Author: Will Rice
The Denver Post just published this article about a few of the recent flood ravaged rivers in Colorado and included great input from experts at the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. This looks like pretty positive news for the fly fishing community. Here are a few really interesting excerpts:
"When we look at the implications on wildlife habitat, it's nothing in comparison to people who have lost homes or loved ones in these scenarios," said Randy Hampton of the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. "People see the situation and assume the worst (for our wildlife), but whether it's fire or flood, or whatever Mother Nature throws at you, wildlife evolved in this system, and they can very readily adapt."
As any angler on the Big Thompson, Little Thompson, St. Vrain or Coal Creek can attest, fishing is currently a low priority. On the other hand, the flood's effect on fish and habitat may bring a small ray of sunshine to warm this otherwise flood-soaked area.
"Yes, this was big water, and it was flowing rough and tearing things out up above, but down on the bottom of the river you're still seeing velocities that these fish are used to seeing, so they're hunkering down in spots where they can get the adequate velocities that they're used to," said Ken Kehmeier, senior aquatic biologist for the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife.
"Instinctively, these fish know what to do," Kehmeier said. "It's pretty cool how they're able to sense that stuff, and move with the water where they need to and find the velocity shelters that they need."