Behind The Fin: Kent Hughes
- Name: Kent Hughes
- Member of Colorado River Headwaters Chapter
- TU Member for 20 years
- Continues to give back to the community and kids
- “To me, TU means people trying to make a difference. Things don’t get changed by those that sit. TU also means spending times with people you like who also aren’t content with just sitting.”
How long have you been a TU member?
I’ve been a member of TU for the past 20 years. Conservation just always made sense to me. After anything is lost, it’s too late and your left knowing you could have done something that might have helped.
Why did you become a member and what chapter are you involved with?
I was a TU member before I ever belonged to a chapter. I supported TU because I liked it’s message and I liked to fish, and I’d like to think of this sport and this pleasure being here for those that come next.
What made you want to become involved with TU?
I became a member of the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter about seven years ago. It’s a small chapter and the majority of its members are like I use to be. Admiration and respect for TU but without either the time, or the necessary conviction for action. I respected TU’s goals and results, but was not motivated enough to join in the work. That changed, and I started volunteering and became a chapter board member after it became obvious that without citizen involvement the diversion of the Fraser River to meet projected front range water demands would destroy both the river and the wetlands, and with it the fish and animals that depended on the Frasers flow. Save the Fraser River is the goal and the challenge, and TU is making the difference.
I know you won’t tell me your top spot, so what is your second favorite fishing spot or favorite fishing story?
Forget about the best place to fish. That’s any trout stream without someone stepping in your hole, slightly overcast, and no wind. But fish stories, you can’t fish without them. We all got ’em. This good friend of mine, we were in our early 30’s, decided to take the drift boat and go the the Big Hole for the Salmon Fly hatch. It was early in the season and the weather was cold, but the fishing was hot. Late one afternoon, we’re floating a canyon, bouncing these big bugs off the walls. A fish on almost every cast. My friend, didn’t like to crimp his hooks and with the wind, he caught his shirt. Not deterred, he soon caught his earlobe. Fish are biting. No time to quit. Cut the leader and retie. The leader turned into a wick. I offered to take out the hook and disinfect with Jim Beam. No way, waste of time and whiskey. At the pullout my friends shirt looked like he had done an eight hour shift at a meat processing plant. I got the hook out and we started laughing. The day, the time ,the fish. Turned out OK, but when we finally quit laughing we were out of our disinfectant. Many more, we all got ’em
What does being a part of TU mean to you?
To me, TU means people trying to make a difference. Things don’t get changed by those that sit. TU also means spending times with people you like who also aren’t content with just sitting.
What else do you do in your spare time or for work?
I’m lucky enough to have been able retire and doing what I enjoy. The fishing, the skiing, the biking,and the volunteering. Trying to make a difference. My wife and I have an endowed fund at Colorado Childrens that brings pediatric kidney patients up to summer camp at the YMCA of the Rockies. To kids who spend too much of their lives in a dialysis clinic it makes a difference. I belong to the Fraser Valley Lions Club, and we raise close to $65,000 annually which we donate to local non-profits. All working together it makes a difference. Just like TU. Imagine the state of the rivers in this country without TU.
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