Friday, April 26, 2019

Boyd Lake temperature readings

Tom Miller recorded temperatures down to 40 feet Thursday, finding a surface temp at 54.3, slowly falling to 49.5 degrees near the bottom. His trout had been feeding on plankton.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Okay, Wednesday was a little early for North Park fishing

Jim Roode is arranging for the annual Delaney Buttes ice-out trip for next Wednesday or Thursday, weather permitting. Contact him at if you're interested in one of the best big fish opportunities of the year.

Bill and Walt couldn't wait another week, and drove over Wednesday morning to find every available body of water pretty much capped with ice. (They did land 3 decent rainbows after the only available puddle was vacated by other anglers in the afternoon, then drove on home to warm beds and understanding wives.) Jim's pretty sure the lakes will break open next week, and we're pretty sure he's right. If not, hey, that's ice-out fishing...

If you go, might want to bring a sledge hammer or at least an ice pick. Bill borrowed Walt's wading staff to try to wedge
open a channel to open water at Lake Cowdrey, but couldn't quite break through. Photos by Walt Graal.

All you need to know about float tubing, kind of

By Bill Prater
Reprinted from Fish Explorer
Let me begin by admitting this is not really an “all you need to know” introduction to the gentle craft of fishing from an inflatable. Because frankly, the rest of the angling community including me prefers watching first-time tubers learn by doing. So rather than offer newbies useful, practical advice, we view someone else's maiden voyage as an opportunity to reminisce about our own first awkward experiences with things like backing into the water in fins, learning about the effect of Colorado winds on floating objects, and realizing that cold water can bring on a sudden, irresistible urge to pee.

So resign yourself to learn by doing, and be willing to let others watch. Trust me, embarrassment aside, you will want to share that initial tubing experience with buddies. They may giggle, but they SHOULD also be there to help, eventually. Besides, if you want a how-to tutorial, just Google “float tube fishing,” scroll and scroll past all the advertising, and eventually you’ll find all the practical advice needed.

I will, however, offer one bit of my own wise counsel: 

Don’t be like me 25 years ago. Go out there with someone who’s done this before. Bashful by nature, I first ventured out alone on a pond near Longmont, avoiding humiliation only because there were no witnesses. I got needlessly wet, muddy and discouraged, and learned the hard way that it is really dicey to walk backward wearing fins. I also discovered the need to invest in those little cords that keep your swim fins from slowly drifting down and away. And I learned there are drastically better choices of watercraft than my now-obsolete ROUND belly boat. I don’t care how cheap you can find one on Craig’s List, don't try one. (In the 21st Century, you’ll find many good vendors have been making many good quality, non-donut watercraft you can actually get into and out of. Just pick a cute one from a manufacturer you’ve heard of, and you’ll do just fine)
That’s enough advice. Let’s concentrate on why that scary looking float tube can lure us onto wind-blown lakes and ponds despite spousal objections and our own instinct for survival. Truth is, float tubing is more fun than a honeymoon, and propels you into bizarre situations involving fish that you simply can’t encounter any other way.
Consider the average flatland gravel pond. Most have perilously steep, clay banks that plunge down to shallow, barely sloping lake bottoms. Most of the shore is lined with cattails, brush and worse. Those sometimes perfect fish hiding are largely inaccessible to shore anglers. In your tube, just position yourself within casting range (upwind if you really plan ahead), and either use your fins to hold yourself in place or invest in a 2- or 3-pound anchor. They hold amazingly well in even a stout spring gale.

Another benefit: many fishable ponds are closed to all but float tubes – even inflatables that rely on oars for propulsion. And on larger bodies of water, it’s increasingly tough to even launch a trailered boat. With the need for aquatic nuisance inspections, lake after lake has been closed to all trailered boats, while others have seen fishing hours cut or closed early early to fit inspection schedules. (Think Standley Lake). Float tubes pose little risk of carrying zebra mussels, so you can typically launch on the same water any hour of day or time of year, weather permitting. (And unless you power your float tube with a trolling motor, you also don’t have to pay the new Colorado annual aquatic nuisance inspection fee.)

One real limitation of the float tube is, you’re sitting very low to the water, so it can be hard to locate weedlines or be sure of drop-offs. But your slow, foot-powered propulsion can be an actual advantage, as you’re forced to slow down and work the water the way Izaak Walton intended.

Yes, Colorado winds can be a problem, which is like saying yes, it can be hard to enjoy a new baby with colic. But you learn to get out on the water early and get off when things get gusty. Apply reasonable caution, wear a life jacket and don’t fret. You may bounce up and down in your tube, but you’re not likely to bounce up and out.

Finally, everything else aside, the one great advantage of fishing from a tube is the sheer joy that comes with an eye-to-eye confrontation with your victims. Hook a decent fish and you’re going to get splashed, and you’re going to get towed, maybe even spun around. If you're in that antique round tube, you also learn to tuck in your legs to prevent your catch from swimming around and around your tube and wrapping you up like a Christmas present. (A lot of fun, in retrospect.) Being at eye level in the water in a little inflatable does mean you lose the kind of leverage that lets you cross a fish’s eyes with your hookset. But the same fish can’t break you off nearly as easily, and you can get by with drastically lighter gear. If you find bluegill spawning beds this spring, for instance, try going after them with flimsy little ice fishing gear. And don’t forget to thank me for the suggestion.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Slogan for the club

Tom Miller has been sitting around the house thinking, always a dangerous time, and came up with this suggested slogan for the Loveland Fishing Club:

   "Fishing is folk medicine of the first water.
      You feel better when your line is wet..."

I think it might be dirty, but you be the judge...

Fishing Wednesday at Fort Collins' River Bend

A small contingent of club members led by Charlie Higgs has been meeting with Fort Collins Natural Areas staff, Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologist Kyle Battge and Fish Explorer's Matt Snider to enhance fishing in the city's natural areas.

This Wednesday April 24 we're going to begin an assessment of two ponds in the River Bend Natural Area - that is, we're going to see if we can catch some fish there! Let's meet at 10 a.m. in the parking lot on northwest corner of River Bend. It's just east of the Timberline/East Lincoln intersection. See map below.

Should be warm water fishing, hoping for bass, bluegill, crappie and maybe catfish. If all works as planned, we'll be working on ways to enhance the ponds to make them a more quality fishery.

Questions? Contact Charlie at

Image may contain: outdoor

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Let's go fishing after breakfast Friday

Going to be gorgeous Friday. Bring your pole to breakfast and we'll decide on where to gofrom there. We could head for Rivers Edge, Lon Hagler, Carter, Flatiron, Pinewood.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Forget that 26-inch carp...

Start getting your fish stories together for 2019 Angler of the Year. Bill for years has been in hot pursuit of a bluegill that would qualify for Colorado Master Angler. But he abruptly switched tactics on Tuesday after battling this 8 1/2 inch pumpkinseed at the Rivers Edge Bass Pond, a full half-inch beyond the minimum for Master Angler. Hey, they're rare here in Colorado, and it ain't his fault they don't grow to walleye size...Or that they're suckers for a tasty one-inch Gulp minnow...

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Not supposed to snow until Wednesday...

So Wayne and Bill headed to Douglas Reservoir on Tuesday. Nice day, threatened high winds stayed pretty much at bay,and a few fish cooperated. Wayne caught a couple nice walleye anyway, including this fat 18 incher.

Monday, April 8, 2019

You can now boat after hours on horsetooth, carter

CLOVELAND, Colo. – Attached you will find a joint press release between Reclamation, Northern Water, and Larimer County regarding new gates at Horsetooth Reservoir and Carter Lake.  
 Area resource managers have installed a new gate system at Horsetooth Reservoir to allow boaters to exit the water after scheduled boat ramp hours.
The gate system is located at the South Bay day use area and ramp at Horsetooth Reservoir. Gates will be closed and locked when boating hours end for the day to prevent vehicles from entering the area. An exit lane protected with spike strips will remain open after hours, allowing vehicles to exit the South Bay area but prevent vehicles from entering it. This system will allow boaters to remain on and get off the water at the South Bay boat ramp outside of regular hours of operation.
A similar system will be installed at the North Pines boat ramp at Carter Lake by April 15. The North Pines ramp has not yet opened for the boating season.
This will be welcome news for anglers who wish to remain fishing after ramps close for the day, as well as people staying at boat-in backcountry sites who may need to exit the water after hours.
The new gates are a joint endeavor among the Bureau of Reclamation’s Eastern Colorado Area Office, Northern Water and Larimer County Department of Natural Resources.

If you would rather not receive future communications from Bureau of Reclamation, let us know by clicking here.
Bureau of Reclamation, Denver Federal Center, Alameda & Kipling Street PO Box 25007, Denver, CO 80225 United Stateshijo

Friday, April 5, 2019

Link to fishing club photos

Following is a link to photos of various Loveland Fishing Club activities taken over the past decade.

You should be able to open and copy them for your own use. If you have any problems, let Bill know,

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Mandatory fishing after breakfast Friday!

Okay, optional. But you really should join us about 9 a.m. Friday at Lon Hagler, somewhere in the vicinity of the boat ramps. Going to be a warm spring day, and if you can’t find a way to catch a fish, Tom will give you one.

Questions or complaints? Need to borrow a worm? We can talk about it over breakfast.