Inside CT : Away from the Crowd

You learn a lot about someone through fly fishing

You learn a lot about a guy when you fly fish with him. And I have fished often with David Goetz, author of "Suburban Spirituality" (p. 30).

I had just taken up the sport when we found ourselves, two associate editors with Leadership, on a business trip together in Colorado (by divine providence, I believe, as is a business trip I'll be taking this summer to Montana). After we had spent two days interviewing our subject, we had a few days free to explore the state where Dave had spent a good number of years. So we headed up into the mountains. On the way, I spotted a number of good-looking, meaning fishable, streams, but Dave just kept driving. I have since learned that Colorado is famous for rivers like the Gunnison, the Arkansas, the South Platte. But Dave wasn't interested in places where everybody else fished.

Just on the other side of the rough-edged town of Leadville, we headed up a dirt road. We drove until the road ran out. In a few hundred yards, we walked up to a small lake with fish rising. I started surveying the best place to fish from, when Dave announced that this was not the lake he had in mind. Too close to the end of the road.

Some two hours later and another 1,000 feet higher (we're now at 11,900 in elevation) we finally hiked into Harrison Flats Lake, which must have been created to give meaning to the phrase "a pristine mountain lake." It was nestled just below the Continental Divide. You could not get much farther away from the fishing crowd than that.

We had a splendid afternoon. Or I should say Dave had a splendid afternoon, catching fish in biblical proportions. (I caught three.)

A few years later, I took him to my fishing turf—southwest Wisconsin. Unlike Dave, I come from the school that says if a lot ...

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