We are experiencing a record low water year this summer, most of Colorado’s major rivers and creeks are flowing at all time historical lows and to make matters worse the weather has been extremely hot and dry. Such warm conditions are not what most Colorado residents are used to during the state’s summer, however the only constant is change and currently it would seem as though the forests and streams are in a state of dire jeopardy.
With these warm conditions it is imperative that we as users respect the resource and do our best to not further damage the already stressed water. The extremely warm water temperatures and low water creates for an environment that can be potentially lethal to trout. Thus, taking extreme care when fighting and landing fish is critically important to safely releasing wild trout, as playing fish to exhaustion will most certainly kill them. Below are just a few points to safely and effectively releasing wild trout.
- Avoid fishing in the heat of the day.
- Use thick tippet and fight fish quickly. If you are feeling high and mighty because you fish “light tippet” know this: You are KILLING fish because it takes you forever to get the fish in, good work!
- Never play fish to exhaustion and land the fish as quickly as possible.
- Always use a net with a rubber bag in order to be easy on the fish.
- Use barb-less flies!
- Wet your hands before touching the fish.
- Handle fish to a minimum and do not keep out of the water for more than a few seconds. Keep it simple, take a quick picture and then let the fish go!
So please take care of our resource this summer and have fun! Hopefully this winter we get a little more snow to help out our streams and ski resorts out! And in the mean time if you don’t have a pair of wet wading sandals or shoes, I highly suggest you invest in a quality pair! It’s hot out there! Outfit yourself: www.troutsflyfishing.com
South Boulder Creek is flowing at about 100 CFS and we are most likely experiencing the best fishing of the summer, the fish are hugging the banks and eating foam grasshopper patterns, what more do you want?
Colorado Trout Fisher