Ron Belak, RMOWP member from Evergreen, Colorado, has announced the recent publication of his book, Fly Fishing Colorado’s Backcountry.
The book is a collection of articles that originally appeared in Colorado Outdoorsmagazine, the official publication of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Ron tells us that all the essays in this how-to book were updated in 2018. Although aimed primarily at backcountry anglers in Colorado, he says that over half the essays are relevant to fly fishing for trout anywhere.
A number of you have expressed concerns regarding the impact of the altitude when you travel to Estes Park later this year. The town sits at 7500 feet above sea level and should you wish to explore Rocky Mountain National Park you could find yourself on Trail Ridge Road crossing the Rocky Mountain divide at over 12,000 feet. The air gets a lot “thinner” up there! Not to worry – you can still attend the conference and have an enjoyable time if you attend to a couple of suggestions from those of us that live here.
I felt it coming on the evening before, an unexplained restlessness. A familiar stirring. I realized then what it was. I needed an altitude fix––by hiking. I had to climb something.
So I set off this morning for the mountains and the trail to King Lake, my first sustained hike of the season. The air is clear, the sky is blue, but my mind is cloudy, perhaps from too much lower altitude inactivity. Within the first mile I begin to feel resuscitated, the clarity of my mind approaching that of the sky. A beautiful day. But aren’t they all beautiful at the higher altitudes?
You’re headed due north on the high desert floor, flat as a pancake, the endless sagebrush passing by as if part of the background scenery in an endlessly looping cartoon strip. It’s not just “desert dry” here in the high mountains; there’s been a severe drought out this way recently, adding insult to injury, or for some species, for some flora, it’s led to a new opportunity amongst the survival of the fittest, as the least well-adapted drop by the wayside, fodder for nature’s Grim Reaper. It looks very much like death stalks the land, but there’s life—stubborn, defiant life, no matter how dormant or slow-moving or desiccated it may appear to the untutored eye. New life, new growth, awaits hidden behind scaly bark or buried in the sand deep enough to find succor in the surprising dampness the water table, seeping close to the surface, still providentially offers up.
“Don’t gobblefunk around with words.” ~ Roald Dahl, The BFG
One of my most recent favorite reads was Love Does by Bob Goff. It was a fantastic book. I savored every line… so much so that I even read the acknowledgements, which were oddly placed at the back of the book rather than in the usual front matter. In the acknowledgements, Goff included a curious tribute to his friend and fellow author Donald Miller, “and to Don Miller, who taught me not to write thatinto my life…” In Goff’s entire book, it is the one sentence that puzzles me.
Listen. Carefully. What do you hear? As I write this I can hear the motor in my refrigerator freezer humming. It does that from time to time. I live in an apartment building and there are all sorts of noises from the many functions of the building. You might call it “building noise.” I can hear a little traffic on Broadway and someone putting trash in a dumpster in the alley. None of this is bothersome. A person gets used to some sounds, and they don’t interfere with life going on, or even thinking.
“Take refuge in your senses, open up to all the small miracles you rushed through… be excessively gentle with yourself, having learned a new respect for your heart, and the joy that dwells far within slow time.” ~ Sourced from the poem, “For One Who is Exhausted, A Blessing” by John O’Donohue