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 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:
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)
Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s video production crew has been gathering footage for nearly two years for the production of Hunting Colorado’s Public Lands. The film is aimed at providing hunters with useful information to help them successfully plan and execute a hunt on public lands in Colorado. This is the trailer for Hunting Colorado’s Public Lands
Although waterfowl season starts in the fall, wintertime seems to be the time when weather pushes most birds south. Here is a short teaser of waterfowl hunting in Colorado. I love to go back and watch it the night before a duck or goose hunting trip because it always gets my blood pumping.
The arrival of fall brings a cool breeze to the air and a new palette of colors to Colorado’s landscape.
The rich autumn reds and yellows blanketing the mountain side not only means good fishing in Colorado, it also represents the arrival of hunting season.
With an impressive number of Mule Deer, Pronghorn, Moose, Big Horn Sheep, and Mountain Goats Colorado has a lot of options when it comes to big game hunting. With nearly 300,000 elk in the state, its understandable why Colorado is the only state in the country where you can just show up during hunting season and buy an elk license. Elk hunting is a personal favorite. These large mammals are amazing creatures, especially during the fall. The cool weather triggers the elk rut, or heightened time of breeding activity. Especially with mature males. These large beasts scream or bugle loudly to attract cows (females) and compete with other bulls to protect the cows in their harem. Cows have a specific squeak to let the bulls know they are in their estrus cycle and ready to breed. The male and females social and vocal interaction makes hunting elk at this time a unique experience.
If you are interested in hunting in Colorado but don’t know where to start here are a couple resources to help you out.
First of all, if you are brand new to hunting you’ll need your hunter’s education card. Check Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) Hunter Education CALENDER for a class near you or you can take a class online through the CPW or through the IHEA In the hunter’s education class you will learn many valuable lessons on firearm safety, ethical hunting and Outdoor Survival
Second, you’ll need a license. Limited or draw licenses must be applied for before April 3rd, but over the counter (unlimited licenses) are available for bull elk 2nd and 3rd rifle seasons. You can visit your local license dealer or purchase one ONLINE
Third, you’ll need a place to hunt. Colorado has over 22 million acres of public land so there are plenty to choose from. CPW’s HUNTING ATLAS is a great place to start your search. I’d recommend pulling up the big game species layers which allows you to view migration routes and corridors, summer and winter concentration areas. For help see the HELP VIDEOS
Fourth, No matter how long you look at a map nothing will be more valuable than actually visiting the area you plan to hunt. From my experience scouting is the single most important thing you can do you to increase you chances of success. Scouting allows you to get to know your area and the patterns of the animals before you hunt rather than getting to know the area while you hunt.
Lastly, if you’re successful you’ll need to field dress the animal, click HERE for CPW’s Big Game Field Dressing Tutorial (Credit: Joe Lewandowski)
You can take the meat to your local butcher or what I prefer is to butcher it myself. Invite some buddies over for a couple beers and a meat cutting session …
ELK HUNTING UNIVERSITY is an informational series of training articles compiled by CPW’s hunting experts.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION has put together a list of HUNTING SECRETS
Elk Camp the website
ELK CAMP a sweet video produced by CPW to pump you up and get you excited to go Elk Hunting in Colorado
a.m. Colorado video series ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK IN AUTUMN
Colorado Parks and Wildlife video production crew recently teamed up with fly-fishing guides Alex Zipp and Cody Hale from the Drift Fly Shop in Pueblo. They went searching for a Lake Pueblo grand slam which includes a smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass as well as a wiper and a carp.
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.
A couple years back a friend hired a fly fishing guide out of Long Island named Robin Calitri with CSIC Again Charters. Robin not only put him on his first striper on a fly, my friend had a field day on the water, catching stripers left and right. After seeing pictures of him holding good size STRIPPED BASS and BLUEFISH I knew I had to try it out for myself.
My wife is from North Jersey and when we decided to get married on the east coast the first thing that came to mind (besides all those important wedding details) was Striped Bass. The drive from my in-laws in Bergen County, NJ to the North side of Long Island was surprising short. An hour and a half of hectic NY highways, paying tolls and the towering city scape above was a bit different than driving below the high peaks of the Continental Divide that I’m used to in Colorado. Additionally, instead of targeting delicate trout we’re going after a resilient saltwater predator. For that matter, I’ll trade a mountain view and a 4 weight rod for a metropolis view and a 10 weight any day!
We had a couple amazing days on the water. Catching stripers and bluefish over and over. We lost count after about twenty fish the first day while the first fish of the trip was a 32 inch monster. I wish I had caught it later in the trip to really appreciate its hugeness. After catching plenty of fish under 10 pounds that 14 pound 32 inch beast was a great fish to pop my striper cherry.
We caught a number of big fish while one of the 30+ inch fish was tagged by the AMERICAN LITTORAL SOCIETY
Check it out:
An interesting side note, Robin sent the information from the tagged fish into the American Littoral Society. In addition to receiving a patch he found out that two months prior the same fish was caught 60 miles northeast of where he caught it. At that time the fish was 28 inches. That means in two months the fish grew three and a half inches. I wish our docile trout grew that fast!