Today's rivers wear the scars of our past

Abandoned mines of yesteryear continue to take a toll on our rivers
The abandoned Eagle Mine in Colorado. According to the US EPA, the mine left large amounts of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc in the soil, and led to large fish kills in the Eagle River and threatened drinking water (photo: el-toro / CC 2.0).

It looked like our trip to Colorado was going to be canceled. The report was that the trout were stressed out and needed a break. Our first thought was heat, the usual culprit for stressed fish. Hailing from southern California, Bob and I were well aware of the ravages of drought and heat on coldwater fisheries, not only locally but throughout the U.S. as climate change continues to wreak havoc and elected officials continue to ignore it. But the year had been a mild one, and in fact the amount of snow and rainfall had been heavier than in most years.

Greenback cutthroat trout spawning in native range for first time since restoration efforts began

Last week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced that the first-ever documented spawning of greenbacks from the genetically pure Bear Creek lineage
A foot-long greenback, one of the fish originally stocked in Herman Gulch from the genetically pure Bear Creek population (photo: CPW).

Greenback cutthroat trout, the state fish of Colorado that was once thought to be extinct, are now spawning in their native watershed, Gov. Jared Polis announced on Friday.

Review: Lone Bison Heritage fly tying table

Putting Lone Bison's handmade, distinctive tying tables to the test
Photo: Chris Hunt

I enjoy tying my own flies. That doesn’t mean I’m particularly good at it.

I’ve reached a certain level of acceptable competency with my tying, however — I have a few patterns down pat, and can tie them fairly well and fairly quickly (the latter is important, because I often find myself tying right up to the 11th hour before a fishing trip). That said, anything that can make my tying more efficient is something I’m interested in.

The trout will let you know

If no one's swinging, it's probably because you're not throwing strikes
Photo: Matt Shaw

The great Ted Williams once watched three pitches go by without offering the slightest evidence of a swing. The umpire yelled “ball” each time, and—upset with those calls—the young catcher behind the plate turned and complained.

“You’re squeezing us, man!”

“Listen, bud,” the umpire responded, “when your pitcher throws a strike, Mr. Williams will let you know.”

How to learn to love small fish again

New anglers and kids have it right
Photo: Spencer Durrant

For all the current problems facing Utah’s Wasatch Front — overdevelopment, drought, and a general disregard for traffic laws — it’s a wonderful place to live if you’re a trout angler. Rivers and streams are just minutes from the big cities and towns, and their trout consistently grow close to that 20-inch mark. It’s the sort of fishing that spoils an angler.

It certainly spoiled me.