Article and Photos by Scott Willoughby
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. Read more
Tristan and Colin Evans are all smiles after this impressive catch at Cherry Creek State Park.
Catching a trophy-sized walleye is quite the accomplishment for any fisherman. It’s even more impressive when the fisherman is a 4-year-old boy with a toy fishing rod.
Tristan Evans was fishing with his dad, Colin, at Cherry Creek State Park in June when he landed a fat, 28-inch walleye. Tristan caught the monster fish using a Shakespeare Spider-Man fishing pole—a rod that was nearly the same length as the walleye.
Sporting a matching Spider-Man life jacket, Tristan’s “Spidey-senses” must have been tingling when he picked out just the right lure from his dad’s tackle box. Read more
A fly-and-bubble angler fishes in Pearl Lake State Park.
It’s not often that someone hates the title of your story before you write it, but that is the case with this piece. Last fall, while fishing with a good buddy (who prefers to remain nameless) we were discussing the merits of the angling method we’d been using for the last few trout-fishing expeditions — fly and bubble. He really liked how far he could throw a fly when the bubble was filled more than halfway with water which got me thinking. “Throwing Bubbles — that’s what I’ll call my article,” I said.
My enthusiasm was met with much manly scorn. And he had a good point. Something that can, at times, be brutally effective shouldn’t be described so frivolously. But it’s my title, and I’m sticking with it.
Many people, like my buddy and I, can only afford so much equipment and devote only so much time to their recreational endeavors. Learning how to fly fish, and getting geared up to do so, is out of the question for many spin anglers. But when the fish are ignoring spoons and spinners, and hitting flies instead, then something must be done to level the playing field. Read more
Rainbow trout ready for the grill. All photos by Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.
I’ve long thought, and it’s highly unlikely that I am alone in the thought, that bananas are the perfect food. They come in easy-to-carry bundles, are individually wrapped, with the biodegradable wrapper giving an extremely accurate and up-to-date report of the condition of the nutritious goodness within. But for the omnivore, carnivore or pescavore, what food comes close to the banana’s perfection?
My vote is for trout.
And I’m talking fresh-caught trout, not the store-bought kind. Not that there is anything particularly wrong with store-bought fish, but when you catch them you get the satisfaction of knowing freshness, and going fishing and bringing trout to the net is far more enjoyable than the bumper-cart madness of the grocery store. In addition, a stringer of rainbows, browns, brookies and/or cutthroats is much more satisfying to carry than a bunch of bananas. Once caught, trout are almost as easy to clean for the grill as bananas are to peel. Bass, bluegill, crappie, etc. are all delicious, but filleting them (for me anyway) is a far more arduous task. For years, I’ve released every fish I caught back to the water, but some tasty meals over the last year or so have me thinking, “the heck with catch and release, fish are for eating.” Read more
A Colorado road trip can transport the driver to some remarkable fishing. All photos by Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.
“It was the best 17-hundred bucks I ever spent,” was my last response to the guy filling up his Subaru across the island at a Silverthorn gas station. We were wrapping up a quick chat about my 1991 Mazda Miata, which had gone something like this:
Subaru guy: “Nice car, do you like it?”
Me: “Yep, it’s a blast.”
SG: “Is it fast?”
Me: “Not really, but fun in the corners. And even legal speeds are much more fun with the top down.”
SG: “So more of a tourer? My dad had an old RX-7. It was a great touring car.”
Me: “Yeah, it’s like that. As they say, it’s better to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. It was the best 17-hundred bucks I ever spent.” Read more
Fall in Ouray County.
Colorado is famous for its breathtaking scenery and charming mountain towns. But there may be none more spectacular and beautiful than the town of Ouray.
Nestled in southwestern Colorado, Ouray is commonly referred to as the “Switzerland of America.” Rugged, snow-capped peaks and postcard-worthy scenery surround the quaint, mountain village, making it one of Colorado’s most popular destinations.
Although best known for its spectacular scenery, Ouray also plays host to exceptional fishing. From the deep canyon pools and gently braided runs of local rivers, to high country lakes and magnificent reservoirs, Ouray County offers anglers of all ages and ability levels a chance to participate in some of Colorado’s finest angling opportunities. Read more
Fishing with bait is one of the most productive methods for catching fish. It’s also one of the most popular. According to surveys conducted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, nearly half of the state’s anglers fish with bait. In this “Quick Tips” video, you will learn how to set up a slip-sinker rig for bottom fishing with worms and Powerbait, and how to suspend bait off the bottom using a bobber.
Spincast reels are popular with beginning anglers because they are easy to operate, and they are available in relatively inexpensive rod and reel combinations. In this Colorado Outdoors “Quick Tips” video, you will learn about the different types of spincast reels and how to cast them.
Weston Mosey and his Lake Pueblo wiper.
Weston Mosey is just 17 years old. But when it comes to his angling expertise, he is wise beyond his years.
Mosey, a junior at Pueblo West High School, spends an average of 80 days a year fishing nearby Lake Pueblo (that’s nearly three full months of angling in case you’re doing the math). Mosey is also a member of his school’s fishing team, the Cyclone Anglers, where he competes regularly in local and statewide fishing tournaments. Yet, despite his vast experience, even Mosey was surprised by his catch at Lake Pueblo on May 3, 2013. Read more
Colorado Fishing Atlas.
Every so often a product comes along that truly enhances your outdoor experience. A product offering the perfect blend of technology, innovation and useful information that you wonder how you ever managed without it. For anglers, the Colorado Fishing Atlas is precisely this type of product.
Earlier this year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s GIS department developed the Colorado Fishing Atlas, a user-friendly and interactive online mapping system that provides anglers with the ultimate where-to resource for thousands of fishing locations throughout the state. Since its debut this spring, the Atlas has received rave reviews from anglers and CPW staff alike. Read more