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