San Luis Valley Chapter #303

Our Native Trout

The cutthroat trout is the most diverse trout species in North America. The historical distribution of cutthroats covers the broadest range of any stream-dwelling trout in the Western Hemisphere. The rugged topography of their range has lead to isolation, which in turn has given rise to fourteen recognized subspecies. Four of these species evolved in Colorado: the Colorado River cutthroat trout west of the Continental Divide, the Greenback cutthroat trout in the South Platte River drainage, the yellowfin cutthroat trout (now extinct) in the Arkansas River drainage, and the Rio Grande cutthroat trout in the Rio Grande River drainage in the San Luis Valley and northern New Mexico. The Rio Grande cutthroat was the first New World trout encountered by Europeans in 1541, by Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado.

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SLV TU Chapter Meeting | Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 7 pm

Virtual TU Meeting on Zoom, featuring Doug Camp. This will be our third virtual SLV TU meeting, using the Zoom platform. To access the meeting, please go to this page for more information and the meeting link.

Member News

Welcome to a new member: Bob Kirkham!

Welcome to a member who just transferred to the SLV Chapter: Terry Arrington!

Thanks to our renewing members and contributors: Thad Elliott, Alan Kohtz, R. Lamb, Mike Norris, Jason Remshardt and Doug Van Berkum!

If your name appears here, your membership is about to expire or has recently expired and we encourage you to renew soon: Steve Aldrich, Ronald Beattie, David Breece, Luke Brennan, Blaine Burt, Brendan Cahill, Tim Cash, Harry Daley, Gary Hasty, Brian Heersink, Les Kuzior, Frank Lowe, George McDonald, Kent Mitchell, Rick Moisio, Jimmy Quirico, Charles Reich, Ben Rizzi, Rick Schnaderbeck, Adam Skadberg and Jay Yeager.

Chapter Updates

January 2021 Virtual SLV TU Meeting

Thanks to Kevin Terry and Doug Camp for an outstanding general meeting on January 26. Kevin provided a well-researched presentation on evolution of cutthroat trout (natives) in the Western US. Twenty-nine folks joined in from the SLV, the Front Range, Texas, and New Mexico. So many folks and so much interest in the presentation that we were not able to watch Doug Camp tie the rubber-legged Prince Nymph. However, he did record a video of tying this fly and it is available here: Fly-Tier’s Bench, Rubber-legged Prince Nymph. Take some time to watch this excellent video and start tying the fly yourself!

Hands-on Projects for the Season

As you can see from the first page of the newsletter, we’re gearing up for an active season of projects. The semiannual highway cleanup events (May 23 and September 19) will both start at 9 am. Meet at the pullout at mile 4.5 of the Silver Thread Highway north of South Fork, CO. Bring your own gloves and, at least for the May session, a face mask (perhaps masks won’t be needed in September!). Our assistance is requested for the Beaver Creek Youth Conservation Camp in early June (sometime on June 8, 9, or 10). Typically we hold sessions on casting fly rods, tying flies and/or identifying aquatic food sources for trout. Mark your calendars for our annual workday at Jim Creek (near La Jara Reservoir) on June 12. We may be doing fence construction/repair, planting of riparian vegetation (willows or sedges), or other habitat improvement projects. Many hands make light work (and you can always fish afterwards!). We hope to add more projects to the list – stay tuned for updates!.

Rio Grande State of the Basin Symposium

The Annual Rio Grande State of the Basin Symposium hosted by the Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center at Adams State University, and sponsored in part by SLV Trout Unlimited Chapter, will be held on March 20, 2021. This virtual event is free and open to the public. Join us if you are concerned about the water challenges we face in a changing world. It’s for people in Colorado’s Rio Grande Basin who want to work toward a secure water future for our agriculture, our public lands and wildlife, for our rich culture, and for a sustainable and resilient economy. It’s for students who see the opportunity to help shape a more sustainable future. To register for the symposium, click this link: State of the Basin Symposium.


Colorado Trout Unlimited News

Despite COVID-19 impacts, Colorado TU is excited to share some successes in the Stream of Engagement programming from this fall. The youth education programs faced challenges with many schools operating in new models and group gatherings limited by public health orders. To adapt to these challenges, Colorado Trout Unlimited and chapters across the state stepped up to continue to provide high quality educational experiences focused on water and fisheries conservation. Most notably, CTU is excited to share nearly a dozen Trout in the Classroom (TIC) sites kicked off and four STREAM Girls events were held in September and October.


Recent Activity

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Last Cast | CONTINUED Fishing with Kay

Last Cast We continue with our stories from the book "Fishing with Kay" Rio Grande Fishing By Bob Antiel I convinced Kay Watkins to go fishing on a stretch of the upper Rio Grande. We crossed over...

February 2021 | A Note From the Editor

A Note From the Editor We always like to include pictures in the newsletter. If you have some good ones that you are willing to share, please email them to  In addition to...

February 2021 | A Few Lines From the President

A Few Lines From the President Thanks for taking a look at our February newsletter. This time of year, everyone in the water world starts eyeing the snowpack and thinking about what the runoff will...

Project Healing Waters Fly-Fishing Update

Project Healing Waters Fly-Fishing Update Thanks to Stan Price for keeping this going during the COVID-19 pandemic!  Participants are gearing up to start a new year of rod-building with the very...

SLVTU 2021 February Chapter Meeting

Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 7 pm This will be our third virtual SLV TU meeting, using the Zoom platform.  To access the meeting, please click on this link:  SLVTU February Chapter Meeting.  If you...

A New Installment of The Fly Tier’s Bench!

A shout outto Doug  for doing an awesome installment of The Fly Tier's Bench!

San Luis Valley ranchers see dividends in saving water for fish. Are they on to something?

San Luis Valley ranchers see dividends in saving water for fish. Are they on to something? Some ranchers are paid to change when they draw water from San Luis Valley reservoirs. There are benefits...

From Deep Time to Game Time

From Deep Time to Game Time - A Snapshot of Cutthroat Evolution and Opportunities for Catching Rio Grande Cutthroat Today by Kevin Terry This presentation will speed through a few million years to...

Last Cast | DAS BOAT

Last Cast | We continue with our stories from the book "Fishing with Kay" DAS BOAT By David Kenvin One fine summer day Kay give me a ring. He wanted to know if I would take him and a friend fishing...

January 2021 | A Note From the Editor

A Note From the Editor We always like to include pictures in the newsletter. If you have some good ones that you are willing to share, please email them to  In addition to...


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