Colorado Weather

Looks like my friends are getting hammered out there with the latest snowstorm. Its a godsend to the ski industry and also the farmers and wildlife for the resulting runoff that will occur next spring. This will make the fishing good, sustain the streams and renew many of the lakes there.

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Fall Travel

Its that time of year again when I hit the road to see the kids and find some fishing adventures somewhere farther south. I am living full time in my RV now and looking for a new one that is 4 seasons. When I began this adventure, I didn't think I would be living full time in an RV but alas, here I am now.

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Newspaper Column

This week marks the beginning of the Big Game seasons in Colorado and there is already a buzz in the air over the influx of hunters to the area. These hunters -- whether local or out-of-state -- bring in much needed revenue to the San Luis Valley. Although the first bow season opens this Friday, last week saw hunters arriving in preparation for their hunts.

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Elk and Bear Season in Southern Colorado

Had the opportunity to travel about 50 miles of back roads yesterday and talked to lots of hunters both bow and muzzle loaders. NO ONE is seeing anything and people are starting to go home. I have been in the mountains in this area for many years and never have I seen such low numbers. Long time locals cannot seem to find the elk and there is concern about the long term prospects of seasons and being able to attract hunters and the money they spend while here.

I went out this morning and did find really fresh elk sign but people had been in there driving ATV's off road against the law and of course, will ruin that area. People don't care anymore and just do what they want regardless of anyone else.  

The rain drove me out of there today again. Its rained ever since the fire in June and has not quit since. Heavy rains too, not the intermittent mountain showers we are used to. Of course the lakes and rivers are over full and ash run off from the fire is a real issue. The river has about 5 more feet to where it will be of major concern but the way its raining today, that could come in one rain honestly.  

Trip to the Taxidermist

Last year, with a lot of help, I was able to harvest a bear. It took a village for sure with my disability but it was on the bucket list and got filled. I was gone over the winter living closer to my kids and so the taxidermist had the skin over the winter. He had bleached the skull and I had that with me and he worked on the rug off and on while I was gone.

The taxidermist I use is Keith Daniels of rural Monte Vista and he is excellent on all of his work. THE DETAILS are superb and he is a great guy to work with. While not cheap, his prices are well within the norm and I would recommend him to anyone with a trophy.  


I will get some pics of the rug tomorrow and post them on here. The one I did post is the skull that he bleached. That is a trophy in and of itself to a hunter. We ate the entire bear and honestly don't believe I have ever had that mild tasting wild game meat ever. Its better than elk, deer, pronghorn and moose for sure.  

The key here was that about 20 guys showed up after the kill and hauled it out for me and had it skinned out within 2 hours. Fast cool down of the meat is probably the key. That and this bear had no body fat on it. It was a dry female bear without cubs and the game warden said it was past cub bearing age. More on this tomorrow as I will look up her age from the tag and genetics testing they did.  

Skull from 2012

Water Conditions Rio Grande Basin

Today we took a drive up the Rio Grande to Antlers Lodge near Creede.  Paula had some work there and I got to see the lodge with the Rio Grande passing by the deck of the restaurant. It was a beautiful day and The sun felt good on my face.

I had discussed previously about the ash problems in the water. There are many problems this can cause including, warmer water, loss of insect life, change in the pH of the water and large amounts of sediment in the stream and others.  

The water in the main river was better than I recall last week and I think this is due to the number of clear streams which flow into the Rio, diluting the ash flows.  

After Paula's meeting, we drove on up the valley to Road Canyon Reservoir to inspect the conditions there. The water, while green with algae and maybe turning over some with the summer heat, looked normal to me. A man fishing on the dock with a rapala said he had been having good luck there after work and both he and the kids had caught plenty of fish over the weekend.  

The fires near there really stayed away from the lake and the shorelines remain clear and clean of any fire damage. There was one fold a boat on the lake fishing at the time but I didn't see them catch anything in the time we were there. We didn't have our poles due to being on a working trip and the water was full of too much algae for me to fish anyway. In all the years I have been fishing here, I can honestly say that Road Canyon didn't look any different that in other years. Having said that, the ash flows may still be coming down and will eventually reach the lake but for now, fishing is still very active there.

The Rio Grande is murky with the runoff from the streams to the south of the river. But the other feeder creeks such as Deep Creek and others feed in clean water to the river from the west and north and this helps dilute the dirty water from the affected areas. So while it is dirty, its not to the point where the fish are going to start suffering or dying.

I look for fishing to get better than its been in a long time as soon as the monsoon rains stop. The fish will not have been fished for in the river for a month or more by then and it should be fantastic as the water clears somewhat.  

I was also at Big Meadows but only for about 30 minutes. People were catching fish and the boaters who were trolling seemed to be catching fish on a regular basis. My dad and I had gone into Million Reservoir and found it so full of algae that it was just no fun. We had no bites there and so went on up the road to Beaver Lake. Its getting lower now and in a week or so will be down where it was last October.  

The access there is too hard for my dad and I so we just had a good look around, enjoyed the sunshine and the lake view and came on home. Its not always about catching fish but about the journey.  

We are all on that journey in life and if you miss out on the sights along the way, you end up without memories to tide you over in later years. Go out and enjoy the mountains while you can as they are all here for our enjoyment.