By Alkali Springs Correspondent
Actually with the first day of fishing season coming rapidly upon those of us who fish the streams of this area (May 20), just thinking about all that brings back memories of C. L. Stuart and Bee Lucke.
Not only that, but decades before the county commissioners and park board and interested citizens started wrestling with fences and cattle in Beaver Creek Park, Bee and C. L. were facing those same problems over on Clear Creek.
Cattle were the problem. Bee and C. L. contended that cattle over the years had ruined some of their favorite fishing holes. Before they thought up the ingenious answer to that problem that we are writing about today, they felt there was nothing they could do because the fishing shacks that they used year after year rent free belonged to ranchers raising cattle for the most part and to insure harmonious relationships with their landlords, the last thing that Bee and C. L. were going to say that those ranchers' cattle were destroying the fishing on Clear Creek.
Many years before an old timer on Clear Creek had actually patented sheep sheds made out of wire and brush. Driving out to their various fishing shacks, Bee and C. L. passed several of those old sheds still in use on lower Clear Creek.
And there was born the idea that almost get both of them drowned on Clear Creek.
"You know," said Bee to C. L. one night after his twelfth Budweiser. "Think about those old brush sheep sheds. What we should do is string some wire along the best parts of the creek for fishing, fill that frame with brush and what we will have done is to disguise the creek from the cows."
"That's a great idea," said C. L. "That way the stream banks will stay strong, fishing holes will always remain in place, and there will never be a cow upstream or downstream to frighten the fish just five feet from where we are fishing!"
So one spring build and build and build is what the two of them did. One thing about Bee and C. L. Whenever they built something, they built it well. So well, in this case, that even the rancher whose land they built their wire and brush guards on couldn't figure out what had happened to his creek.
First day of fishing, they squeezed in between the brush and wire and had great fishing. As spring progressed, they had even better luck fishing and they knew they had the answer.
That is, until they were both fishing one hot and humid day. A flash thunderstorm came up and a downpour of a huge magnitude came up the creek from them. Before they knew it, a wall of water swept down the creek and swept them both away while attempting to get through their wire and brush guard. They had built their guard so well that it became a funnel and washed them both all the way down to the Putra place.
Well, gentle readers, that scared them so much that before they would ever fish along that stretch of stream again, they tore down their brush guard and let the channel run naturally and hoped that way, at least, if another wall of water came down, they could at least get back out to an alfalfa field before being half drowned.
Not only that, but they both decided that maybe coexisting with cows was not such a bad thing after all. At least they both had never almost drowned because of a cow.