Native Colorado River cutthroat trout. Kara Armano photo.
Luckily, I’ve still been able to fish. Thanks to living over 8,000 feet and having plenty of high mountain streams and lakes, I have lots of options. At least so far.
I recently went to beat the heat that was nearing triple digits to a new-to-me high mountain stream to catch some native Colorado River cutthroat trout.
Thanks to our local TU chapter, Five Rivers, among many others, the Hermosa Creek fishery is incredible shape. I had one of those days when you catch a fish on nearly every cast. The water was clear and cold enough to numb my feet. At just 46 degrees, it felt great!
But I know that this summer my thermometer will get a workout on my local streams. With drought once again plaguing the West and rumblings of the scary word aridification, we need to be as cognizant as ever of the health of our streams and fish.
That means following the guidance of scientists. Knowing that trout struggle above 65 degrees, it is recommended to be cautious while fishing, or even better, move on to the next activity.
As anglers, that can be hard to do, but we can think creatively.
I’ve always wondered about the bird species flying around the rivers I fish, so what about downloading the Audubon app and finally learning their names?
Others have suggested snorkeling their waters to see fish in their homes. Or what about just testing out the polarization of your glasses to see how many fish you can spot? Or how about teaching that friend who keeps asking about your addiction to cast, read water, tie flies, etc?
I know these don’t sound that appealing compared to tricking trout to hand, but we all need to play a part. I know I will.
If you’re interested to learn more about our work around climate click below and take action. Our elected officials need to know that this issue affects us all and our beloved trout.