For a reel good time in Northwest Colorado, hook a 2017 Colorado fishing license, on sale now | CraigDailyPress.com

For a reel good time in Northwest Colorado, hook a 2017 Colorado fishing license, on sale now

Gray skies and poor fishing didn't stop anglers Hunter Hejny

— Warm spring weather has seen area creeks, ponds, lakes and rivers thaw just in time for the beginning of this year's fishing season.

"We haven't had any luck yet," said Curtis Hejny who was out at Loudy Simpson ponds with his grandson Hunter Hejny on Wednesday.

The Hejnys weren't alone in making the most of the mild March temperatures and spring break to dip a line in the local fishing hole.

"You should have seen it earlier today, there were lots of kids and parents lining the shore," Hejny said.

A variety of fishing licenses for 2017 are now available for sale online and at area merchants.

Licenses are valid from April 1 to March 31, 2018 and depending on the type cost between $1 for seniors up to $56 for a non-resident.

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Individuals aged 18 through 64 that have not already purchased a $10 Habitat Stamp for 2017 must also buy a stamp.

Youth younger than age 16 fish for free in Colorado.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife stocks 90 million fish annually into waters throughout Colorado in order to ensure good angling opportunities and fees from fishing licenses pay for fish hatcheries and the stocking program.

"Colorado provides outstanding fishing across the state for an amazing diversity of species ranging from cutthroat trout and kokanee to walleye and bluegill," said Doug Krieger, CPW's aquatic section manager.

Until waters clear from the run-off, some of the best places to fish this spring are tail waters according to CPW's online fishing tips.

They also suggest fishing on days with good sun exposure and on warm afternoons that have better insect hatches when fish are most active. The most productive hours tend to be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

New to angling? CPW offers many educational opportunities to encourage those new to fishing.

"I encourage experienced anglers to introduce a friend or family member to fishing this season. Fishing is a great activity to share with someone else and a great chance to get outside and enjoy Colorado's natural resources," Krieger said.

Check the calendar on the CPW website for upcoming clinics.

Get tips and stay up to date on Colorado fishing regulations by reading the 2017 Colorado Fishing Brochure.

Buy a license at a local merchant or online at CPW's secure license application portal or by phone by calling 1-800-244-5613.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

At a Glance

Anglers wishing to fish in Colorado need to buy a license. Annual licenses are for sale now and are good from April 1 until March 31, 2018.

All anglers and hunters in Colorado must purchase a Habitat Stamp except customers buying a one-day or additional-day fishing license. These are exempt from the Habitat Stamp fee for the first two licenses, but the fee will be assessed when a third license of this type is purchased.

The Habitat Stamp is nonrefundable and costs $10 for the year or $300.25 for a lifetime.

Add this fee to those listed below if you have not yet purchased a Habitat Stamp for 2017.

Fishing license fees for residents

Annual license fee for adults age 16 to 63 is $26

Seniors 64 years and older pay an annual fee of $1

A license combining small game hunting and fishing is $41

Fishing license fees for non-residents

Annual fee is $56

A five-day license is $21

Other licenses

Theses fees apply to resident and nonresident anglers.

Youth younger than age 16 fish for free.

One second-rod stamp per year is available to anyone who has purchased a fishing license and any youth under 16 for a fee of $5

One-day fishing licenses cost $9, add a day for $5

Prices include 25-cent search-and-rescue fee and 75-cent surcharge for the Wildlife Management Education Fund.

Source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife 2017 Colorado Fishing Guide