Monday, January 11, 2010

Of Fish Men and Men Who Fish...

Dennis Fish - Catching the big one!

It was in the north western part in NM on a ranch called Vermejo Park, owned by Ted Turner. The very first thing we saw when entering the park was a herd of Elk.  I rolled down my window and actually heard them bugling, which I guess is pretty rare.

We kept driving toward the main lodge and then saw a herd of deer. When we pulled up to the lodge we got out of the car and immediately entered the wrong building - and I'm glad we did. The building we entered was Ted Turner's personal lodge and it looked like something you would find in Europe. The ceilings were high and arched with amazing detail and in every corner was a some kind of stuffed animal...even a lion!  I could go into much more detail, but just imagine rich wood and marble everywhere.

When we finally figured out we were in the wrong building, we went to check into the right one. It also was impressive. Very clean and massive logs made this lodge. Jumping forward about two hours, we went to the "Fish House" and got a few coolers - one for drinks and one for fish - then headed to the lakes...

Tim Fish - Catching Another big one!

We finally found the lake we wanted to fish, and the very first thing we saw were two bears drinking from the lake. The lake was situated in the middle of a open, grassy area and about 100-200 yard away were pine trees. The view from the lakes was the Colorado mountains. It felt like we stepped right into some sportsman's magazine.

The rest of the day was amazing. We caught several FAT trout and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. One of the men fishing with us was a very good friend of my father's (and mine), Jim Padon, who was suffering from terminal brain cancer.  This was one of his wishes - to finally fish the legendary Vermjo Park.  I feel very fortunate to have spent that time with my father and Jim. Jim passed away several months later.

I will never forget those couple of days and will some day take my sons (and daughter if she wants to go).

A memory as told by Tim Fish. Photos are: Top - Father Dennis with one of those "fat trout", and Middle - Tim and his prize trout

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