Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Consider carpooling to Club tourney

The club is covering entrance fees for next Wednesday’s senior derby, but Larimer County Park fees will be in effect for Thursday’s annual club tourney. Let’s carpool.

The tourney begins at 8 a.m. Meet at the southeast corner of the K-Mart parking lot to carpool.

We’ll leave for Flatiron no later than 7:30, so don’t be late! If you have a pass, please stop by and help.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The reason why girls so often outlive guys

Make no mistake: one of these days I may be writing about some of you like this. As that old saying goes, "I should live so long..." Bill 

Since learning about the passing of boyhood buddy Billy Grable, I have moped around in a sadness offset by slow smiles as I recall the way we used to be. I am thinking back on the Summer of ’66, when our intertwined lives were one damned crazy adventure after another.
Whatever we did that summer almost inevitably involved me, Billy, brother Paulie, our other inseparable best friend Jim, and a revolving collection of girlfriends who went on to collectively become our ex-girlfriends, wives and ex-wives. (Sadly, only Linda and my relationship has survived the intervening half century).
Time, distance and changing life circumstances combined to drag us apart, in ways that seemed impossible in 1966. To my great regret, I haven’t seen Billy since a Granite City Senior High Class of ’66 reunion back in the ‘80s. Aw man, now I really miss that kid. So does Paulie, who recalls he and I and Billy gigging for frogs in what was then known as the Hartford Canal. (Jim wasn’t along for some reason. It was likely Joyce. Or another Joyce. Or Sandy.) Anyway, the canal was an historic but sadly neglected, sewage-choked backwater downstream from a Shell Oil refinery, that dumped into the Mississippi just across from the mouth of the Missouri River.
My brother and my memories of that adventure differ. He most recalls the three of us nearly getting swept to our doom in the Mississippi River current. My brain is flooded with images of three chubby boys crammed into a two-man inflatable rubber raft, with one paddle, one flashlight, a three-pronged frog gig and, eventually, a snake. With the hindsight of half a century, yes, we probably should have had three life jackets, a second flashlight and a spare paddle. But if we’d had common sense, we wouldn’t have been bobbing around in the dark in a life raft. And we barely fit in the damned thing as it was.
In Billy’s memory, let me tell you what I think happened that warm summer night.
The raft was my first major purchase after beginning work at Poor Boy John’s discount house, plucked from the pages of the Herter’s Outfitters Catalog for the Professional Hunter and Fisherman, a 1960s precursor to Amazon. Herter’s generously described it as a two-man boat, but reality proved it would be perilous for just one of us at a time to fish from the thing. Anyway, at some point one of us, probably Billy, proposed the three of us use the raft as a platform for spearing bullfrogs, in the closest thing we had to wilderness in the St. Louis area. (The canal was pretty dicey. Historians of the era may recall that a septic tank service run by a family down the street from us on Warnock Avenue were later caught dumping raw human waste at the Hartford Canal boat ramp). It was, in short, not Walden Pond.
Anyway, I can’t even remember whether we actually captured any bullfrogs that moonless night, though it seems like we did. What I DO vividly recall is one of the Prater Brothers paddling, one holding the flashlight, and Billy hanging onto the frog gig, a short length of bamboo fishing pole attached to a small but really sharp three-pointed spear. It was way past dusk, a typical steamy mosquito-ridden Granite City evening. Street lights were either non-existent or long-ago shot out, so we drifted slowly along in scary darkness, looking for tell-tale signs of a bullfrog – two bright eyes hypnotized by the glare. As silently as we could, we approached our prey when Billy (did I mention his world-class stutter), screamed a single word that sums up the entire adventure: “S-S-S-Snake!”
The rest of that evening is an out-of-focus but otherwise vivid memory of a mindless scramble in the darkness, highlighted by a flailing paddle, flailing spear and flashlight pointed everywhere but the snake, as three over-sized friends in raft meant for two scrambled for the exit. Darned if I can tell you more about the snake. MIGHT have been a cottonmouth.
I do recall laughing about that evening with Billy at that long-ago Granite City Senior High reunion. But darned if I remember why we didn’t get together more after that, to recall that summer when we were awfully young, kinda dumb, and mostly inseparable.
So Billy’s gone now. So is his sweet girlfriend Sue. Paulie is a retired Methodist minister, while I do my best fishing-related ventures now out of a sturdy float tube. Even the Hartford Canal has amounted to something. It’s now all polished and landscaped and marked with a sign identifying it as the “Lewis & Clark National Historic Park,” commemorating a time when the Lewis & Clark Expedition camped for the winter before launching this nation’s most memorable adventure.

One of these days I’ll have to tell you the reason why Billy named his hunting dog after his future wife, and the rest of us called her “Grable’s shit-eating dog named Sue.”

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Interesting article on blue green algae problems ...

Seems like this is another one of those problems that keeps getting worse. The Colorado Springs Gazette just posted the following article on how the blue green algae situation is cropping up down there. To me, it's not just the toxic algae that's annoying; algae growth in general is out of hand. I think the aerators at the Loveland Recycle Pond have been very effective, and wonder whether they might be something to look at for River's Edge. Dragonfly in particular has been pea soup this summer. Bill


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Don’t forget Harvest Bazaar Saturday

Whether you’re a volunteer or just hungry, don’t forget the bazaar starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.

October 2019 Board meeting date changed from 21 Oct to 14 Oct


Jim Visger sent a message that the October Board meeting date is 14 Oct and the club meeting is on 15 Oct.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Annual club tournament will be Sept. 26 at Flatiron

The Loveland Fishing Club's annual club tournament will be held on Thursday, Sept. 26 at Flatiron Reservoir, the day after the Senior Fishing Derby.

Rules will be announced later; at last year's tournament at Swift Ponds the top prize went to David Koon for a 17 1/2-inch largemouth, which would be a really good trick at Flatiron, stocked only with trout.

David Koon, left, and Dan Barker with the traveling trophy.
Cooking chores for the event will be handled by Koon and Dan Barker, who won the prize for biggest non-bass of the day last year. If the menu looks a bit familiar, it may be because we'll be having food left over from the Senior Derby.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Long Draw Reservoir water levels have dropped severly

Pat Weller and I went fishing at Long Draw and Peterson reservoirs on Wednesday. We had the lake to ourselves but fish weren't biting. One fish was caught at Paterson.
The last time we were there was July 31st, when a large group were camping and fishing at N. Michigan reservoir and Ranger Lakes. Five weeks ago Long Draw was full to the brim, now the water level has dropped considerably and continues to empty out into the South Fork which eventually leads to the Poudre River.

Pat Weller at Long Draw with Rocky Mountain National Park behind him.
Photo by Rick Palmieri

Long Draw, five weeks ago these stumps were all under water. Water was up to the treeline on the other side.
Photo by Rick Palmieri
The dam on the north side of Long Draw Reservoir. Photo Rick Palmieri

Peterson Reservoir water levels have dropped too.
Both of these lakes look like a great place for float tubes or kayaks.
Photo by Rick Palmieri

Evidence that there are fish in Paterson. this guy was 9-10".
Photo by Rick Palmieri

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Horsetooth, Carter boat ramp hours cutting back

Boat ramp hours at Horsetooth and Carter reservoirs are being reduced for the fall season. Here's the schedule and a link to the Larimer County website: https://www.larimer.org/naturalresources/parks/boating

Horsetooth Reservoir Boat Ramp Hours

Sept. 1st thru 30th, 2019
South Bay ramp6 AM - 10 PM, 7 days a week
Inlet Bay ramp6 AM - 10 PM, 7 days a week
Satanka rampSept. 3rd-15th
8 AM - 8 PM, 7 days a week

Sept. 16th-30th
8 AM - 8 PM, Friday, Saturday and Sunday only
Starting Oct. 1st, 2019
South Bay ramp7 AM - 7 PM, 7 days a week
Inlet Bay ramp7 AM - 7 PM, 7 days a week
Satanka rampClosed for the season
Starting Nov. 1st, 2019
South Bay ramp8 AM - 4 PM, 7 days a week
Inlet Bay ramp7 AM - 7 PM, 7 days a week

Carter Lake Boat Ramp Hours

Starting May 1, 2019
North ramp6 AM - 10 PM, 7 days a week
South Shore ramp6 AM - 10 PM, 7 days a week
North Pines ramp6 AM - 10 PM, 7 days a week

Monday, August 26, 2019

Time flies! Boat day is scheduled for 11 Sept which is only two weeks away!

Most of you are aware of how boat day works, basically sign up or let Rick know that you are willing to share your craft or want to be a rider. September is a busy month with lots of activities and is also one of the busiest time for anglers to go fishing and others to take vacations. As a result Boat day may not garner a lot of interest but then again temps should be cooling and maybe the fishing will be better too.

02 Sept----Labor Day
11 Sept ---Boat day
14 Sept ---Harvest Bazaar at Chilsons
16 Sept----Board meeting
17 Sept----Monthly meeting
25 Sept----Senior Fishing Derby

I'll have a signup sheet at Friday breakfast, time is short to get this together and we also need to have volunteers for preparing lunch again.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Coming Sept. 25! Senior Derby!

The idea sprang to mind more than a decade ago, when then-President Ray Park pondered ways to leave his mark on the Loveland Fishing Club’s legacy. We settled on the idea of a day of fishing for folks even older than ourselves, and began to scour the country for ideas we could steal, mostly by Internet search. We found a ton of “senior derbies,” but all seemed to involve some sort of blanket invitation for old folks to come out and fish.
Hey, we already had a club for that.

And so, over coffee, the idea evolved:  Why not a senior fishing derby for folks who find themselves physically unable to still get out and fish? We began talking with administrators of Loveland independent and assisted living centers, and on in fall 2006, held the first-ever Loveland Fishing Club Senior Fishing Derby, at Flatiron Reservoir southwest of Loveland. It may sound odd to have a bunch of mostly octogenarians hold an outdoor event for other octogenarians. But really, it’s simply a case of doing for others what we’d like someone to eventually do for us:  do whatever is needed to put a fishing pole back in their hands.

That first derby was funded largely through a Community Service Grant from the IBM Corporation, through a program that promotes volunteerism among its employees and retirees. Fourteen years later, the event is a Larimer County institution, still managed by Ray, Warren Wolf and a gang of gray-haired volunteers, though some are admittedly moving a little slower than when all this started.
This year’s derby is set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25th at Flatiron Reservoir, a Larimer County Open Space property where there is normally an $8 daily entrance fee. The club also works with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to purchase a sort of in bulk fishing license for participants, and the Division also stocks the lake in advance with trout.

To participate, pre-register by Monday, Sept. 9 at Chilson Senior Center, 700 E. Fourth St. Loveland.

The event cheerfully remains entirely free for participants, including loaner fishing equipment, a well-stocked lake, prizes, and a “gourmet” cookout of hot dogs, chips and soft drinks. The IBM Corporation had also helped the club fund major handicap access improvements to Flatiron in 2012, aided by a Fishing is Fun grant in a cooperative effort with the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources.
The derby remains, we think, the nation’s only free fishing derby focused on residents of assisted living centers, run by and for senior volunteers. Other seniors are welcome, as we partner with Chilson Senior Center, but the primary invited guests are residents of Loveland assisted living centers. 

 Among guests at the 2017 derby
was 95-year-old Gerald Ravenscroft,
a fighter pilot in China during World War 2.
With the City of Loveland providing liability insurance for the derby, Colorado Parks and Wildlife supplying trout, and the eager cooperation of a dozen senior living centers, the derby attracts close to a hundred participants each year. We could unquestionably grow larger. But truth be told, we’re too damned old to take on many more guests. The goal is highly personalized help with fishing, mixed with great conversation. And if you want, Tom Miller will clean and bag your fish to be cooked back at home.

The first couple of years, many guests weren’t sure what to make of the derby, and contented themselves with watching their friends from the bank. Now nearly every guest is there to fish, and some come back year after year.

Senior living centers in nearby communities have been asking to participate, but because of the need to keep the event manageable we’ve tried to keep to the original target community.

The fishing club was founded in 2002 by about men and women mostly in our late 60s and early 70s. It’s now 2019; you do the math. We count on a stream of younger retirees and senior living facility staff to help keep the event thriving, but truthfully, a fair number of club members may turn up this year as guests rather than volunteers.

We welcome the idea. Behind this annual outpouring of affection for anglers no longer able to fish on their own is a touch of self-interest:  we don’t talk about it much, but truth is, we’re hoping someone, someday, will come by where ever we’re living by then and say, “Hey, Ray, let’s go fishing.”  

Derby godfather Ray Park