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)