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.
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|