On The Fly: Remembering a fallen fishing guide and friend
On The Fly
Ripples are spreading across the country this week from the Roaring Fork Valley as news of the loss of Kea Hause spreads.
Kea was born in Hawaii and moved here to the Valley as a youngster after his parents began teaching at Colorado Rocky Mountain School. Fly fishing really didn’t enter the picture for him until the mid-1980s. At that time, he was content hitchhiking, playing guitar, and finding his artistic voice. Little did he know that fly fishing would bring some peace and order to his often chaotic life, and his career of over forty years allowed him to touch countless lives with his unique brand of humility and love for this Valley.
Every guide in the Valley knew Kea. He had an uncanny knack for being three steps ahead of everyone when it came to hatches, hot sections of river, fly selection and garnering loyal clients. Every guide also knew Kea would be the first to offer a helping hand, advice and a word of encouragement. I can’t count how many times I saw him float by me with clients while out wade fishing the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers, it seems like he was always on the water.
Hundreds of decades-long clients are going to be a little lost this summer, and the Valley just won’t be the same without one of the hardest-working and most humble guides we have ever known.
We can all keep Kea’s memory alive by treating others (and the fish) with respect, helping out that fisherman that seems to be struggling, and teaching others about the civility and beauty of the Valley and this sport.
We all have a little Kea in us. We just need to let it out and keep his memory alive by remembering that in a Valley full of self-promoters, it’s not all about us. It’s about the client, the fish, and finding a little peace and beauty in this life.
This column is provided weekly by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374, or on the Web at http://www.taylorcreek.com.
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Born in New Castle, Alice McKennis Duran learned to ski at 2 at Sunlight Mountain with her father and older sister, Kendra. She also had a brief stint training with the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club prior to joining the national team.