About Chad

Chad is a Fly Fishing guide on the front range of Colorado since 2008. He is happy to help you catch some fish on a fly rod. His email is [email protected]

Donating Member Wins Guided Trip

P1040131 Greg Biesecker was the winner of our new raffle to help encourage Boulder Flycasters to become supporting members.  Supporting members donate at least $50 per year to Boulder Flycasters.  This money helps us to partner on conservation projects.  We have two projects right now that we are working on the Upper South Boulder Creek Restoration, and Jenny Creek. Visit http://www.boulderflycasters.org/conservation to learn more about these two projects.

Greg’s day on the water with Boulder Flycaster board member and fly fishing guide, Chad Pettrone (that’s me!) was a success.  We fished the Big Thompson River for four hours in the morning.  Flows were at 350, water color was a little muddy but still almost a foot of visibility.  We nymph fished most of the morning, but Greg also caught a couple fish on dries.  Nymphs we found successful were a beaded green hares ear, CDC pheasant tail, blue poison tongue, and a pink Ray Charles sow bug.  Dries that caught fish were a black beetle followed with a size 22 parachute adams.

I guarantee everyone catches a fish on my guided fly fishing trips, and just because it was a volunteered trip, it makes no difference.  Greg was under the impression that I was going to take him to my secret spot to guarantee his fish catching – where the fish are stacked like firewood and eat on every cast.  On the Big Thompson, as well as many other rivers, location is less important than fish count.  We fished the section of water that is most popular, from Mall Road up to the Estes Lake dam, simply because it has the highest fish count at that location.  After the flood, fish counts actually went up under the dam because many of the lake fish flooded into the river.

30 fish is the number we agreed was a good estimate as to how many fish Greg caught.  You can do it too.  Visit www.chadpettrone.com to book me as your guide, and don’t forget to sign up as a sponsoring member to Boulder Flycasters at http://www.boulderflycasters.org/donate-to-boulder-flycasters/  Maybe you will be the next person to win a free guided trip!


May 17th, 2014 Boulder Creek Clean Up at 8:30am, Scott Carpenter Park – Post Flood

Now is a great time to get your hands dirty and be apart of the great work happening on Boulder Creek.  We will be working with the City of Boulder this weekend on the Boulder Creek Cleanup, which is apart of a larger Community Clean Up Day; this May 17th at 8:30AM at Scott Carpenter Park on 30th and Arapahoe


Creek Clean Up May 17th Report To Boulder Creek Cleanup Sign-in Desk at 8:30 a.m. at Scott Carpenter Park (Arapahoe and 30th).

Parking suggestions:  Parking is available on the 29th or 30th street side of the park, or is an easy bike or walk on the Boulder Creek Path from Millennium Hotel Parking lot

Sign in at the tables in front of the pool building: Grab Supplies Trash bags, Disposable Gloves, Bottle of Eldorado Springs Water, Instructions on cleanup–trash vs. recycling items, rules, etc., Creek Section Map for your group, Clean your section(s) of the creek

Return to Scott Carpenter Park and let us know your sections are clean.

Get your free pass for the Boulder Reservoir

Celebrate! Join us for an ice cream social at Scott Carpenter Park for all volunteers participating in the City of Boulder Community Clean Up Day.

THINGS TO REMEMBER: *Bring your signed waiver form found at https://bouldercolorado.gov/parksrec/community-cleanup-day

*Dress for the weather

*Bring waders and be careful around the creek

*Have fun–ENJOY a great day!

AND thanks for all your help and great community spirit

For more information or questions, call:  Richard and Alma Alber at 303-449-5663 or email at [email protected]


Fish Ladders after Flood

A cooperative effort is in effect to redesign and build new divergence structures that were lost or damaged in the 2013 Flood.  The new fish passage structures are an owner responsibility, but Colorado Parks and Wildlife is making a great effort to help these flood victims rebuild with fish passage in mind.  Learn more about these structures as well as the federal, state, and local efforts being made to help our watershed.

Rebuilding Water Diversions Using Modern Techniques

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

1:45 p.m. 

Best Western Plus Plaza, 1850 Industrial Circle, Longmont, Colorado

The Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Colorado Water Conservation Board are hosting a meeting for all interested parties to discuss strategies for rebuilding water diversion structures following the September floods.

The meeting will focus on how to rebuild flood-damaged water diversion structures in a more fish and recreation-friendly manner. Discussion topics will include what resources are available to assist water users and identifying incentives for moving forward with fish and recreation-friendly designs as ditch companies and utilities move to replace infrastructure damaged or destroyed in the flooding.

Representatives from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado  Water Conservation Board will be making presentations.

Come learn what others have done and are doing to make our rivers’ next 100 years even better!



Water Restrictions Started for 2013

Well, its happening again, we are short of water.  The Coyotte Gulch blog does a good job of summing up the current situation.  A quick synapses: The next couple of weeks are very important to front range water plans.  Plans are created and implemented locally, based upon water storage information from NCWC or Denver Water in the northern front range.  Some cities have already started water management plans. Boulder is asking we don’t water lawns until May.    Here is the link to more details: http://coyotegulch.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/drought-news-st-charles-mesa-water-district-on-voluntary-watering-restrictions-codrought/

Some bad news has come to fisherman over the weekend.  Antero Reservior will be depleted of its water this year.  The catch and keep limit was changed on Wednesday 3/20/13 from 2 fish to 8 fish with hopes to clear-out the lake of trout.  The Colorado Springs Gazette has a good article: http://www.gazette.com/articles/dry-152376-reservoir-colorado.html

If this tells you anything, it should be to get out early in the season while water temperatures are low and fish are healthy.  I have recently fished the S Platte, the Blue River, the Big Thompson and Boulder Creek in town. Fishing has been fantastic everywhere, but be careful where you walk because the rainbows are starting to spawn. The Big Thompson is experiencing fantastic mid-day dry fly midge fishing. The Blue and S Platte continue to be technical as ussual, but fish are starting to key-in on small mayflies more than midge.

Purchasing a temperature gage is of great importance as temperatures warm, most experienced fisherman will restrain from fishing if the water temperature goes above 68 degrees.  Last season the Big Thompson canyon reached temperatures up to 72 degrees, and there were too many people still fishing it.  As a guide I have to put people on fish, but when water temps are high, I can always move to higher altitude areas which are normally fishing fantastic on hot days.  Get out and explore!

Chad Pettrone [email protected]

Boulder Creek upriver from Red Lion

Boulder Creek just below the bridge at 38148 Canyon Blvd

We have had some concerned fly fisherman ask us about the project going on above the Red Lion on Canyon Blvd.  This project was approved on Sept 24, 2012 by the Boulder Public Works Development Review staff as a Wetland Permit.  The utility work will relocate new 24″ pipes (old ones with holes seen in picture) five feet under the streambed. The pipes will continue to mitigate water from the Orodell Hydroelectric Facility down to the Four Mile interconnect site.  They do have plans to clean up and re-vegetate the area.  Katie Knapp of the Public Works Dept will address your concerns at 303-441-3273 or [email protected] 

 A copy of the wetland permit is available on page 19 at http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/files/10.4.12%20PB%20Packet%20Final_revised%205A%205D.pdf  


Upper Blue River Fish Kill

It is December and the Upper Blue River watershed is out of water.  This may have been a mistake by snowmakers who work in the middle of the night, are under pressure by the Broomfield corporate office to make as much snow possible, and need to hype-up nonexistent snow for holiday sales. Or, it might have happened naturally due to the severe drought situation (Not!). Either way, those fish needed water to live.  http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20121206/NEWS/121209901/1078&ParentProfile=1055

It seems the snow industry is deeply concerned about their profits.  This is a report about the climate change and impacts to the ski / snowboard industry. http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/files/climate-impacts-winter-tourism-report.pdf

Who cares about the ski industry? Who cares about the fishing industry?  It’s not about our personal desires or monetary economic needs.  Colorado needs fresh water to live.  In Colorado these decisions are only going to get more difficult.  The Colorado Water Conservation Board will ultimately be the ones making water storage and mitigation decisions that will effect our lives in Colorado. http://cwcb.state.co.us

CWCB meetings are open to the public, and I can tell you from personally attending, there are non enough non-consumptive citizens (recreational users of water) voicing their opinion.  Agriculturalists, municipalities, industrialists are all getting paid to attend these meetings.  They want water for their economic needs, the needs of the new people moving into Colorado, the needs of the cattle and crops we rely upon, and they want to buy more water rights and build more reservoirs (that nature won’t be able to fill).  If you get the chance, show up for a roundtable meeting, tell them your a Boulder Flycaster, unofficially represent TU. Speak on behalf of fisherman.  Don’t let fish kill stories like this become the norm.  There are a lot of people working together on this state-wide problem. Compassion needs to lead the way, and I believe that ultimitely water rights will be donated for the good of the environment. But, without people speaking up, there is no obvious need, only greed.  Please get involved.

Felt vs Rubber Soled Boots – Research by CU Students

CU graduate class of Environmental Engineering have conducted a field research and lab analysis on the cell count of live invasive Didymo cells over time for both felt and rubber soled boots.  Didymo, also called rock snot, is an invasive species in our rivers that may harm the larger aquatic insects within an effected area (caddis, stoneflies, mayflies).  The largest transporter of this disease is thought to be fisherman.  The graph below demonstrates a larger likely hood to carry the disease underfoot while walking around a river with felt vs rubber soled boots.  Live Didymo Cells Felt vs Rubber