Fish the Arkansas with Guides that Care August 30th

August 6, 2010

On Monday, August 30th come out to fish the Arkansas River with guides that care.

Cost for 2 people for a full day float is $375 or $315 for 1 person. Walk and wade for 2 people is $335 and $275 for 1 person. Half day rates available for both float and walk and wade.

All proceeds will be donated to the Land Trust for the Upper Arkansas, a nonprofit organization that protects important natural, agricultural, scenic, and historical lands in Lake, Chaffee, and Fremont Counties that the Arkansas River flows through.

Space is limited so RSVP by calling ArkAnglers 719-539-4223 or contact Hayden Mellsop hmellsop@pinonrealestate.com

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High flying: National Fly Fishing Championships return

September 27, 2007

http://dailycamera.com/news/2007/sep/27/national-fly-fishing-championships-return/

By Zak Brown
Thursday, September 27, 2007

When Jay Alipit steps into the rushing waters of the National Fly Fishing Championships next week, the cool Colorado flows will feel mighty familiar.

The Boulder angler will be one of more than 150 competitors at the Boulder-based championships, the largest fly fishing competition in America. At stake are individual and team gold, silver and bronze medals. And as a local angler, he has homestream advantage.

“I’ve fished these rivers for a long time and feel like I know them like the back of my hand,” Alipit said. “When you step into the waters, you immediately know what’s going to work, how spooky the fish are. (The competition stretches) are not the most popular sections, but I think they’re probably the more challenging on the waters.”

Five-member teams from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Ireland will assemble in Boulder for the championships, which are being held in northern Colorado for the second consecutive year. The competitors will fish for three days on the Big Thompson River, the Poudre River, Dowdy Lake and Parvin Lake. The lakes are part of the Red Feather Lakes area.

The areas around the fishing venues are open to the public, and spectators are welcome to watch. It is a chance to pick up some pointers from some of the best fishermen – or women – in the country. The competition is coed.

The winner will be determined by total centimeters after the three days of competition, and the species of trout caught has no bearing on who wins. There are two sessions on Oct. 3 and 4 and one session on Oct. 5. Anglers’ assignments, or beats, are determined randomly, and that’s why total centimeters won’t determine who gets spots on the U.S. national team.

The 55 American anglers, who earned their spot in Boulder through qualifiers, are vying for a chance to be considered for one of the 15 spots on Team USA. The qualifications are not objective. An angler’s skill and competency are also factored in when invites for the 2008 World Championships in New Zealand are handed out.

“Sometimes the competitors will draw bad beats (their fishing assignments) for the entire tournament and struggle,” said Paul Prentiss, chairman of the championships. “Then some will do really well, but draw good beats the whole time. So the coaches look for things like a competitor’s focus and skill and heart.”

Alipit competed at last year’s tournament and qualified for the tournament this year in Fresno, Calif. After seeing the type of competition he’s up against, he expects to be more prepared for this year.

“We were surrounded by great anglers. It was a learning experience for all of us, with the exception of the guys who were already on the team. It was great fun,” he said. “To have those type of anglers competing on our local waters, it’s pretty intense.”who gets spots on the U.S. national team.

The 55 American anglers, who earned their spot in Boulder through qualifiers, are vying for a chance to be considered for one of the 15 spots on Team USA. The qualifications are not objective. An angler’s skill and competency are also factored in when invites for the 2008 World Championships in New Zealand are handed out.

“Sometimes the competitors will draw bad beats (their fishing assignments) for the entire tournament and struggle,” said Paul Prentiss, chairman of the championships. “Then some will do really well, but draw good beats the whole time. So the coaches look for things like a competitor’s focus and skill and heart.”

Alipit competed at last year’s tournament and qualified for the tournament this year in Fresno, Calif. After seeing the type of competition he’s up against, he expects to be more prepared for this year.

“We were surrounded by great anglers. It was a learning experience for all of us, with the exception of the guys who were already on the team. It was great fun,” he said. “To have those type of anglers competing on our local waters, it’s pretty intense.”


First time’s a charm

September 12, 2007

GJ angler wins Superfly contest on his initial try

http://www.gjsentinel.com/sports/content/sports/stories/2007/09/12/091207_OUT_superfly_WWW.html

By DAVE BUCHANAN The Daily Sentinel

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

GUNNISON – For every fall but one since 1989, the Gunnison Angling Society has conducted its Superfly fundraiser. In all those years, except the first, of course, it’s questionable if anyone entering the one-day fishing contest for the first time has won.

Matt Mayer of Grand Junction managed that feat last weekend when the Superfly novice garnered first place in a contest whose face has changed greatly from years past.

In prior years, the competition, a major fundraiser for the Gunnison Angling Society chapter of Trout Unlimited, was a one-fly contest with winning based on total number of inches of trout. You started with one fly and when that fly was no longer fishable (which mostly means hanging high in a tree or broken off by a fish) your fishing was done for the day.

In the past, whoever caught the most fish (equals usually most inches, right?) usually won.

This year, however, anglers were given free access to their fly box but were limited to recording only five trout, two in the morning and two in the afternoon, with one “wild card” trout at any time.

This put a premium on catching a big fish early, since you had to measure your first fish (kokanee salmon were not allowed) and being able to gamble later whether that 10-inch trout you caught with an hour left on the clock should be counted or released on the hopes of catching something bigger before time ran out.

Mayer, who runs a medical technology company in Grand Junction with his father, orthopedic surgeon David Mayer, made his life much easier when he hooked and netted a 19-inch rainbow on the East River with only a few minutes left in his morning beat.

“I caught it on a flashabou egg pattern, one they tie at Western Anglers, with a little beadhead,” said Mayer, who finished the contest with a total of 77 inches for five trout. “I’ve used it before so I had some confidence in it. We (Mayer, teammate Steve Ward and their guide) moved into this hole with 15 to 20 minutes left in the morning and I caught that fish with 5 minutes left.”

Unfortunately, no photos exist of the winning fish (although all fish were winning fish, since even a 10-inch fish might have been the clincher) because Mayer and Ward “were scrambling around so much to get Steve his last fish,” Mayer said.

The two members of the Grand Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited finished eighth as a team, and the other GVA team, comprised of Mac Cunningham and this woeful reporter, managed to clinch fifth.

Team fishing presents some interesting challenges. Mindy Sturm, a Realtor from Crested Butte, and Gene Hart, a long-time Gunnison River guide now living in Gunnison, paired up to take second in the team standings with 121 inches total and she said there was some strategy and gambling needed to finish high in the standings.

“I figured we needed at least a 15-inch fish (to win) and if I would have counted my 13-inch fish we would have lost by 2 inches,” she said. “So I released the 13-incher hoping for a bigger fish. We didn’t really know where anyone’s score was, I just felt I needed a 15-inch fish.”

But her gamble failed and she stuck on four fish, including one that went 15.5 inches, while Hart recorded five, the biggest a 151⁄4-inch rainbow (all fish were measured to the closest eighth-inch). The twosome finished 15 inches behind the eventual winners.

“But I really like the concept of working to catch a few big fish more than just hooking everything you can and getting it back in the water,” Sturm said. “There was a lot of strategy, (including) knowing the water and the holes and how many fish were sitting in the holes and getting the larger fish out of there.

“We caught almost a dozen (fish) each we didn’t count.”

But what can an everyday angler take out of a fishing competition, whether it’s the Superfly or the National Fly Fishing Championship slated for Colorado in October?

At first glance, it might seem competitive angling, even as low-key as the Gunnison Superfly, where emphasis in put on enjoying oneself, offers little for the average fly fisher, but that’s like saying nothing comes out of NASCAR.

Just as many improvements in engines, safety and equipment have grown from the cars that go fast just so they can turn left, anglers can gain something by watching competitive anglers.

“There’s a lesson in knowing the river and how to stay out of trouble with your fly because every river has so many spots where you can into trouble,” offered Mayer, who won a Scott fly rod. “I’d say you have to have a fly you can fish with confidence, but also don’t be afraid (to change flies) if one isn’t working for you. I used so many different flies, I wouldn’t have done nearly as well if it was still a one-fly contest.”


Rebuttal aimed at misinformed

September 5, 2007

http://www.denverpost.com/charlie/ci_6801667

By Charlie Meyers
Denver Post Outdoors Editor

Article Last Updated: 09/04/2007 10:54:03 PM MDT

It’s not often that an outdoor column is spawned by the editorial pages, particularly where it involves a letter to the editor.

In this case, inspiration came in response to last week’s musings of a partially misguided soul named Marcy Anne Roeder of Nederland. Ms. Roeder kicked off squarely enough, defending the contributions of nonconsuming watchers to the welfare of wildlife.

Not satisfied, she then wandered onto the shaky ground that so often swallows the logic of those who harbor – overtly or not – resentment toward hunting and fishing.

“I don’t contribute to Ducks Unlimited or the National Wildlife Federation, which work primarily to expand populations of ‘game’ animals that hunters like to kill.”

Then the earth really begins to tremble.

“I spend weekends maintaining hiking trails and improving animal habitat (which includes taking down unsightly deer platforms and duck blinds and removing animal carcasses that hunters leave in the woods).”

Oh, my. What a woman. As one who wanders the woods regularly both in and out of hunting season, I can’t recall finding an animal carcass that hadn’t been well-masticated by a predator, most likely a mountain lion. How Ms. Roeder determines that all these carcasses she removes (she also must be exceptionally strong) have been “left by hunters” is beyond me.

Such shallow vitriol has become the misinformed mantra of those who allow a hatred of hunting to cloud the realities of the management of wildlife and who truly contributes most to its welfare.

Roeder’s disdainful mention of Ducks Unlimited is particularly worthy of rebuttal. Coincidentally, her letter came in concert with a salute to the wetlands conservation organization on the front page of USA Today.

In conjunction with its 25th anniversary, the newspaper recognizes what it determines to be the nation’s top 25 charities. Not incidentally, Ducks Unlimited is the first mentioned – scarcely surprising when one considers that it converts an astonishing 86 percent of contributions to actual on-the-ground wetlands restoration. DU projects benefit not only the waterfowl that hunter/contributors pursue, but hundreds of other nongame wildlife species.

So it is with all other hunting and fishing conservation organizations: Trout Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation and Pheasants Forever, to name a few. Members collectively contribute hundreds of millions of dollars that not only directly preserve habitat, but finance effective campaigns against destructive development.

But, alas, they never seem to find the money or time to remove animal carcasses.

Those who harbor hatred for hunting make much of their eagerness to contribute to wildlife. Statistics don’t bear this out. For example, the inauguration of the Colorado Habitat Stamp last year was hailed as an opportunity for wildlife watchers and the like to subscribe to various Division of Wildlife environmental initiatives.

During 2006, the sale of 665,608 stamps netted almost $3.4 million. Nonlicense buyers – those like Ms. Roeder – purchased just 4,902 stamps and spent $34,115, a smidgen over 1 percent of the total. It appears the nonlicense percentage will increase slightly in 2007, but scarcely enough to reflect this claim of undying dedication to wildlife.

Maybe this reluctance is because none of the money will be spent to tear down duck blinds.


BPR Project Partners

July 18, 2007

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Just received word of more support on the Buffalo Peaks Ranch project, which is great news. The Coalition for the Upper South Platte has pledged assistance with the project. Their experience with volunteer programs and stream restoration will be a big help with pulling off the Buffalo Peaks restoration. Be sure to check out their website at http://www.uppersouthplatte.net/ and let them know how much we appreciate their assistance!

On this subject, I would be remiss to express thanks to our other partners as well. Especially Park County, who has pledged a significant financial contribution – you can check them out at http://www.parkco.us/main_page.htm and the beneficiary of their county-wide stream improvement projects, which is the South Park Fly Fishers service at http://southparktrout.com/ This is a great program – if you are itchin to fish some new private waters, be sure to check this source out and support stream restoration in Park County.

Finally, the DOW/USFS for the Fishing is Fun grant, and the City of Aurora for assisting us in this project.

We begin construction on August 27th and look forward to 6 weeks of great weather to get the project done! I hope to see you all there for the Volunteer Weekends September 22nd and 23rd and October 13th and 14th!


Protecting Good Samaritan mine cleanups a wise move

July 3, 2007

“We think it’s a step in the right direction. We need a step further to make it really effective,” said Elizabeth Russell, watershed-restoration coordinator for Trout Unlimited, who has been working with local focus groups seeking ways to clean up mine drainage in places such as Peru Creek near Keystone.

www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_6283643

By The Denver Post Editorial Board


Dotted across Colorado are hundreds of silent polluters that, drip by drip, have fouled our streams and watersheds for more than a century.

They should be everybody’s concern, but most are nobody’s responsibility.

They are among the 23,000 abandoned Colorado mines and mining sites that are the legacy of our state’s first economic boom in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Across the country, there are an estimated 500,000 abandoned mines. By some calculations, 16,000 miles of Western waterways are tainted by mine waste.

Mines were built quickly and went out of business just as fast, victims of pinched-out veins, undercapitalization and fluctuating ore prices. Their useful lives are long in the past, and their owners are long gone, so there’s no one responsible for cleaning them up. But the chemicals used to process ore – like cyanide, arsenic and mercury – and other substances released by mining remain.

With no owners to hold responsible, and with the estimated cleanup bill of $32 billion way beyond the capabilities of the federal or state governments, Westerners long have wrestled with how to even start cleaning up.

One promising answer, interestingly enough, is volunteers.

Many conservation and community groups have been interested in cleaning up mines and streams, but the threat of liability has hampered such efforts.

Cooperation between private groups and government agencies has permitted some citizen cleanup of old mines on federal land, but liability concerns continue to hamper other cleanups.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last month took a step toward solving that problem by approving procedures under which private groups can do limited cleanup – such as removing waste rock and diverting runoff – under agency supervision without fear of being sued and held liable for cleanup of an entire mine site. But the procedures don’t apply to work that might be covered by the Clean Water Act. Congress needs to take care of that problem.

“We think it’s a step in the right direction. We need a step further to make it really effective,” said Elizabeth Russell, watershed-restoration coordinator for Trout Unlimited, who has been working with local focus groups seeking ways to clean up mine drainage in places such as Peru Creek near Keystone.

Colorado Rep. Mark Udall introduced legislation in 2005 that would protect “Good Samaritan” cleanups. It didn’t pass. He called the EPA’s move a “harbinger” of full reforms needed to allow mine-site cleanups. Udall has been studying the issues with Western governors, and we hope he continues to make a run at the problem.

Washington lawmakers also ought to give a serious look to another proposal that would impose royalties on hard-rock mining and use the revenue to help pay for reclamation.


June Mine Restoration Notes

June 13, 2007

Elizabeth Russell
Colorado Mine Restoration Coordinator

Snake River/Penn Mine:  Things finally seem to be moving along.  The EPA and State (CDPHE) are spending $250K on site treatment design and more characterization this summer.  Now that the model AOC has been released by the EPA, we can move forward on a draft of that document for the Penn Mine.  We are helping to form a foundation that will be responsible for the long term O & M at the site so that TU can get a notice of completion once the treatment system is constructed.  I’ll spend a bunch of time this summer helping with recon and sampling.

Colorado Gulch, Leadville:  Good news here!  The BLM gave us $25,000  for our bioreactor and we also received an EPA grant of $57,000 (Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Innovative Technologies grant).  So far we have raised $115,000 cash and spent $13,000 so far on the bench scale test.  With the EPA’s AOC released, I will be helping Colorado Mountain College and the EPA come to an agreement at the site (the college will do the long-term O & M and be responsible for construction – we are just raising the money).  It looks like we can begin next spring if the legal work is done.  I’m still waiting to here on another $30,000 in grants.  We will likely have to raise some more money, but we don’t know yet because the design work isn’t done.  This will be the West’s first Good Sam mine cleanup project that treats water so it’s really exciting and important.

Millsap Tailings:  TU is just a VERY small part of this project.  We contributed $2500 of the $650,000.  The reclamation began last week and is expected to last 1-2 months.  I’m helping the local TU chapter on getting some good press.

Red River Mines, New Mexico:  It looks like TU will help with the clean up of 1-5 small mine sites on private land in the Red River watershed.  This is great news for TU’s mining work since we will be entering into a new state.  Also, we will partner with Amigos Bravos and the Santa Fe TU chapter.  I’m currently waiting for the final engineering designs and cost estimates from the Forest Service.  I just have to figure out how to raise the money we’ll need.  I’ve already talked with an attorney at EPA Region 6 and they are excited to have a Good Sam cleanup in that region.