Gunnison Gorge Anglers March 2023

UWP Partner News: Trout Unlimited/Fly Fishers International

President’s Message from The Fish Tale March 2023 

I’m excited for GGA. A lot going on. Brent Curtice is now doing the newsletter, thank you, Brent, so I will defer to all the following detail for you to read and be informed.

We had a great social gathering in late February in Montrose. Almost 40 in attendance, chewing on tacos. I called it a Partner Program as we heard from several other organizations and people that GGA’s connects with to amplify our coldwater fishery mission. Thanks to Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership, Able Women, Trout in the Classroom, Ridgway State Park, and TU National for the support and information. There are others that we partner with and will hear from later. The intent is to have future meetings throughout the year at various GGA towns such as Delta, Ridgway, Telluride.

I attended the fly fishing show in Denver. Had a great time, was able to sit in the tyers row and tie, mostly talk, for 3 days. While most of the attendees to the show are front-range residents, many of them travel to western Colorado to vacation and fish. We swapped fishing stories and I preached GGA.

In recent months, I have been fortunate to assist on a work group for Colorado Trout Unlimited and Ross Reels to develop a new Ross reel as a fundraiser for CTU. Look online for the new Greenback Cutthroat reel, a limited and serial numbered edition, in a bright orange color to mimic a spawning cutthroat. Ross is donating a portion of the purchase price to CTU. This is significant financially to CTU, likely raising $30-40K. The plan is for this reel to be the first in a series of native trout special editions from Ross. Ask for one at your favorite fly shop.

As to projects, the Uncompahgre River at Billy Creek State Wildlife Area is progressing after years of discussion. Steve Stortz has led this effort and talks with CPW. We now expect an engineering study to be completed by summer, which GGA is helping to fund the contractor cost. Not scheduled, but expected after the study would be actual stream improvement work, if not this year, then next year.

Save the date – Uncompahgre stream cleanup is April 8, TroutaPalooza in Telluride is July 13, and I am working on a film tour stop in Montrose for later this year. RIGS and Telluride Angler are sponsoring UWP with a film tour showing in Ridgway March 18.

GGA board is active with some new and veteran board volunteers, working on events and calendar and projects. GGA board approved a $600 scholarship for a youth to attend Trout Camp this summer in Almont. See the separate email from me about the City Market rewards program, which will be significant funding to GGA – please sign up, free perpetual money to us. A stream monitoring project is in the works for school kids to sample water and bugs in the Gunnison River, with plans to expand to the Uncompahgre River.

So much going on, I think I just threw a tailing loop!

By Joel Evans, President GGA