Tag: Denver

Warning: Angler-eating beaver sighted on Denver’s South Platte River

beaversOk, so I exaggerate just a bit – the beaver hasn’t actually eaten an angler, at least not yet. The headline is catchy though, eh?


Will Rice and I are tromping around town last Sunday, looking for carp (nothing strange there). We run into Frank Smethurst, who has a buddy in tow and is chasing carp himself (a little stranger). Rice and I take it upon ourselves to give Mr. Smethurst a few tips on where to find said fish (borderline very strange). He relays said tips to said buddy, who plants himself on a bank while we spot from the bridge above (back to not strange).

Run-in, quantitatively analyzed

All of a sudden, all the fish in this big pod spook (carp – 1; strange – 0). Then Will sees this huge blob float through the hole and down under the bridge (carp – 1; strange – 1). I notice the huge blob has a paddle, and immediately identify it as a beaver of magnanimous proportions (carp – 1; strange – 2). I run to the other side of the bridge, but the beaver doesn’t appear (still carp – 1; strange – 2). A minute later, however, the beaver pops up right next to the bridge pylon, and begins eyeballing Frank’s friend (carp – 1; strange – 2; beaver – 1). Then the beaver starts swimming directly towards Frank’s friend, at which point Frank’s friend skidaddles off the bank (carp – 1; strange – 2; beaver – 2; anglers – minus 1). The beaver dives out of sight while we are scrambling for our cameras (carp – 1; strange – 2; beaver – 3; anglers – minus 2). It is immediately obvious, even to the algebraicly challenged, that the beaver got the best of everyone and everything. Much as urban beavers do.


Mr. Rice decides we should get on our way, which yours truly agrees is a good idea since he has already had a nasty run-in with a beaver once in his life. Ok, maybe a few more than that, but who’s counting. On our stroll back to the car we spy a felled tree. I’d seen this earlier in the day but thought it was part of a half-completed river restoration project. On closer inspection, however, we put two and two together – or make that three and three, because by our final count something with big teeth and a lot of time on their hands had gnawed three trees down in the last week or so.

I believe the moral of this story is don’t mess with urban beavers. They spook the carp, chase away the anglers, are camera shy, and chop down trees when nobody is looking.

MG signing off (to tell the DOW to leave that beaver alone, because it’ll keep the anglers in check)

Denver faces imminent destruction

The Smithzilla is coming!

OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Evening with a summer breeze

bistrovendomeYesterday was my dog’s birthday. He got his present back in early April, a new bed. But as this was #10 for him, some celebration was in order. Unfortunately, collies aren’t allowed in most French restaurants, so he slept on that bed while a feast of magnanimous proportions took place…

For Starters

  • A bottle of ’03 Chateau La Haye – from the St. Estephe region, it was described as earthy and didn’t disappoint. Help was needed with the wine selection as the whole Bordeaux list was third and fourth growths.
  • Mousse de Foie au Calvados – Calvados scented chicken live parfait, apple parsely gelee, oven dried grapes. In other words, a very fancy name for pâté – I’m a ground beef person, but will never turn down a good pâté if only to maintain an air of civility.
  • The cheese selection of the day – various flavors which will be remembered in taste and forgotten in name.
  • Main Course

  • Cuisse de Canard Confit – Molasses glazed duck leg confit, lentils, braised cabbage, beurre blanc, grilled apple, and golden raisin relish. Was voted the pick of the evening, and subsequently pilfered from my plate. I got kicked if I didn’t share.
  • Escolar pôché au Pastis – Pernod and chamomile poached escolar, carrots, fennel, fava beans, buttermilk fried onions, red peppers, in parsley oil. I like fish, took the above mentioned theft personally, and finished this off.
  • Wind Up

  • Sandeman Founders Reserve Port and Johnny Walker Black scotch – the port was fine, but next time I’ll stick to a single malt.
  • Blueberry Lavender Napoleon – whipped lemon creme fraiche, fresh blueberry compote, crispy phyllo. Tart and refreshing.
  • Dark Chocolate, Orange Scented Bavarian – tropical fruit, dark chocolate curls, port reduction. Chocolate is a favorite, and this one was built for two. My partner-in-crime took advantage of that situation, again.
  • Conclusion

    pbrThe locale was the outdoor patio at Denver’s Bistro Vendôme, and our host for the evening was Leah (a stupendous gal). And while I’m going back to burgers and PBR after this (return thy heathen), I figure if folks can play Roger Ebert over YouTube videos I can pretend I’m the Claude Lebey of the Denver fine dining scene. The entire experience was fabulous. The only bad part about all this is I’m probably going to get hassled to learn how to cook all this myself some time in the near future, and I’m short next semester’s tuition to the French Culinary Institute.

    Happy birthday, dog.

    The Wall Street Journal does carp on the fly (UPDATED)

    wsj-brownliningThe Wall Street Journal just had to see what brownlining was all about, so they sent crack reporter Justin Scheck to investigate:

    Brownliners enjoy fly-fishing’s primary perks — the suspense of watching a fly disappear beneath the water’s surface, the struggle of man against beast, the spinning of fish stories. If that doesn’t come with fresh water and clean air, so be it.

    The pursuit is an affront to fly-fishing’s traditional ethos. Since English nobles began using bamboo rods and whiplike lines to cast weightless flies to trout, the sport has been associated with pristine wilderness. “More than half the intense enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings,” angling legend Charles Orvis wrote more than a century ago.

    Read the whole thing. And don’t forget to watch the video, where my compadre Tom Teasdale catches a honker catfish on a Kenyan Stone. You heard me right – a catfish, on a stonefly. Take that, purists!

    Justin and the Carp

    But, there’s one thing you won’t learn from that Wall Street Journal masterpiece: business journalists can fly fish! During a shoot break I handed Justin my rig, and he immediately found his groove with the stout eight. Ten minutes later it was fish on. We were not going to let this one get away, and a mad scramble ensued to get this roughly thirteen pound baby into the net. I’d like to take credit for something other than the lousy photo, but Tom and Fat Guy Kyle performed the roundup and lassoing. Additionally, I think the whole bit is a tribute to the quality of the WSJ editorial and staffing honchos – they know a good man when they see ’em. It’s always a good day when everyone in the crew hooks up.

    Also undisclosed until this very moment: in order to get the WSJ to pay our ugly water a visit in the first place, I covertly GUARANTEED they’d get some good footage and a storyline. I [tacitly] omitted that fact when roping Mr. Teasdale into the deal, but that’s what fishing friends are for – stretching the truth regarding a day on the water. It was risk-taking at its finest, and the unhedged bet paid out. Further, with my future photojournalist’s career clouded in significant doubt – nobody including the WSJ is ringing for my pics – I’m now stewing on the idea of launching a fly fishing derivatives market-making desk. We’ll write all kinds of risk for brown water and blue, a variety of species, and expire contracts along with the fishing season. I’m going to start recruiting ex-credit default swap traders any day, so boys and girls of AIG…get your resumes ready! I’ll also be hedging the trading desk concept with another business model – picking rigs and flies for real journalists (for a stiff fee, of course) until the ball is rolling.

    [singlepic id=95 w=150 h=112.5 float=left] Editor’s note: Special thanks go out to my neighbor Corey Christensen, who loaned me his brand new duck hunting waders so Mr. Scheck stayed safe from passing diaper bags. Unfortunately, Mr. Christensen is now demanding a slice of future trading desk spreads as compensation, so if you have some worn out leaders you can pass my way I’ll deliver them to him as a hush payment. He’s still wondering why I always outfish him despite his being a pretty lucky guy, but the aged monofilament tapers I’m always handing him are my other brand of insurance policy.