Sacred Waters CO., Inc. & Charity Foundation- July 25th 2019 CARE & Fishing Reports, and much more...
C.A.R.E. Report & Other need to knows
It’s finally here! Summertime!
Hadn’t it been a strange year so far? With extremely high snowpack in the San Juan Mountains in 2019 we have been experiencing significantly higher water flows for much longer this Summer so far. We had a fantastic float/boating season extended way longer than usual on the San Juan river “proper” by over three weeks longer than average. With a delay in our normal/average Monsoon Season everything has just now start its usual quick fall to slightly above average flows. This started to make wade fishing and dry fly fishing easier, safer, and more productive daily.
At present we are just now starting to see Monsoonal systems building up more daily and getting even more boosts in flows just as it had started it drastic fall, this is Awesome… Though some fisheries are a little different than you may be used to this time of year, this is extremely beneficial to our waterways & their fishes. I will always take more water than no water. Don’t be too discouraged though fishing is excellent, best we’ve seen in years… Nymphing and streamer fishing has produced the most and largest fish as usual, only difference lately is if technique and fly selection are correct the quantity and quality of fishes are even better then what you may be used to around here. Dry fly fishing is improving daily as the flows continue to drop, clear, & warm.
Weather & Water Report:
What to expect here…
With Monsoon Season now in full swing first expect to get rained on most days. Be prepared with rain gear and quickest/easiest exit routes/strategy in mind. Mornings are the best weather & water conditions this time of year with Monsoons building and producing by the afternoon. We hope with this being a wetter cooler pattern and still having decent amounts of snow in the high country that water flows will remind full & cool all Summer. We were still able to do float trips on the San Juan River “proper” and with some added boosts of water from Monsoons it may last even longer we’ll see.
Flows are getting about perfect at present for wade fishing, yes higher than you are used to but full, cool, good insect activity, and much easier fishing than usual stealth mode summer conditions. Once you adjust & improve your techniques as per the conditions you see how easy and how good the fishing really is in these conditions. For example my favorite flows for around here and relates to other streams that may not have streamflow gauges/monitoring is 300-600 CFS on the San Juan River “proper” which at present has held at mid-300’s-600 cfs the last two weeks and the Piedra River system I prefer 175cfs-275cfs with the last 2 wks. holding between 300cfs- low 200’s cfs. Navajo & Blanco River drainages, my preferred flows 100-200cfs with both getting to these exact flows this week. This in turn reflects on all the smaller tributary streams that feed our larger rivers. Most of you rarely seen these flows or experience the fantastic fishing opportunities we have at these flows most years by now. But as many of you have probably heard me say time and again late-July through mid-Sept. is the worst fishing in this area and over the years, I have been fortunate enough to condition many of people to adjust their fishing trips to the best times. But this year is different for sure (what it used to be many moons ago) where unless something super abnormal happens an excellent rebirth of our fisheries and the very best Summer fishing season in a long time. For example these snowpacks, water flows/reserves are recalculated every 20-30 yrs. depending on area & monitoring agency within most of our lifetimes this average has fallen in most of the western by 1/3 to ½ of what is was in the past records as to has our total global temperatures has risen every year. So, all & all this is the real/old normal, this is the environment and fisheries of back in my day, the great grandpa stories, the good ole days. Water is Life! If weather patterns & history repeats itself, we should see a few more of these snow/water years with then a level/stable period closer to new average, then possibly another drop off towards drought this may take 12-18 years to cycle through again.
Click Links below for two week weather forecast & climate outlook:
Recent observations &/or concerns:
With the large push of water this year you will notice many streams have changed. New stream channels old pools gone, new pools created, and the like. Most recently we had noticed much better fish numbers in the original stream bed/pools and more fish shifting around within the last week more into the newly created habitat as the flows are slowly dropping &/or more stable in some drainages.
Cutthroats are Spawning! Being a colder later start of Summer especially in the high country there are still plenty of cutthroats spawning lately. Please Mind the Redd and leave these fish be to do their thing and help repopulate our fisheries. (Information on how to identify & avoid spawning fishes mentioned in all past newsletters, blogs, & social media posts for last 10 yrs. for reference.)
Brown Trout Flourished! As the Drought of 2018 came to an end in the end of Sept.2018 with heavy rains and snow through the entire Fall and Winter our brown trout spawn was more successful than some years. Many of mixed species fisheries are showing higher populations of browns especially smaller/younger fish then the other trout species. Hypothesizes Brown trout do much better in warm water then other trout species with last years drought killing off some numbers of other species and full cool waters in the Fall and winter when Browns spawn gave these fish an advantage of more successful spawn and fry survival. The lack of the Fed or State restricting much fishing here locally and lack of most outfitters and anglers not restricting their guiding or fishing also may have drastically affected/hurt the rainbow, brookie, and Cutt population worse especially in our lower elevation waters than the hardier Brown trout. Some recent observations are showing this to be the case on our more easily accessible, more heavily fished/guided waters public or private as we fished/guided some of these areas at Ice out and recently as run-off has settled down more. But in those very few secret places left, the private lands managed by SWCO, it has been business as usual. No obvious signs of population loss no major dominant species changing, nothing much on the negative side at all, other than some relearning of some changes to the habitat and how to properly fish this new habitat. Which I know personally and some anglers & guides I associate with find it to be exciting change of pace and new learning curve keeping us on our toes.
On that note public waters especially at lower elevation have lower populations of trout at present than normal. Not all is lost, still good enough numbers just less than normal and with good water flows and cool water fish are migrating around and reestablishing in these areas. With good spawning of browns and brookies last year and most likely this year too, as well as rainbows and cutthroats having a good Spring & Summer so far this year wild trout numbers should only increase the next few years.
#1.) Waterways have changed, some ignorant people may not understand or like it… With a lot of private waters that have had poorly designed &/or even illegal stream habitat work done on them over the years this year’s run-off changed, rerouted/rechanneled streams. Concern some of these people wanting to “Fix” their sections of streams, get their favorite pool back.
Concern heavy equipment in our waters, and when!
With a good head of water this year we had some slightly better than and longer periods of insect hatches, repopulating the aquatic insect populations which had suffered because of all the stream work done around here way too often, improperly, or illegal over the last 10-15 years.
Wrong, yes proper species and fingerling size at the right time & location can adapt more and be fairly wild as they grow, more apt to survive once full grown and better possibly of spawning.
Many fully-grown fishes, especially if it’s too many for allowable capacity of a fishery it is way more harmful than helpful. I refer to it as a snake eating its own tail…
I'll leave this with the last example that has been understood by most people after I came up with it.
If I gave you your perfect dream home worth millions of dollars, most beautiful perfect place you could ever dream of, whatever you want.
Except in this deal, you aren’t allowed to buy, grow, or kill food to eat. Not able to have sex, reproduce grow your family.
Then to make it worse every so often a large group of strange, crazy, hyper, hungry teenage boys get thrown in the house with you just total mayhem.
How long would/could you want to live there, if you weren’t allowed to leave how long you survive or what legacy would be left?
The majority answer is “Not very long…” & “None”!
Same goes with the fishes & insects… In improper stream work and stocking of hatchery fishes.
Things around here are only getting better daily, fishing is productive, and we thank you all for your support making this all possible.
We have some limited availability for a few high-level Donor Members left just a couple of each level. Plenty of Bronze Level day trips available for you to learn more about Pagosa Springs, experience our local waters with the most experienced Professional Anglers around, and learn more about Scared Waters CO, Inc. & Foundation.
We are getting booked up on Guided trips and everything is fishing better daily. Please keep a look out for more reports via this newsletter & blog posts. As always, follow us on Facebook & Instagram for the most up to date information posted almost every day. Thanks, Enjoy!
Charity Events on the Books so far for 2019:
At present we have 3 Veterans Charity Fishing Events already on schedule for 2019.
The Dark Horse Group, 5-6 Combat Marines who were the frontline in Fallujah, Iraq. These Marines are from all over the country. It is scheduled for Sept. 5th -9th 2019. **(With this group, any volunteers or donations, housing options, cooking/food, or money to help with travel expenses would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to contact me to discuss details, make donations, or to volunteer. Thank You!) **
Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Group of Fort Hood, TX. 6 Veterans Scheduled for Sept. 18th -23rd, 2019. (PHWFF is a national nonprofit group we have worked with for 5-6 yrs.). Prior to and after starting SWCO we hosted chapters from Dallas, Ft. Hood, & Colorado Springs over the years. *(Of course, any volunteers and/or donations are welcome and appreciated. Housing is already booked, but monetary, fishing gear, and/or food/cooks always welcome and helpful.) *
Patriot Anglers of N. TX & S. OK. 6-8 Disabled Combat Veterans scheduled for Oct. 21st -25th, 2019. This group is a nonprofit of disabled combat veterans from all around Northern Texas and Southern Oklahoma. We had worked with this group since their start as a PHWFF Chapter before branching out on their own. We hosted them on trips here at SWCO in 2017, 2018, as well as joining them in Texas, Oklahoma, other locals in Colorado for events, fundraisers and such. *(Of course, any volunteers and/or donations are welcome and appreciated housing is already booked, cooks & food already taken care of but monetary, or fishing gear always welcome and helpful.) *
*Anyone interested in volunteering &/or donating for any of our Charity Events please feel free to contact us anytime via telephone, email, or contact forms on our 2 websites. Those of you who may have a group interested in what SWCO can offer, feel free to contact us too. *
New or Renewing Donor Fishing Memberships:
Interested in fly fishing Sacred Waters Co or fishing in the Pagosa Springs area all while Helping the Environment, Disabled Peoples, Veterans and Youth. Check out Sacred Waters CO, Inc. & Sacred Waters CO Charity Foundation. Donate, Join, receive Tax-Deductions, Free Gifts, and/Guided Fly-Fishing Trips on awesome waters with some of the best, most experienced Professional Anglers as your guides.
For New/1st Time 2018 or 2019 Donors/Members their rate will be set for 3 years at discounted rates listed below. It is to your benefit to renew annually if we ever must raise the rates in the future.
Thank You past & present Donors & Donor Fishing Members for making this all possible for the last 3 years…
Discounted Rates for the late start of 2019:
Rates for New Donor Levels for 2019:
Bronze Level #1: (Private Waters/Lands & Floats) Was $150.00. Now Only: $100.00 tax-deductible donation once annually to SWCO Foundation, Applicable Guide Fees Apply and less (-) $25.00 on total Guide Fee on Bronze Level Donor Trips for all your trips in 2019 up to December 31st of 2019.
*(An Additional Discount -20% Off All Bronze Level Fees for Active Duty & Honorably Discharged US Military Members & Veterans with Military I.D. &/or DD-214 form.) *
Bronze Level #2: (Public Waters/Lands): Any donation amount of $25.00 or more tax-deductible donation once annually to SWCO Foundation and standard fair market Guide Trip fees per day/trip.
*(An Additional Discount -15% Off All Bronze Level #2 Fees for Active Duty & Honorably Discharged US Military Members & Veterans with Military I.D. &/or DD-214 form.) *
Silver Level: Was $3500.00. Now Only: $3400.00, Less (-) $25.00 off for Guest Guide Fees for all trips in 2019. $2040.00 tax-deductible donation to SWCO Charity Foundation and $1360.00 Private Conservation Fly-fishing Club Membership fee to SWCO, Inc.
Gold Level: Was $5500.00. Now Only: $5200.00, Less (-) $25.00 off for Guest/s Guide Fees per person per trip for all Trips in 2019. $3120.00 tax-deductible donation to SWCO Charity Foundation and $2080.00 Private Conservation Fly-fishing Club Membership fee to SWCO, Inc.
Platinum/Corporate Level: Was $10,000.00. Now Only: $9500.00. Less (-) $25.00 off for Guest/s Guide Fees per person per trip for all of 2019. $5700.00 tax-deductible donation to SWCO Charity Foundation and $3800.00 Private Conservation Fly-fishing Club Membership fee to SWCO, Inc.
*(An Additional Discount -10% Off All Silver, Gold, & Platinum Level Fees for Active Duty & Honorably Discharged US Military Members & Veterans with Military I.D. &/or DD-214 form.) *
For more Details or to become a Donor Fishing Member please review SWCO Donor Contract, Rules, Regulations, and Procedures Booklet by Clicking this link or visiting our Join Us / Donate Pages.
*Please keep in mind if you do donate in 2019 this will also be your membership renewal level for up to 3 years if you consecutively renewed annually. *
(*After January 1st of 2020 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. *)
Please review the FB & IG Social Media Pages and our Websites. I hope it can help show you all more easily and clearly the Efforts and Accomplishments SWCO has put forth with you and other donors’ generous donations. These Social Media Pages are updated with the most up to date need to information almost daily.
Donate Today and help us protect our local fisheries and provide the healing benefits of outdoor therapy to as many people as possible. 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. We can only accomplish this with your generous donations.
Thank You, Tight Lines;
Founder, President of Sacred Waters Co
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, Inc. 501(c)7 and Sacred Waters CO Foundation 501(c)3 Tax-Exempt Non-Profit Organizations are Equal Opportunity Employers and Service Providers working through Special Use Permits from USDA San Juan National Forest Pagosa District and the State of Colorado. Licensed/Permitted, Bonded & Insured Outfitter in Colorado #OUT.0003217 *)
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.