Skip to main content

Sheltered in Place: I Miss My Boat-Ramp Friends

When an angler has thinking time—like now—interesting thoughts come to mind.

Sheltered in Place: I Miss My Boat-Ramp Friends

Avid angler Tory Mansfield is a long-time Colorado math teacher, coach and official. (Photo courtesy of Tory Mansfield)

Editor’s note: Game & Fish reader Tory Mansfield, a Colorado math teacher and avid angler, submitted this essay about how much he misses being on the water while experiencing coronavirus crisis-induced cabin fever.

As those of us who love to fish sit inside waiting for the ice to melt and the virus to clear, I am reminded of my many friends at the boat ramp.

They may be your friends, too. The next time you see them at a ramp near you, please say hello for me.

Not Even Close to Ready to Launch Guy

You must know my friend Not Even Close to Ready to Launch Guy. While his boat is tied to the dock taking up precious launch space, an army of buddies, in-laws, girlfriends, soon-to-be ex-wives and enough kids to over-enroll a daycare, casually stream down the ramp toward his boat. The amount of food and beverage brought on board could comfortably feed a church picnic. (If people at church picnics each drank a case of beer).


To board my friend’s boat, you must bring one fully inflated float toy or towable; the bigger the better! All children must tear around the ramp/dock area completely unsupervised prior to boarding. The best thing about my friend is he still insists on bringing along tons of fishing gear. It is plain to all if he were to tie on even a single hook, a flotation device and/or small child would require urgent repair.


World’s Best Backer Upper Guy

I sure miss my friend, the World’s Best Backer Upper. He knows the shortest distance between two points is a straight line—and he’s about to prove it.

There is no lane too narrow, or ramp too crowded for him to launch his boat. He sets a new record every time!

His favorite thing in the world is to find only the middle lane open. When given this golden opportunity, he will back his trailer down that middle lane at a speed that would draw attention in a school zone. Triumphant, he’ll pull out of the ramp at a speed that would draw attention on I-25.

Too Much Boat/Too Much Truck Guy

Maybe you know my old friend Too Much Boat/Too Much Truck Guy? He’s the one with the 35-foot boat at Chatfield. He tows a jet ski with an F-350. He has duallies on his truck for all the cattle/rock he hauls even though he lives in Highlands Ranch?


If you have not yet met my friend you will hear him coming. Even though he is not sure of your type of music, he is certain everyone at the ramp would love to hear his "classics" at max volume.

Not Enough Boat/Not Enough Truck Guy

Keep an eye out for my friend Not Enough Boat/Not Enough Truck Guy. He launches a 20-foot pontoon boat with a Honda Pilot. He proudly tows in the slow lane at 45. Dude launches his boat with a Subaru and says, "You’d be surprised how much power it has."

Coronavirus
Tory Mansfield believes catching pike is the greatest thrill in the world. (Photo courtesy of Tory Mansfield)

Will often launch a 12-foot johnboat/canoe at Spinney or Antero. My friend refuses to own a gas motor. He has been rescued.


My friend will not consider a day on the water complete without having yelled at or at least given a mean look to those horrible guys in boats that might actually create a wake.

The Dock Is My Personal Slip Guy

You will only see my friend, The Dock Is My Personal Slip Guy, at the end of the day. He is in no rush to trailer his boat and he had a GREAT day fishing. You will know because he will tell you.

He asks, "Javanyluck?" so frequently and so loudly that you'd mistake the sound of his voice for a nearby migrating flock of Canada geese. He keeps the fish he has caught on full display.

As he methodically breaks down every last piece of gear, he lets a half-dozen rods stretch out across the dock. Even if you are nimble enough to avoid one of the many treble or stinger hooks in everyone’s way, you will not be so lucky as to avoid the conversation.

Man I miss my friends.

Tory Mansfield is a long-time Colorado math teacher, coach and official. He believes catching pike is the greatest thrill in the world. Tory enjoys fishing, reading and cutting firewood. He and his wife have three children, one of each.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Minn Kota Raptor

Minn Kota Raptor

Associate Brand Manager Adam Knowles, from Minn Kota, talks with Rob Neuman from In-Fisherman, about the all-new Raptor shallow water anchor.

Thomas and Thomas Contact II Fly Rod

Thomas and Thomas Contact II Fly Rod

Joe Goodspeed, rod designer at Thomas & Thomas, tells Fly Fisherman editor Ross Purnell about the six new models of Contact II fly rods, including a 10-foot 2-weight and a 10-foot 3-weight. Constructed from five types of premium carbon and fiberglass fibers bonded by a proprietary aerospace resin, these rods are stronger and yet capable of making, short, delicate casts.

Kevin VanDam Fishing Reels from Lew

Kevin VanDam Fishing Reels from Lew's

The Kevin VanDam LFS Baitcast reel ($139.99) comes in three models (6.2:1, 7.5:1, 8.3:1), with right- and left-hand retrieve, 10-bearing system with Zero Reverse one-way clutch, aluminum frame and spool, carbon fiber drag system, up to 20 pounds drag power.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.12 Great Catfish Baits Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

In need of a rugged container to sip from in the backcountry? We've got you covered. From tumblers to bottles to flasks (and even clever bottle openers), we've rounded up some of the best bar gear for the outdoors.Ultimate Outdoor Bar Gear Roundup The Deck

Ultimate Outdoor Bar Gear Roundup

Chelsie Walters and Jessyca Sortillon - August 31, 2020

In need of a rugged container to sip from in the backcountry? We've got you covered. From...

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use these proven bait rigs for stripers.3 Proven Bait Rigs for Stripers Striper & Hybrid

3 Proven Bait Rigs for Stripers

J.B. Kasper

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use these proven bait rigs for stripers.

When spring and summertime high water comes to your favorite catfish lake, how do you catch these popular fish in a suddenly flooded environment? How to Catch Catfish in High Water Fishing How-To

How to Catch Catfish in High Water

Game & Fish Staff

When spring and summertime high water comes to your favorite catfish lake, how do you catch...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

When an angler has thinking time—like now—interesting thoughts come to mind.Sheltered in Place: I Miss My Boat-Ramp Friends Stories

Sheltered in Place: I Miss My Boat-Ramp Friends

Tory Mansfield - April 10, 2020

When an angler has thinking time—like now—interesting thoughts come to mind.

A father-son fishing outing for bass culminated into a catch that tied a state record for yellow perch in Tennessee.Father-Son Outing Results in Tied State Record Stories

Father-Son Outing Results in Tied State Record

Game & Fish Online Staff - August 08, 2018

A father-son fishing outing for bass culminated into a catch that tied a state record for...

That one little thing we don't think about while on the water, it's what separates the men from the boys.Tough Fishing Lessons Learned – The Landing Part Stories

Tough Fishing Lessons Learned – The Landing Part

Jeff Johnston - September 14, 2020

That one little thing we don't think about while on the water, it's what separates the men...

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths. Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths.Chase a Mixed-Bag Bite at Lake Oconee Fishing

Chase a Mixed-Bag Bite at Lake Oconee

Larry Larsen - April 28, 2020

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more...

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now