Category Archives: Spin Fishing

Spring Fishing Tips: A Beginner’s Guide to Catching Trout

Theo fishing at coot pond.
Trout fishing at St. Vrain State Park. All photos by © Doug Skinner/CPW.

While most anglers are excited by the idyllic fly fishing scenes in “A River Runs Through It,” few of us learn our first lessons by fishing big rivers with a fly rod. For many of us, a love of angling is cultivated on ponds catching bluegills and bass, and approachable rivers and lakes catching trout – often stocked trout. Story and memory are built by the fish we’ve landed and more so by the ones that got away. We learned from family members and friends, mentors who knew that the secret to building a long and successful fishing career was rooted in a simple approach.

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2018 Colorado Outdoors Fishing Guide

2018 Fishing Guide - Magazine CoverThe 2018 Colorado Outdoors Fishing Guide is now available! With more than 9,000 miles of rivers and some 2,000 lakes and reservoirs, Colorado is an angler’s paradise.

This year’s guide features interesting and informative articles geared toward helping you make the most of your time on the water. The 2018 issue includes tips to help you catch more fish during the summer months. Learn about a fly that will catch fish anywhere in Colorado. From rivers to reservoirs and brown trout to walleyes, you’ll find tips and tricks to make the most of your fishing season. Read more

The Be-THE-GUY (or THE GAL) Fishing-License Challenge

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Fishing is often a solitary endeavor, but it’s more fun when it’s not. Photos © by Wayne D. Lewis.

In the early 80s, for a group of gangly, basketball-loving young men in Golden, Colo., Pat Sanner was The Guy. He had the backyard basketball court, the basement sports cave, close access to a park for football and a mom who tolerated our group better than most. Sanner was genetically wired for sports: His father was Lynn Sanner, the sports director for KBTV (now KUSA) and host of “The Broncos with Red Miller,” the weekly Denver Broncos recap. I never met Lynn; Pat had lost his father right around the time my family moved to Golden, but you could see the impact the father had on the son. Read more

CPW Fishing App – It could be your fastest path to an outdoor adventure.

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cpw-fishing-app-icon-largeAs a parent of a ten-year-old, my wife and I struggle to find a balance between our son’s interests in music, Dude Perfect videos and scheduled sports activities with our family’s interest in getting out into nature. The unscheduled outdoor adventures that were the cornerstone of my youth seem to be a casualty of the modern hustle and bustle. Right out of the gate, I feel like this is getting dangerously close to sounding like one of those “When I was a kid” stories, but things have really changed since I was a kid. Spontaneous pickup sports with a group of friends has been replaced by organized club soccer and team baseball, all with hectic practice schedules and weekend commitments. Even the physical landscape has changed. Along the Front Range, and many other areas of Colorado, once seemingly ubiquitous farm ponds and abundant fishing access appear to have been gobbled up by a rapidly growing housing market. Whether you have kids or not, you probably feel that some things are just a little different than they used to be. Read more

Walleye Wisdom

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The biggest walleye of the day. All photos by © Wayne D. Lewis/CPW
Wayne with his first-ever walleye
The author with his first-ever walleye.

With a big smile on my face, I posed with my first-ever walleye. For our group, it was the first fish of the day, and the first walleye I had ever seen in person — all pointy fins, sharp teeth and cataract eyes. If Disney made a movie about freshwater fish, a walleye would be cast as the quirky sidekick to the main villian (probably a pike). I was proud; if it had been a trout, it would have been a keeper. However, since it was just under 18 inches long, we had to release it. But, as it slipped back into the waters of Chatfield Reserevoir, I began to calculate how much per inch that walleye had cost.

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Summertime Bass Fishing With Frogs

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The author with a Master Angler largemouth caught with a frog lure.

Picture this: You cast out into the small opening in the weeds. The plastic frog barely hits the water when a 5-pound bass crushes it, throwing water everywhere.  You pause a second then set the hook with all your might, sending the hooks solidly into the fish’s mouth.  You crank as fast as you can, skipping the bass across the mat of thick weeds.  As the bass comes closer it fights harder trying to get away.  The bass comes up to the side of the boat and slides right up on your thumb.  You take a couple of quick photos of the Master Angler lunker and then you release the bass safely to the water where he returns to his weedy haunts. If this sounds fun to you it’s time to give summertime frog fishing a try.
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The Argument for Conventional Tackle

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Photo by Chad LaChance.

I love to fly fish. Been doing it since I was 12 years old, am decent at it  and I have about 15 fly rods in my collection. I’ve tied flies (for money even), own all the assorted fly gadgets and have caught everything from snook and redfish, to bass and walleyes, to trout and grayling, all on feathers and fur. Geez, I even live in Colorado…how much more fly is there than that?

But this is my argument for conventional tackle…yep, even the fly fishing community needs spin-polers. Read more

Fishing the ‘Burbs: Small Suburban Ponds Offer Big Fun for Anglers

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Most suburban ponds have good populations of small bluegills, sunfish and other warm-water species.

Although Colorado’s big lakes and reservoirs get most of the angling attention and accolades, small suburban lakes and ponds often boast great fishing and provide hours of close-to-home fun.

Conveniently located in neighborhood parks and greenbelts, these easy-to-access waters are great places to unwind after a long day of work or to simply find a little solitude without venturing too far off the beaten path.

They are also the perfect locations to take kids fishing. In fact, some of my earliest (and fondest) memories of fishing with my dad took place at ponds in the Lakewood, Golden and Wheat Ridge areas.

At a particular pond near my dad’s apartment home, I remember catching fish nearly every cast on my little Zebco rod/reel combo. As a 5-year-old boy, there was nothing more thrilling than seeing a bluegill or bass pull my red and white bobber under the surface. I also remember the fun of catching my own grasshoppers and worms to use as bait. In addition to providing an enjoyable father/son activity, it was these early experiences that played an important role in developing my lifelong passion for fishing and the outdoors. Read more

Kokanee

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Spawning kokanee by © Scott Willoughby

In a state that pretty much has it all, the most glaring gap in Colorado’s vast menu of outdoor options becomes obvious at its borders. The ability to walk across state lines almost anywhere without getting your feet wet serves as evidence of a basic reality: We’re landlocked. High and dry.

For a large chunk of the fishing world, that could be considered a problem. There are plenty of fish in the sea, as they say, and the opportunity to chase a wide variety of them is what drives many an angler to wet a line. But in the network of rivers and lakes draining from the mountainous spine of the nation to oceans east and west, well, the species selection falls a bit short by comparison. Sure, we’ve got a respectable assortment of more than 40 types of cold-, cool- and warm-water fish species statewide in Colorado, but it seems like the grass can always get a little greener.

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