Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bass and Gill photo thread

Falling so far behind on the material that I need to kick out a few photo threads before fall fishing gets underway. Honestly I have about 20 trips that will drop from the radar completely if something doesn't give. So For this bass and bluegill post that is well past due I have decided a more streamline release is the only way its going to happen. Enjoy.



All of these fish were caught and released on the same day using black bunny streamers weighted down with a 1/8oz split shot for bass and a small beaded nymph for the bass. For some reason I get more bites going deep with the bait. I also have tremendous success employing a fleeing type of  behavior when the fish moves towards the bait. This gives the fish less time for inspection and demands more commitment to the lure. Hopefully this information and a photo thread is enough to make the stop by worthwhile.

My name is Matt and I'm a fishaholic.

Friday, July 12, 2013

From forest fires to flashfloods never a dull moment

One minute the whole state is on fire and shortly after that we are hit with a seasonal monsoon pattern. Activity on the fire line changes to sandbagging and flashflood management. Never a dull moment in Colorado.
Next week I will be hosting a seminar in Manitou Springs with tips on how to fish a mudslide. This demonstration will include instructions on how to cast a boat anchor with your Tenkara rod and where to attach the beacon on your fly vest.
For some amazing pictures of flash flood aftermath in the Manitou Springs area, please review the Denver Post Article at the link below.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Morning conditions were mild with a slight breeze. Air temps were a comfortable 55 degrees at 7AM near Idaho Springs. Shaded areas were colder. Casting to the sunny and shade things started out very slow with the yellow and white spinbug. No hits, bumps, flash or follows. Switch up to color number two and it gets some attention.

Most of the fish along this 50-mile slip of water average 8-10 inches but the numbers can be good when vehicles are not throwing themselves into the water which happens a lot for some reason. Larger fish can be found in the 10-14 inch range by working deeper pools with patience or areas that don’t get fished a lot (some sections get hit almost every day spring to fall).

When I approach a section of river the first thing I do is cast to the spot that looks most tasty. Maybe this is a pool of flat water behind a rock or an eddy at the opposite shoreline. The biggest fish in the area is probably going to fight for that spot and picking fish off nearby may spook the lunker. In a tiny creek like this the good spots mean survival and where the first cast always goes. Cast, cast, miss…that is how it often goes for me on a creek bash. Cast again and move on.
After I have worked the sweet spot a few search casts go out in a fan cast situation. I hit upstream and roll it down. Throw it downstream and slow spin it back to me. 2 o’clock, 11 o’clock…sometimes I hit 6 o’clock by accident and have to dig my presentation out of the trees.

Water is clearing up but still running pretty high. Most of the drainages are working hard to keep the snowmelt moving where it needs to go. If an angler waits for conditions to be perfect…that angler will hardly fish at all.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic

Friday, July 5, 2013

Don't treat your fishery like a toilet

It seems like a natural thing to simply step out of the boat and take a wizz on the shoreline. No big deal, right? Bears do it rabbits do it. A guy has to go, a guy has to go. What is the harm? 99% of the time I wouldn’t make a hassle out of this but holy cow. Dude? The ranger shack is about 600 yards from where you are pissing. It looks like you are using the fishery as a toilet and that is poor form…especially here.
This island (in one of Denver’s most frequented reservoirs) is off limits and bird watchers go a little ape$hit when they see someone urinating on what they consider a protected nesting area. If enough people did this and enough people complained the lake would be shut down. Trespassing signs would be put back up just like it was back in 1982.
Fishing here is a privilege that the city views more as a liability than anything else. When boating opened in 1988 folks were cautioned that all of this was done at the discretion of the city. A few bad instances could ultimately cost everyone this privilege. Some murmured that it would only be a matter of time.
These are the moments that make me question my efforts on elaborate dreams such as optimum fishing management in Colorado. Roving slot limits, putting big fish back, people following the rules seems so impossible if others are just going to piss all over it…literally. Maybe I need to scale things back a little and cover a few basics. Maybe I could suggest that we all (including me) start making more of an effort to do the following:
1.       Minimize our effect on the environment when outdoors. Maybe that is something as small as keeping the noise level moderate to something a little bigger like burning the entire forest down somehow. 
2.       Be kind and courteous to not only others but the wilderness around us. A good example here is that one group of campers that expects everyone else to endure their obnoxious behavior while they cut half the trees down in the camping area with a chainsaw. And that was their first day camping on the Poudre.  
3.       Give wild animals the room to be wild and understand that we are in their home. This pretty much means that no one will tell that bear to stop eating you in the middle of the night if it really wants.  
4.       Be more cautious while experiencing the outdoors.  “Last guy broke a leg on this run and died. But we’ll get you out of here in one piece buddy. I have a good feeling about this one.” 
5.       Don’t be an Ahole, why you gotta be an Ahole? Everyone is looking at you right now going, “Why is that guy being an Ahole?” 
Actions of one can adversely affect the privilege of others.
My name is Matt and I would have picked a better place to pee.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Supa’ Panz 2013

There are a few ponds and small lakes in Colorado that I covet for their bluegill and sunfish opportunities. Quality panfish brooders like this are as amazing to me as any fish that I catch. The colors and fin placement gives these fish a more tropical appearance compared to other freshwater forage fin slappers.  Recently I stumbled across a couple of sunfish that are fairly respectable by Colorado standards. As soon as I saw them the bass game was put on hold.

Both these fish were caught in four to six feet of water. They were hanging just outside of a largemouth bass’ nest and picking off small fry whenever possible. They hit a 1/8oz chartreuse mister twister jig. Nothing fancy just something I could fish deep and fast with action on the end.
Being very aggressive this time of year they would have hit anything in the micro size. Panfish will eat a wide variety of insects, minnows and aquatic organisms so most of the time these fish are not very selective. Quality panfish like this come from good aquatic conditions and balanced pressure. Like any sport fish population it greatly helps the sport to put the big ones back.

My name is Matt and...hold on...I think I see some panfish.