Farewell My Friend
by: Troy Coburn 4/29/2012
My first trip to Colorado was in June of 1985. My parents were divorced and my dad moved to Aurora on a transfer to Fitzsimmons with the Army. He lived in the condos right behind Quincy Reservoir, so for a month every summer I would walk to the lake and fish all day. The first person I met at Quincy, other than Ranger Rick, was Dan Goertzen.
Dan was somewhat of an eccentric fellow. No wife, no kids. He had a part time job, made most of his living off of a couple duplexes he owned in north Denver. He lived an extremely frugal life, one of the thriftiest people I have ever known. He was so much so that he would hand wash Zip Lock sandwich bags and re-use them until they would fall apart. All this effort was put forth in order that he could work a little as possible and fish as much as he could. He literally fished 250 days or more a year.
After I moved to Colorado in 1988, we would fish together often, walking the banks of Quincy, chasing bass and musky. He was a great fisherman, always thinking about presentation and how to become more effective. I never really thought about how so much of my success is attributed to Dan until I started writing this but now that I think about it, it was the way he approached every day that had a profound impact on how I fish. He was very analytical, minutia was huge to Dan. Fine tuning every aspect, constantly adjusting everything to keep up with the fish and their movements and preferences… Dan forced me to think and therefore become a better fisherman.
Many other people knew Dan. Many liked him, some not so much. After all, like I said, he was eccentric in many ways. But I got him, understood him only like a few people did. He had a good heart and would help his friends in need. He will now be helping many more.
Dan passed away Saturday after a long hard battle with lymphoma. We all knew his time was at hand as we were witnessing his health deteriorating at an exponential rate over the last month. Knowing, however, does not make it any easier. He had more fishing gear than most small tackle shops and from what I understand from his brother, much will be donated to organizations that teach kids how to fish. Good to know that his drag will still sing and his rods will still be bent.
I’m gonna miss you Danno… farewell my friend.
Blog content © Troy Coburn
Flyrodn, CO 4/30/2012 6:46:44 AM
May his soul be forever on the water.
ObsessedFisherman, CO 4/30/2012 7:45:54 AM
good read Troy and great thing you did for your fishing friend here. May he always have a tight line
bluecollarguy, CO 4/30/2012 8:11:49 AM
It's always hard to say goodbye, but you've said it nicely...
fom, CO 4/30/2012 2:19:07 PM
I fished with Dan several times, Troy you summed it up very well,
TroutLion, CO 4/30/2012 8:03:28 PM
We have all had a dear friend or two like that in our lives, and hopefully we will be that friend to others in our turn. I'm sorry you've lost a good friend.
Girls In The Outdoors, CO 4/30/2012 8:19:46 PM
He sounds like a great man. Glad more kids will get to fish because of him.
Catman1979, CO 5/1/2012 1:18:15 AM
That right there, is a great man. I can only hope to aspire to be as great as that someday. Thanks for sharing.
FishForAll, CO 5/1/2012 7:52:51 AM
My condolences on the loss of your friend. I knew Dan for many years from our days fishing Quincy Res. I think he was out there every day. While he was eccentric, he was also a very friendly person. His passion for fishing was obvious. Dan even came to several Muskies Inc. meetings, and I believe he attended one of our fundraising banquetes also. Kev and I had talked about Dan over the last couple of months or so when we heard of his illness.