Tom Keer 10/12/2012 v Which means that kids are well aware that Halloween is coming up. My kids are at the age where they aren’t as interested in the candy as they are in the festivities and that got me thinking: isn’t Halloween a lot […]
Month: October 2012
The fall brings about wonderful changes in every part of the country. Where I live I see the most profound changes, with maples, birches, alders, and hickories becoming vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges. Many people come from all over the country to watch the leaves turn, and I can’t blame ‘em. I like to get a closer view of them along my favorite streams and rivers.
The trout that I catch are as colorful as the leaves. My favorites are the spawning brook trout. Their worm-like markings are jet black, and depending on their gender, they’ll have either bright red or bright yellow bellies. Their in-season light-green backs become dark, and they have wonderful light blue and red dots. For natural beauty, the brook trout are tough to beat. I think of them as the sugar maples of the river.
Rainbows get the reddish hue on their gill plates, and a similarly colored line continues all the way down their sides. Their bellies turn a different shade, too, and it is a golden yellow or orange hue. Their background color is green which makes their black spots all the more pronounced. ‘Bows are sort of a combination of maples and birches, with a little evergreen thrown in for good measure.
The browns have bright red spots that contrast sharply with their other pitch black markings. Their skin turns a unique buttery-brown color. They’re not as flashy as the brookies, and the brown trout are muted and stately, sort of like an oak.
Air temperatures are still warm, but I can feel the water rushing against my waders carrying a little chill. It’s what makes the trout hit so aggressively and the brookies and the rainbows so acrobatic. They know that Old Man Winter is around the corner, so they pull out all the stops. The high point is landing a pretty trout while a bunch of colorful leaves float down the river.
It won’t be long before all the leaves are down, which is about when the trout start to go dormant for the winter. But in terms of ending with a bang, the fall is absolutely the best way to do it.
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Andy Whitcomb 10/12/2012 Halloween images typically include various night dwelling creatures such as owls, bats, and black cats. But I would like to nominate the catfish to this infamous list. There is no solidly colored “black catfish,” but the black bullhead and the male channel […]
A few days ago, I went and fished a section of the South Platte River in Colorado that’s now called the “Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area.” I hadn’t been able to bring myself there to fish for several years. You see, I knew Charlie Meyers when he was the outdoors editor of the Denver Post. He was a mentor and friend. We wrote the Little Red Book of Fly Fishing together. We actually fished this water fairly often as we worked on that book. And when he passed away a few years ago, it was a huge deal; Colorado felt so highly of Charlie that it named the fabled “Dream Stream” section of the South Platte in his honor. But I couldn’t go back there and cast a line without a little prodding.
The impetus finally came from my friend Scott Willoughby, who has taken over Charlie’s spot as the outdoors voice of the Denver Post (I might add, with considerable aplomb). Scott was gracious and wrote a nice story on the Meyers connection that appears in the paper this week. But the “behind-the-scenes” tale is that the more I hung out with Scott, the more I realized some uncanny similarities.
We were both cub reporters with a lot of initiative, but little experience when Charlie found us. We were both legitimate outdoorsmen, but we were writers first and foremost. On two different tracks, Charlie found the time and made the effort to attach himself to each of us. He brought both of us along on our own schedules. And now, though Charlie is gone, those tracks often come together.
When we think of “mentoring” in a fishing context, we naturally think about a father or grandfather taking a young boy or girl to the lake or river. And that is, no doubt, a wonderful thing. But being a fishing mentor isn’t necessarily tied to bloodlines, nor is it confined to certain ages. In Charlie’s case, he mentored thousands of people, some he never knew, through his work. And in Scott’s case and mine, he took a couple eager reporters under his wing and showed us everything he knew, no holds barred.
There’s not a story, nor a blog post, I write today where I don’t at least think for a slight moment how Charlie might comment on that issue, or how he might turn the phrase. The star might be gone, but I feel the warmth on my back, and am proud to make a shadow.
Being a fishing mentor can yield results in ways and shapes you might never imagine, and it can happen with anyone. Do yourself and the fishing world a favor, and find out how that happens. Maybe you’ll be around to see the seeds of your effort bear fruit. Maybe not. In either case, the ultimate reach and result of fostering the fishing ideal in one or two eager learners will extend far beyond your wildest imagination.
I am living proof of that.
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Tom Keer 10/11/2012 The end of the boating season always brings about mixed emotions. Knowing that we’re going to haul our boats and get them ready for storage means we’re not heading out on the water any time soon, and that just stinks. There is […]
October not only toes the 50-yard line of football season, it’s also the middle of youth soccer season, the end of baseball season, the start of basketball season, a great time to hit the trails for a run, a hike or a bike ride, and a picture-perfect month for a golf game. With these and many other sports options, everyone has a lot of choices for being active. So, why should someone choose boating and fishing?
Well, here’s a playful yet informative way to answer that question.
As you look for ways to relax and unwind from the day-to-day grind, we recommend considering the minimal cost, ease, accessibility, and enjoyment of fishing and boating. Join the 83 million Americans who went boating and the 46 million who went fishing last year. In fact, take a friend, a family member, or even your teammates.