Gunnison Angling Society June 13th, 2017 Chapter Meetingand Update
Hello GAS Members,
I hope you are all finding a spot to fish with the runoff in full effect. The Gunnison River is pumping over 4,500 cfs near town and it might be a few weeks before it comes down to manageable levels. People have always told me that you can still find fish during high and murky water but that was a daunting thought when I looked at the river yesterday.
Now is a good time of year to explore some of the lakes and reservoirs in the area like my recent outing to Dome Lakes. A new state record for tiger trout was pulled from the lake this spring and I was interested, as I am sure others are, as what else might be hiding in there. Well, I didn’t catch a tiger but was able to net a dozen eager rainbows with the largest topping the chart at a whopping 12 inches. A small dark mayfly was hatching in the fading light and the lake was boiling with fish. After some time trying to “match the hatch” I gave up and tied on a size 8 Amy’s Ant. While the fly looked monstrous compared to the tiny mayflies the amped up fish were not turned off. Why eat two-dozen little flies when there is this super-sized meal right there? This was some of the first dry fly action I have had this season and it reminded me why I got hooked on
Now is a good time of year to explore some of the lakes and reservoirs in the area like my recent outing to Dome Lakes. A new state record for tiger trout was pulled from the lake this spring and I was interested, as I am sure others are, as what else might be hiding in there. Well, I didn’t catch a tiger but was able to net a dozen eager rainbows with the largest topping the chart at a whopping 12 inches. A small dark mayfly was hatching in the fading light and the lake was boiling with fish. After some time trying to “match the hatch” I gave up and tied on a size 8 Amy’s Ant. While the fly looked monstrous compared to the tiny mayflies the amped up fish were not turned off. Why eat two-dozen little flies when there is this super-sized meal right there? This was some of the first dry fly action I have had this season and it reminded me why I got hooked on fly- fishing in the first place.
Casting to rising trout in an idyllic setting with the sunset hues embellishing the landscape I am also reminded of how special this place is and how much we stand to loose. That’s why I got involved in TU and why I work to protect these landscapes. In my first six months leading the chapter, I have not done as well as I fill I can in Chapter communications and engagement. I want you, my fellow GAS member, to know that I make a promise to do better in these areas and part of that is asking for your help. So please take the time to join us at our meetings and get involved with the various projects that we have going. Together is our best chance to protect what we all know is a special place.
Briant Wiles, President Gunnison Angling Society
June 13th GAS Chapter Meeting Schedule at the Almont Resort
WE WILL TYING FLYS THIS MONTH!
Chapter Business = 6:30pm – 7:00pm
- Please see the action items below that we will discuss during this time period. Please respond to the action items prior to the meeting so we can keep things rolling along. We
will spend approximately 5 mins on each item. Fly-tying and general enjoyment = 7:00pm – 8pm
- Bring your vise and materials and we will sit down and whip up some beauties. There will be several very experienced folks on hand to help with those tough patterns.
- There will be extra vises and material if you are interested in trying your hand at it.
Gunnison River boat ramps
- In several of the last meetings, we have kicked around the idea of doing something to address the some of the put-ins along the Gunnison River. We had felt that the boat ramp at North Bridge was in the most need of some work. Ideas kicked around were having permanent restroom facilities installed, better parking, and re-grading the boat ramp. I was tasked with gathering some information on the feasibility of the project. After a great conversation with John Messner a Gunnison County commissioner, I have learned the following points:
- Both the Almont and North Bridge put-ins are owned by CDOT as the land is part of the right away for Hwy 135.
- Both the Almont and the North Bridge put-ins are technically not in compliance with state regulations.
- Pressing CDOT about improvements at either location could potentially jeopardize all access.
- This issue has been well known to county officials and the Board of County Commissioners has authorized a working group to begin this fall to look at recreational and tourism issues in the county and river access is on their list of things to look at.
- There is the possibility of alternative sites for a legal boat ramp. One is just upstream of Garlic Mikes where there exists the potential to purchase an easement on a private parcel. And one at the existing Forest Service’s Almont Campground where facilities already exist. These, of course, would alter the travel times and the way the river is used.
- Mr. Messner was excited to hear the chapter’s interest in the issues and looks forward to working with the chapter on the river access.
- After the conversation with Mr. Messner, I fill it is in the Chapters best interest to further pursue the issue through closely working with the County and the new working group.
CTU Youth Camp
- While we were unable to find a young person from Gunnison area to sponsor for this years CTU Youth Camp we have been asked to present on your efforts for the Gunnison Adopt-A-Trout youth education program. Briant Wiles will be traveling to the camp to present on the AAT program.
- We are sad to say that we have lost another fish in the AAT program leaving 4 remaining fish to continue tracking. Tag number 149.284 was tagged at the W Mountain Ranch location last April and about this time last year traveled all the way up to Quartz Creek. It had been hanging out in an area above Parlin ever since. We tracked the signal to a bush on the banks of the creek but due to the high water levels, we were unable to find and recover the tag. Unless the fish evolved to live in willow bushes we are fairly certain that the tag is no longer in a fish. We plan to return when creek levels drop to recover the tag.
- So with 149.284 out of the picture that leaves us with four remaining. One is a mile upstream of the I-Bar Ranch on the Tomichi State Wildlife Area, One is in a big hole on the W Mountain Ranch, One is approximately a mile up Quartz Creek from Parlin, and the last tagged fish, 149.164 we have not been able to locate for some time. We are closing in on the end of the 500-day average battery life of the tags and it may have simply quite working. We will continue to search and still hope to find it.
- I will be teaching about the Adopt-A-Trout program to a group of educators at the Gunnison River Teacher Institute on June 20th. As Always you can learn more about the program and the fish by visiting: http://gunnyaat.wixsite.com/adopt-a-trout
- Not much new to report on the Planning for the Superfly scheduled for September 8th and 9th. We have had some discussion about changing the dates due to conflict with a Carp tournament in the Denver area. If we are still interested in changing the dates we should act fast.
- Long time GAS member Norman, has contacted me about helping again for this year’s Superfly. If you don’t know Norman Savin he has done a lot of work for the Superfly over the years and we all owe him a big thank you.
- The Gunnison River project slated for this coming November is still on track. GAS is helping to facilitate a $50,000 donation from the Goddard Ranch to increase the impact of the project. There will be plenty of volunteer opportunities for GAS members and will let you know as the project gets closer.
- Middle Quartz Creek rehab project is moving forward. The project will help increase the resiliency of a headwaters area above the town of Pitkin. The problem is that an old road from the mining era that cuts across a hillside is capturing water runoff and increasing erosion. This Forest Service led project will need some GAS volunteers. GAS has committed to donating $1,500 to help pay for equipment rental. The dates for the project has not yet been set and will let you know when it will happen.
What projects or issue do you see that we should be addressing?
- Yes, that’s right GAS now has an Instagram account. You can find us here: https://www.instagram.com/gunnison_angling_society/ Please fill free to tag us in your fishy posts and or you can send me your pics at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can post them. We always need more pictures!
Please provide your comments and feedback on Action Items before our meeting on June 13th. You can send your comments directly to me at email@example.com and put the corresponding action item in the subject line.
Action Item #1
- Should the date of the Superfly event be changed to avoid conflicts with other events that may increase participation? Superfly is currently scheduled for September 8th and 9th 2017.
- Change to the weekend before? (Sept. 1-2)
- Or to the weekend following? (Sept. 15- 16)
Action Item #2
- Given the information, I gathered and listed above about the potential actions to improve the North Bridge boat ramp, how do you fill we should proceed?
- Should we engage with the new county appointed working group?
- Continue to pursue direct action to make improvements to the put-in?
Action Item #3
- CTU has contacted us asking that we provide a list of our Chapter priorities in the Gunnison area. I have come up with the following list of ideas from past meetings and conversations with GAS members. Please let me know what you would add, subtract, or what should be our top priority.
- Work to improve fishery conditions on Lower Tomichi Creek. This area continues to suffer from multiple stressors and has been the focus of our AAT program and much of our recent riparian plantings.
- Improve the boater access along the Gunnison River. This idea includes better facilities, more parking, and improved signage.
- Participate in Gunnison Public Lands Initiative. This ongoing initiative is made up of a diverse working group, including a national TU representative, and is working to increase protections on public land in the Gunnison Basin.
- Increase GAS member participation and engagement. Pursue strategies to increase member participation.
- Protecting and enhancing native trout populations in the Gunnison Basin. There are a lot of, mostly high elevation streams, in the Gunnison Basin with populations of native cutthroat and a lot of different ways the chapter can work to protect them.
- What would you add?
- What order would you put the preceding priorities?
Action Item #4
- Call for Guest speakers for future Chapter meetings. To make our chapter meetings more enjoyable we are looking for guest speakers. This can be you or someone you know that has a topic that they are willing to share their experiences. Please let us know if you or someone you know would be perfect for this.
The Colorado Water Workshop June 21-23,
- This is an amazing event held right here on the Western campus. If you’re interested in learning more about the world of water management including environmental aspects this is the place to be. A great event to meet the leaders in the world of Colorado water. See the link for more info and registration: http://www.western.edu/academics/undergraduate/environment- sustainability/conferences/colorado-water-workshop
The Gunnison River Festival June 22 – 24
- Awesome multiday event to celebrate our main waterway with entertaining events, music, and food. On June 24th are the festivities at the Whitewater Park. GAS will be on hand with a tent and an interactive educational activity TBD. We are looking for volunteer and activity ideas. This is a great way to let folks know about us and to get the word out on freshwater conservation. See more details at http://www.gunnisonriverfestival.com/
Rocky Mountain Flyathlon
- I was contacted by the organizers of this event to help spread the word and recruit participants. This was the first I had heard of this event that helps raise money for trout related conservation projects. Apparently, you need to run, drink beer and fish. Sounds like fun minus the running part(for me personally). They are holding an event on the Lake Fork on September 15th -17th. For more information go to their website here: http://flyathlon.com/
Call for Volunteers
We have the following volunteer opportunities and need people to fill several roles. Please let me know if you are interested in one or more of the events.
Gunnison River Festival
- Volunteers are needed for Saturday, June 14th from 9 am until 4:30 pm to represent GAS and provide an interactive educational activity. We need two to four volunteers.
Lillard Fly Fishing Youth Service Day
- The good folks at Lillard Fly Fishing will again be in the Gunnison Area this July 27 -29th. They have between 15 and twenty high school aged students in need of a couple of days of service projects. Last year they helped with cleanup of an old ranch and with tracking trout for the AAT program. We are looking for volunteers to help during these two days and also looking for project ideas. Let me know if you have an idea for a good service project. You can learn more about Lillard here: http://lillardflyfishing.com/
See you at the meeting!