Saturday, December 8, 2018

Two ice fishing newbies lose their virginity

Lake John's legendary wind was little more than a little bluster this past week, as some of Loveland Fishing Club's finest took advantage of good weather and better fishing.

Alan Jones shows off his first-ever trout caught
through the ice. 
First time ice anglers Alan Jones, a native of Jacksonville, FL, (photo at left) and Rick Palmieri both landed their first trout through the ice. Both say they're ready to go back.

Dave Boyle, left, and Pat Weller.

Norm Engelbrecht and friend.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A brief introduction to fishing through a hole in the lake

So we have a couple newbies heading onto the ice at Lake John this week, Rick and Alan, prompting me to put a few ideas together on how they might want to get started in this sport of ice fishing. 

Now I would modestly say I am close to the best ice angler in the club -- but only in the sense that I try to stand close to Norm Engelbrecht when we fish together. Norm is pretty darned good at this, but I would add that Dave Harem was probably even better. (The rascal up and died on us). Norm and Dave shared one – no, two -- common traits that made them pretty good companions on the ice:  a willingness to get out there when it’s cold and windy without whining about it too much; and a willingness to try different things to see what works on that particular day on that particular body of water.
When you’re just starting out, resist the temptation to visit Jax or Sportsman’s ice fishing shelves. You may find you're better off waiting until gentle, warm days and spring wildflowers. Just be sure to wear warm, windproof clothes and borrow whatever else you need, including hand warmers. I’m bad enough when it comes to having excessive equipment, but Merle for one could start a used tackle store. 

If you do decide to plunge in and invest, and you already have a good ultralight spinning reel, you may want to use that reel rather than pay for an ice fishing combo. Put your money into as sensitive a rod as your spouse thinks you can afford. You’ll get better equipment for your buck. Just switch your line to about 4- or even 2-pound fluorocarbon or braid designed to stay flexible when it’s really cold outside. (If you use braid, add a short fluorocarbon leader under a small, size 10 or so, barrel swivel. (Tying really fine braid to really fine fluoro under winter conditions can be a bitch. You'll find a swivel is easier to work with, and reduces line twist.) 

Anyway, for now, just get your hands on one or two ice rods.
They generally run from 24 to 33 inches long. You’ll want one with a ridiculously flexible tip section and stout backbone. (It’s harder to explain how to play fish with this kind of rig than it is to just laugh at you the first time or two you hook one of decent size. You’ll eventually figure it out. Again, you want something that helps you detect the most subtle bites you can envision. Lake trout/walleye type rods have a place in ice fishing, but they’re kind of the equivalent of a medium-heavy casting rod, and not as much fun landing a fish through a tiny hole in the ice. You want something with a really sensitive tip section, to help you detect and react to the subtle bites that can make this type of fishing such a challenge.

You begin with a hole in the ice. The trick here is to fish with someone with an auger, and bribe them with possibly unwarranted praise and an occasional cup of coffee. As winter progresses, and the ice gets thicker, you can’t beat a power auger. But early on you can get along just fine with a less expensive hand auger, by outfits like Strikemaster or Eskimo. An increasing number in the club are going to a hand auger powered by an 18-volt drill. I’ve seen them work well, and have one, but I really need a more powerful drill to make it work right. So I stick to drilling by hand, or telling the guy with a power auger how strong and good looking he is.

For Lake John, known for fast-growing, husky trout, you’ll basically use the same techniques we try on Front Range stockers:  a tiny (1/16, 1/32 oz. jig, preferably tungsten, preferably glow in the dark, with a 12- to 14-size hook. They come in all sorts of bright colors, which may attract fishermen more than fish, but hey, you never know. Sometimes changing colors really seems to help. I like hot pink, yellow/chartreuse and sometimes white. Besides the little jigs, you should try a tiny tube jig, like the Berkley Powerbait Atomic Teaser. Pink's good. You can also jig up and down with something like a Rapala Jigging Rap, which I like, or small spoons like the Kastmaster, in gold or silver.

Whatever, we generally tip the hook with one or two live wax worm or meal worms, sometimes pieces of nightcrawler or frozen raw shrimp. If the fishing's slow, go to a fresh worm every 15 minutes or so. In the past year or so, I’ve mostly migrated to Gulp Alive! or other tiny, scented plastics that have come onto the market recently, and seem to change about once a month. If those work well the day you’re fishing, you’ll find them less messy and tedious to work with. But keep wax worms handy.

Also, if you have a second rod stamp, and most of us do, you can fish in two holes about 18 to 24 inches apart.  In one you can jig it up and down like a marionette, which sometimes serves as an attractant to aggressive trout, or wiggle it ever so gently to trick the suspicious ones. In the other hole, I generally dead stick a bait – 6 to 12 inches of the bottom under a bobber. Not infrequently that’s where you get a bite, after jigging your arm off. I suspect the movement in one hole draws wary fish within range of the second, for an easy meal.

Lake John is really clear, with visibility usually 8-10 feet or more this time of year. If you lay down on the ice and cover your head and the hole, you can generally see all the way to the bottom. Myself, I have a one-man hut, and a Vexilar fish finder, which works even better for spying on our prey. They've helped me learn that I probably get twice as many trout come really close to my bait than ever commit to a bite. They’ll often pull up close to your lure, just look and look and look, and then swim away. Sometimes, rather than bite, they’ll just swat your best offering with their tails, and then swim away. 

It’s one of the reasons ice fishing can be so addictive.


Gift exchange set for holiday meeting, 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18

Dec. 18 is the club's annual holiday meeting; no formal agenda for the December.  We'll run over the possibilities for club officers, head for the cookies and coffee, and then have our annual gift exchange.

If you want to participate in the gift exchange, get something (new) for about 10 bucks.  Wrap it up, but don't put your name on it.  We'll have a kind of raffle to decide who gets to choose their gift first.

Contact Dave Johnson or Jim Visger if you're interested in being a candidate for club vice president, to serve in the 2019 calendar year. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Ice fishing seminars Saturday at Scheels

Johnstown Scheels is hosting an "Ice Fest" Saturday, with seminars starting at 10 a.m.

  • Lake Grandby ice fishing guru Bernie Keefe will be hosting lake trout seminars at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • At 11:30, Dan Shannon will talk about early ice opportunities.
  • 1 p.m., Barry Cundiff will talk about walleyes through the ice.
  • 2:30 p.m., Brad Peterson on panfish.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Flatiron after breakfast Friday

Bring your rods and worms, we're heading for Flatiron reservoir after Perkins Friday. Likely head out about 8:30.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Halloween Family Fun fishing booth

A great club turnout and warm, sunny weather were an unbeatable combination Saturday as hundreds of costumed kids lined up at the club's fishing booth in downtown Loveland.  Part of the annual Halloween Family Fun Festival, the booth offered the young "anglers" a pretty good chance of landing a piece of candy.  Thanks as always to Karol Stroschein for organizing this fun outing, and to all who made it a great success.
Jim Cadle, left, and Roger Smith wait to put candy
on the hooks of costumed anglers, while Karol Stroschein
helps a little one prepare to cast.

Barbara Ding, foreground, and Karol Stroschein
hand out goodies at the club's Fishing Booth
Saturday in downtown Loveland.

Roger awaits the arrival of a young angler's hook.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Nancy Paller has passed on

Nancy Paller, wife of former Loveland Fishing Club member Jerry Paller, died Tuesday following a lengthy illness.

Nancy and Jerry had moved from Loveland to Florida and were living near St. Louis, MO, at the time of death.  She was a fine lady.

Reminder, bruce's! Thursday, Nov. 8

It's fall - time for one of the club's most cherished, inexplicable traditions:  a road trip to Bruce's!Spouses are encouraged to come along on this one; assure them that alternative choices exist, but the big draw is All-You-Can-Eat Rocky Mountain Oysters.  The plan is to gather at the southeast corner of the King Sooper Parking Lot off Lincoln Avenue and 29th Street at 11:30 a.m. and carpool to Bruce's, a half-hour or so northeast of Loveland.  Or just meet us there about noon.  It's a pretty big place, but we make up a pretty large crowd, so let Norm know whether you plan to join us.

Most of us carpool; meet around 11:15 a.m. at the southwest end of the King Soopers parking lot off 29th and Lincoln.  Directions:  Take I-25 to Harmony Road in Fort Collins (38E toward Timnath) and go east about 7 miles to Severance.  Look for Bruce's on the left.  You can also take Colorado 392 through Windsor to U.S. 85, then go north about 4 miles to first street in Severance.  To read about what you're getting into, click

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Let's go fishing Tuesday

Okay, let's accept the sorry fact of life that some club members are too cold-natured to go fishing Monday.  And let's meet about 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 at River's Edge.  It's supposed to be well into the 50s by then - maybe a bit warm for a trout, and near-perfect for the dedicated trout angler.  The fish should be ravenous in Dragonfly, and they've moved in pretty close to shore, so bank fishing will be first rate.

Questions?  Contact Bill by e-mail.

Sign up to help with our fishing booth at Oct. 27 Halloween Fest

Hundreds of Loveland's cutest kids will be turning out for the annual Loveland Hallow Family Fun Fest Saturday, Oct. 27, and one of the most popular attractions is the club's Fishing Booth.  It's a great deal of fun, helping the costumed youngsters "fish" for candy, and the more volunteers we have the more we can enjoy the event.

Karol Stroschein is recruiting volunteers to help in shifts, beginning with an 8 a.m. setup through the festival itself, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the downtown Loveland parking lot at Peters Park and 5th, just south of the Loveland Museum.  Sign up at Friday's breakfast, or contact Karol by e-mail.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Signs of a potentially good trip ...

Walt Graul's old Division of Wildlife buddy caught this big rainbow last week at the Delaney Buttes, a good sign for those of us planning an overnight trip there the week of Oct. 2-No. 1.

We'll be driving over in the morning and staying at a motel in Walden. More details to come.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

It's almost Delaney time! Mark Oct. 29-Nov. 1 on your calendar

This is when the big browns move in shallow to spawn, and pretty much everything in the North and South Delaney reservoirs is gorging itself before iceup. Okay, it may be a bit chilly, with the occasional likelihood of blizzard, but that only adds to the excitement of the season.  So get out your long johns and set aside Monday, Oct. 29 through Thursday, Nov. 1 for this annual club trek.

Here's Charlie with a fat memory
of an earlier Delaney outing.
Okay, maybe this one was swimming
in a South Dakota fish hatchery, but
the trout get pretty big where we're going...
We'll likely just do an overnight at a Walden motel, but hold the dates so we can plan around scary weather forecasts. Some folk may prefer a day trip, though it's about a 3-hour drive.

Fishing is generally done from shore or by wading, though Wayne Baranczyk's shown questionable judgment in his float tube, during rare moments of relative calm on these wind-swept reservoirs.  Interested? Drop me an e-mail, or let's talk about it over breakfast.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Koon wins annual Club Derby

So the Loveland Fishing Club welcomed David Koon to the club this past April, and this past Wednesday, darned if he didn't land a 17 1/2-inch largemouth, earning him the title of club champion and giving him bragging rights for the next 12 months, 25 bucks and his name on the winner's trophy.

David, left, and Dan celebrate the win.
No question, fishing was slow for just about everyone else at the Colorado Youth Outdoors' Swift Ponds, with a starting temperature of 38 degrees under bluebird skies.  Dan Barker won $25 for biggest non-bass of the day, a pint-size but reportedly really scrappy 8-inch crappie.

David's name will be engraved on the winner's trophy alongside winners of the past.  Has anyone told him yet he'll have to return the trophy in one year - and cook up next year's derby lunch?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Boat ramp hours reduced at Horsetooth, Carter after Oct. 1

It's that time of year - boat ramp hours are cutting back. Satanka ramp at Horsetooth is shutting down for the season effective Oct. 1.  Here's the full schedule...

Hours of operation at boat ramps for Oct. 1-7, 2018:

Horsetooth Reservoir County Park
  • South Bay ramp: 6 a.m.-10 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Inlet Bay ramp: 6 a.m.-10 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Satanka ramp: Closed for the season
Carter Lake County Park
  • North ramp: 6 a.m.-10 p.m., 7 days a week
  • South Shore: Closed for the season
  • North Pines ramp: 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Thursday - Sunday
Hours of operation at boat ramps for Oct. 8-31, 2018:

Horsetooth Reservoir County Park
  • South Bay ramp: 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday - Friday and 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
  • Inlet Bay ramp: 8 a.m.-4 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Satanka ramp: Closed for the season
Carter Lake County Park
  • North ramp: 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday - Friday and 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
  • South Shore: Closed for the season
  • North Pines ramp: 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursday - Sunday and holidays
Boat ramps may close earlier than scheduled due to low water levels. For the up-to-date schedule of boat ramp hours, visit

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Bring a tape measure Wednesday. And something to write with

Reminder, the club's annual derby will be held Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 8 a.m. to noon at Colorado Youth Outdoors, followed by a cookout.

You can lug around as many poles as you want, but only use one at a time, artificial bait only. The grand prize winner is the man or woman who catches the biggest bass.  A second prize will be awarded to whomever catches the largest single fish of any other species, as measured by length. So Norm will be going after another big old carp.

We'll have index cards to record our catch, but bring along a tape measure and something to write with.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Lakes closing for the season

Hope this isn't an indication of things to come:  Colorado Parks and Wildlife has announced that "due to the annual seasonal closure of the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) inspection station, motorized boating at Jumbo Reservoir closed on Sunday, Sept. 16 for the remainder of the season." 

Boating, both from gas and electric motors, will cease until it reopens next spring. You can still fish from the bank or a kayak or float tube.  Exclusions include hand-launched rafts, kayaks, belly boats, float tubes, canoes, windsurfer boards, sail boards, stand-up paddleboards or inner tubes.

Meanwhile, Pinewood was closed this summer to all trailered watercraft because Larimer County Parks and Open Space didn't have inspectors onsite there.  You can still use a float tube there.  Boedecker Reservoir is also shut down to boating; the gate to the parking lot has been padlocked since mid August, but that appears to be because of drastically lowered water levels.

Meanwhile, boating access at the two big lakes under control of Parks and Open Space, Horsetooth and Carter, remains open under reduced hours.  Currently the South Bay and Inlet Bay ramps are o
pen 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, and Satanka ramp from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  Carter's North ramp is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, but South Ramp is closed for the season and North Pines ramp is only open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and on holidays.

At Boyd Lake, inspections will continue and ramps will remain open through Oct. 31, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Boat access will continue through the end of November from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (dependent on ice conditions.) 
Starting next year, Colorado boaters will be required to buy a $25 ANS stamp for our boats. Non-residents must purchase a $50 stamp.  How this will impact the now-inconsistent policies on access to Colorado fishing waters remains to be seen.  

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Newbies! Don't miss Wednesday's annual club derby!

It seems to me you young whippersnappers in the club have two options next Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the only formal competition between Loveland Fishing Club members:

  • You can show up at the Colorado Youth Outdoors' Swift Ponds and gratefully learn about the subtleties of fishing from some of northern Colorado's most esteemed and veteran anglers.
  • Or you just show us up and catch the biggest fish of the day.

This will be true no-holds-barred combat angling:  one pole at a time, artificial bait only, fish from 8 a.m. until noon (unless we all agree earlier that we're all too hungry to continue).  The grand prize winner is the man or woman who catches the biggest bass.  A second prize will be awarded to whomever catches the largest single fish of any other species, as measured by length alone.  

The grand prize winner gets his or her name engraved on the tournament trophy, and keeps the thing until this time next year.  You can probably even bring the trophy with you to Perkins for breakfast every Friday for 52 weeks, though even Norm didn't try that.  Regardless, bragging rights are at stake here, and a shore lunch.

Directions:  Take Highway 392 West to County Rd. 5. Turn right (north) onto County Rd. 5. Take County Rd. 5 north to County Rd. 36 (Ketchter Road). Turn Left onto County Rd. 36, the Swift Ponds gate will be on your left.  We'll meet by the first pavilion, and scatter from there.  Remember, this is catch and release only, and we're guests of our good friends and allies at Colorado Youth Outdoors, so be on best behavior.  And no chumming.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Great day of fishing at 2018 Senior Derby

Easily shattering early fishing records, more than 90 Loveland area seniors enjoyed a memorable outing Wednesday at Flatiron Reservoir.

The day was highlighted by near-perfect weather in the upper '70s, and trout eager to bite.  (Master fish cleaner Tom Miller reports cleaning more than 70 fish for guests), most of them from Loveland and Fort Collins' assisted living centers.

Biggest fish of the day was a 13 1/8-inch rainbow caught by Christina. Smallest was a solid 6-incher by JJ.  Prizes for funniest fishing hats went to Paul and Ruby.  The oldest lady angler was 95-year-old Vernetta, a resident of Mariana Butte Brookdale; and oldest male angler was 99-year-old Harry from Good Samaritan.

To view, download and print photos from this year's derby (without charge), visit the following Google Photo album:  To download a copy of a photo for yourself, right click on the photo. 
(Also, watch for coverage of this year's Derby by the Loveland Reporter Herald.)

LFC's Karol Stroschein presents prize for biggest trout to Christina

JJ shows off his prize for smallest fish.

Arnie Stroschein presents $100 Walgreen's gift certificate
to grand prize raffle winner Virginia, a resident of Brookdale. 

Oldest male angler Harry, a resident of Good Samaritan.

95-year-old Vernetta of Mariana Butte Brookdale.

Looking over another successful derby is event chair Ray Park.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Annual Club tournament is Wednesday, Sept. 26 at Colorado Youth Outdoors

Bragging rights as best angler are up for grabs next week at the club's tournament at Swift Ponds north of Windsor.  Fishing begins at 8 a.m.

As a reward for success in last year's rainy, ice-cold competition, Don Knudsen, winner of last year's tourney, and runner-up John Gwinnup, get to serve the rest of us lunch.

Gwinnup, left, and Knudsen, holding the revolving trophy, were as cold as they looked, but hey, they won.  This year's event looks to be a little warmer.  

Monday, September 17, 2018

Everyone's help needed at Wednesday's Senior Fishing Derby

The Loveland Fishing Club's Senior Derby, a club tradition since 2011, will be held Wednesday, Sept. 19 in a return to Flatiron Reservoir.

More than 150 residents of the city’s assisted living centers and other seniors signed up through Chilson Senior Center are expected to attend.

The event is held with the support of Chilsen, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife helps by stocking Flatiron with trout in advance of the derby.

The derby will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by a cookout.  Club members will serve as guides for participating anglers, provide a campfire and offer prizes for participants. Other seniors are welcome to attend the free event, but only pre-registered guests will be eligible to compete for prizes.  The fishing derby was held at River's Edge Natural Area last year because of dam repairs at Flatiron.

As in year's past, this is one of the club's premier volunteer activities, and all members are encouraged to show up and help.  

The club is covering all expenses associated with the event, including poles, bait and tackle.  There will be a prize drawing for all guests, and prizes for the biggest and smallest fish brought in, oldest female and oldest male anglers, and “craziest fishing hat.”  

Virtually all assisted living center facilities in Loveland are expected to participate. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Ranger Lake annual cookout is Wednesday, Aug. 29

The club's annual outing to Ranger Lakes, a giddy coed adventure in the high country west of Fort Collins, will be held next week in the Colorado State Forest campground.

If you can't make the trip but would like to run up for the steak cookout on Wednesday, it's a 75-mile run past Fort Collins on Colorado 14.  The cookout will begin around 4 p.m. at Pat and Dee's campsite.  Bring your own choice of meat and a side dish to share.

Chilson Harvest Bazaar will need volunteers Saturday, Sept. 15

As in years past, Chilson depends on volunteers like us to put on a successful fall festival.  Our help will be needed in the kitchen and helping serve and cleanup the dining room.  If interested, signup at an upcoming club breakfast or contact Chilson directly.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Lonetree update from Parks and Wildlife

Following is the latest information on attempts to keep Lonetree available to the public for fishing, a letter to Club President Dave Johnson from Kristin Cannon, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager.
Re. Fisheries support at Lonetree and other non-public bodies of water
Thank you for your letter on behalf of the Loveland Fishing Club expressing concern over fish and other resources being provided at Lonetree and other bodies of water that do not provide adequate public access. The Loveland Fishing Club is an important partner to CPW and we value input and support from its members.
As you are likely already aware, Lonetree State Wildlife Area operated mainly through a long-term lease between CPW and the Consolidated Home Supply Ditch and Reservoir Company who owns the reservoir itself and manages the water. CPW leadership made a significant effort to renew this lease so we could keep access to Lonetree free and manage it for fishing and hunting. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to renew the lease and instead it was awarded to the Berthoud Heritage Metro District. The term for that lease began on July 1st. The metro district has told us that they would like to keep the reservoir open to the public and that they would like us to continue to manage the fishery. They also asked us to continue to allow public access through the state wildlife area as status quo through the end of the year. The hope is that we can work out an agreement in that timeframe that guarantees reasonable public access so that as the metro district takes over management of the reservoir we can resume stocking fish and anglers can continue to enjoy the well-loved fishery.
As part of this discussion, it is not our expectation that access to the reservoir will continue to be free and anticipate there will be some charge to anglers and boaters. We recognize that this will be a burden for our constituents, and we will do what we can to keep any fees reasonable. Should we not be able to secure a guarantee of reasonable access we will no longer manage the fishery in the reservoir. At what amount of money a fee becomes unreasonable is not yet determined and we will seek public input, including from your group, as that is negotiated.
CPW has not stocked Lonetree since May of 2017 and removed and relocated many fish this last spring. If we are unable to secure reasonable public access, we will resume removal. There are many challenges and changes facing anglers in the Loveland area. I would be happy to speak to your group and I will certainly keep you informed of the process as it progresses.
Thanks again for your time and input,
Kristin Cannon, Area Wildlife Manager

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What do spouses and fish have in common?

Sheila Miller and Linda Prater seem to have the same attitude toward men as Tom and I have toward fishing:  if something works, even if it’s getting worn down and outdated, stick with it. Thus, Sheila and Tom will be marking their 60th wedding anniversary in a few weeks; Linda and I are about to celebrate the big 5-0.

Having said that, and at the risk of giving Sheila and Linda some dangerous ideas about husbandry, even I concede there are times when you just have to change things up a bit.  And there’s no truer time for that on the Front Range of Colorado than the Dog Days of August.  Truth be told, fishing around here lately has kind of sucked:
  • ·         Boyd’s not good for much right now except jet skiing;
  •        A few of us motored up to Dowdy last week and, like just about everyone else on the pond, came pretty close to a skunk (can’t wait for the club’s annual outing to the really high country water around Ranger Lakes)
  • ·         Everything in River’s Edge is hunkered down deep in the weeds, waiting for fall
  •    Even on old reliable Horsetooth, the angling’s getting pretty darned challenging in this August heat.

     I ventured there yesterday, armed with my usually reliable Ned rig - a Green Pumpkin TRD and 1/32-ounce mushroom jig - and started beating the water around shallow rocks up and down the east and west shorelines. Like gullible juveniles of all species, a few solid 5- or 6-inchers took the bait.  But it wasn’t until I reluctantly switched tactics and moved into deeper water – 14 or 15 feet – that anything interesting happened.  No flurry of fish, or anything gargantuan, but half a dozen decent smallies, mostly coughing up minnows.
There’s a lesson here:  Like club members getting ready for the August picnic, smallmouth still want to eat this time of year; they’re just pushing further from the buffet table than normal, and wanting maybe a nice fish taco instead of crawdad.  I can’t guarantee your catch will improve, but if you’re venturing to Horsetooth you might want to move out deeper than you’re comfortable with, and try a pearl or shad-color grub or tube jig, strapped to something heavy, 1/8 or ¼ ounce.  

How about Boyd?  I dunno. Tom and I are frantically getting in shape for a second honeymoon, and hoping for cooler weather.  

Friday, August 10, 2018

Automatic delivery of LFC blog posts

I have added the e-mails of new members to the "FeedBurner" application the club uses to forward all postings to your e-mail address.   The only drawback is, it can take several hours to work.  You can always go directly to the blog by clicking on the URL: 

On the blog, you'll also find an archive of virtually all postings made in the past several years, including things like upcoming events, club officers and such, along with a link to the club calendar and website.

Here are the names of new members just added.  
Jerry & Beth Doerschlag
Neil Lambert
Paul Mitchell
Michael Carmien
David Gorham
Barney Anderson
Dan Chrouser
Charles Piche
David Koon
Paul Miller
Philip Paarlberg
Steve Jetter

Welcome newbies.  To activate the FeedBurner app, you'll need to click on a link in an "Email Subscription Request" message that should come in your e-mail like the one below.  (Everyone else, ignore this.  You should already be on.) Bill


Email Subscription Request

Your request has been accepted!

Please check your inbox for a verification message from “FeedBurner Email Subscriptions”, the service that delivers email subscriptions for Loveland Fishing Club Blog. You will need to click a link listed in this message to activate your subscription. If you dont see a confirmation e-mail in a reasonable amount of time please check your bulk/spam folder.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Loveland Fishing Club position on public support of non-public waters

Following is a written statement by Club President Dave Johnson on the Loveland Fishing Club's position on Colorado Parks and Wildlife support of fisheries at Lonetree
Reservoir and other non-public bodies of water, and the response by Northern Colorado Area Wildlife Manager Kristin Cannon.  
 Subject:  Fisheries support at Lonetree and other non-public bodies of water.
The Loveland fishing Club, a nonprofit  of about 100 northern Colorado anglers, with a long history support for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and other outdoor agencies, is concerned about CPW fish and other resources being provided at Lonetree and other bodies of water which do not provide adequate public access. To us, “adequate access” means free or accessible to the public for a reasonable fee.
As fishermen we are increasingly bombarded with fees everywhere we go. There are fees at Boyd Lake, fees at Horsetooth, etc., in addition to new related expenses such as aquatic nuisance inspection fees. Such fees are a significant part of a fisherman’s budget each year, so the fewer and more affordable they are the better. We specifically suggest that a fair fee for Lonetree would be significantly less than CPw and Larimer County charges at their facilities, as those cover multiple facilities and Lonetree would be for Lonetree alone.
Also, long term agreements are important to add stability to access. We feel it is a mistake to have agreements that have to be renegotiated every five to ten years. That puts all the power in the hands of the lessor to change the agreements. It is not in the public interest to use CPW resources to enhance a fishery and then have the lessor dictate unsatisfactory terms or cancel the lease leaving CPW no way to recover its substantial investment in the property after a relatively short period of use.
Lastly we feel that if CPW resources are used to enhance a body of water, all rules, fees, etc. , must apply equally to everyone using the resource. The fishing community anxiously awaits the results of negotiations regarding Lonetree.
Thanks for your consideration,
Dave Johnson
President, Loveland Fishing Club


July 30 
Hi David,

I am leaving for a week starting tomorrow and I don't think I will get to this before then but I will provide you with a formal response when I return. In the meantime just know that we are sensitive to the very valid points you make and are trying hard to get to a productive place on Lonetree. Because of the uncertainty we have not stocked Lonetree since spring of last year and in May we actively removed as many fish as we could and put them in public waters. If we cannot be confident that Lonetree will remain public we will not stock it. There are many things to consider and we will find a way to loop you into the process.

Thanks for reaching out and I'm glad we finally made the connection.

Kristin Cannon

Area Wildlife Manager

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Someone around here good at making signs?

We're needing someone who can create signs for the Senior Fishing Derby.  Ray Park says they can be hand-printed or whatever, just need to be in large letters.

If interested or have suggestions, contact Ray by e-mail or phone, 970-613-8016.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Fishing clinic is Saturday at Boyd

Kids with family members are coming to Boyd Lake from 9 a.m. until about 11 Saturday, July 28, for a fishing clinic by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, led by Loveland Fishing Club volunteers.

If you can, please join the team near the Heinricy Inlet parking lot on the south end of the park.  For more information, e-mail Tom Miller or see him at breakfast Friday.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

IMPORTANT: sign up soon for the annual club picnic

Okay gang, as of July 8 about three-fourths of us have NOT put our names on the picnic signup sheet.  We're doing things a bit differently this year, and by the July general meeting you MUST fill out your information on the picnic signup sheet managed by Tom Miller:  
1.  Declare in advance what kind of meat you want
2.  Cough up $5 for any and all picnic guests, including spouses who are not members of the club. (Give the money to Barb Ding).  Guests are welcome, but the $5 will defray the cost of their attendance.

The picnic is at Railroad Park, 700 S Railroad Ave., on Tuesday, Aug. 21, in lieu of the regular club meeting. Tom's planning to hand out the "meat tickets" at the Tuesday, July 17 general meeting.  No ticket in hand at the picnic, no meat!

Prepping walleye

Saw this video on how and why to bleed walleye before filleting, and thought of the more bloodthirsty members of this club.  I prefer to protect my karma, and give them a little kiss before release.  bill

Friday, July 6, 2018

Help needed for July 16 Girl Scouts at Lon Hagler

We've got a bunch of eager Girl Scouts who'll be at our annual outing at Lon Hagler on Monday, July 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The plan is for the girls to come in waves of 20, each fishing for 35 minutes.  So it's kind of a long day; if you can't commit to all day, consider coming around noon to give the first shift a break

That's the morning of the monthly board meeting, so board members may run late in arriving.  Questions?  Contact Dave Johnson, 970-509-0478; or email.

Friday, June 22, 2018

An excellent time to hit the streams

Terry Wickstrom is reporting that this year's river conditions are far superior to this time in recent years, with runoff peaking early in most streams.  You can read his complete report in the June 20 Denver Post:

Boat motor running rough?

Here's a suggestion for Boat People:  Walt G, Dennis K and I were talking at Friday breakfast about gas additives, after I had trouble with a flooded motor. 

Dennis referred Walt to a friend, who confirmed that Star Tron was a fine gas additive, that really cleans up foul stuff in the engine, and has a stabilization good for two years rather than the usual one.  It's available in a number of places, including Wal Mart and Bass Pro that we know of.  He also suggested switching your boat motor to ethanol free gas - 87 or 91 octane, as a way of reducing water in your gas.  One place that carries it is a station west of Berthoud on West Mountain, just east of 287.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Charlie needs our prayers

Long-time club member Charlie Higgs has undergone surgery for stomach problems. Rick Golz reports he is in Intensive care at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Senior Derby planning session set for Friday, June 29

From:  Ray Park & Warren Wolf -----------------------------  Derby Chairman

We will have a short meeting for all Committee Chairman and Committee members on Friday, June 29, 2018 at 2:00 PM in the Cherrie Room at Chilson Senior Center.

All factors of this year Sr. Derby will be discussed. We will try to keep the gathering around an hour. All members are welcomed and look forward to all idea's. If you have seen something within the Derby you do not like, lets see if we can change it.

Committee Chairs:

Warren Wolf,  Keith Gentry,   Ray Park ---------     Senior Facilities Contact
Keith Gentry -------------------                                  Registration
Tom Boesch -------------------                                  Food 
Barbra Ding ----------------------                               Food Handling and Distribution
Arnie & Karol Stroschein  -----------------                Prizes
Bill Prater ----------------                                         Photo's
George & Skip Kral ----------------------------            Poles and Equipment
John Gwinnup -------------------------------                Chairs
John Grady ------------------------------                      Out side Fire
Dennis Keisey -----------------------------                   Signs
Tom Miller -------------------------------                       Fish Cleaning & Measuring
Dave Johnson --------------------------                      Traffic Control
Ray Petersburg & Dave Boyle ----------------------- Golf Carts    ( Only if Needed )

Thursday, June 14, 2018

First Girl Scouting went well; another one Tuesday!

June 12 was the first Girl Scout angling day at Swift Ponds, and our first venture without the usual live bait went well, though a bit slow.

We did learn that fishing with small (1/32 and 1/64 oz.) jig heads - tied directly on the line and below a bobber - cut down drastically on fish mortality.  We used a variety of artificial baits, including Gulp minnows, maggots and trout worms.  Minnows seemed to work best for girls who actively cast and retrieved their baits versus simply watching for a bite, with white maggots seeming to attract bluegill as well.

We had a great turnout of club members, allowing us to spend quality time with the girls, and your help will be needed again Tuesday, June 19, at Colorado Youth Outdoors' Swift Ponds.  Fishing begins at 9:30 and runs through 12:30.

Fishing Club volunteers and Girl Scout anglers. Photo
by Don Knudsen

Friday, June 8, 2018

Karol's having a potluck star party!

 Loveland Fishing Club members are invited to Karol's House for a potluck star party.

Date:  Saturday, June 23rd, 2018                 
Time:  3:00 p.m until sometime well after dark……..
Address:  11040 Flatiron Mountain Road, Loveland, CO 80537
This is just above Flatiron Reservoir, West of Carter Lake.
Potluck:    Bring a side dish or dessert for pulled pork please.
Karol will be supplying the pork, drinks, service, napkins, etc
Also bring a chair and a blanket because it might be cold.
to Karol 970-308-2126 Cell
or email her at
If you have a telescope (either solar or stellar) please bring it, since there are pretty dark skies up there.

Girl Scout fishing Tuesday at Swift Ponds

Our annual outing with the Girl Scouts at Swift Ponds takes place this Tuesday, June 12, and Tuesday, June 19.  DATE CORRECTED. Your help is needed to make this a memorable experience for the girls.
Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Try to be there by 9.  Poles and such will be provided; enter through the main gate and you'll be directed to where we'll be fishing.  For more information contact Dave Johnson,

Directions:  Take Interstate 25 north to Windsor Exit 262, turn right onto Highway 392. Take Highway 392 east to County Rd. 5, turn left onto County Rd. 5. Take County Rd. 5 north to County Rd. 36 (Ketchter Road). Turn Left onto County Rd. 36, the Swift Ponds gate will be on your left.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Horsetooth smallies

Horsetooth is fishing very well these days, as attested by Wayne Denbar and one of a fair number of smallmouth brought to boat Wednesday.

Photo by Bill Prater

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Jumbo walleye

Barb Ding, left, and Kathleen Barker display some recent extractions from Jumbo Reservoir. 
Photo by Dan Barker

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A simple issue of catch and long-range release

Okay gang, normally I would tell you all about this at Friday's Loveland Fishing Club breakfast.  But I will be gone tomorrow.  So consider the following to be a trustworthy account of the events of May 10 at Rivers Edge Natural Area, submitted by a beloved past President and verified by Dennis Kelsey, a long-term club member never known for exaggeration:

As we trundled onto the dock on Dragonfly Pond, we could not help but notice an enormous largemouth bass cruising along the shadowy side of the dock, a conservative 19, maybe 20 inches in length.  Call it 20, and weighing at least 4 1/4 pounds.  Trying to entice a bite was wasted effort; this bass didn't get this big by being gullible.

Anyway, about an hour into the fishing, and relying on my trusty ultralight rig -- 4-pound Nanofil line, 1/32-ounce jig and one-inch Gulp Minnow -- I hooked a fine, fat 10- or 11-inch rainbow.  Call it 11.

Skillfully I reeled it to within a foot or two of the dock, when -- SUDDENLY!  the giant largemouth emerges from the shadows and chases the trout down the length of the dock.  Then back.  Then ENGULFS that poor fish with one giant swallow, leaving 3 inches of trout tail protruding from its jaws.  Then the victor slowly headed for deeper water, a loose drag the only thing between it, me and a broken line. 

After a battle that seemed to last an hour, and was likely at least two minutes, the bass turned and swam back toward the dock, where I waited in premature triumph and Dennis waited with net in hand.  That's, uh, where this report gets a bit awkward.  The damned bass then coughed up the rainbow and swam back under the dock. The damned trout emerged from its ordeal mortified but otherwise unhurt and - this is important - still firmly hooked until given its release.

So here is the question:  Was this not a legitimate case of catch and release?  And with the victim's tail protruding at least 3 inches from the largemouth's large mouth, the combined catch was a full 5 inches beyond minimum criteria for Colorado Master Angler status.  (With a short-term weight of 4 1/4 pounds of bass plus 12 ounces of trout, it was also a nifty 5 pounder.) Even Norm and Dan, not to mention my brother Paul, should have no problem with this reasoning.

So, Dennis and I will leave the math to our esteemed judge, Jim Roode.  But it sure seems like I am now the leading contender for Loveland Fishing Club Angler of the Year.  Congratulations are clearly in order.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Prater