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Bill Prater
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If it was too easy, would it still be fun?

Blog by: Bill Prater 9/8/2020

It's important for all you anglers joining our sport in 2020 to know that fishing is not always done in a drought or a firestorm. Sometimes we also get to fish in a blizzard...

I for one will admit it. I have 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 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 fun 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.
Blog content © Bill Prater
Blog Comments
Lunar Psycycle, CO   9/9/2020 11:50:42 AM
It is 2020. Everything else in life has been 2020'd this year. I escape all else by fishing. It still works.
 
Bill Prater (fishthumpre), CO   9/9/2020 12:13:37 PM
Exactly, Psycycle! Some folks are taking up yoga, spending their days learning to hummmm in time with their breathing. We hum as we go up and down the aisles at Sportsmanís and Jax, Hoping to find a chartreuse or emerald shiner imitation minnow. I prefer our version of mindfulness...
 
FishHuntNow, CO   9/10/2020 11:21:04 PM
I think fishing makes us even better in other aspects of life, with work, learning patience and appreciating the littlest things. Good article Bill.
 
The Cat001, CO   9/27/2020 5:49:24 PM
I actually enjoy meeting some of the newcomers to fishing. I am by no means a superior angler but there are some locations where I have figured out what the fish want to eat and where they like to hide. Its at those locations where I like to meet the newcomers and offer them some tips. For example, a few weeks ago I told the father of a young five year old boy who wasn't catching anything the type of bait I was using and how I use it. The father decided to use the same bait. Hi son landed his first rainbow trout with that tip. The look on the boy's face was priceless because he was so excited. Its little things like those that I like to focus on during these trying times.
 
Quincey, CO   9/28/2020 11:05:11 AM
Very nice article, Bill. In my fishing travels this year I have seen a lot more people out enjoying the great outdoors, whether it be riding atv's, hiking, fishing, etc. I admit, at times I get irritated with these neewbies that are just trying to learn there new surroundings. It will be interesting to see how many folks stick with outdoor recreation after things get back to somewhat normal again.