front has already had an impact on the lake.  Now lake level will likely continue the normal slow decline expected in March but that was really fun to see the little bump in elevation. The big storm also slowed ...


Casting about: Writer, angler to speak of his fishing adventures

By Dave Buchanan

Fishing author Kirk Deeter’s personal flybox most likely is titled “writers who fish.” Which, the Pine resident is quick to point out, is way different than the much larger (and not nearly as interesting) over-stuffed box of “fishermen who write.” That fragment of Deeter’s autobiography was gleaned from one of the columns he writes for the online fly-fishing magazine MidCurrent, in which he was trying to explain how this one-time struggling fishing ...


Forecaster: When Lake Powell warms, fishing will be fine

By Dave Buchanan

That Sunday afternoon snow-and-rain squall sending early season gardeners scurrying into the house also was setting back the Lake Powell fishing season a few days. Prior to the weekend, fishermen plying the 186-mile-long impoundment a few hours west of the Grand Valley had been enjoying an early spring, with sunny skies and temperatures reaching into the 70s during the past week or so. It seemed the fishing was just about to break out of the winter doldrums when the weekend cold front ...

Gunnison flows to be cut below tunnel diversion

By Dave Buchanan

Officials from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation recently announced flows in the Gunnison River below the Gunnison tunnel diversion dam will be cutback Monday morning through late Tuesday. Dan Crabtree, lead hydrologist for Reclamation in Grand Junction, said the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association will be doing repairs on the dam apron and there can be no water across the dam during the work. This will require flows in the Gunnison River be reduced to approximately 400 cubic feet per ...

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2012 forecast as Year of Big Fish at Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3,634 asl   Water Temperature 50-57 F PAGE, Ariz. – Spring weather has arrived with air temps in the 70s and water warming to 60 degrees in the shallow muddy floodplains. But as always happens in the spring, cold fronts erase the warming as water returns to the base temperature after windy conditions or a cold night. Base temperature is now near 50 degrees and will remain there during the coming cold weather front expected next week. The general pattern for ...

Arkansas River featured Thursday at TU meeting

By Special to the Sentinel

If you have never witnessed the caddis hatch on the Arkansas River, you need to put the event on your calendar. It is an amazing sight to see huge clouds of caddis swarming, not just on the river, but all over the Arkansas Valley. Greg Felt, co-owner and guide-service manager for ArkAnglers in Salida, has worked as a guide and outfitter on the Arkansas River since 1985. He will be sharing his knowledge and experience on the Arkansas River at Thursday’s meeting of the Grand Valley ...


Online hunting license application: timely, fewer errors

By Dave Buchanan

The return of spring means different things to different people, but for big-game hunters it is the signal to send in that big-game license application. Send it in, that is, through the Internet. The April 3 deadline for big-game applications always comes sooner than most hunters realize, whether they are newcomers to the state, old-timers looking for a new area to hunt or simply experienced procrastinators caught in a time lag. By applying online, hunters can ensure their applications ...


Trouble shooting: Youth late-season hunt changes limit pressure on elk

By Dave Buchanan

A late-season elk hunting program for young hunters has proven almost too successful. For the past 11 years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has made it possible for hunters between 12 and 17 who didn’t fill their cow or either-sex elk tags during the regular season to hunt cow elk anywhere in the state where a late season is scheduled. Hunters holding an unfilled bull elk license are not eligible. The program was designed to encourage youth participation in big-game hunting and to ...

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Spring changes coming to Lake Powell

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell report March 7 Lake Elevation: 3,635 feet asl Water Temperature 49-54 F PAGE, Ariz. – Lake Powell water temperature still hovers between 49 and 54. Not much change will occur in fishing conditions until significant warming of air and water comes toward the end of March. The good news is that stripers, walleye, largemouth and crappie can be caught now with specific effort directed in the small areas of vulnerability these species exhibit. Here is the pattern for success. ...

Highline Lake opens Friday for boating

By Dave Buchanan

It must be spring: Highline Lake State Park opens Friday to all types of boating. Only the west ramp will open for launching watercraft and for aquatic nuisance species (ANS) inspections, which are required for all boats entering and leaving the lake. The east ramp will remain closed until water levels rise. Park officials caution the water still is very cold. The campground and its 31 campsites also is open. Reservations are urged for weekend camping. Call 800-678-2267 or online at ...


Opening lines: Fish biting at Lake Powell

By Dave Buchanan

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, the sight of Wayne Gustaveson’s first Lake Powell fishing report of the season is a sure sign of spring. Gray, snow-laden clouds drag themselves across the Book Cliffs, but even the gloomiest late-winter mood is brightened by Gustaveson’s news that fish are biting at Lake Powell. All you cabin-fever anglers can’t expect to make the drive to Bullfrog or Hite and have stripers jumping into your boat. But there are enough fish ...


Make bear hunting more bearable with seminar

By Dave Buchanan

Never expect bear hunting to be easy, but Tony Bonacquista can make it easier. Bonacquista, a district wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and an experienced bear hunter, will reveal his secrets during a bear hunting seminar March 10 in Montrose. He is expected to discuss bear biology, hunting tactics, field dressing, rules and regulations and human bear conflict issues. “Bears are very challenging to hunt, but hunters who know where to look and how to hunt them can ...


No trespassing: Hunter keeps property boundaries in his sights

By Dave Buchanan

It happens to every hunter and angler: A trip is ruined when an illegal gate, fence or “No Trespassing” sign prevents access to public land. In most cases, the hunter or angler gives up and goes elsewhere, which is just what the landowner wants and expects. But sometimes a hunter refuses to back down. Brandon Siegfried decided not to back down after being harassed by landowners illegally posting public land along Roan Creek near De Beque. “My buddy and I were turkey ...


Cactus bucks increasing in Hotchkiss area

By Dave Buchanan

A curious condition that leaves mule deer bucks carrying velvet covered antlers year-round apparently has cropped up in the Hotchkiss/Crawford area. State wildlife officials say reports about what are known as “cactus bucks” have increased over the past decade in parts of the North Fork Valley. It isn’t known why so many reports of cactus bucks have surfaced in the past few years in this one area since the condition, while infrequent, isn’t entirely unknown in ...

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