Summer's end no reason to cut fishing season short
By DAVE BUCHANAN The Daily Sentinel Original article at: http://www.gjsentinel.com/sports/content/sports/stories/2007/09/19/091907_db_out_fishing_WWW.html
ALMONT — Faithful readers of this page will notice something new for this late in September — the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s statewide fishing report.
In years past, the DOW issued the fishing report, gleaned from sources around the state ranging from DOW field officers to fishing shops and guide services, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Evidently, the thinking was fishing stopped after Labor Day.
Or, perhaps more accurately, interest in fishing stopped after Labor Day.
However, that’s far from true, as any angler will tell you. Some of the biggest fish of the year are netted in September and into October as waters cool and fish start feeding actively in preparation for the coming winter.
In response, the DOW this year will offer its fishing report through the last weekend of October.
The big hatches of summer are gone, although a few green drakes and stoneflies might still be found.
Instead, the small-bug hatches are more like spring, with flights of blue-winged olives and pale morning duns along with the fall regular, caddis.
It’s almost time to return to nymphing, a technique that works year-round but is second choice when the fish are looking up and there’s plenty of top-water activity to keep you busy.
But before you dig out the box of really small stuff, this, too, is the time to tie on a streamer, say a simple Woolly Bugger, Muddler Minnow or Autumn Splendor or even a traditional tie like a Spruce Fly, which Grand Junction angler Mac Cunningham used with great success last week during the annual Gunnison Superfly contest.
This is the time when larger fish, those heavy-bodied browns, rainbows or cutthroat trout you see only rarely during the rest of the year, make themselves a bit more catchable by eagerly chasing dinner, whether it’s a minnow, sculpin or a well-tied bundle of feathers, ribbon and steel.
Kokanee salmon, too, are on the move. In recent years the salmon runs have become very popular for their catch-and-release sport early in the run and, after Oct, 31, the ability to take a few home for the smoker.
It formerly was assumed that once kokanee began their migration run they couldn’t be caught on flies. That was proven false more than a decade ago and now anglers catch kokanee with a variety of flies and lures.
One part of the fish report we haven’t the room to publish is a weekly roundup of conditions and special tips.
This week’s tips include the news that the Division of Wildlife, which spawns kokanee at several locations around the state including Roaring Judy Hatchery on the East River north of Almont, will be giving away spawned-out kokanee to licensed anglers at Roaring Judy on the final three Fridays of October, beginning at 9 a.m.