Short casts: Big day in Colorado, micro-fishing and condoms

A Colorado River cutthroat trout from the Roan Plateau. Photo by Chris Hunt


There’s great news from Colorado today, as two landscapes with some very fishy resources earned protection from the drill bit. The Roan Plateau in western Colorado—home to a unique strain of native Colorado River cutthroat trout—and the Thompson Divide, just a bit south and east of the Roan, are both safe for the time being, after the BLM announced a resource management plan (on the Roan) and withdrew some natural gas leases (on the Thompson Divide).


The Divide is home to the headwaters of some storied rivers, like the Crystal, the Roaring Fork and the East Fork of the Gunnison. The Roan is a more intimate landscape, lined by steep canyons and coursed by small streams bursting with wild and native fish. Both landscapes provide some amazing backcountry fishing, and both are important sources of cold, clean Rocky Mountain water.


It’s a good day to be native cutthroat trout in Colorado. It’s an even better day to be an angler.


Video of the day


Speaking of an angler having a good day, here’s one fly rodder who learned an important lesson after tangling with a 1,500-pound great white shark (yes, seriously). Nobody was injured in the brief battle—the angler wisely broke the giant fish off before things got interesting. Nevertheless, who gets to say they fought a massive white shark … on a fly?


And I totally get the appeal. Big fish are a lot of fun, and frankly, they’re challenging. So I’m a bit confused about this new fad, “micro-fishing,” where folks are intentionally trying to catch tiny fish. The logic is that it opens up a whole new world of fishing for anglers who might be struggling to find local angling opportunities. As an aside, who doesn’t want to catch a fish named the pirate perch?


It’s proof that fishing is for the passionate, right? I stumbled upon this piece in the New York Times that proves that, once the bug hits, it never really goes away, even if geography and an uninspiring day spent fishing with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia try to quell the urge.


And, of course, that passion often leads to creativity. Or, if you’re a fisherman in Cuba, necessity. This may be the first documented and bona fide use of a birth control device in the angling world. But, when you can pull out fish worth a month’s salary using a condom as a bait-delivery method, why the heck not?


Think about that for a minute. Four month’s salary. And we worry about our roll casts.


Until next time…


-Chris Hunt






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