Posts Tagged ‘Colorado fishing’

One Week Away; Fly Fishing the Arkansas River

April 26, 2009

Among my various addictions is Fly Fishing, and among the greatest satisfactions of that addiction is a trip to the Arkansas River in Colorado for the famed Caddis Fly Hatch. Having moved away I can only pass on my memoirs in hopes that others will venture forth and enjoy one of natures true wonders.

There are many resources to aid the intrepid outdoors-man on this quest. Here’s my basic rig for this excursion. A nine foot fly rod in five weight, with a six weight, weight forward line. I use a number four or five tapered leader coupled with about eighteen inches of shock tippet one size smaller. Waders are a plus but really are just not necessary to have fun catching trout along this stretch of river in most places. So, if you are just starting out as a fly fisher don’t stay home for lack of gear! I use a surgeons knot to connect the two. It is strong, and easily tied stream side.

As of late there have been many new fly patterns developed, and some may show promise. However, I find that many, if not most of them are designed to catch fishermen rather than fish. Those brilliant sparkly creations appear to spook fish more than anything else from my observations. Stick with tried and true patterns such as the Elk Hair Caddis .  Size’s sixteen and eighteen will be the big producers, and in a few weeks size fourteen gray patterns are real producers about two miles down stream from the prison near Salida.

In my experience there is really no need to hit the water at sunrise, as the real action most often is in the afternoon. For some reason cloud cover plays a big part. It doesn’t matter if the clouds are coming or going overhead, changing conditions get the trout rising. Cast upstream at about a fifty degree angle allowing the fly to drift toward swirls and rocks. Bouncing the fly off of a rock face in a not so delicate presentation is also effective for taking normally well educated, spooky trout.

Should a sudden, and hopefully short chill put the brakes on the Caddis hatch, pull out those Colorado stand-by’s that seem to work year round, BWO’s and Midges! Most of all, enjoy being in one of those majestic places that we are blessed with!

Resources close to the Denver metropolitan area.

Discount Anglers on South Sante Fe is a “best buy” if your pocket book resembles mine!


October 2, 2008


The Colorado Division of Wildlife, the Colorado Wildlife Commission, Governor Ritter and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning wildlife management and enforcement in an area known as the Brunot area.

In 1874, Congress approved an agreement between the United States and certain Ute Indians in Colorado, known as the “Brunot Agreement”.  Under this agreement, the Utes ceded certain land to the United States but reserved a right to hunt on those lands for “so long as the game lasts and the Indians are at peace with the white people.”  The Brunot Agreement covers land now known as the Brunot Area, which roughly extends from U.S. Highway 160 on the south to the southern boundaries of Montrose and Gunnison counties on the north and from the middle of Mineral County on the east to just west of Cortez on the west.

Since 1972, the Tribe has refrained from exercising its rights in the Brunot area but, after a recent decision of the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council, the Tribe now plans to allow tribal members to exercise their rights under the Brunot Agreement.  Prior to exercising those rights, however, the Tribe and the Division of Wildlife worked together to develop an MOU in recognition of the parties’ shared responsibility for the well-being and perpetuation of the wildlife resources and habitat of the area.  In addition, both parties sought to ensure communication and cooperation in the use of the area by their respective constituents.  Therefore, the parties have agreed in the MOU to maintain a strong and cooperative dialog regarding wildlife, especially related to the harvest of game species and management within the Brunot area.  The Tribe and the State also agreed to recognize and respect the jurisdiction of each other and to work cooperatively in the conduct of law enforcement operations of mutual interest.

“The MOU will help foster sound wildlife management between the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe,” said Tom Remington, Director of the Division of Wildlife.  “We are pleased that in seeking to hunt and fish under the Brunot Agreement, the Tribe has chosen to work with the state in order to protect wildlife in the Brunot area into the future.  It clearly demonstrates the Tribe intends to hunt and fish under the agreement in a cooperative and responsible way.”

The Tribe has managed and operated a professional wildlife management program on its reservation in southwest Colorado for a number of years and will adopt rules for hunting and fishing by tribal members within the Brunot area in a manner consistent with its existing practices.   These rules will set forth the seasons for tribal member hunting, methods of take, species to be harvested and other regulations.  The MOU includes agreement regarding the types of species to be taken and a process by which allocation of rare game species such as moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats will be equitably allocated between tribal hunters and hunters licensed by the Division of Wildlife.  There are currently 1,431 members of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe but, on average, only 225 members obtain deer or elk licenses annually for hunting on the Reservation.  Importantly, the Brunot Agreement does not give members of the tribe any rights to hunt on private land in the Brunot area without first obtaining landowner permission and Brunot hunting rights are not transferable to other hunters who do not belong to Ute tribes.

Tom Spezze, Southwest Regional Manager for the Division of Wildlife said “We have had a very good working relationship with the Southern Utes for many years, and we look forward to working closely with the Tribe to accomplish our mutual goal of protecting our shared wildlife resource in the Brunot Area.”

Division of Wildlife staff and Southern Ute Indian Tribe staff will host several open house events to answer any questions concerning the agreement and provide copies of the MOU and maps of the Brunot area. The public may come and go as they choose. The open house events are scheduled for:

Durango, Oct. 14, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the County Extension Offices, Animas room, 2500 Main Ave.

Montrose, Oct. 21, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 1391 South Townsend Ave.

Denver, Oct. 29, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hunter Education Building, Division of Wildlife Headquarters, 6060 Broadway

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to:

Fly Fishing update

August 2, 2008

I received an email from a semi local person asking about fly fishing the smaller streams along the front range and other environs nearby.

First, equipment; The smaller streams are not the place for nine foot rods. Stop by Discount Angler on South Santa Fe. Not only do they have a wide assortment of reasonably priced rods, they also have a huge selection of fly’s at very good prices. Get a seven or eight foot fly rod that will toss a four or five weight line. Short leaders and tippet set ups are also called for in this situation.

As for the best patterns? As always here in Colorado, Midge patterns will work virtually all the time. Dry, pupa’s, and wets. All in small sizes. Next come the Caddis’s. I like Elk Hair Caddis patterns with dun gray bodies for most small water fishing. Don’t forget RS2’s and classic Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear nymphs.

For a pretty good listing of places to go fishing look here.

Tight lines all! 😀

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