If it was too easy, would it still be fun?
Blog by: Bill Prater 9/8/2020
I for one will admit it. I have no absolutely no idea what this week's abrupt switch from 100 degree weather to sub-30 will do to fisheries already
threatened by drought, scorched earth and irrigation drawdowns. Premature shad dieoffs, I'd guess. Based on events of the past six months, I'd say we're about to suffer from the arrival of one more damned thing after another.
Still, in a year gone mad, these latest climatic developments at least give us something to ponder besides sheer terror over the economy, elections and the upcoming flu/Covid 19 season. As wretched as 2020 has been, you can't deny this is an intriguing time to be a Colorado angler. Nothing is "normal" any more, including easy access to our favorite types of bait and tackle. So we are encouraged to try different tactics, different water and sometimes different species, in the never-ending pursuit of gullible fish. We're also welcoming a lot of newcomers to our sport.
Anyway, even with a normal fall, the good news usually includes things like bass becoming less lethargic, and more hungry. With water temperatures dropping, the stillwater trout bite resumes in earnest. Panfish move closer
to shore, within reach of shorebound anglers. And aquatic weeds begin to die back, making more water accessible. Of course, the downside is, in late summer the water in most Colorado fishing holes starts to dry up or get sent to Kansas, boat ramps shut down before we want them to, and we start hearing about one damned "fish salvage" operation after another at irrigation lakes.
This fall may be more aggravating than most, but recent events also give the dedicated angler many, many extra challenges to overcome in their sport of choice. So, as we like to tell one another, just shut up and fish.
Try to think of the many fish-related positives related to our pandemics/drought/firestorms. To start the conversation going, I note that fish have to eat, eventually, and eventually those well-fed fish are likely to become even more challenging for the average angler to find and outwit. This can help us redefine our collective concept of a good day on the water. Also, sharing public waterways with never-ending swarms of wake boats, paddleboards and first-time anglers may drive us to distraction, but it also allows us to focus on and appreciate Colorado's smaller lakes and ponds. Some are proving to be home to some pretty nice, previously undiscovered fish. And the rest give us something time-consuming to do while thinking of the likely bliss of the 2020-21 ice fishing season. And possibly prepare for the Apocalypse.