It’s been exactly a year and a day since the great outdoors writer Charlie Meyers departed this world. As this date approached, I figured I might pen something profound, if only because I (among many others) owe that much to Charlie, and as time has played out, indeed, those who were close to him miss him that darn much.
But, unlike Charlie, I have never had a knack for profundity, nor eloquent words. In my day job, I point my pen on the “what is…the where to…and the how.” That’s my job. Charlie actually helped me hone that craft…he taught me how to make a living by writing about something I loved.
Charlie’s influence on all anglers is still apparent in many ways. Go to the “Dream Stream” section of the South Platte River in Colorado, and you’ll see a fitting memorial. That’s now the “Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area,” thanks to the Colorado Division of Wildlife. When you consider all the pioneers, explorers, and others who made an impression on Colorado history, and then consider that Charlie was the clear voice of the outdoors in the Denver Post–skiing, hunting, fishing, etc., for 43 years–that’s a truly fitting, and appropriate honor.
But perhaps his greatest legacy is that, for anyone who ever fished with Charlie, or skied with him, or even shot the bull about writing and the outdoors… well, we still hear his voice. I certainly do. I have many memories…floating down the Gunnison Gorge with Charlie and Paul Zabel…running up and down I-70, catching trout in Clear Creek…busting through the Wyoming Range on flat tires to catch cutthroat trout…catching carp with Will Rice near Fort Morgan before anyone thought carp fishing with a fly was anything more than “slumming” with a fly rod.
I still apply Charlie’s advice when I write…every day…every story. I feel him looking over my shoulder, and I wonder (often aloud), how would Charlie write this?
There will never be another Charlie Meyers. There will never be such an eloquent outdoor writer, nor a soul who endeavors to do so much, and capture such a deep understanding of the wild outdoors, like Charlie Meyers did.
But we will try. Many of us will try, thanks to him. And we will be thankful that Charlie marked the path. I miss my teacher, friend, and confidant, very much.