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Bi-Monthly Newsletter

West Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited

December 2016, Vol. 22, No.6 December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited



West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016

West Denver Chapter Trout Unlimited Organization And Officers: 2017 President: Vice President: Past President: Secretary: Treasurer: Assistant Treasurer: Education: Membership: Conservation:

Jackie Edwards Ed Calmus Tim Toohey Dan Sullivan Matt Rivera Chuck Lehman Ric Tarr Linda Miyamoto Rick Dornfeld

303-278-2282 303-744-2940 303-423-8636 303-423-5616 303-425-9351 303-238-1929 303-233-9391 303-423-5616 303-882-0423

FEATURES FROM OUR MEMBERS The Presidents Message | 1 The Environment and the Call for Volunteers | 2

Other Directors: Advertising Mgr: Anglers’ Edge Editor: Assistant Editor: Chapter Counsel: Communications: Database Manager: Fly Tying Clinic: Women’s Fly Fishing River Watch: Programs: Joseph’s Journey: Public Relations: Fly Tying Corner: Raffles: Fantasy Raffle & Sports Shows: Webmaster: Assistant Webmaster: Directors at Large:


Jon Weimer David Amalong Jon Weimer Bruce Ducker Jackie Edwards Dan Sullivan Bruce Beck Geri Reffel Dennis Wiles Tim Toohey Bob Untener Brian La Rue Tim Toohey Tim Toohey

303-830-1609 303-669-0334 303-830-1609 303-861-2828 303-278-2282 303-423-5616 303-667-3887 303-902-6998 720-404-7821 303-423-8636 303-517-0892 303-835-8003 303-423-8636 303-423-8636

Randy Cordova Ed Calmus Dan Sullivan Glen Edwards Cal Noguchi Jon Weimer

303-619-1585 303-744-2940 303-423-5616 303-278-2282 303-452-1030 303-830-1609

Fly Fishing in the Island of Fire and Ice | 4 If you build it, They will come | 10 Dry Gulch Trout Removal | 14 Fishing Buddies Photo Essay | 21 WEST DENVER TU CONTENT Conservation | 23 Community | 24 About Trout Unlimited | 26 From the Editor | 32 West Denver TU Calendar | 35

Anglers’ Edge Published 6 Times per Year by the West Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited 385 Flora Way, Golden, CO 80401. Editor: Assistant Editor: Photography: Circulation:

David Amalong Jon Weimer Dr. John Pern Jackie Edwards Linda Miyamoto

303-669-0334 303-830-1609 303-278-2282 303-423-5616

We want your contributions such as guest editorials, letters-tothe-editor, photographs, big fish photos, trip reports, etc. Send them to the Editor by e-mail to

On the Cover: WDTU participating in Dry Gulch cutthroat electroshocking Photo: John Pern December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited


ThePresident’s Message Welcome All, The West Denver Chapter has reached a new era in its 40+ years. We just finished a strong and successful fiscal year and had a productive all day planning meeting in October. Tim, our past president, can be thanked for giving us an exciting choice of speakers throughout his three years as President. I hope this can continue, as he has agreed to remain the programs director and already has several new speakers coming up. He has also recruited many new members. We are enjoying these new faces at the chapter meetings, and many have shown interest in our numerous activities and events. Good work Tim. In June this summer, our chapter was asked to work with Jeffco Open Space on the Peaks to Plains bike trail that is being built from Idaho Springs, following Clear Creek, and coming down through Golden. This developed we believe, in part because several of our chapter members had earlier expressed concerns about how the gold miners were causing damage to the foundation boulders used in the stream structures for the Canyon Reach Project completed in 2011. The timing is good to collaborate with Jeffco Open Space, because they are working in the area of Mayhem Gulch, where most of the damage was done. We did proceed with an application to the Jefferson County Conservation Trust Fund for monies to cover the costs of those repairs. The requirement for the application is that the applicant must be responsible for 25% of the amount requested. That leaves our chapter with $6000 to be responsible for, if we are awarded the funding. We are hoping to gather that amount, possibly from outside sources, and have it ready so we can proceed when machinery is allowed to be in the stream. One positive response from Jeffco Open Space is that they will implement a system to monitor and report any further abuse from the gold miners. This will include better control of panning, dredging, and sluicing. We are hoping that completing this repair work will reward the Clear Creek trout with much better and safer hiding places during the cold winter months when Clear Creek becomes ices over. The November “Evening with John Fielder” was a very pleasant evening for those who attended. John’s slide show of the important Colorado Parks and Monuments was very inspiring. This event did take the place of our November chapter meeting. The December chapter meeting will also be special, incorporating three outstanding speakers. Tim nudged the trio Pat Dorsey, Landon Meyer, and Kerry Caraghar to do another showing on the evening of the annual WDTU Chili Supper. The location of the Chili Supper will be at the Elks Lodge on Newton St. in Lakewood. You can read more about it on the WDTU website. One new format that came out of the all day planning meeting was a merging of the communications committees. The newspaper, website, data base and advertising units are now under one umbrella, and Ed Calmus has agreed to monitor its function. Ed and his committee have proceeded with these changes, and all feel that these changes are very positive. We have had a Facebook fishing trips account for a while now. Thanks to a new and active member, Laura Beer, our social media now has a Twitter account. More information about this is forthcoming. The CTU quarterly meeting was in Durango during the first weekend of November. More information about it and the stream tours that were scheduled are on the CTU website. I was so looking forward to gain information about the Gold King Mine spill, but we were unable to participate in the site visit.. The fishing reports during the meetings for that area was that the fishing was still good. It appears that they didn’t lose many trout, but the aquatic insect life, the major food source for the fish, may be impacted significantly. It will be something that time and nature will probably need to work through. If the fish aren’t biting, find a soft rock, lie back, relax, and watch the white fluffy clouds lazily drift by.


West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016




lmost every year, I feel compelled to rant and proselytize about environmental issues and the need for more volunteers---so, here it goes.

Frankly, I joined West Denver in 2006 primarily because I wanted to fish with people who knew what they were doing and knew where to go. But, somewhere along the way, I noticed some subtle changIn past issues of Trout magazine and es in my outlook. Let’s face it, in deliberations held within Colo- everyone wants to catch fish, but rado Trout Unlimited, there have some fly anglers really groove on been discussions about whether local chapters should be pure “fishing clubs” or devoted to environmental and conservation issues, or both. I know these discussions have occurred within our Chapter over the years. Soon after I joined West Denver, a Board officer expressed his frustration with members who appeared to be indifferent toward guest speakers and issues related to environmental and conservation matters. To my surprise and chagrin, he said that such members should not be associated with Trout Unlimited and would be better suited for another organization. My reply was that his statement was wrong-headed and elitist. Certainly, I stated, our Chapter should be able to accommodate members with varying interests and various motives for joining us. I indicated that I suspected that many members initially joined our Chapter to learn how to fish and where to fish, and there was nothing wrong with that.

of the State, I should begin to take a more active part to try to protect, if not enhance, our fisheries specifically, and our environment generally. As one letter writer to a previous issue of Trout wrote, he understood “…that if there are no rivers that are fishable, fishing clubs, as well as fishermen, become anachronisms”.

Clear Creek Watershed Festival, Idaho Springs, CO the entomology; others like to tie flies and want to learn more about this craft; and, still others (like me) enjoy the artistry of casting. However, I began to realize that in order to enjoy the privilege of fly fishing for beautiful fish in beautiful parts

Amen. When you start fly fishing seriously, you realize that you are part of a community of like-minded individuals who strive to reduce wanton environmental damage in favor Continued on Page31

December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited



West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016

Fly Fishing in the Island of Fire and Ice

Photos and story by Fred Fraikor & Judy Jones-Fraikor

Fred Fraikor drifting nymphs for Arctic char on the River Holaa. Mt. Hekla volcano in the background December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited


Member Story


here are no mosquitoes in Iceland” explained our guide Heimir Bjarnason, just as I was pulling my Alaskan hood over my head. “There are no ants, no grasshoppers, no dragonflies, and no damsel flies” he continued. “Well, there go our terrestrial patterns” joked my wife Judy, pointing to the fly boxes on our lanyards. “We have a few caddis and mayflies but mainly there are midges…..millions, billions, of midges, sometimes so thick you can’t help but eat them” replied Heimer opening his fly box to rows of size 20 black bodied midge patterns. They might have had Icelandic names but the small bead head flies were no different than midge patterns we use back in Colorado.

tion of the native Atlantic salmon and sea run trout and char. We replied we would be adhering to catch and release anyway on all of our fishing as we finished up a wonderful day on the River Holaa. But it was only the first of three days of fishing I had arranged with Heimir’s guide company, GOFISHING Ice-

It was August and we were standing on the bank of the River Holaa at the outlet of Lake Laugarvatn looking down into the crystal clear water as it rippled out of the small lake. You could see Arctic char darting sideways between seams of green aquatic weeds to grab morsels swept out of the lake. Heimer put a split shot above two midge patterns on the tippet and stuck a red indicator above the nymph system. The fishing procedures were a familiar one….- cast slightly upstream, mend, drift and watch the indicator. Now I’m guilty of reacting slowly to subtle movements of indicators but on the second drift downstream the red thingie sank like a cannonball, my fly line straightened like a stretched rubber band and half of the seven pieces on my 6 wt. travel rod bent while Heimir cautioned me to let it run. A minute later he deftly netted the 18 inch char, grayish with light yellow spots, orange belly and white border on the fins. No sooner did we release it then Heimir had to dash downstream to Judy who had hooked into a fighting char, the first of a dozen or so. We did see larger char; over 25 inches feeding near the outlet but couldn’t entice them into a hookup even trying our small “dandelion” emerger patterns as land. Judy had set up an additional Road Scholar tour the afternoon faded into evening. of the island for the following twelve days to learn more of the Island’s history, culture and geology so we were Back at his SUV, Heimir noted that the island had just in no hurry. been through of what was considered a severe drought for weeks before and that some of the headwaters of The second day we had a young college student, Chris, these rivers had completely dried affecting the migra- drive us to the River Varma which we learned means 5

West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016

Member Story

“warm water” in Icelandic because it blends with geo- colored 15 to 20 inch browns perhaps wisely keeping thermal flows. (99% of Iceland’s power is generated by away from the larger monsters on the other side. Those hydro and geothermal plants). fish refused everything Chris and Judy tried and appeared not to be interested in feeding, maybe just restChris drove us to a small bridge with a little dam be- ing for another assault on the dam. After a couple of neath it and pointed to a pod of sea run brown trout hours we moved downstream into riffles and runs but visible down in the whirlpool below at one edge. He po- in spite of a few visible rises none seem interested so we

Judy and guide casting for salmon at the Reykjafoss waterfall on river Varma in Hveragerdi

sitioned Judy on one side of the clockwise flow and me on the other side with two small midge nymph patterns. Luck was on my side with a couple of browns facing the back flow of the pool grabbing my nymphs and immediately diving for the white froth and deep water. Those two broke off the tippet but I was able to keep the next two in shallow water around my feet. These were light

drove on surrounded by scenic farms and ranches to the next section of the Varma. (As you might expect much of the stream fishing in Iceland is on private rural land.) The second stop in the geothermal country town of Hveragerdi included lunch in a lovely picnic garden park overlooking the river. As we walked past the ruDecember 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited


Member Story

ins of an old woolen mill down to a delightful waterfall Chris suddenly yelled “Salmon” just as one jumped three feet up from the pool in a vain attempt to climb that cliff of water. Wow! But our guide quickly popped our excitement balloon explaining that this wasn’t a massive migration, perhaps an isolated fish or two trapped by the extremely low water flow and our chances of hooking one were slim. But he knew we were bound to try,

yeah, way better than any day at work even without a strike. We drove on to the largest and most historic lake in Iceland, Thingvallavatn. (Say that a few times and you’ll get a feel for the ancient Icelandic language). The world’s first democratic parliament was convened on its banks in 930 AD. On the way Chris explained the lake was

Judy hooks into a nice brown trout on the River Galtalaekur

so off came the midge patterns replaced by pink and yellow tube streamers. The routine was same as in Alaska, cast to the base of the waterfall, strip, strip, and cast again. But guides are almost always right. There wasn’t a smashing slam and no salmon landed but you couldn’t ask for a more serene, stunning spot to cast a fly. Oh 7

West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016

unusual in that there were no inlet rivers or streams into the lake and all the water flowed from seven deep geothermal springs. As we drove down the road between a steep basalt lined ravine, we realized we were in the middle of the Atlan-

Member Story

tic Rift where Iceland is being torn apart an inch a year by the movement of the North American tectonic plate and the Eurasian plate while at the same time being renewed with molten lava from the numerous volcanoes. Chris even pointed out some scuba divers preparing for a popular dive down into a section of the lake to be photographed underwater while touching both walls of a narrow crack.

tle multiple nibble that ended with a flash of orange and gold a minute later as Chris stretched to put the fish into his net. Wetting his hand and pointing to the snub nose on the fish he said it was “a snail eating variety of char�, one of four distinct variations of char found only in this unique lake. ( I later found an article on the web in the Journal of Experimental Biology that explained that over 10,000 years after the last ice age Lake

Art on the bank with Mt. Heckla in the background

But now, the sky had clouded over and a light drizzle meant it was time for some rain gear while casting from a small peninsula on the lake. We could see some rises between the rain drops while the indicator and the nymphs beneath rose with the action of small waves as the wind came up. When the strike came it was a gen-

Thingvallavatn was isolated and developed four unusual morphs of Salvelinus alpinus: a dwarf benthic (DB), large benthic,(LB), planktivorous (PL) and piscivorous. (PI). Mine turned out to be the large benthic (bottom feeder).

December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited


Member Story

No sooner had Chris released the unique char back into then the sound of thunder came rolling from the distant clouds on the horizon. Chris was clearly startled at the sound and quickly added that thunderstorms were uncommon on the island and he had never seen lightning storms of the type we are so familiar with in the States. While it was a distant rumbling to us where there is thunder there has to be lightning so that brought an end to the day’s fishing on the historic lake. But we vowed to come back someday for more char and especially the huge brown trout known to thrive in the lake.

In our short three days we didn’t land a trophy char or huge brown trout or land a big Atlantic salmon. But they are there. The week before Rock Star Eric Clapton landed a 25 lb. salmon in a river in the north portion of the island and Lake Thingvallavatn has regularly produced brown trout in the 12 to 15 lb. range with a few giants reaching 20 to 30 lbs. (You can purchase an Icelandic Fishing Card which enables you to fish in 38 lakes around the island).

But if you are planning a fishing trip to Iceland, it is worthwhile to contact a guide service especially since By the third day Judy was naming all of the guides “Thor” most of the best streams are private. By Icelandic law, as we hiked to the River Galtalaekur. Our guide, Art, landowners also own the water flowing through his or was every bit the image of a blonde Viking. He point- her property and some land owners collectively coned out snow-capped Mt. Hekla nearby, a famous active tract with guide agencies to handle rod fees and regulate

Frank with a snail eating Arctic Char

volcano as he led us down an old lava flow gulch to a deep crystal pool at the base of a steep waterfall. Another perfect setting and on the third cast to the edge of the froth a brown trout grabbed the top nymph and bolted for the end of the pool which would have been a disaster as the water there dropped over another precipice carved in the black basalt. But the tippet held and the brown turned back with another dash against the current and right into “Thor’s” ready net. With the 20 inch brown landed, he led Judy down the hill to the second pool below. She came back up a couple of hours later with gleeful descriptions of landing a dozen browns… and photos to prove it. 9

West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016

beats. In addition Iceland has strict laws to protect their native fish. Waders and boots must be disinfected and certified by a veterinarian from the country of origin or done at customs at arrival for a fee. We were fortunate to have the guide company provide waders and boots for us at no charge. (For details about fishing the streams and lakes in Iceland see the GOFISHING ICELAND web site). With a direct flight on Icelandair from DIA to Reykjavik, it’s an adventure waiting for Colorado anglers.


If you build it, They will come Designing a self-sustaining trout stream By George Athanasakes The following story is reprinted from a May 2016 blog entry by George Athanasakes that first appeared on George is a colleague of mine located in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his team are the driving forces behind some of the nation’s largest and most innovative stream restoration projects including the Elm Fork Stream Restoration, the North Platte River Restoration and Hatchery Creek. Ongoing Hatchery Creek research, in partnership with Murray State University, will benefit conservationist and restoration professionals and organizations for years to come. -David.


here is nothing like trout fishing along a pristine stream. I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy this experience a number of times in beautiful natural settings like those in Montana. Now, imagine – as an avid fisherman – your design team is asked to create a pristine trout stream at a site very close to home with all the extras you see on those great trout streams from afar. Our River Restoration Group at Stantec was presented with this unique, once-in-

a-career type opportunity (and challenge) just a few years ago with the Hatchery Creek Stream Restoration project, and it was every bit as enjoyable as you’d imagine! Hatchery Creek is unique because the source flow is cooled by the depths of Lake Cumberland and flows through the Wolf Creek Dam National Trout Hatchery near Jamestown, Kentucky, where rainbow, brook, and brown trout are hatched and raised. Prior to initiating our work, the stream flowed 400

December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 10


During Construction

feet through the most heavily-fished stream in Kentucky, then down an eroding ravine into the Cumberland River just downstream of the Wolf Creek Dam. Our challenge with this design/build project was to provide mitigation credits for our client (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife) while creating a 6,000 foot long self–sustaining trout stream. Because many of our streams in Kentucky are too warm, self-sustaining trout streams are very scarce. Although the water just below Lake Cumberland dam is cold enough to support trout, water level fluctuations from the opera-

After Construction

tion of the dam prevents successful large female trout from getting into spawning. the original Hatchery Creek channel due to different fishing restrictions There were many unique aspects between the new and old channels. about Hatchery Creek that we don’t I clearly remember gathering our typically encounter when designing team together for the conceptual stream restoration projects. First, design. We were excited about the under normal conditions the chan- possibilities of what we could create nel flowed at 30 cubic feet per sec- here, but knew we’d need the right ond, which was very high compared crew to get this done. So with a to the contributing drainage area of multi-disciplinary team that includthe watershed. We needed to build ed engineers, biologists, ecologists, a gravel stream in a watershed that vegetation specialists, avid fisherwould not naturally replenish the man, and contractors, we began the sediment. We also needed to pro- project with great enthusiasm. vide fish passage up from the Cumberland River into our stream, while Gathered together at Lake Cumbercreating a migration barrier to keep land State Resort Park, we reviewed

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A new Hatchery Creek

the entire site and then focused on developing the conceptual design with no distractions. We literally drew the different life stages of trout on a board and discussed the optimum stream types and hab-

itats needed for each life stage. Through this collaborative effort, we produced a unique design which included high gradient and low gradient single-thread meandering reaches (C stream type), multithread braided reaches (DA stream type) and a steep step-pool reach (A stream type) to serve as a “fish ladder” between our project and the Cumberland River.

from the Cumberland River, but would they come? How would everything look once flows were turned into the new stream? How quickly would the food sources make it into the stream?

Much to our amazement, trout began using the stream instantly and, within two weeks of turning flows into the channel, we had evidence of trout spawning. The movement We completed the project last No- of trout into the channel has been vember and introduced the flows so swift that stocking the channel into the creek for the first time just wasn’t necessary – we already have before Thanksgiving. We were con- an abundance of trout for fishing! fident that the project would allow trout to migrate into our channel December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 12

Photo by John Pern 13 West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016

Dry Gulch Trout Removal Continuing our work in the Headwaters of Clear Creek By Rick Dornfeld


n September 15, 2016, seventeen volunteers met Boyd Wright and his Colorado Parks and Wildlife crew in this scenic meadow above Dry Gulch. We got there by driving a gated road off the westbound I-70 Loveland Pass exit to an unmarked Dry Gulch trailhead. The work Boyd laid out for us was to capture resident trout by electro-fishing, collect data from them, and relocate the resident population of Colorado River cutthroat trout in order to prepare Dry Gulch for eventual restocking with the native greenback cutthroat trout. This little meadow would be the site of the “workup station� for all captured fish. Electrofishing is a common scientific survey method that, when done correctly, results in no permanent harm to fish. In Dry Gulch, the use of this gear was aimed at capturing and removing the resident population of Colorado River cutthroat trout. December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 14


Photo by Rick Dornfeld

Paul Winkle demonstrates the use of the backpack electrofisher. Electrofishing relies on two electrodes which deliver direct current at high-voltage from the anode (the wand with the ring on the end) to the cathode (the wire cable trailing in the water). Fish are affected by the electricity in the water, causing uncontrolled muscular convulsion that results in the fish swimming toward the anode. Paul carries a net in his right hand, ready to scoop up any trout that get stunned at the anode.

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Photo by Rick Dornfeld

CPW Area Fisheries Manager Paul Winkle installs a battery pack into the electo-fishing gear. This is a backpack unit that weighs about 40 pounds. The battery provides about 2.5 hours of operating time. This battery technology is a welcome replacement for the 90 pound gasoline powered backpack generator.

Photo by Rick Dornfeld

In the photo above, Paul Winkle briefs his volunteer crew on electrofishing procedures. Research shows that electrofishing a small stream like Dry Gulch can remove 80 to 90 percent of the fish in the stream.

December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 16


Photo by John Pern

These Colorado River cutthroat trout was shocked, netted, placed in a bucket with water, and was upright and thriving within two minutes of capture. About 300 total trout were removed from Dry Gulch by five different shocking crews. Each crew included a CPW biologist with a backpack electrofisher and several volunteers with dip nets and buckets. Captured trout were tranported to a “workup station� at the Dry Gulch trailhead. Some trout caught in the stream close to the trailhead were carried in a bucket. Most trout made the trip in oxygenated plastic bags inside backpacks. 17 West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016


Photo by Rick Dornfeld

Trout were backpacked down from high up on Dry Gulch. At the trout “workup� station, the oxygen tank sustaining the trout was removed from the backpack.

Photo by Rick Dornfeld

The above photo shows the cargo of trout in a plastic bag being removed from the backpack. December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 18


Photo by Rick Dornfeld

A WDTU volunteer holds a bag of trout as a CPW biologist prepares to transfer trout from a bag into a plastic bucket that contains fresh oxygenated water.

Photo by Rick Dornfeld

At the trout “workup” station, a CPW biologist measures each trout’s length and removes a tissue sample from the upper tail fin. WDTU volunteers stand by to create an envelope from folded paper for the finclip, and then loosely store the finclip in the envelope with allowance for air and moisture to escape to help the fin sample to dry out. The clipped-fin will regenerate and the sample will be cataloged and saved for subsequent genetic analysis. 19 West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016


Photo by Rick Dornfeld

From the “workup station”, trout were placed back in a bucket and carried a short distance to an aerated truck-mounted holding tank. By mid-afternoon there were about 300 trout in the tank. Boyd Wright drove this truck at the end of the day to a headwaters stream in the Yampa watershed. The Dry Gulch Colorado River cutthroat trout were released into this stream to augment a resident trout population of the same genetic makeup. Boyd reported that only one trout died during the entire process of being shocked, netted, bagged, backpacked, handled, measured, finclipped, trucked, and released into a new creek. That’s a 99.7% survival rate! Good job! The next step for Dry Gulch was to be a chemical cleanout of remaining fish in October 2016. Dry Gulch will be electrofished again in the summer of 2017 to confirm the creek is indeed fish free. The plan is for restocking with greenback cutthroats in September 2017.

December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 20

Fishing Buddies

Meet Jim and Ann Chase.​They are the volunteers that coordinate the West Denver Trout Unlimited Fishing Buddies. Fishing Buddies is a program designed to introduce new anglers and those new to the area or new to WDTU to Colorado’s cold water fisheries. While

they don’t provide guide services, Jim and Ann provide a level of mentorship and basic instruction that gets people oriented to Colorado’s amazing trout fisheries with an eye toward reading the water and just enough seasonal natural history to make fly selection a bit less of a mystery. Reach out to Jim

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and Ann at JEChase1000@gmail. com or or via Facebook at WDTU Fishing Trips. From there they will add you to the trip list, let you know about pending trip opportunities or try to hook you up with other willing WDTU members headed out for some time OTW!

Photo Essay

December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 22


CONSERVATION Volunteer Opportunities for 2017 By February 2017, the US Forest Service and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife field stations should have their 2017 budgets and work priorities sorted out. It is then that WDTU will be able to identify specific conservation projects with our public agency partners. For now, here is a list of possible volunteer projects for you to think about:

-CPW spawning work. Trout and grayling spawning are possible. We could even help out with walleye spawning, if we put on different hats!

-RiverWatch. This is our regular monthly water sampling in Clear Creek. -USFS culvert surveys. Culverts that block fish will be removed and replaced. Our work would be to help with site surveys. Keep an eye out for more information win both the newsletter and on the website as details for these projects become available.

-USFS dispersed campsite obliteration. Our work Rick Dornfeld, WDTU Conservation Director would be to hand apply seed and mulch. -USFS road obliteration. Our work would be to hand apply seed and mulch.

Volunteers Needed for River Watch The River Watch program, under the auspices of Colorado Park and Wildlife, is designed to monitor the water quality

-CPW trout salvage. See the Dry Gulch article in of various watersheds. West Denver participates in this this issue. program on a stretch of Clear Creek in the Golden area. -CPW greenback trout restoration. Our work would be to backpack little trout in plastic bags into release sites. See the Herman Gulch article in the October 2016 issue. 23 West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016

Dennis Wiles (720-404-7821) leads the Chapter’s effort, which generally occurs on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Give Dennis a call if you’re interested. Participation in this program affords you not only an interesting, but an educational experience.


COMMUNITY Volunteers needed for Windy Peak

Want a Fishing Buddy?

The Outdoor Education Laboratory Program (OELS) at Windy Peak (south of Bailey) is under the auspices of the Jefferson County Public School System. The mission of the OELS is to provide 6th grade students the opportunity for hands-on, experiential learning in an outdoor setting. West Denver has been an integral part of this program for close to 20 years—helping to construct a fishing pond and ancillary structures (e.g., fishing platforms and docks) and teaching interested students the rudiments of fly tying.

If you want find a fishing buddy or volunteer to be one if asked, contact either Jim Chase or Ann Chase

In addition to teaching students how to tie flies (simple patterns like Wooly Buggers and San Juan Worms), West Denver members help impart a conservation ethic in hopes of encouraging these students to be stewards of the environment later in life. Typically, after teaching students to tie a couple of flies, they’re taken down to the nearby fishing pond in hopes that they can catch something with their own creations. The fly tying classes usually begin in

April and may continue through October. There is no rhyme or reason to the number of classes that may be taught, but usually only one or two classes a month is requested. If you think you may be interested in helping out and/or want more information, please contact our Education Director Ric Tarr at 303-233-9391

Donations Some WDTU members have inquired whether or not they can submit unsolicited donations to the Chapter. The answer is “Yes’’. If you wish to donate money, checks should be made payable to West Denver Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and then either mailed to our Treasurer Matt Rivera (8189 Webster St., Arvada, CO 80003), or presented to him at a Chapter meeting. If you wish to donate fishing-related merchandise (for example, rods, reels, flies, etc.), contact Tim Toohey at (303) 423-8636 or Our Chapter is tax exempt under code 501(c)3. Therefore, all contributions are deductible on your Federal tax returns. If you so desire, you can designate your monetary donation

be applied to a specific project or purpose, as well as setting up a matching donation program. If you want additional information about WDTU’s projects and/or want to discuss your intent for a donation, please contact Jon Weimer at either 303-830-1609 or Continued on Page 25 December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 24


Continued from Page 24

WDTU Shirt Logo Jackie Edwards has made arrangements with a vendor to have an official WDTU logo imprinted on your shirt for just $5. This program was initiated several years ago and has gained popularity. You simply need to bring your shirt to the next Chapter meeting, and give it to Jackie. She will take care of the rest.

WANTED: New Members! We are always looking for new members to join West Denver Trout Unlimited. To join our Chapter, simply follow this link for more information on Chapter and National TU membership. Make sure you specify Chapter # 130 when registering. With your membership in West Denver TU, you will receive the bi-monthly newsletter, invitations to all of our Chapter meetings, and opportunities to participate in all of our conservation and volunteer activities.

Chapter Meeting at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado

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A Note About Email Address Changes Please notify at least one of us whenever you change your email address, snail mail address and/or telephone number so we can communicate with you quickly and efficiently.

ABOUT TU West Denver Trout Unlimited

David Amalong Jackie Edwards Linda Miyamoto

The West Denver Chapter, Trout Unlimited (WDTU, TU chapter #130) is a member-driven 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is conserving, protecting, and enhancing Colorado’s coldwater fisheries through volunteerism, education, and outreach. WDTU was founded in Colorado in 1974, and now has over 900 members across western metro Denver, including Lakewood, Golden, Morrison, Englewood, Littleton, Wheatridge, and Arvada. Our conservation and community outreach projects include the restoration and water quality monitoring of Clear Creek, Jefferson County school programs, and Joseph’s Journey. The chapter’s membership meets regularly at the monthly chapter meeting (except July). These meetings are free and open to the public. WDTU’s governance also relies directly upon its members, who generously volunteer their time and effort to achieve the chapter’s mission. The WDTU Bylaws provide details on the chapter’s governance. The chapter’s Board of Directors has a board meeting every month (separate from the chapter meeting). Members are welcome to attend board meetings and are encouraged to volunteer to be an Officer or Director.

Trout Unlimited “Founded in 1959, TU is the leading conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring, North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. Our 100,000 members are organized into 450 local chapters nationwide. These volunteer chapters are the “watchdogs’’ of their local rivers and streams. They conduct stream restoration projects, monitor legislation, and fight for “fish friendly’’ policies with state and local officials. Through its Washington DC-based national headquarters, TU conducts valuable scientific and economic research to foster more enlightened trout and salmon management practices, lobbies to strengthen environmental legislation like the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act, and provides a voice for its 100,000 members.’’ December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 26

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Fly Fishing Rods Events Accessories




Made in Colorado

fly rods

For Sale Fishing and Hunting Cabins for Sale--Price Dropped to $299,000 Mount Massive Lakes, Inc., Private Fishing Club. Catch Brown, Rainbow, Cutthroat and Tiger trout, as well as hybrids, in MML’s 22 private lakes, and hunt for elk, deer and moose in the surrounding mountains. This is a fishing and hunting paradise! Contact: Shelton Reichardt: or 970.406.1705 29 West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016 303-908-1933

For sale: Over 150 books on fly fishing/fly tying. Authors include, but not limited to, Brooks, Schweibert, Traver, Kreh, Bergman, Flick, R.H. Brown, Combs, Swisher Richards, etc. Call Terry for titles and prices 303-274-8367 or 303-551-4872.

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Over 1200 readers per issue! Email David Amalong for more information.

December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 30


Continued from Page 2

of policies and situations that preserve the environment. And, what better venue to do this than through a Trout Unlimited chapter such as ours? As I’ve said before in other articles, I don’t want to advocate or encourage a bunker mentality, i.e., us against them, but as this country grapples with an uneven economy, organizations like ours are obligated to question and monitor the activities of extractive industries. I am fully aware and appreciate that there are some very conscientious oil/gas and mining companies out there, and I am not so naïve to think that this country is going to wean itself immediately from fossil fuels or certain metals. But, we need to

ber of our members are also raising families, and simply do not have the time (or, perhaps, the energy) to participate directly in conservation and environmentally-oriented activities that our Chapter conducts. And, in the small amount of time they have to themselves, they may simply just want to fish for the therapeutic value. That’s understandable. However, we would appreciate even a nominal amount of their time---3 or 4 hours a year. But, if that’s not possible, they can still make a contribution without exerting a great deal of time and effort by simply keeping abreast of the legislation and campaigns revolving around Colorado water and energy issues

tion Director, Rick Dornfeld, and our Past President, Tim Toohey, who have strived to collaborate with both Federal and State agencies to engage in trout restoration efforts. I know there are some factions out there who frown working with government agencies, but the reality is that these agencies are often well-intentioned (if not always competent) and can possess invaluable resources to help us to fulfill our mission. I also suspect there are anti-government types chortling and smirking over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) responsibility for the Animas River mine drainage fiasco a couple of years ago. Yes, EPA screwed up royally, but this shouldn’t mask over the fact Let’s face it, everyone wants to catch fish, but some fly that the real culprit in this tragedy anglers really groove on the entomology; others like to tie is Colorado’s legacy of abandoned flies and want to learn more about this craft; and, still oth- metal mines with no culpable owners---that many mining companies ers (like me) enjoy the artistry of casting. over the years have maximized their profit by ignoring the environment, be on the alert for those efforts that by tapping into our website or that and then abandoned their mess for seem intent to ravage wilderness to of Colorado Trout Unlimited. By the taxpayers to clean up. satisfy the quest for profit. In addi- doing this, West Denver members tion to continually alerting the pub- can contribute by signing petitions Finally, we have a number of lic and decision-makers about proj- and/or donating funds for measures fund-raising and small-scale handsects that threaten habitat, fly anglers that will protect and restore trout on restoration projects coming up can do much on their own to help habitat. In an issue of Trout a cou- next year. If you believe you may conserve and protect our fisher- ple of years ago, the editor empha- be interested in these activities and/ ies---for example, engage in catch- sized the ability of Trout Unlimited or want more information, call Presand-release practices, participate in members to crank up the volume on ident Jackie Edwards, and she’ll put clean-up and conservation projects, issues important to us through sheer you in touch with the appropriate imbue others with the conservation numbers. Basically, in some way, person. ethnic, report fishing regulation vi- we can all pitch in to help conserve, olations, leave no footprints behind protect, and enhance our trout fish- There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? on your fishing trips, etc. eries, no one way being better or I wish everyone in the Chapter a worse than another. Happy Holiday Season, and hope to I realize that a number of our memsee more of you participating in our bers are working full-time (if not I want to take time at this point to events/activities in 2017. overtime) to keep afloat. A num- thank the efforts of our Conserva31 West Denver Trout Unlimited | December 2016


very year about this time my thoughts turn to replenishing my fly boxes for next season and building another fly rod that I don’t need. Its also a time for reflection; and looking back on my first year as a member of WDTU, I’m very proud of the Chapter’s commitment to the Clear Creek drainage-from the headwaters down to the urban interface-and the stewardship and care that we exhibit. I look forward to a 2017 of unique and exciting projects and spreading the word about our mission!


ADMISSION INFO Cash only at the gate Purchase advance ticket HERE Adult: One day $15 Two-day pass $25 Three-day pass $35 Children under 5 free, under 12: $2 Scouts under 16 in uniform: free Military with ID: $10

SHOW HOURS Friday: 10am – 6pm Saturday: 9am – 5:30pm Sunday: 9am – 4:30pm IF4_logo BACK AGAIN: The International Fly Fishing Film Festival. One night only, Friday, January 6 at 6:30pm. $15; $10 in advance.

LEARNING CENTER The International Federation of Fly Fishers is pleased to offer FREE fly fishing instruction at the IFFF Learning Center located at the IFFF booth. Fly casting- fly tying- knot tying will be taught throughout the day-every day of the Fly Fishing Show.

Regardless of the weather, the show will go on!

December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 32

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December 2016 | West Denver Trout Unlimited 34


WDTU CALENDAR December 2016

February 2017


Annual Chili Supper- Elks Lodge 1455 Newland St, Lakewood (Map) (Jackie-303-278-2282) Speakers: Caragher-Dorsey-Meyer



Board Meeting 7PM

January 2017

Our Chapter Meetings are held at the American Mountaineering Center, 710 10th Street, Golden Colorado 80401

Our Board Meetings are held at the Old Capitol Grill, 1122 Washington Ave.,Golden Colorado 80401

4 Chapter Meeting Speaker: Joe Shafer 6-8 The Fly Fishing Show Denver Merchandise Mart 451 East 58th Avenue, Denver, CO

West Denver TU needs flies for the Fantasy Raffle and for a fly raffle at our Chapter meetings. When you are at the bench, think about tying up a dozen or two for WDTU. If you deal with a local fly shop, think about buying some extras for us. You can bring them to a meeting.


Board Meeting 7PM


International Sportsmen’s Exposition Colorado Convention Center 700 14th Street, Denver, CO


Fly Tying Night Out 7-8:30 Grand Lake Brewing, 5610 Yukon Street Arvada, CO


Chapter Meeting Speaker: Lauren Duncan

We also need new or good used items for the Silent Auction and Bucket Raffle at the annual Fly Tying Clinic. We can use fly fishing equipment, gift cards from your favorite restaurant or store, or art work. These events provide fun ways for us to raise funds, and your contributions support the education and conservation efforts of WDTU. Call or email Tim at 303-423-8636 or tim2e@comcast. net for more details.

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Anglers' Edge - December 2016

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