Recent Changes and Things to come for 2018 @ Sacred Waters CO Inc. & Foundation.
You may ask, Why did we restructure the organization?
To benefit our Mission even more which in-turn benefits you our donors as well as everyone and everything here in Southwest CO. With the addition of our second 501(c)3 Nonprofit Charity Foundation we can offer not only higher tax deductions for our Donors and our organization we can also fund much more money towards our Mission Goals. The original Sacred Waters CO Inc. is still a nonprofit but now a 501(c)7 Social Club which will not only help provide only the highest quality Guided Fishing experiences to our Donor Members but too remaining a nonprofit will give us tax breaks and a better budget, organizational structure, and financial transparency than any for-profit Outfitting Business can accomplish. We aren't here to make millions of dollars for ourselves we are here to make every cent we can count to move our Mission forward.
How did the nice, warm, sunny winter weather depress you, why, what happened?
Well long story short, we started the Winter Weather Season, cold yet very dry as waters started to freeze up higher slowing flows to the larger lower sections of our rivers as well as giving higher evaporation rates to unfrozen portions of the rivers the waters became extremely low and clear about 25% or less than average flows for most of the Winter Season. Also with such low, clear waters and mild winter weather our birds of prey (fish eaters) did very well this winter (Bald Eagles, Osprey, Blue Herons, Kingfishers, & Mergansers) did not migrate as far south actually many just migrated to Pagosa Springs and Bayfield area waters so we had a lot of fish kill in our waters that remain open through the Winter months. In addition with our ever growing human population here in Colorado most of our larger, open public waters have and are receiving much more human fishing pressure including from the “meat-hunters” at the worst timing & conditions. As well as from the also ever growing wannabe new and existing guide services and fly shops that seem to be popping up around every corner, most too which seem to care more about making a buck than being proper stewards of our fisheries and too don't seem to mind doing fishless trips. As many of you have read in Newsletters, Blog Posts, &/or on my social media I've always held myself as well as any of my guides/professional anglers to much higher standards than most do in the fishing industry. We turned down every guide trip request from mid-Nov. to March because we do hold higher standards and again as you may of heard me state time and time again “We care way more about these fisheries and their fishes than we do about making money.” As you may know me and my professional anglers usually fish around 3-4 days a week but this Winter we barely fished more than an hour or two here and there about 35 days total in 5 months from Nov.-March many as quick population checks at prime times and not going to lie to get our much needed fishing fixes.
We here at Sacred Waters were extremely concerned about a lack of snow/water for the 2018 Fishing Season. But not all is lost, February brought us up on snow-pack/water to around 50% of average snow-pack, and March too brought some more much needed moisture too. On another positive note our waters started thawing out to wide open fish-able water higher upstream on our fisheries starting about the first week on March. As we went to scout out some of these headwaters fisheries we have noticed that we had not lost hardly any fishes on our waters that freeze probably due to the fact the iced over water protected the fishes not only from predators but also from over-fishing pressure for about 4 months. We are now seeing a boost in flows and good color in most of our local fisheries with many fishes migrating about from wintering waters to their favorite springtime areas and/or with our wild rainbows & native cutthroats preparing to spawn here in the next few months. Fishing has been great so far! Now we do have much more optimism for the 2018 Fishing Season if history repeats itself as the last 3 years weather trend we should hopefully receive more moisture in throughout the entire Summer. NOAA is reporting long range forecasts of above average precipitation for the Summer of 2018 so that has us all here in SW CO feeling much better about our future here. The last 3 years we had received more significant precipitation snow up high and rain down lower in April and May more than average and more than most of the normal winter months precipitation bringing us back up to average moisture or slightly above average for the year, did get a little more in April & May 2018 but not as much as the last few years. Let's hope, pray, rain dance, keep our fingers crossed, whatever that this 2018 Summer season will end up cooler and wetter.....
So what's all this weather and water conditions talk mean to you as interested parties, supporters, donors, members of Sacred Waters CO Inc. and Sacred Waters Foundation?
Well, if recent historic weather/water trends continue or get even better is All Good, our Sacred Conservation Waters remain full of cool clean water and as we continue our Mission will everything only improve our fisheries as well as provide quality fishing, learning, and healing experiences to our charities, members, and the ecosystem alike. But, there is always the flip side of the coin, since the past 3 years weather trends did not really continue as well as we’d like this year and we stayed fairly average slightly warmer and drier through April & May means that Your Support of Sacred Waters is even More Crucial than ever..... And if you want to get some of the best fishing of the year in this year you might want to consider getting here sooner than later. We can't really predict or control/change the weather, but we can provide the best fishing at the best times and protect our waters and fishes at the worst times. But we can only accomplish this with your generous donations.
Why? What do you mean? You may ask...
We at Sacred Waters take our Mission and doing what's Best for the Environment Very Seriously! If we do not receive the proper amount of moisture this season we could see extremely low, clear, warm-hot water in some of our locally fisheries. Since we do Care deeply about our C.A.R.E. Mission and our local ecosystems we need to do what's Best to Protect our fisheries. We can do so by having the ability to continue our environmental protection leases of our Sacred Waters Conservation Waters/Ranches to have the funds to monitor, manage, and make improvements of these ecosystems to the highest standards which may include but not limited to limiting fishing/guiding pressure, planting trees, making necessary stream improvements, plant fingerling fishes to help sustain fish populations that may have suffered due to uncontrollable factors such as weather, water conditions on all our Sacred Conservation Waters/Ranches.
As Donors of the Sacred Waters Foundation and/or Donor Club Members of Sacred Waters CO. Inc. you provide us this ability and funds to do so through your generous donations helping us accomplish this Mission. Our 2017 Donor Charter Members have made this all happen and with renewals of their memberships starting to come through recently I have faith that we will continue our Mission well into the future.
As for you new interested parties we can not grow without you!
We do have a Limited Total of 15 Donor Fishing Memberships at present structure (subject to expand as we grow). Our Platinum/Corporate Level (5ppl/Co.'s + their guest/s), Gold Level (5ppl + guest/s), Silver Level (5ppl. + guest) Level Donors that gets more Guided Flyfishing Access to even more Exclusive Private Conservation Waters/Ranches as well as a New Bronze Level Fishing Donor Member Level.
What's New @ Sacred Waters?:
Donor Member Level Changes for 2018:
In our restructuring we have made the Bronze Donor Level into a Guided Fishing Membership Package too. The New Bronze Level is limited to some specific Conservation Waters/Ranches on a more day by day Guide Fee. Why did we add a Bronze Level Fishing Package? Well to stick to our truthful transparent ways we did so for a few reasons.
How does the Bronze Level Fishing Package benefit you the donor?
You can still help a good cause no matter your budgetary or time restraints.
We can now offer quality fishing to even more people which helps not only our Mission.
For those of you who would like to help, donate, etc but can not afford the higher level package prices this gives you the ability to give tax-deductible donations to great causes, receive some guided fishing trips on Quality Private and Public Waters with our highly experienced Professional Anglers.
Some of you who just don't have the time to do more than a trip or two a year in this area can still get some excellent guided fishing in on great waters and also can still be able to be Guided by some of your favorite Professional Anglers.
Offering this too will not only benefit Bronze level donors but all Donor Levels & Charity Events with helping extend everyone's fishing season with not only just more locations to choose from but also could save the day if weather or water conditions make your preferred booked location unfishable or a planned Charity Event from being canceled with more variety in more locals we can much more easily adapt to the conditions.
Gets more people out on the water enjoying the zen like moments of fly fishing and being outdoors as well as the educational/learning, rehabilitating/healing experiences. As many of you may have heard me say the #1 reason I do what I do for a living is to bring new people into the sport of fly fishing because I believe the more addicted and passionate you become to fly fishing the more conservation minded you will become to help protect what you love. This doesn't only help you as a fly fisher, but benefits everyone with the higher quality fishing throughout our local river systems, cleaner, healthier environment all around and for future generations.
How's the Bronze Package help Sacred Waters?
First off it helps acquire more Conservation Water Leases that we can help protect, enhance/improve, and provide even more locations to all our charities and donors alike.
Helps us afford Conservation Leases on properties that may not necessarily meet all our standards &/or requirements of what we classify as Sacred Conservation Waters. For example checker boarded out property lines/multiple owners which we can not properly manage 100%. Shorter river mileage that does not provide multi days or not even full days worth of fishing and/or mileage to proper spread out fishing pressure, lower quality &/or more seasonal fisheries where the property may be great fishing location for shorter periods of time or specific seasons.
Protection to waters that may suffer for thermal issues like too warm of water in the peak of Summer fishing season but great alternatives/options for other off-season times when access to some other locations may be closed for the season, frozen, or just not optimal for fishing.
The more smaller ranches/waters we can acquire the more ½ day trips we can offer, the more we can spread out all fishing pressure to All Donor Levels as well as our charities events, and the more small pieces of sanctuary waters spread out among our local river systems we can properly manage and maintain the more beneficial it will be to the entire river system public and private.
Helps us get better exposure to to a higher population of people, those out there who may want to see what we offer, what we do as land stewards/managers, what we do as Professional Anglers and a sort of stepping stone to test the waters (pun intended) before dedicating a whole lot of your time and money at the higher donor level packages.
Can Save the Day, if uncontrollable factors such as water or weather conditions don't allow for good fishing and/or a charity group or donor wants to come out here and try some fishing at so-called off-season times just gives us more variety to adjust and accommodate throughout the entire year.
Finally, let's be honest more revenue, the more we have to offer the more revenue we can produce to not only provide our Professional Anglers with steady work and a livable income but as we are structured totally different than any other outfitting business out there we can raise more funds to grow and complete all of our Mission goals sooner and better with lesser budgetary funding issues all throughout our area and hopefully eventually throughout the fishing industry in years to come.
Donor Level Changes for 2018:
Bronze Level (*Now a Fishing Package*) Donations of $150.00 or more to the Sacred Waters Foundation will receive a yearly/annual membership to Sacred Waters CO Inc. Club will have access to Guided Fly fishing trips on Bronze Level Ranches/Waters and Public Waters with a daily guide fee at standard fair market rates and only limitations to access of these trips would be based on weather, water, fishing conditions, &/or pressure.
Silver Level has stayed the same other than the addition of New Waters/Ranches becoming available for 2018.
We had also lower the Gold Package Level Donor Package down to $5500.00 from $7500.00 but kept all the same benefits. As of today will have access to a total of 6 Private Ranches and 4 Public Waters, which equals around 20 days of fishing without ever seeing the same piece of water twice as well as helping allow us to equally distribute fishing/guiding pressure even more which not only benefits you as an angler it benefits our fishes/fisheries, our ability to provide even more charity trips to our local youth and Veterans Groups. At present Gold Level benefits this would equal about 3 years of fishing completely different waters each time. With negotiations currently in the works for even more private waters/ranches we will only be able to offer more and complete even more of our Mission Goals.
The Platinum/Corporate Level has stayed the same, other than with us growing and being able to obtain even more Conservation Waters/Ranches. All levels will received the benefit of More, New Waters to help protect as well as have provide fishing access to more charities as well as to You donor members. With that said Platinum Donors as of today will have access to a total of 7 Private Ranches and 4 Public Waters, which equals about 30+ days of fishing without ever seeing the same piece of water twice that equals about 3+ years of fishing with our present locations and even more as we grow at the Platinum Level. With negotiations currently in the works for even more private waters/ranches we are only going to grow and do more as we move forward.
Original 2017 Charter Donor Members:
As promised you will be set a your Discounted 2017 Donor Level Pricing for Life and able to upgrade your Level at the 2017 Discounted Rate for Life (your discounted Guest/s Guide Fees will remain the same as 2017 for life too.) all for making this Dream a Reality. This information is in your 2017 Donor Contract if you have any questions always feel free to contact us anytime. (970)444-2187 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New 1st time 2018 Donor Fishing Members:
Anyone who donates to a Fishing Donor Membership Level in 2018 will be set at 2018 Donor Level Pricing for 3 years if renewed annually for those next three years. With our plans of only growing this could be extremely beneficial to you as more waters/ranches are acquired.
Platinum/Corporate Level Donors: Everything is the same as 2017 benefits other than New Waters being added.
All Gold and Silver Level Donors: You will also receive as the same as in 2017 (1) Orientation Day with your allocate number of daily guest/s on the East Fork Ranch (EFR) and (1) orientation day on any new waters/ranches as they become available.
NEW Bronze Level Donor Guided Fishing Package: As explained above not only will you receive the same Gifts as promised in 2017 Bronze Level you can now get some access to Private and Public Water Guided Fishing Trips. Bronze Level Donors of $150.00 or more to our Charity Foundation will be able to fish our Bronze Level Waters at our standard guide rates. Not only are you able to receive access to some of the Best Waters Southwest Colorado has to offer but you get to fish with the Best Most Experienced Professional Anglers as your Guides while helping great causes.
*2018 Early Season Specials/Discounts* : The Early Bird gets the Worm... Well sorta, we don't need any worms unless you're speaking of the San Juan Worm Fly Pattern. But the early angler will get the fish for sure.
On that note any New Donors for 2018 that Donate Before June 1st 2018 will do so at a Discounted Rate and the early bird will get the worm too with a Free ½ dozen San Juan Worm type fly patterns in addition to our normal donor level gifts and benefits.
Rates for New Donor Levels if paid by 06/01/2018 :
Bronze Level: $150.00 Now Only: $125.00 till June 1st, 2018 applicable Guide Fees Apply and less (-)$25.00 on total Guide Fee on Bronze Level Donor Trips for all your trips if pre-booked before June 1st 2018.
Silver Level: $3500.00 Now Only: $3400.00 till June 1st, 2018 less (-)$25.00 for Guest Guide Fees for all trips pre-booked before July 1st 2018.
Gold Level: $5500.00 Now Only: $5200.00 till 06/01/2018 less (-)$25.00 for Guest/s Guide Fees per person per trip for all Trips pre-booked before August 1st 2018.
Platinum/Corporate Level: $10,000.00 Now Only: $9500.00 till 6/1/18 (-)$25.00 for Guest/s Guide Fess per person per trip for all of 2018.
*Please keep in mind if you do donate by no later than June 01, 2018 this will also be your membership renewal level for up to 3 years if you consecutively renewed annually.*
*Trips pre-booked by said date means prescheduling all your Guided Fishing Trips/Days for the Season NOT have to take trip by said dates.*
(*After June 1st 2018 all Donor Member Level Packages will go back up to Original Pricing, Guest/s Fees will also return to original pricing, and all level prices are subject to increase as we expand through the future.*)
Current & Future Projects for Sacred Waters CO Inc. in 2018:
As stated above we have expanded our river mileage of our Conservation Waters so far in 2018 and still in negotiations for possibly few more hopefully before the Season get into full swing.
As well as work in progress on offering Hosted Destination Travel Trips, more discounted Lodging Packages becoming available soon here locally, more activities such as whitewater rafting & kayaking, horseback trail rides, hunting and much more.
Newest Bronze Level Conservation Waters: *Accessible By All Other Donor Level Members.*
Fairway Ranch on the San Juan River, Pagosa Springs, CO.- (Bronze Level Location.)
The Fairway Ranch is the first Private Ranch just south/downstream of the town of Pagosa Springs. Excellent location for most all physical and fishing ability levels depending on water level. Being just below downtown very quick, easy access location great for ½ day Guided Fly fishing trips. At higher, fuller flows can be a Full Day worth of fishing with 1-2 people. Fairway Ranch has had some stream/habitat improvement work done that has made for faster deeper pools that in the Summer months help protect the fish from overheating thermal issues being just a mile or so from the Pagosa Hot Springs. This location is also one of the very few areas of any of our local river sections that does not freeze in the Winter month due to the Hot Springs influence and becomes a sanctuary for fishes in the Winter months. With deeper wintering pool and slightly warmer water temperatures in the colder month many fishes in the San Juan River drainage migrate to winter over on this property. This Ranch/ section of Conservation Water is available to all Donor Member Levels, but is one of our Bronze Level locations due to a few reasons. It's close proximity to town makes for ability to offer ½ day trips, easy access, open casting room, fairly easy walking/wading, just a really good location for beginners and to get new people into fly fishing. For example I have guided a 80 year old women on a Bucket List trip on this Ranch and had guided a 10 year old boy on his first ever fishing experience too, with no complications and everyone catching some trophy sized fish. While having slightly warmer water we do get a nice little bonus of some common carp that haunt the waters here. So you also have an opportunity to hook into a Golden Ghost and maybe see your backing for the first time.
Wommer Ranch on the Pine/Los Pinos River, Bayfield, CO.- (Bronze Level Location.)
The Pine/Los Pinos River tailwater below Vallecito Reservoir is a fantastic fishery in our opinion one of the best trout fisheries in the state if not the entire country. Due to fact that the river is a bottom release tailwater river it is extremely fertile ecosystem with an abundance of food(insects) and because it is a bottom release tailwater the river stays at a steady cool temperature year-round. This river grows some of the largest most beautiful trout you find anywhere. Other advantage to this location being a tailwater without much for tributary feeder stream influence this river stays crystal clear most all the time and being dam controlled rarely ever blows out to none fish-able levels &/or color. This location is a little on the tougher side of fish-ability Average Summer flows hold at the 500-700 CFS from usually May- Oct. which can make for hard wading and slight better fly fishing techniques and skill to effectively present and work each pool and pocket, but the rewards of your effort can be well worth the hard work. Similar to our Pick Bar Ranch just downstream but Wommer's is offered at the Bronze Level as well as to any other Donor Level interested in checking out some different water.
ALL New Bronze Level Public Waters: *Accessible By All Other Donor Level Members too*
To expand our offerings to those of you that want to learn about fly fishing that may have more time &/or budget restraints. We offer some easy access, close to or in town guided fly fishing trips, while being public waters these fisheries are quality fisheries that we feel can offer a lot to our anglers. While sticking to CARE Mission Goals offering public water trips only helps advance these Goals forward.
As you are being guided by only the best Professional Anglers here in Southwest CO you will observe and be taught about the pros & cons of our Colorado Parks & Wildlife management and/or positive & negative effects of the Fishing Industry &/or Commercial Outfitting Industry of these fisheries. How we are trying to help make any necessary changes to improve these fisheries. As well as the knowledge of what you can do to help while knowing that your Donations and Guide Fees are going towards conserving these Publicly accessible waters is not only for yourself but for everyone who enjoys fishing here in Southwest Colorado and future generation to come.
This is a key Mission Goal that really goes hand & hand with our local public water fisheries. Our Advocacy Mission Goal is to be influential with state and federal management agencies in helping to move forward on better management of our local publicly accessible fisheries as things change here locally like the ever expanding higher tourist populations, growing new resident populations, water/irrigation rights issues, overfishing pressure, mismanagement of put & take/catch & kill attitudes, etc... that are already making a noticeable impact on our very few miles of easily accessible public waters that everyone should be able to enjoy.
We discuss all throughout our websites, social media, emails, &/or on fishing trips with all of you the Rehabilitating effects, causes & reactions of Fly fishing on the human mind, how it has been shown time & time again be it University Studies, personal experiences, through groups like Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Patriot Anglers, Casting for a Cure, Sacred Waters CO and the like that fly fishing does help people overcome some obstacles that life has thrown them from PTSD issues, terminal illnesses, addiction problems, living with disabilities, stress, depression, etc., etc. Offering this easy access, close to town, public waters helps us provide guided fishing trips to everyone, our charities, &/or donors that may have more restraints is physical abilities, that may have issues that could cause a need for close immediate medical attention, to some of our disabled or disadvantaged youth that can sometimes shut down & need to leave at short to no notice. In addition the second part of our Rehabilitation Mission is the ecological/environmental rehabilitating that may be needed in certain areas and following our Advocacy Mission we can be helpful in the rehab of these public waters for all to be able to experience the great outdoors no matter their restrictions.
As most of our Mission Goals are all pretty intertwined Education falls right into each of them too. As you who know me have heard say that “I'm not a Guide, I'm a Teacher!” My most rewarding days aren't usually the most fish caught or the biggest caught by my clients or myself, but those times you see the spark, when you see the light bulb click on in someone's eyes, they got it, they're learning, be it the fishing bug/addiction, the cast, the drift, the hook-set, the lessons of the fights won or lost, the understanding of the environment, the reasons behind the Sacred Waters Mission, and how we need to fix what we humans broke and protect what we still have. Those are my best days on the water usually! As we offer more variety of trips and pricing through the Bronze Level we will only be able to Educate more people and those people will want to practice better Conservation, Advocate for what's right & what's best for our communities human & wild, Rehabilitate not only the stresses of their own but hopefully others as well as their local environments & beyond. Finally of course “Pass it On! Keeping Educating others...
San Juan River, Downtown Pagosa Springs, CO.-
What we term the San Juan Proper (meaning the real wild trout river in CO not the man-made tailwater end in NM.)
This river system is the home where our hearts are while we do hold most of our Conservation Leases along this river system we all enjoy the 2 miles of Public Water Downtown especially in the less touristy so-called off-season months. With the Pagosa Hot Springs flowing into the middle of this public water section of the San Juan River the river stays free of ice and warmer water tends to concentrate good populations of sometimes very large trout throughout the Winter and less outdoors traffic can be fantastic days fishing right in town. Nowadays the river can be pretty busy in the peak tourist seasons but early morning or late evening fishing can be awesome with less distraction. The whole length of town has had stream improvement work done creating a consistent pool to pool ratio so there's usually always a good pool to wet a line in. I had managed the fish planting/stocking through the town section through the Pagosa Quality Fishing Project and for those 5-6 years our budget to purchase fish continually got cut-down every year, but proper with stocking efforts as I managed it every year the State Biologist still continually got better population numbers. So yeah town does hold a lot of pelletheads/domestic farm fish, but at fish migration times Spring & Fall you'll notice a plethora of trophy holdover fish, wild & native fishes moving through town as well as the planted stockers. This too will show with how the proper management of Our Private Sacred Waters above & below the Public town section is improving the entire fishery as fish have no boundaries and will move about the entire river system as needed to spawn, to find colder or warmer preferred water temperatures throughout the season, for food, for proper seasonal pools, etc... We do prefer the off-season months to fish or guide town due to recent increase in growth here locally the last five years. But you can fish the San Juan downtown most everyday year-round.
Animas River, Durango, CO.-
The Animas river in downtown Durango is managed much better than many State managed public waters due to it's Gold Medal Classification, and Artificial Fly & Lure Only, (2) fish 16” or over bag limit on not only the Gold Medal Section but same Regulations in place on the Southern Ute Reservation Waters as well. The Animas is well known as a trophy trout river worldwide because it is, this fairly large river that happens to be also the longest free flowing river(no dams/reservoirs) in the United States. Some State Records Brown Trout have come out of this river over the years and holds high populations of both holdover & Wild Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout as well as the occasional Cuttbow or Cutthroat of which many are of trophy size. This river can be a little tricky at times it fertile nature promotes weed & algae growth that can making wading slippery and even tougher due to it is a large river especially at higher water times. But with many miles of public access it can be accommodating to most angler abilities and physical abilities with many different areas and terrains as you can drive, bike or walk most of it via the roads around town or the 7 mile long paved Animas River Trail. Float or Wade Full and Half Day Trips.
Vallecito Lake/Reservoir, Vallecito/Bayfield, CO.-
Vallecito is a fairly large man-made reservoir that is home to a variety of Trophy Game Fishes. With healthy populations of trophy size Brown and Rainbow Trout, including some State Record sized Browns being caught here, so have State Record Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass and some of the Walleye & Kokonee Salmon are getting close to state record class sizing. We offer boat and wade trips of half or full days on Vallecito for all species, this is also the Only Location we Allow Conventional Fishing Gear/Hardware, but Artificial Lures Only. Also a location where we may allow some selective harvest of certain species, at certain times, at slot sizes and limited bag limit. A day on the lake beats a day at work no matter what be it fishing or not. Great location for families, people with disabilities, or larger groups our Pontoon Boat slipped on the lake holds up to 6 anglers and since half of our Professional Anglers live at, have lived at and guided in Vallecito throughout our lives we hold this Little Valley dear to our hearts too. Those of you whom never tried fly fishing for warmwater species like Pike, Bass, Walleye this is a place to try or for you purist whom never tried fishing with conventional gear we can teach you a thing or two about that here also.
Public Waters in the Columbine & San Juan National Forests & Weminuche Wilderness:
We work with other Local Outfitters in the area but due to Federal Laws we can not advertise specifics on Federal Land Trips. But please feel free to contact us and we can help you schedule a more off the beaten path Wilderness Fishing, hiking, horseback riding experience. We are all independent contractors as Professional Anglers so don't fret we can still be your Guides on these trips.
Discounted Hosted/Destination Trips:
Since all of us here have been in the fishing industry most our lives we've been fortunate to make some good fishing friends from all over. We are trying to work into our schedules and budgets some more travel to other destinations outside of Colorado. In the slower, colder months when our local waters are mainly frozen or lesser to none accessible we can still get in on some fantastic fishing abroad when their fishing is at its best.
If you'd like an East Coast Adventure: As some of you know our Sacred Waters PA Jon Oody from Tennessee. I've known Jon his whole adult life and we had worked, fished, guided together through a few Outfitters I've managed over the last 10 years. Jon grew up to be one of the best guides and anglers I know and in recent years has started Tennessee Valley Anglers at Guide Service in East TN. Specializing in some unique fishing opportunities on the fly as well as conventional, boat or wade, for species like Musky, Stripped Bass, Carp/Drum, Bass, as well as Trout Fishing Float & Wade Trips on everything from huge southern tailwater rivers to tiny creeks in the Great Smokie Mountains. If interested in exploring what Jon and Tennessee have to offer feel free to give us a call and we'll help you get your trip scheduled.
We are currently hashing out some details and pricing on other trips and will update as things come together. But for a little teaser of where we may be able to book you a discounted fishing vacation or bring you along on a trip hosted by us. Other than Tennessee, we're hoping to have theses scheduled within the year.
SoCal fishing inshore and offshore in the Pacific Ocean on either a 24.5' inshore boat for the day, to overnight and multi-day trips offshore on a 35' cabin cruiser for Yellowtail, YellowfinTuna, Bluefin Tuna, Bonita, Blue Sharks, Mako Sharks, and more on the fly. Overnight or multi-day trips boat sleeps up to 6 people.
Multiple Hawaiian Islands not just for Saltwater fishes either, I have friends guiding not just some of the largest Bonefish you'll ever see, but Giant Travelly, bluefin travelly, peacock bass, large & smalmouth bass, as well as a multitude of other exotic tropical fresh & saltwater fishes and believe it or not even trout.
South Texas Trips in overnight, multi-day, or day trip floats for Freshwater for Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Guadalupe Bass. On the Coast for Redfish (Red Drum), Black Drum, Speckled Sea Trout, and the occasional Tarpon.
Michigan Great Lakes Tributary Rivers for Salmon, Steelhead, and resident trout. Wade or float trips on some of the iconic rivers of American Fly-fishing history. From swinging flies on two-handed rods in huge rivers to bushwhacking smaller streams our friends in MI have a lot to offer.
We are working with some existing Lodgers here locally to offer discounted rates to our Charities and Donors alike who may need a place to stay when visiting Southwest Colorado. We will update you all with details as well as add a Lodging Page to our website as everything is finalized.
Other Exciting Lodging coming soon, through all of your generous donations, and our completely different business structure two of our Conservation Lease Owners are able to and starting to build some cabins on two of our Ranches, with planned completion hopefully by the 2019 Season we will have on-site lodging options to freely house our Charity Groups as well as even higher discounted lodging for our Donor Members.
Upcoming Charity Events and Mission Projects:
We will be hosting as usual Veterans Groups from Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and Patriot Anglers throughout the 2018 Season.
We are working with the Archuleta County School District, High School and Jr High Special Needs Classes and hosting educational & fishing trips with these kids on our Sacred Waters throughout 2018 School year this Spring and Fall. We're trying to get some seedling trees from a few sources here shortly to have some tree planting days with a couple local youth groups during the somewhat boring run-off season and after we stop having frosty nights.
We are collecting even more environmental data starting this season you will notice a little more photos, measurements, accurate counts done by your Professional Anglers on all our Guided Trips from now and moving forward. We will also have a fisheries biologist and a stream work specialist visiting each Sacred Waters Conservation Ranch annually or more doing electro-shock surveys, fly-overs/Ariel photo mapping of all the ranches/waters, and possibly do some small needed tweaks of some of the rivers habitat work. We are going to monitor the waters and fishes extensively and build a detailed database annually to truly manage and adjust throughout the years to come. All data will be regularly published for all to see on both websites to help preserve and/or create the Best Wild Trout Fisheries we can on our Sacred Waters...
We will also be filming a lot this year on a Disabled Veterans' Documentary Film Project on the Benefits of Fly Fishing to those suffering from PTSD. Filming started in mid-May and will continue throughout the Fall of 2018. With planned completion/publication of the Film sometime in 2019.
We are also in process of organizing at least one or two Catch and Release Fishing Tournaments in Memory of our friend Rick Bartholomew who unexpectedly passed away in Jan. 2018 Rick loved fishing like many of us do and was a great friend to many here in Pagosa Springs. In memory of Rick we are creating a Scholarship Fund from the Tournament Proceeds for local youth. We'll keep you posted as it comes together, there's some Governmental Red Tape to deal with in holding tournaments and to stick to our Mission we are exploring many options on procedures to properly and safely manage everything.
Exact dates will be posted on the Donor Member Private Booking Calendar on www.sacredwaters.co to help you Donor Members schedule your Guided Fishing Trips and Publicly on Sacred Waters Foundation Calendar www.sacred-waters.org for anyone to come out to volunteer or just to see what we do and learn somethings.
Any other charity groups looking to get involved with Sacred Waters CO Inc. or Sacred Waters Foundation please feel free to contact us anytime via our Websites, Social Media, Email, or telephone. Thank you for your interest and support. Hope to hear from you soon...
Thank You, Tight Lines;
Founder, President of Sacred Waters CO Inc. & Sacred Waters CO Foundation
Professional Angler, Custom Fly Tyer/Designer
Freelance Outdoors Writer, Photographer, & Fisheries Consultant
Sacred Waters CO Inc.
135 Country Center Dr F 166
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
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Sacred Waters CO.: 2018 Membership/Donation Drive 2018 & C.A.R.E. Report
Spring has Sprung and Summer is right around the corner here at Sacred Waters CO
Our second year is here, and more than ever our CARE (Conservation, Advocacy, Rehabilitation, Education) mission is paramount. In order to execute another great year we have restructured our organisations and donation tiers.
Bronze Level Package $150.00 or more will receive a yearly/annual membership to Sacred Waters CO Inc. Club and will have access to Guided Fly fishing trips on Bronze Level Ranches/Waters and Public Waters with a daily guide fee at standard fair market rates.
Silver Package Level $3500 or more has 4 ranches and any bronze level waters, 3 donor fishing days, 1 donor float or an extra fishing day. One complimentary guest fee minus the conservation fee of $150 any other guest days will be priced with the discounted guide rate. And New Waters/Ranches becoming available for 2018.
Gold Package Level $5500.00 or more As of today will have access to a total of 6 Private Ranches and 4 Public Waters, which equals around 20 days of fishing without ever seeing the same piece of water twice. This helps us to equally distribute fishing/guiding pressure. At present Gold Level benefits this would equal about 3 years of fishing completely different waters each time. With negotiations currently in the works for even more private waters/ranches we will only be able to offer more and complete even more of our CARE Mission.
Platinum/Corporate Level $10,000.00 or more. 10 guided days of fishing, 1 complimentary guest minis $150 conservation fee. Guest fishermen fee is $75 less than Gold. Allowed a total of 3 guest per day. A custom Sacred Waters Abel Reel along with swag has stayed the same, other than with us growing and being able to obtain even more Conservation Waters/Ranches. Platinum Donors as of today will have access to a total of 7 Private Ranches and 4 Public Waters, which equals about 30+ days of fishing without ever seeing the same piece of water twice that equals about 3+ years of fishing with our present locations and even more as we grow at the Platinum level.
The CARE Report
In order to keep you up to date with what’s happening in Sacred Waters, we introduce The CARE Report. This is designed to be a clear and condensed report for you our members.
Through the generous donations of all our members we have been able to limit the fishing pressure on all our ranches. This has ultimately allowed us to see signs of a healthy developing habitat for the fish. Their undisturbed spawning areas are allowing for the best possible conditions given the worrisome weather & water conditions of Southwestern Colorado.
In the last year we have begun to address better management of our local publicly accessible fisheries as things change here locally such as expanding tourist populations and new resident population. We have also started the process to discuss locally; water/irrigation rights issues, overfishing pressure, mismanagement of put & take/catch and kill attitudes.
As we continue to negotiate new waters, we have studied the waters we do have which has allowed us to start developing plans to improve these fisheries ecosystem. We hope to soon have a fisheries biologist, a stream restoration specialist join our team.
Every person we have guided in the last year has been taught the ethical practices on the water. We have also had the privilege to educate and introduce the sport of fishing to wounded Veterans, through various organizations such as Patriot Anglers and Project Healing Waters. As well as disabled children through the Archuleta School Districts Special Needs Program.
I am sorry for the silence for most of the Winter Season to be totally honest myself and our board members had been extremely busy on a restructuring project of Sacred Waters CO Inc. and the creation of the Sacred Waters Charity Foundation, but also fairly depressed as many of you may have noticed we have had a very mild, warm, dry Winter Season. Which limited are ability to guide or personally fish hardly any fishing trips from about December 2017 to about mid-March 2018 and still effectively follow our Mission. These factors had us here at Sacred Waters CO. extremely stressed because we do hold higher standards than most Outfitters and our greatest donor benefits of guided fishing trips to raise funds for our Charities and Mission Goals may not of been possible if we did not receive the much needed snowpack to keep our rivers, full and cool through the 2018 season. But also the double edged sword situation of 2018 is this could be the most crucial year ever for Sacred Waters to exist to protect, preserve, and enhance our fisheries. Admits all this unpredictable and uncontrollable weather concerns, we had way too many horribly tragic events and losses starting 2018. With just a few last administrative details to be finished up and plans to launch the 2018 Season by the end of March 2018 just in time to start guiding primetime ice out season, the tragic hits kept coming. We are a small town and tight knit community here and are all connect in some form or fashion. Some of you know somethings about our community and all this and some of you may have seen or heard about the tragic events that conspired throughout the beginning of 2018 I'm not going to get into this too much here but please feel free to visit the Pagosa Sun Newspaper for details.
But, February did come in with great winter weather and continue to snow the majority of our total snowpack throughout the month really boosting everyone's spirits as did March, April, and May with much needed snow & rain. March, April, and beginning of May were great fishing and we were completing last minute administrative work with all our newest projects and changes, the weather was wetter and fishing was excellent giving us much more future water and optimism. Our rivers started to ice out and open up to fishable conditions and as we scouted out our newly opening waters we found awesome fishing and no real loss of fishes.
Even though 2017 ended and 2018 started fairly strange and honestly a little scary. We are still here and have some New Changes and a positive optimistic outlook on the future of Sacred Waters and our local fisheries. After much work by our Board and Financial Planning Group over the Winter & Spring, we have restructured Sacred Waters CO Inc. and added the Sacred Waters Charity Foundation and working on a New Scholarship Fund. For more details on all the changes and latest happenings at Sacred Waters CO keep an eye on we will be adding Blog Posts as frequently as possible explaining in more details.
Thank You, Tight Lines;
Our President Joseph Eichelberger, with 20 years of guiding experience and a long family heritage of responsible outdoorsmanship, brings a unique perspective to our blog as he promotes fishing conservation and education in Pagosa Springs, CO where he's lived since 2008.