- Name: George Franklin
- Conservation Director for Cutthroat Chapter
- TU Member for 5 years
- Retired high school teacher
- “My buddy is busy with family now, and both my father and the dog have passed on. When the Hayman Fire roared through the area it broke my heart. Now the river is recovering with the help of our efforts, those of CUSP, and others. I am honoring the memories of those times I have spent on that river when I do my share to preserve its health and beauty."
How long have you been a TU member?
Five years, but I have been fly fishing for 47 years.
Why did you become a member and what chapter are you involved with?
I became a member to find some fishing partners and to improve my fishing skills. I stay a member to help give back in some small way. I am currently on the board of the Cutthroat Chapter, but I like to hang out with the Cherry Creek Angler folks as well.
What made you want to become involved with TU?
I had heard about the good work that TU does, and I knew we had local chapters, so it seemed a logical choice.
What is your favorite activity or project that you have done with TU? Our chapter's ongoing conservation work on the South Platte River near Deckers strikes a chord with me. One of my earliest memories of being outdoors with my Dad is when he would take me there with his buddy and I would play in the shallows at the edge of the river. Later my good fishing buddy/college roommate and I spent many a pleasant weekend camping there and fishing those waters. Later on I had a great dog, a lab mix, and he would love to go along. We would do our best to keep him out of the water to avoid scaring fish, but he always managed to come home soaked, muddy, and contented. My buddy is busy with family now, and both my father and the dog have passed on. When the Hayman Fire roared through the area it broke my heart. Now the river is recovering with the help of our efforts, those of CUSP, and others. I am honoring the memories of those times I have spent on that river when I do my share to preserve its health and beauty.
I know you won’t tell me your top spot, so what is your second favorite fishing spot or favorite fishing story?
I once caught a fish on six flies. On winter day I was fishing the tailwaters of Pueblo Reservoir on the Arkansas River with a three fly rig. Pink San Juan worm, Soft Hackle, and midge. The indicator twitched, I set, and the fight was on. The fish never rose and never jumped, so I figured it was a brown. When it got closer it flashed golden, but an odd sort of gold. So then I wasn't sure it was a brown. When it got really close I saw scales the size of quarters. It was a carp. When I finally got the in the net after a fine fight I reached down to remove the fly and saw he was hooked on the midge, but not the midge I had tied on. With my forceps I removed the midge and lifted the rig up. There was the second fly, but it wasn't my Soft Hackle. I lifted further up and there was a tan San Juan worm, not the color worm that I had tied on. It was a whole separate three fly rig. Latched onto the tan worm was my midge, followed by my Soft Hackle, my SJ worm, and my leader. Apparently this carp had been hooked on someone else's three fly rig and had broken that rig off at the leader, only to be trailing the rig around until my rig snagged that rig. It took six flies for me to catch that carp! I'm sure he was relieved not to be towing that old rig any more as I released him and he swam away.
What does being a part of TU mean to you?
It means learning more about a sport I love, meeting new people with similar passion, and giving back to that sport and to our environment.
What else do you do in your spare time or for work?
I am a retired high school science teacher and I tutor science for Aurora Community College students. I am also a gear head. I am restoring a 1956 Chevy and I substitute teach in the Auto Collision Program at Emily Griffith Technical College. I am also a cyclist, and I love to ride my Trek around town as well as in our beautiful Colorado mountains.