2019 KOPA Writers Conference comes to a close Oct 13th

BY Chris Erwin

The Kentucky Outdoor Press Association has an annual writer’s conference each fall where writers from around the state come together each year to set the goals for the upcoming year. While many of the writers didn’t make it this year, the press organization still had a very productive event.
Outdoor writers are committed to showing the public how the outdoor life benefits and enhances everyone. Saving and protecting nature is a legacy that will only continue if we actively work toward demonstrating to the public the need to improve it and to protect it.

– The attending members of KOPA at Scotts Creek Marina Rob Bentley, Chris Erwin, Wanda Clay, Soc Clay, Richard Hines, Charlie Whitt, Tom Clay (photo by Linda Erwin)

Along with fostering new, talent KOPA is acting to help our youth by offering scholarships to underprivileged kids who want to attend summer camp. Tom Clay is working with the DFWL to help send some kids to Camp Webb this coming year. This effort has been an ongoing project for the last six years, where KOPA has an essay contest; the winners get a free trip to Camp Webb. Other clubs like the Silver Muskie Club have also joined the effort and sponsored kids to Camp Webb as well. They hope that this project will continue to spread to other outdoor groups as we try to forge a trail for our youth to become active in the outdoors.

For the last few years, this conference has been the kickoff point for me to spend some extended time on Cave Run Lake. This year I had the pleasure to Fish with Richard Hines. He is a retired Biologist from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Service. Richard is an award-winning writer for many wildlife titles. He is an avid, Kayak fisherman. This new approach to stream fishing has been catching on fire these last few years. New boats, fishing gear, and even clothing have been developed to accommodate this original fishing method.
While I did my best to put a Muskie in the boat while Hines and I were fishing together, it just wasn’t in the cards for it to happen. Three times Muskie blew up on our baits, but not once did we stick any steel in the toothy predator. I had a great time fishing with Richard and listening to his past work with the DFWL and the excellent stream fishing that he hopes will become a book sometime in the future.

We also had a new writer join us this year, Charlie Whitt. He has been writing poetry for a long time but now has embarked on becoming an outdoor writer. Whitt is from Greenup Kentucky and writes a column called a View from Pension Ridge.

I would also like to thank all the sponsors that make this event possible each year,

    Toyota, Bass Pro Shop, Mossberg Arms, Henry Arms, B & M Rods, to name a few.

As the writer’s conference came to a close, I packed up my gear and headed for Popin Rock launching ramp. Where I put my boat back in the water, I will be fishing the Licking River for the next two weeks, where I hope to catch some good bass and maybe a Muskie. Licking River is stained compared to the main lake; however, this is about as clear as the river gets.
I hope to give you some details on just how the fishing is and how you might have some success if you decided to try your luck in the weeks to come. Until the next time, keep your line wet and take a kid fishing. Chris Erwin is the founder and publisher of Kentucky Angling News an on-line magazine available at www.kentuckyangling.com/magazine Chris can be reached by email chris@ashlandbeacon.com

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