Short Casts: Building a better rainbow, Grizzly vs. trout, and more

The Denver Post had an interesting piece over the weekend about how rainbow trout are making a comeback in Colorado, after being decimated by whirling disease since the 1990s (several other Western states were hit hard, too, including Montana). What’s exciting biologists is the discovery of a strain of Gunnison River rainbows that don’t seem susceptible to the disease. Now state biologists (aided by Trout Unlimited volunteers) are on a breeding blitz to see if this strain of trout can help reestablish wild rainbows in the Arkansas River—and if successful there, in other Colorado rivers and streams.

As the article notes, Colorado spends $3.8 million a year to stock 2,800 lakes and reservoirs and 9,500 miles of streams with 5.8 million rainbows.

Restoring a wild, self-sustaining population of rainbows in Colorado would be a huge breakthrough.

Here’s another encouraging restoration story about efforts to bring back native Yellowstone Lake cutthroats, which in recent decades have been decimated by lake trout. Thanks to the unflagging efforts of Wyoming TU’s Dave Sweet and partners, the tide is turning.

In other news around the fly-fishing world:

We tend to glorify long casts and distance, but Todd Tanner makes a good case for getting in close as one of the key skills of a fly-fisherman (or hunter for that matter).

Ever had dreams about becoming a fishing guide? I’ve always admired the unique combination of skills (fishing expert, teacher, life coach, etc.) that goes into being a great guide, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have the skill set. But if you think you do – check out the latest Orvis podcast from the legendary Tom Rosenbauer.

Oh, and talking about fishing skills--you gotta see this awesome video of a Grizzly bear fishing for Yellowstone cutthroat trout. He’s definitely in the zone. (Just don’t emulate the bear’s opening move.)

And now, for your moment of fly-fishing Zen:

  Colorado River browns, courtesy Ivan Orsic, Trouts Fly Fishing in Denver


Randy Scholfield is TU's communications director for the Southwest region.


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