Friday, September 27, 2019

Really nice writeup on the Senior Derby by Fish Explorer

Matt Snider, the executive editor of Fish Explorer, joined us at Wednesday's derby and posted the following writeup on the website.

LFC Senior Fishing Derby

Blog by: Matt Snider 9/26/2019
When the time comes I am no longer able to physically or mentally get out and go fishing on my own, the only thing I ask is that you come take me fishing now and again. Since my earliest memories, I have spent nearly every day wanting to be fishing.  I can't imagine that'll ever go away.

Which brings me to this. Yesterday was the Loveland Fishing Club's 11th Annual Senior Fishing Derby, which Bill Prater wrote about in August.  I had a moment to visit with Bill at the event held at Flatiron Reservoir, and I wanted to share some photos with you all.

So much kudos goes out to the LFC for putting this event on.  62 men and women from about 8 senior living centers from various locations (mostly around Loveland) took shuttles with helpful staff members to spend the morning fishing for trout.  Numerous LFC members and other volunteers busily attended to the anglers stationed up and down the lake.  The fishing pier was dedicated to those unable to navigate the shoreline safely.

Numerous fishing rods were rigged up ready to go. There was the worm crew assorting bite-size bait into small canisters for each participant, and there was the front line crew casting rigs out and landing fish.  There was a fish cleaning crew that took care of preparing meat for the anglers who wanted it, and there were a whole lot of others preparing lunch and tending to snacks and drinks. Food was served and awards and prizes handed out (including Oldest Man/Oldest Woman.)

Fish were caught while hoots and hollers soared up and down the shore.

Bill wrote about the derby in detail, I just wanted to express my gratitude and share a little of this experience.  I know running an event of this sort is difficult, takes a lot of preparation, and there are a lot of moving parts.  I would love to see more of this happening around the state.  I know there are many similar events that occur but don't get much attention.  Consider FishExplorer a place to share them.  Shoot me information any time you have an event like this, submit it to our calendar ahead of time, or consider sending photos and a write-up as a guest blog.

I know there were plenty of folks there that were grateful to be out fishing.  Thank you LFC for this event and all else you do.
Rods rigged, ready to go - and these were just the backupsBeautiful day at the Larimer County ParksDotting the shoreline, hauling in fish
Bill to the rescue - freeing up snags from muddy shorelinesWheelchairs on the pier, walkers and chairs on the shoreWorm crew kept busy all morning
Medals you won`t see at many other fishing events.
Blog content © Matt Snider
Blog Comments
bgflys, CO   9/26/2019 7:30:51 AM
This is outstanding and much needed! Did they have the lake stocked prior? I would like to do something like this in Colorado Springs. Well done!!
Matt Snider (Matt), CO   9/26/2019 11:51:13 AM
I got word that the lake was stocked prior. I am not sure how much or whether or not it was due to this event. Let's chat if you think this is something you'd like to take on down in CO Springs. I can help facilitate if nothing else, I am sure Bill and the others could offer some framework.
bgflys, CO   9/26/2019 7:49:44 PM
I would be interested. How much time in advance did you plan? I'm thinking around spring of '20 due to my schedule and hunting. Wondered how it was promoted and participation? Looked like there were quite a few participants. I'm not sure what lake but first thought is Quail lake due to accessibility. I also wondered about fishing licenses and if I recall there is now a charge for the senior lifetime license. I would be willing to help with that cost depending on participation. What did they use for transportation? Their own vehicles? Assistance? Handicap access? EMT on site? Sorry just a few brainstorming questions...
bgflys, CO   9/26/2019 8:00:04 PM
Ok - I read Bill Prater's blog and got a ton more info. I will start checking for sponsors and do some more research. I'm not sure how much participation I would get but it seems that it could grow fast. I want it manageable also. Thanks for the reply and I will reach out to get advice in the future

Boat inspection schedule at Jumbo

The following news release about reducing hours for inspection is from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Note the boat ramp will be closed on Wednesdays.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife thanks boaters as boating season winds down at Jumbo Reservoir

Thus far during the 2019 season, watercraft inspectors at Jumbo Reservoir have inspected just shy of 9,000 boats for the presence of aquatic nuisance species and 165 were decontaminated prior to launch.

“Reservoir usage has increased annually and with this increased usage comes an increased risk of introduction,” said Robert Walters, CPW Invasive Species Specialist.

With increased usage comes an increase in demand for water access. To meet this public demand CPW has expanded the inspection season at Jumbo Reservoir through the end of October. Hours of operation during the month of October will remain a half-hour before sunrise to a-halfhour after sunset Thursday – Tuesday. The boat ramp will be closed on Wednesdays due to decreased staffing levels. Boating is only permitted during inspection hours and all boats must be off the water prior to the inspection station closing.

“Keeping Colorado’s waters free of invasive species is critical to maintaining high quality fisheries and providing high quality boating opportunities for our residents and visitors,” said Walters “The program would not be possible without the support of the boaters and anglers.”

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Prater, Golz win 2019 annual Club Tournament

While most of the club chose to fish closer to where they'd be eating hot dogs, Bill and Rick huddled in a far corner of Flatiron Reservoir Thursday and emerged with a one-two finish in the annual Club Tournament.

Using a mysterious secret bait, Bill put together a legal limit string of two 14-inch rainbows and two 13 1/2 inchers for a total of 55 inches, in a contest determined by combined length. Rick's string totaled 50 inches.

The winner walked off with a $50 cash prize and assurance that his name will be placed alongside past winners on on the club's rotating Grand Champion trophy. If you want to see it, it'll be at his house until at least next year's tournament.
Photo by Dan Barker

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Reminder, Rules AND CORRECTION about Thursday's tourney!

First, the Correction:  we originally told you 8 a.m. it's 9. Sorry about that. Hey, I'm old. 

Also, the rules of combat for the 8th annual event have changed from last year, when we fished Swift Ponds. Here they are:
  • No Wading
  • No Boating (park rules) 
  • One - Pole
  • One - Hook or Lure or Fly
  • Limit - 4 Trout
  • Stringer = 4 Trout measured (kept or released alive)
  • Time Limit – 9:00am to 12:00 noon.
  • Finally, All Kept or Released fish meant to enter the derby must be officially measured and witnessed by another club member who needs to legibly write the length of the fish on a card along with their initial. 
The First Prize Winner, the angler with the longest total string of 4 fish, gets $50 cash and her or his name on a handsome 19 1/4-inch revolving trophy, and you keep it until it's presented to the 2020 winner. Second prize is $25.

Larimer Count Parks and Open Space levies an admission fee at Flatiron. A few of us with annual passes will meet in the southeast corner of the K Mart parking lot and can give you a ride through the gate. We'll be leaving for Flatiron no later than 8:30 a.m., so be there before then or get out your purse.

While the rest of us watched fishing shows...

Rick Golz was actually out fishing in the Poudre west of Fort Collins this week. As you can tell by these photos, it was a gorgeous day to be out on the water. And he reports catching about 20 trout, mostly browns.

Another great old day at Flatiron...

Bright sunny skies and a brisk wind greeted 2019 guests of the Loveland Fishing Club's Senior Derby at Flatiron Reservoir. About 70 anglers, most from area assisted living centers, enjoyed the day, and we cleaned and iced about 50 freshly stocked trout for take-home. To see more photos, follow this link. (You can download any or all of them to your own computer, or print a copy).
Prize winners for 2019 include
  • Jim Bair, 93, a World War II veteran of the Army Air Corps, for biggest fish, a 16 1/2 inch trout.
  • Bernie Chin, smallest fish
  • Jane McAfee, 93, oldest female angler
  • Floyd Schweiter, 98, oldest male angler
  • Marilyn Beavin, best fishing hat

Jim Bair (center in blue hat), who caught the day's biggest fish,
hauls it in under the close eye of LFC's Norm Engelbrecht, who had nothing to do with the catch.
Bernie Chin, left, earned a medal for
smallest fish of the day,
presented by Karol Stroschein 

After a slow start, catching got good.
Tom Miller cleaned about 50 fish to send home
with anglers.

Our oldest angler of the derby was Floyd Schweiter, 98.

Oldest female angler was Jane McAfee, 93.

Best fishing hat belonged to Marilyn Beavin.

Jim Bair, with his medal and gift for
biggest trout of the day.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Your help is needed at Wednesday ‘s Senior Derby

Please make every effort to help the club make this annual event at Flatiron Reservoir a success. We’re expecting about a hundred guests, most from area assisted living centers.

The event runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. but plan to be there about 7:30 to help with setup. There’s no charge for admittance to the property, and there are rumors there will be donuts.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Jim Baxter didn't have to go all the way to Cody to land this trophy

Jim Baxter at Boyd Lake
Photo by ??

Jim in the Flat Top Wilderness
Photo by Steve Jetter or Roger Smith

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Gwinnup and a big Wyoming brown

Just in from Wyoming:  John Gwinnup displaying a fat Cody area brown trout.

Boat Day turns into Hootenanny

After a good day of fishing at Boyd Lake, with at least a few fish on board, the club broke for lunch and entertainment from this legendary crew.

Who wants to hit Delaney?

Mark your calendar for an overnight fishing trip to the Delaneys around Oct. 30. And in the meantime, who wants to blast over for a quick day of prime fall fishing?

Wayne Baranczyk and Bill Prater are looking at a trip around Tuesday, Oct. 8, leaving here around 5:30 and coming home victorious in the evening.Interested? Give me a call or text at 970-988-9174.

South Delaney rainbow and Dave's hand.
It's about a 3-hour trip to the lakes west of Walden. Dave Johnson and others were there a few weeks ago. He reports the mosquitoes have left the vicinity for the season, leaving us alone with a bunch of gullible trout.

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

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