Tag: Kirk Deeter

Making the Switch: A Game Changer Indeed

Kirk Deeter, what sayeth you on this switch rod bit?

Do yourself a favor. If you have the chance to try a switch rod at your local fly shop, or maybe on a casting pond at one of the upcoming sports expos this winter, do it. Be patient. It’s a completely different game than what most of you are used to. But it can open new horizons that actually last all year long.

It’s a game changer, mostly because you are going to feel like a dork the first hour out on water no wider than the rod is long. Then you throw your first decent shot, and mend with ease line that stretches as far out as most can cast one-handed.

That is, after you figure out which shooting head works best on whatever rod you choose. The links at this post will definitely help that cause.

MG signing off (because Deeter is right, much as he knows I hate to admit it)

Carp have arrived. Again.

South Platte InvitationalA long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, it was the Wall Street Journal. Now Chris Santella of the New York Times reminds the incredulous fly angler why the real action can be found right out the back door…

“I like to equate carp fishing with soccer. Around the world, carp is the No. 1 sport fish. A staggering amount of money is spent on carp angling. But here in America, it’s just starting to catch on” [says Kirk Deeter].

This may be true among casual anglers, but many professionals know better. Ask guides on the finest trout streams in the American West what they do on their days off, and they will sheepishly admit that they chase carp.

“There’s a pretty common theme for anglers who get excited about carp,” [Will] Rice said. “They start out fly-fishing for trout, and then take a saltwater trip where they catch bonefish and tarpon. In the course of the saltwater fishing, something clicks about getting bigger fish on the fly. When they get back home and fish for trout again, that big-fish thrill is a little lacking. Then they discover carp.”

Chris Santella is a fine specimen of a human being, but who are these Deeter and Rice chaps?

MG signing off (since I refuse to nymph for carp, although the method can be quite effective in winter)

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)

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Uncle Boy’s boat ramp

You cross Deep Creek in a makeshift limousine, compadres alongside, anxious about the day’s events to come.

Pulling up at the boat ramp, you move around to the back of the van to gather your belongings. Uncle Boy, Master of the Ramp, is there to greet you.

A vibrant and overtly non-suspicious Border Collie Uncle Boy is, and his stock in trade is sniffing all outgoing guests for expert bonefishing skills.

Yesterday morning I fooled Uncle Boy by stuffing my wading pack with beef jerky. He took to me like I was wearing a freshly woolen coat, herding me every which way until the moment I stepped on the skiff. It’s hard to have a bad day when such a fine pup starts it for you.

The team of Kirk “Cool Backhand Luke” Deeter and Michael “I’ll lose this fly I tied if it kills me” Gracie tallied 15 bones to hand. Cool Hand was an “A” student while the impetuous author scored 66% – three modded Veverka’s Mantis Shrimp and a Creature Feature attached to about a foot of 1X IGFA tipped are now firmly ensconced in the mouths of southern tip shrimp patrols. You can do the math.

Our guide, part-time tide clock repairman and full-time wisdom dispenser Torrie Bevans put us on schools of fish sometimes several hundred strong, and often within minutes of when he told us impatient bastards trout-oriented anglers they would be there.

“Mine is a boat for chillin’…Once the rod is loaded, there is no more loadin’ you can do…Bonefishin’ makes sense mon,” Torrie says. “And if your cast don’t make sense to you, stop, think about it, and recast.”

“After I pull the fly out of my hat,” I retort.

MG signing off (to meet my maker – so stay tuned)

RIP Charlie Meyers

I woke this morning, darkness filling the room. Hours later light was still dim, and I came to the conclusion today was one of those January days where the sun seemingly would not rise. With good reason.

Charlie Meyers, the longtime outdoors editor for the Denver Post, passed yesterday after a valiant battle with cancer. Mr. Meyers was a constant fixture on the flyfishing scene, providing locals with news and information, and frequent smiles. Some were lucky enough to fish with him, and a few exceptionally grateful folks were gifted with his mentoring and friendship.

One of those students and close friends of Meyers, Kirk Deeter, editor at Angling Trade and Field & Stream’s Fly Talk, has more about a legend lost.

Rest in peace Mr. Meyers.