Back Issue Content: 2016

2016

A Tribute to Jim Harrison

Upon learning of Jim Harrison's death, reputedly hunched over his typewriter at work on a poem, I gather some of my favorite books and walk to a nearby bar. Perching on a stool by the window, I order a tequila cocktail and a half dozen Malpeque oysters. The oysters arrive, lascivious, nearly quivering in their fleshy wetness on a bed of ice. The drink comes pink, in a daiquiri glass, topped with an orchid blossom. Presentations can be misleading; the liquor is strong and the mixture more pepperysour than sweet.

Need a new five-weight? Have an inmate build it.

"I CALL THESE OUR FEEL-GOOD PROGRAMS," says Dennis Dunsmoor, Director of Colorado Correctional Industries (CCI), referring to several small-scale businesses he oversees, including rod-building, that are run out of the Arrowhead Correctional Center in Cañon City. "We don’t make money off of them, but the offenders learn skills that will help them on the outside. Plus, we use these jobs as an incentive—we’re that carrot on the stick."

One year after trading electrodes for drip stations, the plan to remove brookies from Yellowstone's Soda Butte Creek appears to be working.

NO ONE IS SURE where the brook trout found in Soda Butte Creek came from. Maybe a flood washed them over from a neighboring drainage. Maybe somebody in Cooke City had a bucket and a brookie fetish. Then again, the source doesn't exactly matter. The fish are interlopers in one of Yellowstone National Park's most popular cutthroat streams. That was enough to put them in the government's crosshairs about 20 years ago, as biologists worried the colorful trespassers might one day displace the iconic Yellowstone cutthroat that call Soda Butte and the Lamar drainage home.

Crash pads come in unlikely places

THE BEST-KEPT SECRET in all of Colorado is on the Taylor River. Every fisherman in the state knows the river itself, and those who think they're special know to fish it at night, but a select few know the real spot. In the town of Almont, just across the bridge on Taylor River Road, sits a little cabin wedged between water and pavement. During the months of May through September, the cabin runs $250 per night. During the months of October through April, the living room futon is available for an eighth of weed and a 30-rack of Peebers. These rental fees are always shared.

Without our rivers, what is left?

DEEP INSIDE MOST TROUT anglers lies an understanding that the existence of clean water and healthy public habitat are what get us out of bed in the morning, especially on weekends. Many have sacrificed lucrative careers, either by stalling out in the middle when the job-responsibility-to-annual-vacation-day ratio became optimal for fishing, or by running away to the woods and the humble yet happy life of farming nickels and dimes.