See America First – Fish in the Rockies

By Carol Mobley
   I enjoy fishing. I learned to fish from my dad, not that he was a great teacher but that he enjoyed fishing and thus the act of sitting with a pole at lakeside or next to a stream became a fond activity. There is nothing like the sound of a brook rambling over the rocks or the feel of the tug on your line when you know a fish took the bait.
   The majority of my fishing experiences are right here in Colorado where there has been a long history in promoting this summertime activity. In 1912 The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad published an oversized postcard stating “See America First – Fish in the Rockies.” Listed on the back of the card are some of the fishing resorts in Colorado. Encouraging you to spend your vacation in the Rockies it states that: “There are 6,000 miles of trout streams along the line of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in Colorado, in which 8,000,000 young trout are planted annually by the State Fish Commission and the United States Bureau of Fisheries.”
   Encouraged by the Chamber of Commerce of Colorado a series of postcards were issued between 1910 and 1913 all encouraging people to visit Colorado during fishing season between May 25 and October 31 (or November 30). Union Pacific bragged, “The trout seem to grow bigger and gamier here than elsewhere.” Northwestern & Pacific, The Moffat Road said, “…most productive fishing of the West in this territory….”. Colorado Midland Railway wants to “…invite you and the family to enjoy the best trout fishing to be found on earth.” Colorado & Southern Railroad stated this about the Platte Canyon, “The surroundings are so sublimely beautiful that even the most indifferent angler must feel that here he is in touch with the very heart of Nature…”.
   Those who came to Colorado for the summer documented their stays with snapshots, travel brochures, Railroad tickets, postcards and other pieces of memorabilia. Often found in photo albums or scrapbooks they held fond memories for the participants. Luckily those pieces of history make their way into the hands of collectors who use them to document days gone by.
   There are two events this summer worth attending, even if it means you won’t be fishing that day. The first is the Denver Postcard & Paper Ephemera Show held July 20-21 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. There will be postcards, advertising, and all kinds of paper ephemera. Details can be found at
   The second event is The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair held August 3-4 at The Denver Mart. There will be over 70 exhibitors with books, art and paper ephemera to sell. There are also 3 free presentations for attendees: Jack Kerouac, The Peak to Peak Highway, and a panel discussion celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Details are online at or call Carol or Bill Mobley at 303-761-3755 for more information.

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