Now-submerged Gunnison River section can be viewed in rare film

Rare footage of a now-drowned section of the Gunnison River will highlight Thursday’s meeting of the Grand Valley Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Federation of Fly Fishers.

The meeting features a DVD presentation of what originally was a 16-mm film (you remember film, don’t you?) made more than 37 years ago during a float trip of the upper Gunnison River from Morrow Point to the East Portal.

In 1972, construction began on Crystal Dam, the last of the three Aspinall Unit dams (including Blue Mesa and Morrow Point) on the Gunnison.

In late September of that year, shortly before the river was closed, a small group of anglers, with permission from the Bureau of Reclamation, spent three days floating, fishing and filming the river.

On that trip was renowned angler and fishing author Ernie Schwiebert, in whose subsequent book,  “Death of a Riverkeeper,” he wrote a tribute to the Gunnison titled “Farewell My Lovely.”

At one time, National Geographic magazine described the 23 miles of river lost as a result of Blue Mesa Dam as the best trout fishery in the world.

Shortly before Schwiebert died in 2005, he had a chance encounter with Pat Oglesby of Grand Junction, and from that meeting came this DVD being shown Thursday.

WHAT: “Farewell My Lovely, A Tribute to the Gunnison River.”

WHO: The Grand Valley Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Federation of Fly Fishers.

WHERE: Pinyon Grill at Tiara Rado Golf Course, 21057 S. Broadway.

WHEN: Thursday, dinner at 6 p.m., program at 8 p.m.

HOW: Meeting is free and open to the public.


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