Category Archives: fishing

Fishing

Bladder Cancer, Spring Fishing

Despite the cancer procedure last week, I decided to go on my annual spring fishing trip with friends.  We have been doing this more than 25 years.  Can’t let a little cancer get in the way of tradition!

The weather was beautiful here in Colorado on the Arkansas River.  The rental house that my buddy found in Salida was great.  We found the fishing to be tough, but we all caught fish.  My fish count was the worst.  That happens sometimes even to me and I had the excuse of recovering from bladder cancer surgery.

I had to go to the rental and sleep in the afternoon on the first and third day of the trip.  My body was weaker from the recovery and my carcinoid was acting up a bit, I think from the general anesthesia the week before and from the pain pills.  Although the bladder cancer procedure pain was not very bad by the time of the trip, my back pain has also been acting up lately and unfortunately I had a bit of a problem with climbing the steep banks of the Arkansas on the first day of fishing and I had to stick to easier access points for the rest of the trip.

My urinary surgeon called to tell me the biopsy results from the surgery.  He said that the cancer was non-invasive including a “black spot” he had worried about and that the good biopsy meant he would not have to remove my bladder!  I previously knew nothing of a “black spot” or the possibility of bladder removal.  I think they just don’t remember what they have told us or not.  At least the prognosis is good.

We agreed that I would go through the BCG immunology treatment that I discussed in my previous blog.  However, that cannot start until Laurie and I return from our Scotland/Iceland trip in late May.

The first three days in the mountains were mostly sunny with temperature near 70 degrees F. The last morning we fished with temperatures in the high 50s.  In the afternoon, we drove through a snow storm to get home to Denver. Today, the next day, the snow storm is here in Denver and we are expecting about 14 inches of snow.  Colorado is an amazing place!  I feel lucky to be living here.

May you have the best possible outcomes,

Cy

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Another Fishing Trip 2015

This time, my friends and I went to Salida, CO and fished the Arkansas River.
For me, the fishing was tough. I did not catch many. A couple of my friends did much better. However, in true Colorado style, the day time temperatures were in the mid 70s Fahrenheit. They dropped to the mid 40s during the night. The weather was great. Always remember this: “Trout don’t live in ugly places.

We did not camp this trip, we rented a house in Salida. It was new construction and quite comfortable. Two of the three nights, we cooked our suppers. One night we ate at a restaurant that we had not tried before. It was pretty good. We cooked breakfast every morning and prepared a lunch of sandwiches and apples for lunch.

My friend Ed was driving us back to his Frisco condo on the last day. However, he had volunteered to do a river watch. The river watch consisted of 4 or 5 volunteers and a couple of National Forest people going to a stream named Chalk Creek in the area of a ghost town named St. Elmo on Mount Princeton.

We checked five places on the creek for width, structure, water temperature and oxygen content, took samples for water quality chemistry and collected underwater insect life to be analyzed by a specialist.  This is the website: River Watch Colorado

By the time we met and drove up the mountain and onto rather rough jeep roads and checked the five places, we worked about 6 hours.  It was rewarding and fun.

There was very little problem with my carcinoid cancer.  One of my friends brought a large amount of chocolate goodies and I’m afraid that I cannot resist it when it’s easy to get.  My carcinoid syndrome did occur after the second day of eating too much chocolate and stayed with me until I got home.  A short explanation of this can be found in my blog post: Carcinoid doesn’t like chocolate.

I hope my readers can have such fun and rewarding times with good friends!

Cy

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Another Camping Trip!

Yesterday I got back late from 4 days, 3 nights sleeping in a tent and fly-fishing in Wyoming about 20 miles down a dirt road from Encampment. What a great trip! There were three of us, all over sixty ( two if us are 68). We each had a poor day of fishing. We all had very good days of fishing.

I was very happy that I had two days of almost exclusively dry fly fishing over rising trout (and catching them). Each of us had a best combination of flies. I fished a big fluffy stimulator and a quite small (size 18) parachute blue winged olive behind it. Even when I could not see the small fly, I could see the big fly jerk when the small fly was taken. Of course, a couple of exceptionally hungry fish took the big fly for some extra fun.

I had a kind of scary episode. The first morning one of my friends and I walked about a mile in our fishing gear over a rough jeep track to a point where we could wade across the North Platte River. It was knee high at worst and about 20 to 30 yards wide. It’s the kind of river that the bottom is covered with both round and irregular, slippery rocks (think greased bowling balls). Almost half way across, I was gasping for air. I could not seem to get it into my lungs. After standing in the current for a few minutes I was able to wade back and sit on a rock for about 15 minutes. I decided to fish closer to camp and walked back. The fishing was worse near camp and I only caught one fish the whole day. That’s my bad day. Why did I have the attack? We don’t know. It could be an effect of carcinoid cancer. I have had it a few times before. It could be heart. It could be asthma (I tried my friend’s albuterol inhaler and it did no good).

The second day we took a four wheel drive SUV on the jeep track and I still lost my wind a bit just before I finished crossing the river but I made it. The fishing was great on the other side after we walked another half mile on rough game and cattle trails. I never had another problem breathing.

The daytime temperature got to perhaps 72 degrees F.  Bright sun all day.  Nights got pretty cold.  You could see your breath in the morning when you got up.  It was probably below 40 degrees.  The campfires were good.  The milky way was magnificent.  Only two other campsites were occupied.  In other words, it could not have been better.

That must be one of those best possible outcomes that I mention from time to time,

Cy

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Travel, Fishing, Bladder Cancer, Misc. August-13-2015

Travel, Fishing

Sunday through Wednesday I had the pleasure of staying with a friend in Frisco, CO. Frisco is a small town in the mountains of Colorado at about 9,075 ft. (2766m.) altitude.  It is near several well known ski resorts. The first day there we had the pleasure of walking around an outdoor art festival in the Frisco Main Street. Then, we drove to the Copper Mountain Ski Resort to their Guitar Town festival which featured an outdoor stage. On the stage all day, well-known electric guitar players and their bands entertained us. It was free and very much fun.

On Monday, we drove to the Arkansas River and fly fished there for a couple of hours with no luck. Then we drove toward Independence Pass and fished the Lake Creek which feeds Twin Lakes.  We were likely over 10,000 ft. (3048m.) altitude. The fishing there was great!  We each caught rainbow trout in abundance and my friend Ed also caught a brown trout and a brook trout.  We had the creek to ourselves and a beautiful Colorado day.

Tuesday, guess what? Another beautiful Colorado day! We decided upon an adventure and drove over Ute Pass to fish the Williams Fork River.  We took a road that we were unfamiliar with.  Right where it dead-ended on the west side of a huge molybdenum mine, we found a tiny creek called Darling Creek.  We fished a small hole near the road and caught numerous brook trout in a short time.  Then we drove back along that road a few miles and fished an area of the Williams Fork River that we had never fished before.  Again, we caught many brook trout and Ed caught a larger rainbow trout. It was an exceptionally beautiful place even for Colorado. “Trout don’t live in ugly places.” Again we were well over over 10,000 ft. (3048m.) altitude. This second day of fishing tired me a bit and I certainly got winded climbing steep river banks and wading the rivers.  I believe most people would find activity at that altitude a challenge, so I feel good about it.

Wednesday morning I drove back to Denver (a mere mile high or 1609m. altitude.) and went to a followup meeting with my urological surgeon.

Bladder Cancer

Great news!  The cancer is very low grade, not aggressive, below T1 grade in the T0 to T4 grading system. However, it often recurs. We decided that I would not need the followup BCG treatment unless the cancer does recur. The doctor had put some kind of chemo in my bladder during the procedure two weeks ago and it was removed the next day. This is supposed to help prevent recurrence.

We also decided to avoid surgery for my overlarge prostate gland, if possible.  I am now taking a second medication to try to control the symptoms that I have from BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia).

Misc.

Today is Thursday.  I started on my normal morning walk.  Immediately I noticed that the pains in my intestinal area were a little worse than normal.  People with mid-gut carcinoid cancer often have pain in our gut. In my case, I don’t usually have it every day, just some days and it is usually very low intensity, not enough to hamper activity.  It can be on one side or the other or both. Sometimes it is in the liver area but more often lower than that. Today it was a little worse, on both sides but not the liver, but I decided to power through it and keep walking.  The pain never changed neither got worse nor better. I think maybe it is the disease’s (or just my old body’s) reaction to the changes in altitude.

Also, my spine with a degenerating disk and arthritis was bothering me.  This was probably worse because of the wading and walking in the mountains.  Wading has been compared to walking on greased bowling balls.  The streams this week were a smaller gravel so not as bad as large stones but still the factors of walking, balancing, slipping and stumbling in a river do stress my back. I am 68 years old and many people have quit fly fishing by that age.  I am lucky to be able to continue with it.

I was able to walk about 3.6 miles.  Not as much as I had set out to do, but acceptable in the circumstances. In meditation studies, I have learned that pain is a teacher.  I know many spiritual paths believe that.  With meditation, we attempt to learn to just sit with our pain, whether physical or emotional, and embrace it (cuddle it like a baby is one teaching).  Once we have recognized, acknowledged our pain, we are taught that we can live with it more readily. Thus far, these studies are helping me.

May we all have the best possible outcomes,

Cy

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A great fall fishing trip

I just spent 6 days fly fishing with my friends Ed, Bill and John. This fall trip is a tradition with us for many years.

We drove to Wyoming (about 4 to 5 hours) and tent camped in a BLM campground 20 dirt road miles from Riverside.

The fishing was great for all of us except John.  He got back spasms trying to wade the North Platte river within an hour of starting to fish and was not able to fish after that. Wading the North Platte in southern Wyoming can be compared to walking on greased bowling balls which are under several feet of water. It can be dangerous!

We ate well, slept in tents on air mattresses and had only a little rain each afternoon. Generally we fished hard for 4 to 5 hours and then met at the camp to swap lies, read and eat.

The most amazing thing to me was that this all came together for me so well only 2.5 months after major surgery. I had little or no symptoms from the cancer and only some minor symptoms from some of my medications. I was able to hike up and down the river at least a mile or more on undulating, sage brush covered country to get to the spots we wanted to fish and also to constantly wade in and across the river during the fishing. My friends commented that I had not seemed this healthy on the trip in at least 3 years. It looks like that surgery may have been the right decision!

The weather was unusually warm 80 degrees F daytime and perhaps low 50s or high 40s at night.  This is the warmest September trip that we have ever had to Wyoming.  Usually it’s colder (even snow once!) with more wind which is difficult to manage fly fishing.

After 3 nights of camping we went to Saratoga, Wyoming and stayed a night in a motel and ate good Wyoming steaks.  The next day we drove back to Frisco, Colorado in ski country where we had started. I stayed in Ed’s condo with him that night and we went out to eat and celebrate his birthday. The next day Ed, Bill and I met again about a 1.5 hour drive south of Frisco and spent the morning fishing on the Arkansas river not far from Bill’s home in Buena Vista, Colorado. Again, we had good weather and good fishing. After that, I drove home to Denver about 2.5 hours.

This was the best fall fishing trip that I have had in years.   Tomorrow,  I go to the oncologist’s office to get my regular Sandostatin LAR injection. It’s been 5 weeks since the last injection! Before the surgery I would be getting miserable after 3 weeks. Hopefully this will continue for a few years.

Thanks to all for their thoughts, prayers, and support of any kind.

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Spring Fishing – 2013

Spring fishing in Colorado is always a risk.

I just spent three days on the Arkansas River with four of my friends fly fishing for trout.  This spring trip is a tradition going back 30 years and we have seen all kinds of weather and all kinds of fishing.  You can find good fishing in bad weather, bad fishing in good weather, and the whole gamut of possibilities in between.

This week much of Colorado has had unseasonably cold temperatures and a lot of snow.  We were not too concerned because the Arkansas valley is usually warmer than Denver and has often less snow.  It is sometimes called the “sun belt” of Colorado.

This week it was warmer and less snowy than Denver but still a problem.  On Monday when we met at Cotopaxi ( a small town in the canyon) it was chilly and a bit windy and we decided to fish right there.  The fishing was good!  Although I had the worst catch of the five of us, we all had fun.  As usual we celebrated “beer thirty” at a bar in Salida (I don’t drink but I can still enjoy the mountain town saloon ambience).  We stayed at the Woodland Motel in Salida as we have done for many years.

Tuesday was colder and the wind was cold and stiff with perhaps 40 or 50 mile per hour gusts.  Very difficult and uncomfortable fly fishing.  We did it though and most of us caught fish.  At the saloon that night we decided that it was probably the worst conditions for fishing that we had ever fished on the spring trip.  We decided to eat at a small bar, walked in and found a three piece jive/swing band playing.  They were pretty good and a lot of fun.  The burgers were good too.

On Wednesday, it was even colder and started snowing during breakfast.  We decided not to fish in the near blizzard conditions.  The drive home which normally takes about three hours, took four hours of careful driving.  Even with the weather, this tradition is one of the real pleasures of life for me.  My carcinoid symptoms were acting up a little but under control with drugs.

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My latest music composition – 2013 April 11

After about 4 months of struggling to produce something, I have finally finished something that I started in December.

I have not been idle.  There have been a number of video tutorials in mixing and others on music production.  Some specially good ones are available at The Recording Revolution. They are easier to find on youtube.com (search for “5 minutes to a better mix” or “the recording revolution”). I’ve also been studying a book about drum patterns or grooves for various genres of music.

Today I am posting my new tune “Funk Mystery”. It is a mix of various genres. I hope it pleases some of you.

Funk Mystery, Electronica – 11 April 2013.

In other news:

Last week I had an echocardiogram and my cardiologist says that I am healthy enough for surgery.  I will let everyone know when that is scheduled.

Next week I am going fly fishing with three friends for three days.  We are really looking forward to catching the first fish of the year!

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A fun visit from my brother

My brother Larry is visiting here in Colorado.  He is from Kentucky and has visited before, but this time we have had a chance to do more touring than before.

We had a wonderful ride on Tuesday to Georgetown in the mountains.  We took the narrow gauge train ride there. It has been years since I did that and we had fun.  From Georgetown, we drove over Guanella Pass (11,600 ft.) and had lovely views of the changing aspen trees.  From the pass we drove down to US  285 and back to Denver.

On Wednesday we went flyfishing in the South Platte river near Deckers, CO.  Larry had tried flyfishing unsuccessfully once before. On this trip, we both caught fish and had a wonderful scenic drive.  The fishing was great fun and for the record the Platte is a well known and sometimes difficult fishery. We saw a flock of turkeys on that drive.  Unfortunately, I suffered some symptoms of atrial fibrillataion (afib).  I had some dizziness and difficulty breathing and had to get out of the river and sit for a while on the ground.  My  head was still fuzzy after our lunch so I let him drive home.  However, we did take another scenic route.  That night I suffered the night sweats that are a symptom of the carcinoid tumor and the next evening I had the chills that are also symptomatic of the cancer.

I have been in touch with my cardiologist and will probably wear a heart monitor again next week. He thinks that I an having afib symptoms again.

On Thursday we had a long walk in Denver and also a tour of the Denver Mint.

Friday we took another mountain drive.  I took him over Loveland Pass (11,990 ft.) where we got out of the car and walked a little.  I had no more difficulty breathing than he did!.  From there we drove around Dillon Reservoir, through Dillon and Frisco (we stopped there for a while) and Breckenridge and over Hoosier Pass (11,542 ft.) to Fairplay where we stopped for lunch.  Heading back toward Denver, there were a lot of people parked at the top of Kenosha Pass (9,997 ft.) so we stopped and found that we had a good view of an adult moose in full antlers! Further toward Denver, we left the main road and drove to Pine and from there through Sphinx Park on an extremely narrow and twisty and scenic road and back to the main highway and back to the highway.  A great and scenic drive!

Tomorrow we visit a nephew in Ft. Collins and Larry will stay with our sister in Denver, play golf with our brother-in-law on Sunday and leave for Kentucky on Monday.  It’s a pleasure to have him with us for a while.

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Fishing/Camping in Wyoming

I just returned from 4 days camping and fishing in Wyoming.  Two friends and I camped for two nights on the North Platte River.  It was wonderful weather and the fishing was pretty good.  It was sad how low the river is because it is such a dry year.

The third night we stayed in a motel in Saratoga, WY.  Had great steaks a nice time in that town.

Finally, today we had planned to float several miles in our raft that is outfitted for fly-fishing but there is not enough water in the river to get a good float! So, we just fished a spot we had not found before (successfully) and then headed back to Denver.

It was a great trip and I had no symptoms from carcinoid tumor at all.  I also only had some very minor loss of wind and dizziness from the Atrial Fibrillation.

It is great to feel that I am getting stronger.

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Heart in the Mountains

I have just had two wonderful days in Frisco, Colorado. I stayed with my friend in his condo and we fly fished, walked, attended evening concerts.  The weather was good, the fishing was good and one of the free concerts was fabulous (Queen Nation which is a Queen tribute band).

I had no atrial fibrillation symptoms at all in Frisco which is about 9,000 ft. altitude.  The last time (before the cardioversion) that I was there I was very sick and felt I could not breathe.  Even fishing a stream at over 10,000 ft., my breathing was probably no worse than a person who was not accustomed to the altitude.

The cardioversion is working!  I now need to try bicycling more.

I had a followup EKG on Monday and there is no difference from where it was after the cardioversion two weeks ago.  Let’s hope that it sticks for a while.

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Home from the Mountains

Yesterday I returned from 5 days and nights in the Colorado mountains. I was fly fishing with some friends.  This spring trip is a tradition of ours that has lasted many years.  A little extra fun this year was that one man came who had never fly fished. He is our age and an avid outdoorsman. He caught on quickly and got a number of fish.

We spent two nights in Avon at one of the guys’ condo. It is on the Eagle river. The fishing was demanding, but we caught trout. We fished using “blue winged olive” nymphs which float at the bottom of the river. We always release the fish we catch. We eat well though and in Avon we cooked our own dinners.

We then spent two nights in Salida on the Arkansas river. We have a favorite, comfortable motel (the Woodland) which we always use there. Again the fishing was not easy, but we caught fish and had a good time. The Arkansas has a hatch of caddis flies called the “Mother’s Day hatch”. When it is on, the fish are in a feeding frenzy. Although the hatch had started downstream we only saw a few of the caddis flies. The fish would sometimes come to the dry fly or the emerger or the nymph of the caddis fly. We usually fished with a two fly rig, either two nymphs or a dry fly and a nymph. About half the fish I caught came to a dry fly caddis, the others to a caddis nymph or emerger. We tried restaurants that I was not familiar with and the food was good. On these trips we always buy lots of lunch food at the deli counters of grocery stores and make lunch streamside. It’s fun and a nice break in the fishing, which can be actually pretty active exercise.

On Thursday we drove back to Avon for the night. On the way we stopped at a beautiful place called Brown’s Canyon and fished for several hours. I had my best day of catching there. I fished a two fly rig consisting of a dry fly called an Irrisistible and a red Copper John nymph which represents a may fly nymph. All the trout took the nymph. The last fish of the trip came to another fly that I had switched to, an olive flashback nymph which I fished as an emerger. In Avon we had another good home cooked meal that night and came home on Friday.

It is wonderful how such a trip can energize a person. The carcinoid symptoms I experienced were very minor and did not interfere with my enjoyment of the trip at all.

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