Belly Boat Bassin’

On a normal year late winter and early spring means open and ice free water on front range ponds and gravel pits. This time of the year can yield successful days on this type of water for anglers on a personal watercraft. In this 2 part series Jeff Nielsen takes us through what it means to be an angler and how he went about becoming an accomplished one with his belly boat on Colorado’s front range small reservoirs, ponds and gravel pits.


Colorado Fishing Atlas

Colorado is a mecca for many different types of fishing. The Centennial State is filled with fishing opportunities from the peaks to the prairies. For years, former Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Parks & Wildlife) has maintained THE COLORADO HUNTING ATLAS which is a valuable mapping tool for hunters.

Get excited anglers because CPW has now released the fishing version of this very useful mapping device: THE COLORADO FISHING ATLAS. Whether you ice fish, fly fish, bait fish, troll, or just want to find a place to take your family the atlas can be a great resource to help you find a new fishing spot, look up the regulations, print maps, and more.

CPW’s video production crew recently put together a tutorial to help you get started with the Colorado Fishing Atlas:


Colorado River Salmon Flies

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife video production crew teamed up with a couple great guides out of Cutthroat Anglers in Silverthorne, CO last May, 2012. Mitch called me up early the morning we planned on heading up to float Pumphouse to Radium. He said the forecast for wind was not good and considered canceling the trip. We had been up there the week prior to film the giant stoneflies and knew the hatch was going on. Coming from Denver we were already to Floyd Hill so Mitch said “screw the wind, lets go for it.”

We ended up having a great day on the water – while it was windy, we managed to land some nice fish as well as some getting some great instructional stuff from Mitch and Ryan. (We shot the close up of the bugs on a different day as you may notice its not windy during the bug segments)

For more info vist CPW’S FISHING PAGE
Cutthroat Anglers FISHING REPORT


Outdoor Survival

Whether you fish, hunt, camp, hike, climb, or spend any length of time outside you should have some survival knowledge and gear. With the help of survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt, Colorado Parks and Wildlife produced an instructional survival video everyone who enjoys the outdoors should watch. No matter how long, or how far your trip is planned, the environment and elements can always change and potentially overwhelm you. If you find yourself in an unforeseen situation, your chances of survival are much higher if you have the right skills and gear.

For more information vist Peter’s Blog.
For the right survival gear visit Peter’s Store.


Columbian Sharp-Tailed Grouse

The way Columbian Sharp-Tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) breed, is more like a song and dance performance than it is a breeding. Early in the morning both males and females visit the strutting grounds which are referred to as the lek. While sounds of hums, rattles, clicks and chirps ring through the crisp morning air their impressive dance routine ensues. The colorful males spread their wings and rapidly beat their feet chirping, and running in circles. The females or hens observe, and wait until a male proves he is worthy. The proving involves more than just a dance.

Violent sparring occurs as the grouse viciously peck and spur each other in between their dance offs. The quarrels and dancing are supplemented by long-lasting face offs. The birds crouch down face to face chirping at one another waiting for the other to make his move. The entire spectacle is quite the theatrical display, which is why the CDOW’s video production crew decided it was a must for Columbian Sharp-tailed grouse to star in the next episode of a.m. Colorado:

It is said that the birds visit the same exact location year after year. This is interesting because a lot of mining, drilling, and expansion has dispersed them from their historic range. The lek in this video is a restored lek, the process in which a mine is reclaimed back into its native forage and into a lek seems to work based on this energy company’s study in Montana (It says they used electronic calls to lure the grouse back to the lek)

More info:
Columbian Sharp-Tailed Grouse’s Current and Historic range
Avian Web Species Profile
Interesting Article by Summit Daily News (Blue Valley Ranch is where the grouse in the above video were released)


Snake River Cutthroat Trout

Snake River Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii ssp are a sub-species of the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri. They are native to the Snake River in Wyoming and Idaho. Even though these colorful fish are not native to Colorado, there’s a good chance of catching one.

Above photo by Mark Hudson

The Colorado Division of Wildlife’s fish hatchery system produces a significant amount of Snake River Cutthroat trout each year

These fish do really well in hatcheries. They have a high survival rate and once stocked they have the potential to grow to trophy size

Snake River Cutthroats are defined by their fine spots and reddish orange coloring

The “Dream Stream” stretch of the South Platte River below Spinney Mountain Reservoir and Eleven Mile Reservoir holds a healthy population of Snake River Cutthroats


Turkey Hunting Colorado

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”] Colorado boasts a healthy turkey population that continues to thrive years after the the Colorado Division of Wildlife started the turkey re-introduction program in the early 1980’s. Whether its Merriam’s Meleagris gallopavo merriami (found in the Mountains) or Rio Grande Meleagris gallopavo intermedia (found along river bottoms on the eastern plains), turkey hunting provides an exciting challenge for beginner and experienced hunters alike. This video provides a wealth of information valuable in becoming a successful turkey hunter.

The chapters include:
-The Mating Season
-Gearing Up
-Calling all Toms
-The Scouting Game
-Playing the Game.

If you’d like your own copy of the DVD Call 303-297-1192 or email: wildlife.dowinfo@state.co.us
[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″] [/column]

Music by Little Kenny and Neargrass Junction

The deadline to apply for Spring Turkey is February 10, 2011

More Helpful links:
Turkey Hunting 101
2011 Turkey Brochure
Apply Online
National Wild Turkey Federation


Colorado River Cutthroat Trout

With winter in full effect and ski season well underway the cold has settled into the Rocky Mountain high country. When you’re out there making turns remember that somewhere below all that high alpine snow there are flowing waters that hold endemic fish that have lived there for a million years. In Colorado we have three subspecies of native cutthroat trout: Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis, Greenback Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii stomias and the Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus. Highlighting pleuriticus, here is the 9th episode of am Colorado:

To see more episodes of am Colorado visit the CDOW VIDEO PAGE


Pheasant Hunting Colorado

Pheasant hunters in Colorado are well into what has been said to be the best year for hunting ringnecks in the last decade. Reports from Brush, Yuma, and Burlington have all said the same thing: more birds than they’ve ever seen. The consensus is that 2010 is a banner year for pheasants in the Centennial State. Good timing for the Colorado Division of Wildlife releasing a new DVD titled Pheasant Hunting Colorado. An informative yet entertaining view at how, when, and where to hunt Pheasants in Colorado.

The prelude:

If you’re interested in hunting roosters in Colorado but never have, this DVD can be of great value to you. Part one explains the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Walk-In access program, which for the first time this year is free for anyone with a small game license. Part one also takes you through a pheasant’s daily feeding routine and stresses on the most important things you can do to successfully hunt pheasants: learn how to scout and identify habitat … CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) or grasslands are the most desirable for pheasants.

Part one:

Part two continues on with CRP and how its specific stages are valuable to pheasants in different ways. We then move on to talk about wheat fields and why they can be the wild card in Colorado pheasant hunting.

Part two:

Part three continues the lesson on wheat habitat and how thicker and taller wheat stubble means more pheasants. We also learn why some sprinkler corners and transitional areas can produce an impressive density of birds.

Part three:

Don’t forget to visit your local Colorado Hunting and Fishing
license dealer to pick up your free copy of Pheasant Hunting
Colorado which is included in the 2010 Small Game brochure.

To see more pretty pictures and music watch the ENDING which features music from a good friend of mine: Little Kenny and Neargrass Junction


Fly Fishing Colorado

Fly-fishers dreaming of the days ahead on Colorado lakes and streams can amplify their visions by immersing themselves in “Fly Fishing Colorado,” a feature-length DVD from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

More than two years in the making, “Fly Fishing Colorado” takes viewers on a year-round tour of fly-fishing adventures spanning the entire state, from the loftiest reaches of alpine lakes to warm-water reservoirs and all points between. Anglers will get a firsthand look at the best fly-fishing that Colorado has to offer, as seen through the lenses of DOW’s revamped video production unit.

Fly-fishers can scroll through the pages of a weathered journal to find finicky trout rising to dry flies or high-speed wipers ripping line from screaming reels. Experience the thrill of catching all three native trout species against a backdrop of high-mountain scenery. Share the underwater haunts of northern pike, and take a ride on a jet boat for a lazy drift down a gentle river.

The journal also reveals when and where to find a multitude of the famous and not-so-well-known insect hatches that occur on major rivers and backcountry streams. Be in the right place at the right time to find trout rising to green drake, blue-winged olive, red quill and pale morning dun mayflies.

What to expect

Explore the stages of the Mother’s Day caddis hatch from start to finish, and discover the importance of widespread and prolific summer caddis hatches. Travel to mountain park reservoirs for famous still-water hatches and trophy-sized trout. Be there for the action when kokanee salmon, brown trout and native mountain whitefish make spawning runs up golden corridors of rivers cloaked in the dazzling colors of autumn in the Rocky Mountains.

The journal also is packed with fly-fishing instruction for anglers of all skill levels. There are techniques for fishing nymphs, dry flies and streamers. Proven fly patterns are listed for all events.

“Fly Fishing Colorado” is a useful tool for anglers making plans and scheduling trips to coincide with fly-fishing events.

The DVD also is designed to recruit anglers. Anglers spend nearly $1.5 billion dollars a year in Colorado, which is considered to be one of the premier fly-fishing destinations in the world. Showing anglers what the state has to offer will help add to Colorado’s prestigious fly- fishing reputation. Additional anglers in Colorado will mean more dollars for local economies, more license dollars for wildlife management and the continuation of the conservation ethic.

“Fly Fishing Colorado” is available for $20 HERE and at DOW service centers and at fly shops and sporting-goods retailers.