Tag Archives: fishing close to home

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

fish for blog 2

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

Fishing Close to Home: Northern Front Range Rivers, Lakes and Ponds

There is no denying northern Colorado is an incredible place to call home.

The golden triangle of Fort Collins, Loveland and Windsor has routinely been recognized among the top five best places to live in the United States. The area is the largest producer of beer in a state considered the “Napa Valley” of craft brewing. The elaborate biking system, with 310 miles of trails, recently placed Fort Collins at No. 11 among the nation’s most biker-friendly cities. Finally, two local restaurants — Jay’s Bistro in Fort Collins and Chimney Park Bistro in Windsor — were recognized among the nation’s top 100 restaurants.

That is quite an impressive list, but there is an additional award of which the golden triangle is just as deserving.

The World Fishing Network recently announced a competition to crown a number of U.S. cities as America’s Ultimate Fishing Towns. It is a pretty easy argument as to why the local communities in northern Colorado within the Big Thompson and Poudre drainages should once again top the ranks. I present exhibits 1 through 5 as evidence of the area’s superior position as Fishing Town USA:

1. Big Thompson River

A Big Thompson rainbow caught on a dry fly. Photo by Iolanthe Culjak.

A Big Thompson rainbow caught on a dry fly. Photo by Iolanthe Culjak.

The upper section of the river between Idlewilde and Olympus dams has largely not been impacted by whirling disease, a parasite that decimated the rainbow trout population in the Poudre River during the mid-1990s. The Big T remains among Colorado’s finest wild-rainbow-fishing destinations with sections of river boasting up to 2,000 adult rainbow trout per mile. Read more

Fishing Close To Home: Rocky Mountain Arsenal — ‘Come for the Buffalo, Stay for the Fishing’

RMANWR buffalo in road by Wayne D. Lewis

Buffalo bull crossing the road. — Photo by Wayne D. Lewis (CPW)

“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” I sang, but not as loudly as the young men in the commercial. Their car had just been crushed by a bull buffalo, whereas I just had a large bull sauntering across the road, mere feet from my car’s front bumper. It was the closest I had been to a free-ranging buffalo in, well, ever. Although the bull wasn’t threatening me at all, we had made some serious eye contact a few seconds earlier. Signs advise you to stay in the car, I gladly took the advice.

It felt like I was in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, but I was actually only 7 miles from my northeast Denver home — in the heart of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. If the proverbial crow flew from downtown Denver to Denver International Airport, he would grab a midflight snack at the arsenal. Read more