Saturday, March 30, 2019

Corrected date: CYO Maverick fundraiser is coming up. A Pre-event breakfast is this TUESDAY

The club traditionally volunteers as a group to help Colorado Youth Outdoors with its annual Maverick fundraiser at Sylvan Dale Ranch west of Loveland.  This year's event will be held on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4, and most club members will be helping on Friday, when need is greatest.

To volunteer, contact Dave Boyle,, 970-223-7351.

Also, in advance of the Maverick a Sylvan Dale Ranch breakfast and tour is set for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 3. Cost is $10 per person, and spouses are invited as well.  

Volunteers run the sporting clay shooting and do other things like parking assistance.  Traditionally, a number of Loveland Fishing Club members volunteer, some as a group to help with a shooting station.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sonar/GPS for Beginner to Advanced Users Classes

Join us for this hands on class and learn how to get the most out of your Sonar/GPS Unit!
The class will be led by Fishful Thinker guide and tournament angler, Dan Swanson and Fishing With Bernie pro, Bernie Keefe. Dan and Bernie are members of the Lowrance prostaff.
This will be a 3 hour hands on class that covers:
– Installation of the sonar/GPS unit for optimal results.

– How traditional sonar displays on the unit and why.

– How you can use color to interpret the screen.

– How to interpret downscan and sidescan images and how to use traditional, downscan and sidescan together.

– It will also cover using GPS with all of the different displays and mapping.

Date: Saturday, March 30th

Time: 10:00AM – 1:00PM OR 2:00PM – 5:00PM
Location: SCHEELS Training Center
Cost: $25
Registration (Max of 20 people per class):

Sonar/GPS for Beginner to Advanced Users Classes
**Units will be provided**

All attendees will receive a SCHEELS Gift Bag (over $25 value).

Scheels Fly Fest

Come join us for a Spring Fly Fishing Festival! Learn new techniques from local fly tying experts, build your fly fishing network, save big on fly fishing gear, and enter for a chance to win great prizes!
10:00AM – 11:00AM
Colorado Youth Outdoors – Youth Intro to Fly Tying Class
*Registration Required. Please register at:
11:30AM – 12:30PM
Wayne Carlson (SCHEELS Expert) – Intro to Fly Fishing.
1:00PM – 2:00PM
Rick Takahashi – Midge Fly Fishing Seminar.
2:30 – 3:30PM
Domingo Rodriguez – Euro Nymphing 101.
4:00PM – 5:00PM
Dave Mosnik – Float Tube Fishing on Lakes: Trout and Warm Water.

*Seminars will be in our Training Center located on the second floor near the fishing shop/second floor bathrooms (go in the west doors, turn right past the registers, go up the stairs and to the right).

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Planning some club fishing trips

There's still ice in the high country for the stalwarts in the club, but it's time to begin planning warm water expeditions for spring and summer.

(Don't forget the planned 10:30 a.m. outing Wednesday, set for the north shore of Carter but possibly involving a reset because of a troubling ice cap over about three-fourths of the lake. Should we do Lon Hagler instead?

Anyone can suggest a trip; you just have to persuade other anglers and ideally take the lead in setting dates, finding out housing options and other details of a good trip. The same goes for local outings; just let the rest of us know what you're planning to do and when. Send Bill Prater or Rick Palmieri a note and we'll post something on the blog.

See Club President Jim Visger, for details on plans to date, particularly for overnights. He'll have signup sheets at monthly meetings, and you can pigeonhole him at Friday breakfast.

Here's what we've decided to date:

So far, we have the Jumbo Reservoir walleye trip set for May 13 and 14th, and Lake John trout on June 11-14. In both cases you'll need to plan for an overnight stay. We usually carpool and share a room to hold down expenses. 

  • We'll also be heading for the Delaney Butte lakes at ice out in mid April; we let nature tell us when to go, and Jim Roode sets the date. We usually motel it overnight in Walden, though some prefer to make a long day of it.For Jumbo, which has been a good source of walleye in past years, 16 anglers have signed up already, a good sign for optimism about the coming season.
  • At Lake John, you can stay in town or at the Lake John Resort, which has rooms, cabins and campsites. Here's a link to their website.
  • Another almost certain overnight trip is the Ranger Lakes campout, a club tradition popular with spouses since our inception. There's a nice campground with electric hookups about two hours up highway 14 past Fort Collins, and easy access to several good trout lakes. It's been held in August in years past, but we're also looking at dates in July, set make your preferences known. 
  • There's no reason we can't plan regular trips to local lakes and ponds, and we seem to be missing trout streams here. 

It's been too damned cold lately for after-breakfast outings to local lakes and ponds, but they will resume at any time. Stay tuned, and keep your rods handy.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Okay, it still looks like winter around here

Tom Miller and I took a quick tour of area lakes this morning, starting with Boyd. By 8:45 about a half dozen boats were already on the water taking advantage of opening day for the ramp and aquatic nuisance and inspectors. (The main ramp was still closed and the dock wasn't in, but you can launch at the jet ski ramp.) The lake's clear and mostly ice free.

The ponds by my house, Heinrici and Glendoll, were iced over as we left but just about totally clear when we returned about 1 p.m. Lon Hagler's was about 50-50, with a few anglers from the bank.

At Flatiron, the north half was still pretty solidly iced, and there was ice out 10 to 15 feet from shore on the south side.

We may need to rethink the planned Carter Lake expedition Wednesday. There's some open water on the north end but about 85 percent of the lake carries a pretty solid looking white ice cap. Tom visited Horsetooth on Thursday and said most of the entire lake is iced over, which is darned rare. (Carter and Horsetooth boat ramps are not set to open until April 1.)

We also swung by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife fishing expo at St. Vrain State Park. With the help of loaner poles there were quite a few kids trying their luck on mostly open ponds, but we didn't see any fish.

If you're catching anything, tell us about it. Send me a note here.

I'm thinking Lon Hagler may be a better bet for our Wednesday outing. Stay tuned and get your hooks sharp.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Spring is in the air. Let's go Fishing!

Signs of Spring are everywhere, if you just overlook those reports of "biggest blizzard on record," and maybe that lingering ice cap on most ponds. Water levels are supposed to be rising at Carter and Horsetooth, the weather forecast for the nextweek looks almost balmy, and most of us have a serious case of Spring Fever.

So, let's go fishing. In fact, let's go help Bill launch his new pontoon boat! Here's the plan: Larimer County is not going to open its boat ramps until at least April 1, which means that between now and then, anything you don't have to trailer to the lake will have Carter all to itself. Doesn't get much better than that.

10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Carter

So let's hit the north end of Carter about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, allowing the ice cap to melt a little more. I'll bring my new pontoon, and craftily row out to just about a half a cast length beyond the reach of Ray Park and Tom Boesch's Power Bait from shore. And we'll see who gets bit first. Dan reports the lake has been quietly rising, to nearly 90 percent of normal pool.

I'm game for heading for a local pond after Friday breakfast sometime soon, but it's still a bit chilly by 8:30 or 9. Anyone tried River's Edge or Flatiron lately?

I'm thinking 2 1/2 inch Gulp minnows, maybe a small Kastmaster.

Questions or alternatives? We can always try Boyd, but I'm thinking it needs to warm a bit more before Dan and Kathy risk getting that boat of their's all muddy. Send me an e-mail and we can argue about it.

Fishing day Saturday at St. Vrain

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is kicking off the season with a day of fishing-related demonstrations at St. Vrain State Park.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes demos and information on aquatic nuisance species, boat safety, basics of fishing and cleaning and cooking of fish. -

March News from CPW - Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Colorado and Kansas resolve 40-year deadline with the signing of a historic agreement to provide a new source of water in John Martin Reservoir

HASTY, Colo. Thanks to a historic agreement between members of the Colorado-Kansas Arkansas River Compact Administration, John Martin Reservoir State Park will benefit from water transfers that will maintain a permanent pool for fishery and recreation purposes.

John Martin Reservoir is a multimillion-dollar fishery and source of water recreation, camping, hiking and wildlife watching. Extensive collaboration between a variety of agencies means a consistent flow of water into the reservoir, which will save money, reduce the risk of fish loss and provide more consistent boating opportunities at the park. 

New Colorado Parks Hang Pass

New for 2019, our annual hang tag pass allows you the flexibility to bring any of your family vehicles to our 41 state parks.
Annual hangtag passes are associated with an individual purchaser instead of a vehicle. This means that the hangtag pass can be moved between vehicles as long as the pass holder is present. These clear, recyclable hangtags are available at all state parks and all CPW offices. If you purchase your pass online or at other license agents, you can pick up your hang tag on your first park visit. 

Highline Lake now open for boating

LOMA, Colo. – Though slightly delayed by weather this season, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has opened the water at Highline Lake State Park to boating and other water recreation. Get your boats, fishing gear, jet skis, water skis, wakeboards and wet or dry suits ready for all of the activities now available on the lake.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Loveland Fishing Club's toughest angler

Charlie Higgs has been recovering nicely from a recurrence of health problems, waiting for a reasonable spring thaw and organizing an effort to improve fishing in Fort Collins Natural Areas ponds. He's also been declared the Club's 2019 Toughest Angler. The following just appeared on the website.

By Bill Prater 

I used to be one of the younger members of the Loveland Fishing Club. I’m, uh, not anymore. But I still remain in awe of buddies willing to try any darned thing when it comes to fishing, regardless of obstacles like a heart attack, scheduled joint replacements or potential frostbite trying to ice fish Lake Grandby when it’s minus-23 degrees.

Every year or two, members of the Loveland Fishing Club update ourselves on “Who is the Club’s toughest angler?” It amounts to a review of questionable behavior that bewilders spouses and gives club members something to talk about over coffee.

The very first was inspired by a cranky old bachelor named Frank Zupanc, who would startle the rest of us with one bizarre adventure after another. The most memorable was a could-have-been-tragic-but-wasn't spill into Boyd Lake while fishing all by himself, far from the dock, in a leaky rubber pontoon boat. We didn’t know how Frank could even launch the little craft – hampered by that broken neck of his.

One of my all-time favorites, though, was the late Dave Harem, legendary in part because of a solitary, late fall archery hunt in Mount Zirkel Wilderness, weeks before his badly, badly needed hip replacement surgery.

That may sound tough enough, but what we really admired was Dave’s account of frantically limping into an abandoned cabin while being pursued by an enraged mother black bear.

Not long after I joined the club, Dave and I and about a dozen other stout-hearted men and women made a memorable ice fishing trek to Lake Grandby. With backs to a gale-force wind, we perched on 5-gallon plastic buckets, waiting without success for a bite.  “You know, Bill," Dave told me, “I think we do things like this to remind ourselves we still can." 

So who is 2019's toughest? 

With this kind of wisdom, and these kinds of mentors, club members like myself have learned to stoically endure thinning gray hair and frequent midnight trips to the bathroom. No one is thrilled with the aging process, but some of us have seen it coming for more than half a century, and don’t worry about it too much anymore. And in that spirit, we (okay, me) polled the membership and came up with this year’s hands-down “toughest angler:”

It is retired forester (and former club secretary and treasurer) Charlie Higgs of Fort Collins.

Retiring in 1998 from a career with Wisconsin Natural Resources, Charlie arrived in northern Colorado in 2010 looking like a cowboy:  tall, broad at the shoulder, narrow at the hip. He’s more gaunt these days, unsteady and stooped over with a cane under the increasing impact of multiple myeloma, a one of the leukemia/lymphoma group of cancers that’s that’s not curable but treatable with chemotherapy. It damages bones, causes neuropathy and impacts the immune system and kidneys. In Charlie’s case, the outdoorsman’s body that worked fine five years ago is less reliable every day. But this dude is relentless.

In April 2013, for example, not long after his myeloma started getting worse, Charlie waded right into a particularly frigid prairie lake near Walden, seeking big ice-out rainbows, cutbows and browns. He found them all that day. “There we were,” he recalls, “with 40 or 50 feet of open water between the shore and ice cap. The action was fast and furious. I got one particularly large brown up into shallow water, but he got off.  Even though one boot got stuck in the mud and I stepped in the icy water, I was hooked on ice-out fishing right then.”

Almost every angler knows big Rocky Mountain trout come out to play when the ice thaws each spring. But most of us with a sense of self-preservation stay home where it’s warm. Once again, however, despite a mid-March blizzard and a relapse of that damned myeloma, Charlie is hoping for an early April thaw. “It can be incredibly cold and windy up there.  I got skunked last year, mostly because I had to stick to shore and couldn’t really wade out.  But this is another year.”

The fishing club meets every Friday for breakfast at the Loveland Perkins, a few miles northeast of Carter Lake, one of the few northern Colorado lakes that usually doesn’t freeze all over. Aware of the reservoir’s relentless January-February-March winds, most members prefer to enjoy a meal, swap questionable stories, and head for home. When we do head for Carter, though, usually Charlie gets there first.

“Fishing can be good; it can be awful,” he says.  “But I look forward to just getting out there. I can’t explain it. Sometimes you get fantastic luck with the weather, sometimes you just get cold. Sometimes you just have a glimmer of hope. But at least you’re trying.”