Friday, March 30, 2018

Coloradoan reports on potential loss of Parks and Wildlife properties

The Fort Collins Coloradoan article on potential loss of Parks and Wildlife leases was posted to their online website today.  I assume it'll be in tomorrow's hard copy editions.  I think she did a terrific job identifying the issues at stake here, and need for passage of the agency's fee increases.  Jim Roode and I are quoted extensively.   Here's the link.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Annual Evan Lefort Memorial fishing derby is Saturday, April 28

Anyone fished this before?  This is the 33rd year for the event at College Lake in Fort Collins, a fund-raiser for the CSU chapter of the American Fisheries Society.  The fishing is in a small research lake on the west edge of Fort Collins maintained by the university; must be pretty good.

Tickets are on sale beginning noon Saturday, April 21 outside the Wagar building on the south side of the CSU oval, $30 and they're limited to one per person. I understand they're high demand, and people start standing line early the morning of the 21st.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Fishing licenses expire March 31

Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds anglers that it's time to get ready for another season of fishing. Coloradans and non-resident visitors can purchase a 2018 annual fishing license now either online, at your local CPW office or at any of our hundreds of authorized sales agents statewide.

It's $1 with the habitat stamp for seniors; plus $5 if you get a second rod stamp.

Volunteers needed for Colorado Youth Outdoors Maverick fundraiser

Volunteers are needed for a variety of positions at CYO's annual Maverick fundraiser at Sylvan Dale Ranch west of Loveland, Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5.

The greatest volunteer need is on Friday, helping with the sporting clay shooting or other things like parking assistance.  Traditionally, a number of Loveland Fishing Club members volunteer, some as a group to help with a shooting station.  Contact Dave Boyle for more information. 

You can register as an individual or group to volunteer by clicking on this link.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Chilson Pancake breakfast and plant sale is Saturday, April 21

This is an annual fund-raising event for Chilson Senior Advisory Committee, and members of the club are encouraged to volunteer.  Help is needed in the kitchen and dining room.  Watch for signup information.
Also plan on taking in breakfast and looking over the plants.  There'll be pancakes, sausage, ham, juice and coffee. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Lodging arrangements for the May 15-17 Jumbo trip

Norm has spoken with Lupe at the Sedgewick Inn and she'll be keeping the whole inn available for the fishing club on the 15th and 16th.

Anyone wanting to stay there at other times should make your own arrangements; she can accommodate up to 30 individuals.

The restaurant at the inn is no longer open, but she'll make the kitchen available if someone wants to use it.  

The cool gang is fishing after breakfast

Let’s head to Rivers Edge after breakfast Friday.  I recommend a finesse rig with 1/16th oz. jig and small gulp minnow.  Then again I usually do.

The ponds are all pretty clear and at least normal pool.  Rumor is some of us have done pretty well there of late.  You’ll never know unless you show...

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

IMPORTANT: UPDATED 2018 overnight trip plans to date!

Following fixes some links including reservation site for Ranger Lakes.

Okay anglers, we have several trips planned for this spring and summer - and more if we can decide what we want to do.  Getting together to plan closer trips throughout the seasons is encouraged.  You just have to let the rest of us know what you're planning, and that we're welcome to tag along.

Pat and Dee Mikulak are managing the overnight trip schedule, among other things looking to avoid date conflicts.  If you're like to set something up, try to avoid the third Tuesday of the month, other events on the club calendar, especially volunteer projects like to Kids Derby.

Here's the list so far, with the name of the club member coordinating plans for that particular trip.  If you want to take part, or suggest or organize another trip, be sure to let Pat and Dee know.  Carpooling and such are encouraged, and in general you should settle on accommodation plans asap.

Ice out at Delaney Buttes
Date depends on, uh, when the ice goes out at Delaney Buttes.  Probably early April; likely cold and blustery,  but also great opportunity for big, gullible trout. Contact Jim Roode.

May 1-3, John Martin
Big, wind-sweep reservoir south of Limon with potential for good walleye and crappie.  Norm Engelbrecht is organizing, so a certain amount of chaos should be taken for granted.

Lake John, June 11-13
Home of some big trout and a few small mosquitoes.  See Dave Johnson.  The club will be staying at

Ranger Lakes, Aug. 27-31
This annual trek to the high country is a tradition as old as the Loveland Fishing Club.  Fishing can take place at any of many good trout lakes.  Make your camping reservations asap by using this website:
Contact:  Lou Colton.

Other events on the 2018 calendar:

Loveland Police Kids Fishing Derby.  We've been volunteering for this one since the club was founded. Saturday, June 2.  North Lake Duck Pond. See Keith Gentry.

Girl Scouts fishing at Swift Ponds.  Colorado Youth Outdoors, June 12 and June 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Lots of cute kids with loads of enthusiasm and various levels of fishing know-how.

Girl Scouts fishing at Lon Hagler.  July 16, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. meet near the boat ramp.  We'll have a lot of kids wanting to fish here, too, so come help if you can.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Jumbo now open to boating

Colorado Parks and Wildlife began boat inspections at Jumbo Reservoir today, March 16. The boat inspection station will be operating from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset daily. Inspections are mandatory prior to entering the reservoir. Boating is only permitted during inspection hours and all boats must be off the water prior to the inspection station closing. 

The club has an outing planned at Jumbo May 16-18.

In a news release,  Robert Walters, Invasive Species Specialist for Parks and Wildlife, said:  “With Jumbo’s proximity to out-of-state waters, it is considered a high risk for introduction of aquatic invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels. Through our mandatory inspection and decontamination program and with the continued support of the reservoirs users, we have successfully kept these invasive species out of Jumbo’s waters.”
Based on 2017 fall sampling, anglers can expect a good walleye bite as soon as the boat ramp opens. For more information about the fishery at Jumbo Reservoir anglers can visit the Fish Survey Summary on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website at

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Licence increase bill passes Senate

The bill to provide additional funding for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife has cleared the Senate by unanimous vote and is on its way to the House.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Let's go to Carter after breakfast Friday!

Okay, some of you have been faithfully turning up at the northwest boat ramp after breakfast on Fridays, but I for one have been kinda remiss lately.

Supposed to be nice.  Let's talk about it Friday and then go to Carter around 8:30 or so for some fishing.

Just so you're aware, a photographer from the Fort Collins Coloradoan will be showing up to take a few pictures for an upcoming article the newspaper is doing. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Survey says...John Martin is looking good

Okay, club members, we have a John Martin trip set for late May, set up by our rapidly recovering leader Norm Engelbrecht.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists conducted a net and electrofishing survey of the big impoundment in 2017, and the report filed early this years notes that 2017 "was one of the better years on record for walleye/saugeye fishing at John Martin, with numerous catches of fish over 20 inches reported."

Here's what the report says about walleye and crappie, followed by a link to the full report.

Walleye/Saugeye : High water levels were sustained throughout 2017. This added habitat has helped the walleye/saugeye population to flourish. Stocking success of fryand fingerlings has increased numbers as the lake has expanded. 2017 was one of the better years on record for walleye/saugeye fishing at John Martin, with numerous catches of fish over 20” reported. With high water levels starting out the 2018 season, excellent fishing is expected to continue. Walleye style crank baits (wally diver, shad rap, etc.), jigs tipped with night crawler, minnow, or leach, or worm harnesses can be effective. Shore anglers often catch these fish with live bait, shad-imitating casting lures (rattletraps, kastmaster, etc.) or jigs.

Crappie: High water levels have benefitted crappie populations by allowing the spawning crappie to be successful in the past few years. Crappie numbers are up at John Martin, and anglers can expect better crappie fishing in 2018. Supplemental stocking of hatchery reared fish has also helped to bolster crappie numbers. Fishing success tends to really pick up during mid-spring, as water temps. reach the mid-50s (usually late April). The rocky dam, railroad trestle and north coves are good areas to try for these fish. Live minnow rigs or small jigs (twister or tube, 1/8 oz. or less) are good choices for crappie.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Norm in recovery at mckee

Norm Engelbrecht is in recovery at McKee Hpspital after suffering an apparent heart attack Wednesday.  His wife Gail reports Norm is doing well and should be discharged over the weekend.  Best wishes buddy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dave Coulson's retiring as chief editor at Fish Explorer

Northern Colorado is home to legendary anglers – folks like Terry Wickstrom, Chad LaChance, Dan Barker, experts in just about every aspect of our sport.  But as far as someone willing to test just about every body of water in northern Colorado, and share what he'd learned, it’s pretty hard to find a match for Dave Coulson, recently retired and about to hit the road with his wife Sue as full-time RVer. 

Dave was one of the earliest editors of, and on that website and in Fort Collins Coloradoan columns he's shared useful information about nearly every warm body of water in northern Colorado that might hold a fish. 

The first I recall seeing his byline was in an amazingly candid 2008 report on Fish Explorer, Boyd Lake from a Fly Fisher’s Perspective.” Darned if he hadn’t flippered his way all around that jet ski-infested, 1,700- acre reservoir in a float tube.  After flailing away with that three-fly, fly rod rig of his, darned if he didn’t tell the rest of us what he’d learned about 14 best spots to fish, and recommended ways to fish them.   I still refer to that article from time to time, reminding myself that some other anglers sure are more forthcoming than me, and maybe even more obsessive.
The first time I actually met Dave was in spring about 2010 at the Marina Inlet of Boyd Lake .  He’d spotted my belly boat in the back of the Silverado, and told me to fish right in the middle of the inlet, where water flowing in from Horsetooth Reservoir was attracting gangs of marauding white bass.  He was spot on – I anchored that boat smack in the middle of the current, just beyond casting range of some frustrated shore anglers – and sadistically amused myself at their expense. 

The point is, I may not be as generous as Dave in telling you where and how to go fishing around here (hey, the man’s a saint), but I do promise to occasionally share what I’ve learned about life.  And in this instance, I’m telling you that the fishing life around here is going to be a little duller without Dave in the mix.  I still haven't followed his advice and gone after carp on a fly rod.  

He was never a member of the Loveland Fishing Club, which is our loss, but he was a member of Rocky Mountain Fly Casters, the Fort Collins chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Centennial Bass Club, and sat on the Larimer County Parks Advisory Board. 

Boyd opens to boating on Friday, March 9!

Looks like the dock has been pushed into the water and they're getting ready to go.  Haven't seen the hours yet, but there's got to be a fish in there someplace. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Bass Pond habitat finale is 1:30 Thursday

The ice cap is gone from Bass Pond and we’ll be completing the Christmas tree fish habitat project at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8. Plan to join Ben Swigle of Colorado Parks and Recreation at the Rivers  Edge Natural Area pond.  Questions? Ask Tom Miller at breakfast.