Saturday, March 28, 2020

Is a nationwide debate about to erupt over the need to shower in a time of social isolation?

By Bill Prater
I don’t know, people; academic discussion has raged for centuries over simpler philosophical questions such as, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" As we sit at home, unable to join joyful crowds at the mall, one has to ponder: “Do we really need a good deodorant in Today’s America, when virtually no one is around to smell?”
     Let’s digress a moment. Jump back 60 years or so to the Warnock Avenue of Granite City, IL in the Fifties, when and where I grew up. Two-holder outhouses were still the norm for a few more years, a nod even then to a desperate need for social interaction. Also, trust me on this, there was an equally memorable, distinctive odor from a nearby, infamous “rendering house” a stinky place that I guess paid farmers to bring in dead horses and cows to be rendered. (I never knew exactly what that meant).

     On the other side of town, there was also a notorious stretch of Illinois Highway 3 that went right by a section of Granite City Steel that smelled so bad, everyone would roll up their car windows and literally hold our breath until we reached the far side (memo to youthful readers: in those days vehicle windows had to be physically cranked up and down , and they were down because we had no air conditioning).
     Anyway, bad as that spot was, my late Uncle Bus and Aunt May lived just a few hundred yards down the road, adjacent to the Cargill Chemical plant. Honestly, after we’d visited them for an hour or so, I can’t recall being bothered by the stench.
    My point, and I do have one, is that the human nose, like that of a catfish, is amazingly adept at tolerating noxious odors, which is how we can survive four to eight years under the same President. And growing up on a diet of Great Northern Beans. 
    So. In the grand scheme of things, and in the spirit of these times, if we are sequestered in a tight space for weeks with a loved one or two, does it really matter if we patriotically decide to save on soap, water and time?
    Now is, of course, the perfect opportunity to test such a theory. Not by me, though. Linda has the sense of a smell of a young beagle, and an equally powerful a sense of  outrage. Plus which, I plan to keep on sleeping with her. The woman can detect even minimal changes in body odor - as witnessed by my switching from a seasonal favorite Smelly Jelly scent for trout fishing to a more bass-appropriate Pro-Cure Crawdad, or occasionally, Nightcrawler. Besides, she’s getting a little testy these days, if you catch my drift.
    All of you are encouraged to try. At minimum, I am counting on an experimental contribution from Tom, or Norm, or maybe Karol - all people known for being a bit stir crazy these days, and for retaining spouses keen on contributing to the social good. 
    I close this discussion with a reminder to older readers about a massive 1980s advertising campaign for the science fiction classic, Alien:  “In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream.” Nowadays, in 21st Century America, one has to ponder: “In Isolation, Can No One Smell if You Don’t Shower?”

Here's something we didn't know about Doug Money!

From Doug Money:
I have been retired for only about three years now. Other than relaxing, enjoying the family and having more time to fish I am still working on that great retirement story or experience to share. I have shared that I am from the Chicago area and was in commercial construction. Every contractor though has that one project they are most proud of in their career. 

For me it was leading the project team from 1996 thru 1998 on construction of an underground parking garage, new lobby entrance and the Pioneer Zephyr train exhibit for the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.  

History & Architecture buffs may know that the original building that houses this museum is the last surviving major structure from the 1893 Chicago World's Exposition.

Train enthusiasts would find it interesting that in 1934 the Zephyr broke the speed record from Denver to Chicago in 13 hours.

Friday, March 27, 2020

April club meetings postponed.

Club President Jim Baxter has cancelled April's Board and General meetings, planned for the third Monday and Tuesday of the month. Hopefully we'll be back in business soon. Reminder:  our Friday breakfast gatherings are also on hold until further notice.

Soon we will simply say "Alexa, or Siri, launch the boat and get me two Walleye for dinner"

Part 1. Sharing and getting to know each other better. 

Hi, last week Jim Baxter and I were talking about how many of our club members have such varied backgrounds and experiences and we don't know much about any of that unless we have taken a road trip or a multi day fishing trip with them. That's one reason I try and move around to different seats at Friday breakfast, to give me a chance to get to know members of our club and for them to know me for better or for worse. I'm glad I've done that, it's been an easy thing to do and has been very rewarding.

Jim and I have talked a little bit about how we might get members to tell us a little or a lot about themselves in an open environment so that we might all be enriched by hearing about some of the journeys, some of the cool things we have seen or done. Many of you have been members for a long time and know quite a lot about each other already but many others of us don't and we would like to hear those stories about you.

We are kicking around a few ideas about how to do this and to make it fun. For myself I'm a bit reluctant to post anything on a blog that people outside of our club might read because they're pretty personal but I've shared some of that already with the people I've fished with. Bill Prater (great write up Bill) opened up about the loss of a good friend last year and shared that with all of us. By doing that he told us a story about himself, growing up, getting older and it touched all of us because we've all been there. More than just "Hi, my names Rick and I live in Fort Collins. Nice to meet all y'all" We could use some of this now that we can't meet together for awhile and even after we can meet what other creative ways can we have fun and share our lives with each other?

Share your ideas.Send your ideas to Jim, or Bill or Doug or me or come up with one that you can surprise all of us with. We want to know more about club members. Write something up with your spare time, long or short, share a photo with a story, tell us something about yourself we don't know. Don't worry about mispellings or "I can't write". You can send these to myself or Bill. Anyone want to be interviewed for a write up? 

OK, I'll share something about myself that some of you already know and use that as a segue into a new product on the market or rather what we call connected products or integration or synergy or (I'm searching for a word I used to know).

Part 2. Sharing a small part of who I am
I'll admit I'm a nerd when it comes to anything that looks cool or a tool that is really slick or a new scientific discovery or invention. I used to know how to use a slide rule (sort of) because it was cool. Heck, I send Tom Miller emails about cool tools ( that I'm looking at just because I want to know the temp and wind speed when I'm ice fishing. It's just a small part part of who I am and what stitches me together.

I like history, science, archaeology (Speaking of which did you know that the new iPad has a built in LIDAR) if you don't know what LIDAR is I'll be glad to share that with you and the impact it's had on archaeology), gardening, reading, fishing, learning, mechanics, fixing things, optics, movies, the list goes on. I'm a Scanner. (look that quote up on the internet and a book by Barbara Sher).
And, I like to share things that I think others might find interesting. Here in this forum that usually has a connection to fishing in the form of stories, news, pictures, or maybe a Darwin award here and there especially if it's connected to fishing like Norm on the edge of the ice up in Laramie. So today's new product sharing is in Part 3.

Part 3. The new product synergies.
Sometimes it's about using old tools in new ways.
Fishing certainly has come a long way. As a relative rookie I am always impressed by the knowledge gained by years of experience, learning, paying attention and researching that some of our members have gained through the years. With such a large compendium of knowledge who needs a fish finder or a shallow stake anchor system (dual by gosh) to keep us in place or $4500 chart plotters connected to trolling motors that read lake contours to keep us in 20' of water along the shoreline?

I often think I do and who among us hasn't dropped a few coins (or a lot) to get the latest fishing marvel that marketing tells us we need? How many of us have tackle boxes full of stuff we haven't used in years, all things that promised THIS would catch more fish?  We say "I need to clean that tackle box out" but we rarely do because you never know when we might need those secret weapons, those magic bullets that used to catch fish.

So here's something new on the market. Lowrance, ANGLR and Abu Garcia have given us the ability to connect our fishing rod and a chart plotter to capture data. You can read about it here,  Below is the beginning of the announcement.

Tulsa, Okla. — ANGLR, Lowrance® and Abu Garcia®, announce the successful collaboration between the three brands to blend their cutting-edge technologies to create a powerful new way to plan, record and relive fishing adventures – all while using precise data to catch more fish. Giving anglers a previously unavailable level of control, the ANGLR app acts as a bridge between the new Abu Garcia Virtual™ Rod and compatible Lowrance chartplotters/fishfinders. This new functionality lets users privately capture key fishing data with a click of a button – without the need to stop fishing to access navigation displays, logbooks or mobile devices.

With all of the devices getting more and more interconnected I really don't think we are far off from being able to talk into our cell phone and ordering up fresh fish for dinner. We can already beam images from anywhere to our tv's or phones. We can see the fish follow lures and get hooked .We can remote control our boat. We can say we caught those fish can't we?  We're really good fishermen. Look at that catch!

"Hey Siri, beam us up to the moon will you? I want to see how far I can cast across that crater".

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Fish Explorer on fishing during the stay-at-home order

There's a lot of uncertainty these days on what we can ethically do during the pandemic, including that most vital retiree past time, fishing. Fish Explorer Executive Editor Matt Snider outlines the Colorado situation in a blog post Thursday. The situation may change over time; New Mexico, among other states, has basically told anglers to postpone fishing until further notice. Here's a link to Matt's report:

Can I go out fishing with a stay-at-home order?

If you’re an eager angler, and I assume you are because you’re reading this, then you probably know the answer to this.  The answer is yes.  So long as you adhere to social distancing recommendations, you can be outside recreating. [edit: keep in mind that cramming with a friend or friends into a car or small boat would not be considered good social distancing.
Matt's full article can be found here:

Recommendation for club members on enforcing social distance!

The ever-thoughtful Walt Graal points out that your typical spinning rod is 6-foot in length, making it the ideal tool for enforcing social distance. Great idea! I would only add that, especially around small children, you should always use barbless hooks. Be safe out there, people.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

CO Youth Outdoors postpones Maverick fundraiser

Many club members have volunteered every spring for CYO’s annual fund-raiser skeet sheet. Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to continue that tradition, but our friends have postponed the event until fall. Here’s the note posted on the Website:

After reviewing the situation we all have before us associated to the COVID 19 challenges, the Board of Trustees along with staff have made the decision to postpone the 2020 Maverick to the new date of September 11th and 12th 2020. Please email if you have any questions. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

An angler at home with their spouse

Linda and I are approaching a 7th day of isolated marital bliss. I have to tell you, in all that time scarcely a harsh word has come between us. Though we are legendary lovebirds, in the pre-viral world, gentle Linda was known to voice an occasional opinion about ways Bill could improve himself . You know. Make a good spouse even better. You know. Nag.

While I am known for a willingness to overlook spousal shortcomings, Linda has kinda needed work on that aspect of an otherwise flawless personality, if you catch my drift. These days, though? As I said, there has been scarcely an intemperate word in an entire week of alone time.

“Why is this?” you may ask. Well, I have a theory, along with a way of evaluating that theory, one at least as valid as the way our nation’s leaders want to test scary experimental drugs.

Here it is:

I have a long-held but mostly unspoken theory that the bulk of all marital disagreements in this world stem from a single source: backseat driving.

In the Prater Household, in 51-plus years, scarcely a day has gone by without Linda giving into an irresistible, passenger seat temptation to describe a better way for me to slow down, to watch out for that driver on the left, or find the quickest route to the damned grocery store. In the past week, though, our one lone, brief trip to that grocery store yielded only a single startled gasp from the passenger seat. And back in the home, alone again? Only continued good cheer, camaraderie, and occasional spontaneous sex, the kind that in earlier days might have yielded a third Prater daughter. Coincidence? I think not.

As I said above, we have a unique opportunity to verify this theory: other Loveland Fishing Club spouses can simply, bravely, describe their own backseat driver-driven experiences. And eventually, at Friday morning breakfast at Perkins, we can again share those insights.

Be cautious, though, guys. As I say, this is only speculation on my part, like our President’s hunch that everything will be back to normal by Thursday. Like White House theories on pandemic panaceas, this theory could be outright wrong - or mutating over time. Ominously, just this morning, I heard sweet Linda exclaim: “For God’s Sakes! It’s been seven days now! Change your underwear!”

That sounds dangerously close to harsh words.

More later. Prater.

Sportsman's Warehouse Buys Two Field & Stream Stores

While the presence of Scheels close by has impacted sales at our local Sportsman's Warehouse it's clear that the company has been doing well and expanding into other markets. More information can be found at

 One of North America’s major suppliers of fishing tackle, Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings, has bought two Field & Stream locations from Dick’s Sporting Goods.
It has paid $5m for inventory and assets and will sublease the two locations at Crescent Springs, KY and Kalamazoo, MI, which will be rebranded as Sportsman’s Warehouse.
The acquisitions are part of its strategy of growing by expanding its store network in strong markets with well-established customer bases. In October last year it acquired eight Field & Stream stores in Pennsylvania (three), New York (two), North Carolina (two) and Michigan.
Jon Barker, CEO of Sportsman’s Warehouse told US-based digital news source, SBG Update: “The original acquisition of the Field & Stream stores has proved to be a very good investment. A critical component of its success has been the passionate associates and managers who joined us as part of the acquisition.
“We are excited to add another two stores and their team members. The current transaction is similar to the previous one and we anticipate a strong reception to the Sportsman’s brand in the two new markets.”
Sportsman’s Warehouse currently operates 104 stores in 27 states. It has announced a total of five new stores for 2020, including the two new Field & Stream outlets, with more expected to be announced in the near future.

Invasive Mussels Can Survive Wyoming Winters

Invasive Mussels Can Survive Wyoming Winters
This is an article found online called FishingWire. It really calls to attention the fact that we need to take pay attention and clean our watercraft properly to ensure that we don't spread zebra, quagga mussels or invasive plant species.

Aquatic invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels are tiny but resilient. Once introduced, eradicating them from a water source is extremely difficult — if not impossible. Luckily, Wyoming is still mussel-free. But if the invasives ever are transported into the state, the harsh winters and freezing temperatures would hardly slow their ability to persist.

Research shows mussels are impacted by temperature and will die if exposed to either of the extreme ends of the thermometer. However, freezing temperatures may only kill a trivial amount. Mussels attached above the waterline to structures like docks, rocks or boats might die if exposed to freezing temperatures for three days. But, freezing isn’t a dependable way to kill a mussel.

For boaters, mussels surviving the winter onboard their watercraft is rare but possible. Attached mussels can survive up to 30 days out of the water if the temperature is warm enough, and longer if they have a little water. Further surprising, recent research from the University of Idaho showed juvenile mussels can survive in boat motors after winterized with antifreeze.

AIS specialists know mussels have an upper temperature limit and use that to their advantage. Larval mussels can’t survive in water more than about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. So, in Wyoming, boats that require decontamination are treated with hot water. Specialists spray the outside with 140-degree water and flush motors with 120-degree water. Living mussels die in about 10 seconds.

Boaters should follow the clean, drain, dry processes each time they use their boats. It’s crucial, and the law, to have your boat inspected before launching.
Josh Leonard
Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator