The leaves are starting to turn and the weather has turned cold on cue. We likely have a few more sunny days left before I decide to pack my gear away for the season. I think this is the last year for this latest pair of waders. Sure, Colorado has fishing year round, however I decided last year to be a man who observes the seasons and gives the fish a little winter break. There are plenty of memories and plenty of things to do over the winter months. My shop has a heater and I have a lot of wood I can turn.
As I look back on my fishing season though I can smile at the great memories of time on the stream. I caught a lot of fish this year and along the way made some good new friends too. My spools hit the market and I got to see them going to owners who appreciated them and the time that I put into them.
Every year has a it's challenges. While I didn't get to go on one trip that I was looking forward to I was able to take others that make up for that ten times over. I prefer to focus on the positives. Some of the milestone moments were turning 50 years old, fishing in South Dakota with my brother of another mother and having one of the single most productive days on the water with 40 fish caught in just 3 hours.
I look forward to the winter despite not wanting to fish very much during cold weather. I can focus on my writing, developing new products and of course tying up good supply of flies for next April. I still have all the makings for brewing my own sake' and today I decided that I was going to try to make my own horse hair leader.
The Tenkara Summit 2017 was very inspiring for me this year. I had fun, sold some spools, connected with old friends, made new ones and got to experience Yvon Chouinard give an moving and funny presentation that literally changed my outlook on the industry, fish hatcheries, dams and handling fish. I got to perform again at the summit and it is always nice to share my other passion with my tenkara brothers and sisters. The second day of the summit I also got to fish Rocky Mountain National Park and was able to land a few brownies too.
I won't rush the winter but I will sidle up to it. Living a well rounded life is about setting things aside from time to time to let them rest. I have lots of things to write about and I am looking at adding some fun blog posts through the winter.
Finally we started a Colorado Tenkara Club for residents of Colorado last year and it is time to put some time into that project too. It will be good to have everyone meet up again to tell their stories about the season and to make plans for 2018.
Dennis Vander Houwen lives in Colorado with his patient and supportive wife, talented artist son, a cuddly dog, and a very lucky cat. Dennis is an avid minimalist, wood craftsman, curious tinkerer and learner and most notably a deeply focused tenkara angler.