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Home Waters...
Post 26 Apr 2021, 13:21 • #1 
Guide
Joined: 03/01/17
Posts: 115
Location: US-IL
I've lived and fished in Colorado for over 30 years now and things have changed significantly here along the Front Range. Flyfishing was my escape from the "concrete jungle" from almost the beginning of my time here, and it helped me adapt to my new life, far away from all that I knew as a boy in mostly-rural Pennsylvania. I look back on all that now with some regret but also with much gratitude for the lessons learned and friends found. When I think about all the wonderful time spent in Cheeseman Canyon on the South Platte, or even on the river near Deckers, I am amazed that it has been so-long now, that so-much has changed. As I finally approach retirement, my plans for more time fishing are starting to form. I'd love to still be able to just throw a rod in the truck and head out whenever the mood strikes me, but when I go down there now, I'm never entirely happy about what I encounter. The Denver Metroplex has grown considerably in my time here and nearly all of my old "favorite" spots have been largely overrun. I fish for lots of reason, but the biggest now is the search for the illusion of privacy and peace. That's a pretty tall order these days on the local streams. I can and still do fish there, but only in the middle of the week and then only early or late in the season to avoid the raft hatches and the rest of the "ass-hats" for lack of a better description. Typical angry old white guy response I suppose, but that's how I see it anymore. How is everybody else's "local water" faring? I know that back in the land of my youth that isn't so-much of a problem, enough even that I'm considering a couple of extended scouting expeditions there to see if we might want to consider a partial relocate to back in that part of the world. How goes it in your part of the world?


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 26 Apr 2021, 13:49 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/16/05
Posts: 2135
Location: Georgia
There’s close to twice as many people in the US as in my youth, and some places get more concentration of that than others, certainly the Rockies. And 30 years is a long time, pretty much going to be changes no matter what. Put on top of that the last year of closed indoor activities, and on my trout streams in reach of Atlanta, mid-week looks like weekends 20 years ago. Only solution I’ve found is the age-old one; the harder you have to work to get there, the better the chance of seclusion.

In any event, I’d certainly suggest a trip to the streams of your youth, unless friends tell you it’s just too tragic. Maybe the area’s a little neglected, and you’ll enjoy present conditions as well as old memories.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 26 Apr 2021, 14:42 • #3 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/03/06
Posts: 651
Location: US-VA
Good thoughts - as I, also, live in a very busy Metro area - lived there for most of my life. No regrets at all - prefer this large Metro area to that of my youth. Far more people and the traffic can be brutal for visitors... But as I remind myself often, all these people make jobs for my family. Everyone I know has enjoyed a full career where you work a job of choice, not of necessity. And the food and entertainment is far better now than years before. Makes for a life of quality...
Now, the fishing resources are strained under this load of population. Hard to find solitude - I am with you on that - the reason why I fish, also. Until the last few years, local knowledge helped one find that solitude. But social media and blogs and guide books have opened up seemingly every resource to pressure, intense pressure - and then more social media...
A chorus of "catch anything?" is not why I wander and fish - I run from that. Hard to avoid, now. Hard to travel too far as family keeps me anchored, happily so. All is relative, and I wish I had the relative "wealth" of Denver area resources - far, far, far more lean here.
But, as they say, "you evolve or you die." I have moved to very light quality tackle( enjoy the Japanese vids - beautiful) , more hiking, beautiful canyons, and the smallest headwaters (and the smallest wild natives). Works out great - the hiking and the small fish and the lack of casting room really drives fishers away, it seems.
In my opinion, the Front Range is still a gold mine of resources for a very thriving Metro life style choice...


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 26 Apr 2021, 15:01 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 1052
Location: SJC
I agree with everyone above on all points.

I'll turn 55 this year, and have been looking around at where I might one day retire. That is a whole other story right there ... :)

But in general my motto is simple: if it takes less than an hour of hiking / biking / paddling / other muscle powered activity to get to, then I'm not interested. The places that are easy to get to are often the most fished-out and crowded. That was generally true around here before the pandemic, and even more so afterwards.

Brush ? Ticks ? Poison oak ? Rock scrambling ? Cross-country routes ? All-day hiking ? Sign me up ...

I follow a guy on Instagram who fishes some of those popular places in CO, and he has related some similar stories as the OP. But he gets out when it is cold and snowing, and that apparently scares a lot of people away ... :)


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 26 Apr 2021, 15:09 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 1748
Location: US-IL
Not that hard to avoid the crowds ,especially on foot.I rarely fish the popular places where the bass boats roar or the state parks on the rivers.I enjoy the small ponds and lakes and the creeks that feed the rivers.Not a bad thing at all that many people have returned to fishing.Just went on a 4 day trip with my oldest and youngest sons.The "baby" will be 30 this year and loved to fish as a child.He bought his first ever fishing license this year.Was too windy to play with the flyrods with 3 of us in a boat .We caught a ton of big crappies along with catfish and several species of sunfish.We returned to the water all the big females and the small ones and kept enough for the fish fry.I hope to be leaving my large metro area for a quieter less stressful rest of my life situation in a year or 2.There are 5 million people just in my county,and other than Lake Michigan not a lot of water.So the "hot spots" get over run pretty quick.The county has a lot of parks and lakes but are more interested in bike paths than managing their waters.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 26 Apr 2021, 18:24 • #6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1349
Location: urban Colorado
one word: carp

though even that has gotten crowded lately..

also nativebrown's strategy, have taken up baitcasting and other finesse tactics for panfish and stocked trout. My brother in north-western Australia, keeps sending pictures of deserted beaches and giant fish grilling over evening fires, it's very annoying.

I love the high country streams where there isn't a lot of crowding yet. Unfortunately those are only open a few months of the year.

Don't expect to be able to retire, but retirement would work even here in Denver I think.. lots of quite empty Wyoming, that isn't too far away.. and fishing on weekdays drops the crowds nicely.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 26 Apr 2021, 20:08 • #7 
Sport
Joined: 02/15/15
Posts: 99
Location: US-LA
Not to seem a smart ass but Metropolitan Denver has over three and a half million people! I fish western Montana most years, twice in 2020. I've also fished northern New Mexico and the Tennessee and North Carolina sides of G.S.M.N.P. and with work, north GA., northern CA. and western PA. I keep going back to MT. because I've practically never encountered anyone on the streams I fish there. I've never felt crowded anywhere to be honest but admit I've walked in a ways to fish in G.S.M.N.P.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 26 Apr 2021, 21:38 • #8 
Master Guide
Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 749
Location: RenoNV/FranklinWV
I lived in Denver from late 1983 through early 1986, fishing was good, crowds not bad but you could find a lot of solitude with little effort. Probably still can if you walk a bit further. Colorado is being loved to death, I don't think I would enjoy living there now, but maybe not as I pretty much enjoyed living everywhere I landed over the last 40 years. I will say I do not like big metro areas though, to much congestion, tense people and crime.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 27 Apr 2021, 09:27 • #9 
Sport
Joined: 10/30/18
Posts: 60
Location: Gateway to Death Valley
I'm retiring in a bit over a year and moving to western Colorado.
My wife thinks it's because of the grandkids there. Yea well she knows I have alternative motives.

Even now I don't fish on the weekends. I have every other Friday off and that's my on stream time. Can't get totally away from people even then but when I'm fishing I don't seem to notice unless there's a breach in fishing etiquette.

I bought a vehicle I can camp out of and my retirement plan is to be a trout bum. I've fished some of the famous streams in western Colorado and they weren't bad during the week normally. I did have the the Frying Pan all to myself one day mid week in December. It was 20 deg and I slipped slided down the bank to get to the water but I caught fish and had a fun day.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 27 Apr 2021, 10:17 • #10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 2231
Location: US-CO
Odonata wrote:
Brush ? Ticks ? Poison oak ? Rock scrambling ? Cross-country routes ? All-day hiking ? Sign me up ...


Odonata lives by my philosophy...add high altitude and lack of oxygen? Have to spend the night? He has demonstrated these on numerous occasions. Key point: a high physical price of admission means good fishing and beautiful surroundings!

PS: Make sure your rod can break down enough to be protected in your backpack enroute.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 27 Apr 2021, 12:38 • #11 
Sport
Joined: 07/19/19
Posts: 91
I think that same sentiment can be said for a lot of us. I'm still in the middle of my career, so a lot of you guys have way more wisdom than me; however I've even noticed changes over the last few years. Secrets get out, via different methods, which leads to more anglers. Here in the Midwest we don't have near the good water as compared out west so it can be tough at times; in fact down right frustrating. For the most part, I don't have tons of time on my hands to make elaborate trips so I still fish the busy waters.
A few things have helped me.........

Somewhat of a mentality shift to just accepting how things are. It seems as if, when I go fishing with the attitude that I know other anglers will be there already and to just deal with it; I have a better day. Maybe I run into a younger angler I can help out? That's a good feeling too.

Fish when the weather is crappy. When it's sunny and above 55 or so; the streams will be busy with traditional gear anglers, fly anglers too I guess. Some of my best days are when it's raining and below 40 degrees; most people don't like being in that.

Another thing I've done is be more technical with my approach; not sure how that would apply to out west. Here, most of the gear guys go through an area hard with a spinner bait or something similar; sure the most aggressive fish may hit those. AND I've seen fly anglers nymph the crap out of an area, fly line splashing around, hitting water hard putting fish down. I've literally walked right in behind these people been delicate with delivery and catch fish. I've learned to fish near bottom better.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 27 Apr 2021, 14:46 • #12 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 7089
Location: Holly Springs, NC
lone wolf wrote:
Some of my best days are when it's raining and below 40 degrees; most people don't like being in that.

Some of my best fishing days have been rainy and overcast. Or fishing in the late evening. I don't think fish like bright sunny days. After all, they don't have eyelids and can't contract their iris. Fewer motorboats in an area helps the fishing too.


Tom


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 27 Apr 2021, 15:32 • #13 
Guide
Joined: 08/19/16
Posts: 187
Location: Brazil
From my house, it takes about two hours of driving to get to salt water and about six hours to get to any trout fishing. For that reason I concentrate mostly on ultralight fly fishing for sub-tropical warmwater species in waters closer to home. The fish might not be so big but they are just as much fun to go after and catch.

Recently the local media has been warning about a new species that is starting to show up. It is called the “palometa” (also known as the red piranha), which is common in the Uruguay River basin on the west side of the state. But now the palometa is in the Jacuí River, which is only about 20 miles away. Most of them are much further upriver so far, about 100 miles away, but it’s probably just a matter of time. Up there commercial fishermen have reported losing up to 80% of the catch in their nets to the palometas. They’re not considered a particular danger to humans, while still deserving caution, but it remains to be seen what the impact will be on the aquatic ecosystem.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 27 Apr 2021, 16:31 • #14 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 1748
Location: US-IL
I agree,carp are a challenge can get really big and live in almost any fresh water.Even little ditches that leave flood control have them in some skinny water.They are not easy to catch,at least for me .I always spend a few days every season just fishing for carp.I usually catch them more often not fishing for them.I like when someone tells me there are nothing but carp in that pond.I try to match their disdain while thinking to myself AWSOME.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 27 Apr 2021, 19:18 • #15 
Master Guide
Joined: 11/04/15
Posts: 459
Location: US-FL
I'm headed for Montana once my father passes and I get his house ready to sell.

Not sure where in Montana I'll land. I want to spend a year there renting first, make sure my knees with moderate arthritis can stand the winters. After that, maybe Dillon, although closer to Glacier might be nice, too, although I'm sure it's prolly too pricey for me.

My county in FL currently has about 350k people in it. Traffic, tourists, crime, stoplights every 50 yds, packed roads, heat, humidity, I'm over it.

Dillon meets virtually all of my requirements. That's most likely where I'll end up. Prolly.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 28 Apr 2021, 10:19 • #16 
Sport
Joined: 02/04/14
Posts: 71
Location: US-MA
I live in coastal Massachusetts. There are has been a massive increase in fishing pressure the past five or so years, accelerating since the pandemic. Most new anglers here are Facebook/instagram folk, looking for photos to post. I have no use for them, though they are very easy to avoid. One particular man made water body draws enormous crowds at times so I don’t fish it.

Long walks on sand get rid of almost all. Some of my favorite saltwater locations require beach hikes, at the end one can count on unpressured fish.Fish that demand skill and discipline to catch take care of more, except for false albacore which cause a sort of madness in people.

For me, the good news is most lose interest move on after a few years. Smaller warm water ponds that do not receive trout stocking are often left alone, these have excellent fishing. In a few weeks, tidal creeks will be filled with fish and almost no fishermen.


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Re: Home Waters...
Post 28 Apr 2021, 14:52 • #17 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/25/16
Posts: 961
Location: Rocky Mountains - Colorado
I agree with the ideas and perceptions above...I am a Denver guy. I would like to be able to get out of the rat race in less than an hour drive, but that is almost impossible. So I make my trips to less pressured waters of Western Colorado and away from I-70.

I don't fish as often, but I fish better quality, weekdays and little used spots...the peace and quiet of standing in the river and waving a stick...


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