A Little Red Book, for a lifetime on the water

Viewing the golf tournament live at Augusta National is for many a once-in-a-lifetime experience, myself included. I was afforded the opportunity in 1995, and wound up sitting by the 18th green on a Sunday as Ben Crenshaw sunk a putt that moved everyone to tears. He had laid his golfing mentor Harvey Penick to rest the Wednesday before, and then won the Masters.

A decade and a half later another student has said goodbye to his teacher. Kirk Deeter readily admits it would be impossible for anyone fill the shoes of his instructor, the late Charlie Meyers, who did not simply cover the Colorado outdoors scene through his writing, but molded it with a watchful eye and caring touch into what it is today. His judiciousness, and kindness, lives on.

Kirk and Charlie co-authored The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing, which went to print just after Mr. Meyers passed. The book is a compilation of trout-wise anecdotes accumulated by the authors from many days on the river, much of it spent together. It is a manual for improving your game sans technicality, the overriding theme being enjoyment of the sport, from the inside and out. It is also a window into life on the water that I believe anyone who peeks in will carry with them. Or maybe climb through.

I was offered a chance to fish with Kirk not long ago – at first two outings on the South Andros Island flats. The bonefishing (and perusal of The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing) was followed by a day in Kirk’s own backyard that I hoped would exemplify the setting teacher and student had shared so many times before. I spent the majority of the time asking questions, about Charlie, about trout, and about life itself. Mr. Meyers had an ego described as the size of a small indicator, and his protegee answered in-kind. On repeated request I was positioned in pools chock full of trout, while my guide studied my actions carefully from the bank. Cast after cast, fish after fish, I listened.

The courtesy didn’t cease until I demanded it to. Then all at once I found myself on the 18th green again, watching a perfect putt…

I know there are many more snippets of wisdom, stories worth mention, that I have yet to hear. Fortunately, fly fishing is not the Masters – anyone and everyone now has a chance to experience it up close and personal. Next Saturday, June 12th, the South Platte River in Spinney Mountain Ranch, previously known as the Dream Stream, will be dedicated to the man who spent a lifetime sharing thoughts on Colorado – its mountains, its valleys, its rivers, its ski slopes, and most of all its trout.

I’ve received but a glimpse, and I now yearn for more.

A full press release including details of the Charlie Meyers stream dedication, the family-friendly gathering that will happen throughout the day and into the evening thereafter, is included after the jump.

MG signing off (to make my way to South Park)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2010

CONTACT: Erica Stock, Colorado Trout Unlimited, 303-410-6008

 

EVENT HONORING THE LATE CHARLIE MEYERS PLANNED IN FAIRPLAY

Saturday, June 12th, 2010 5:00-10:00 PM at the American Safari Ranch, Fairplay, Colorado

Please join Colorado Trout Unlimited and FishExplorer.com as they host an event honoring the late Charlie Meyers, a dear friend and devoted advocate of Colorado’s Conservation Community. Fish On! An Evening of Storytelling will be held Saturday June 12th, 2010 at the historic American Safari Ranch in Fairplay, Colorado, and includes live musical entertainment and a barbeque dinner.

This event is open to the public but tickets are limited. Tickets are $100 each and all proceeds for this event will be dedicated to “Trout in the Classroom,” a collaborative youth conservation education effort between the Colorado Council of Trout Unlimited and the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

You must RSVP ahead of time online at www.fishexplorer.com/charliemeyers or Call (303) 440-2937 for tickets.

About Charlie Meyers

An avid outdoorsman and dedicated conservationist, Charlie served as a passionate voice for Colorado’s rivers and wildlife as the outdoors writer for the Denver Post, a career that spanned over four decades. Throughout his life, Charlie advocated tirelessly for policies and protections that preserved places important to all Coloradoans—from the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the legendary tail waters of the South Platte River. According to Eddie Kochman, former colleague and State Chief of Fisheries for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, “If you had to sum up what Charlie Meyers did for the benefit of hunting and fishing (in Colorado), there would be no person that could equal his contribution. He set a standard few will ever reach.”

Charlie Meyers was instrumental in the development of the Trout in the Classroom program that has recently expanded to three Colorado schools this Fall in Bayfield, Windsor, and Woodland Park. The first Colorado-based Trout in the Classroom program at Thomson Valley High School released their first trout on May 12, 2010.

About Colorado Trout Unlimited and Trout in the Classroom

With 22 locally-based chapters throughout Colorado, the Colorado Council of Trout Unlimited focuses on conserving, protecting and restoring Colorado’s coldwater fisheries and watersheds. Through Trout in the Classroom, a collaborative youth conservation education program with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, students raise trout from eggs to fry in their classroom, engage in water quality and habitat studies, and eventually release them into state-approved waters near their school.

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