Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Signs of improvement-Fishing Closure lifted for Bear Creek (Jefferson County)

DENVER -- Colorado Parks and Wildlife is lifting a voluntary fishing closure on Bear Creek upstream of Bear Creek Reservoir.

Due to critically low flows and high water temperatures in July of this year, anglers were encouraged to seek fishing opportunities elsewhere in the Denver Metro Area or in the South Platte Basin

"The voluntary fishing closure in Bear Creek likely protected the fishery from countless unnecessary mortalities," said Reid DeWalt, Area Wildlife Manager in Jefferson County. "Colorado Parks and Wildlife appreciates the ethical commitment of our anglers in protecting this resource."

For more information about fishing in Colorado, please visit:


Matt’s Rant: Hot and dry conditions spell disaster for trout. I have had to put a lot of my summer trout fishing on hold because the conditions had these fin slappers clinging to life. Now the temperatures are coming down. Scalding day temps will bring stress to fish in many ways. Evaporation merely scratches the surface. This year we had dangerously high temps overnight and this greatly compounds the overall moisture dynamic. Trapped in conditions such as this will often result in fish die-off. Large fish require the most oxygen and my guess is a lot of places may have lost some of their best gamefish.

Now we are starting to see a regular dose of day temps that are less scalding and evening temps that are downright frigid. This helps a lot and might just let me feel a little less guilty about a creek run here and there (Not Bear Creek by the way) for smaller fish while opening a window for larger waters in areas that have been a regulated or requested fish no-go.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Widow Maker Run-been a while

There are a few sections of the creek guarded by vertical canyons and fast water. It has been so long since I have been through this stretch that my mind completely forgot how treacherous a small slip of water could really be. Park the truck, grab the gear and look downstream. “Oh, I remember this.” Reset expectations.

After scaling a small portion of rocks I make my way to the large pool and pull out a small brown trout out of the deep flat water. Pretty much running scandalous stuff by most standards with two spin rods, minnow pattern on one side and a gold spinbug setup on the other.  Considering the loosie-goosie regulations on creeks these days most people could be happy I am not running bait and take. Minnow pattern seemed to get the most action.

Fish the deep pool and then climb upward about a fifty-feet or so. Grab a metal cable and swing over the vertical drop with a bunch of fishing gear. Climb my way down and then wade through a few inches of water to the next rock outcropping. I would cast into the water any chance that was available expecting some enormous fish to attack the lure.

“No one has ever fished back here…” I urge myself forward discarding a few footprints and anonymous debris. “These are just signs of mountaineers, miners, hikers….anything but anglers.”

In between the rock outcroppings and get your feet wet areas there are small flat sections of water. Flat sections of water that almost sing out to you like sirens from heaven. An angler can actually walk around in these areas and cast without having to contend with trees, cliffs or fumbling over boulders. Unfortunately the better the water looked, the worse the action was. What I expected to be forbidden paradise turned out to be the longest eighteen holes I ever played in my life. Well maybe.

Casting upstream, across and downstream on every scrap of water I managed to pull out a few fish. My largest catches came from secondary spots. Smaller rocks that create a slack current just enough to hold one fish was more or less my sweet spot on this trip. Stumbling over a few sets of footprints made me wonder if this area was as secluded as I thought.

Picked up a few small brown trout on the gold spinbug. The slightly gray coloring on this one suggests the fish is fighting off some stress. One quick shot and then let it go. “Hope you get better there little buddy.” Kick myself for handling this fish. Handling fish causes stress. No way around it especially trout. Wet hands, handle with care and handle less.  

This is the first real post from the quick pickup camera from a pawnshop, no-foolin’. A thirty-dollar digital snap and go that hopefully fills the gap until I get something more professional. I guess the good news is that my blogilicious hasn’t been inundated with cell phone fish shots and then a story about how I dropped said cell phone in the water.

Deep into the canyon section that seems like a distant memory from the road I hope to find deep pools and big fish. Ironwork from an old rail system lingers at my feet. Steal rails rusted by time adding to the feeling and mystique of forgotten times. Hopefully I can get on of these shots into my upcoming Photos From The Field-Shameless plug. 

Fall colors are still on the trees as well as blanketing the trail. Magnificent stuff and my shots don’t begin to do it justice. Surrounded in all of this splendor it is almost enough to make a person forget the twisted ankle, scraped knee and that moment where I could fallen about a hundred feet or so. As soon as I reached the bottom the realization hit me…”I should have filmed that somehow.” It was then that I was determined to wade around the deep pool regardless of the distance to reach a slow shallow spot.

Work another small pocket of water casting upstream and hook into this dark brownie. The blotches almost power out the smaller dots. And of course the camera manages to focus in on the moving water below and slightly blurs out the fish.

All of the action was from brown trout and numbers of fish were frequent. The cloudy weather may have not helped my photos but it certainly gave me the best chances for shallow water. When you stumbled upon an active spot it was east to tell. Run your gear and see what happens. In this case I continued to get seated in the “one size fits all” category. Smaller fish would strike but the largest I could come up might stretch a wood ruler.  

After going less than a half-mile or so I run into another immense large rock outcropping. This one  was blocking me from moving forward on one side. To climb around it I would have to hike up and over the tall formation. This would take a lot of time and effort to fish some spotty pockets of water. To wade across would require me to backtrack a few hundred feet to the shallower sections. With a heavy sigh I conceded. My efforts were spent backtracking and exploring the trail on the other side of the parking lot. 

To fish this section I needed to wade across the creek and follow the old wagon road trail. A slight bushwack and then you hit a stretch that people only look at as they drive by. Every once in a while you see a mountaineer tackling the knuckle but more often than not you find small trout and the stretch to yourself…even on Saturday.   

All said I would suggest this section of the creek more for the hikers and mountaineers. For this amount of physical effort I expect to see larger fish. This doesn’t mean that I actually catch them but when you can see 90% of the bottom you fish all you see and cast heavily into the unknown. Most fish will rise enough just enough to laugh at me or take the lure. This trip I missed a few and hooked up when I wanted it most. Maybe there is a pounder there…you would really have to dig that fish out.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The African fish eagle's diet usually consists of fish and small mammals, but that's not always the case.
An image shot by a safari guide shows the powerful bird snatching up a juvenile Nile crocodile from the banks of a river in Tanzania.

The fully grown Nile crocodile is one of the most dangerous predators in Africa. Its diet is varied, and includes fish, zebras, cattle, sheep, young hippopotami, birds, other crocodiles and humans, but until it grows to adulthood, the young crocodile is also prey.

The takedown happened inside the Selous Game Reserve, and was photographed by Mark Sheridan-Johnson, the Telegraph newspaper reported.

link and credit to ABC News who picked this up from The Telegraph Newspaper.