A fond goodbye to Bob Dennie
There are those people you come to know and when you see them after a long absence, you can’t help but grin; they evoke that kind of response. You know right away you’re about to hear a funny story, true or fictional. My friend Bob Dennie, who died last week after a long bout with cancer, was such a guy.
He and I go back a long way. My dad worked for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Bob Dennie did as well. Dad worked in predator control, while Bob was the Information and Education Director for LDWF as well as the long-time editor of the Louisiana Conservationist magazine, a Wildlife and Fisheries publication. I looked forward every couple of months for the Conservationist to arrive in the mail; thus I knew who he was and admired him before I ever actually met him. I attended my first outdoor writer conference in Macon, Georgia. While I was impressed at getting to meet some of my outdoor writing heroes — Lee Wulff; Homer Circle; Soc Clay, et al, one of the highlights of my trip was having this friendly outgoing guy with a Cajun accent walk up to me, extend a hand and smile with the greeting, “Hi Glynn; I’m Bob Dennie.” Wow…..he knew my name!“
That was the beginning of more than three decades of a relationship between Bob and me that grew more special with the passage of time. When a hunting or fishing trip or writer’s conference was on the agenda, I always looked forward to getting to visit with my buddy, Bob, and hear his latest stories. Not only did we enjoy sitting and talking and laughing together, we did stuff together. Several of these events, just about all of them actually, eventually became side-splitting occasions.
For example, there was the time he and I were fishing with a guide on Calcasieu Lake south of Lake Charles. We were miles from the marina when a storm came out of nowhere with strong winds and rain so hard you couldn’t see. As we hunkered down for the return trip across the lake in this weather, I remarked to Bob that I had this new rainsuit that was guaranteed to keep me dry, so I wasn’t worried. When we made it back to the marina, I removed my rain suit and watched at least five gallons of rain water pour out; water that had made it through the “rain free barrier” while Bob, high and dry in his discount store slicker suit, doubled over with laughter. I tossed that piece of junk as soon as I got home. Bob never let me forget it.
On another occasion, Bob arrived at my home to spend the night; he and I were to head out the following morning to attend a writer’s conference in Sweetwater, Tenn. We left in Bob’s truck; he insisted that I drive and along the way, he introduced me to his “Cajun Cruise Control” — a forked stick that rested between the accelerator and the back of the seat. That was Bob Dennie; always coming up with a gimmick. On our return, the hosts gave each attendee at the conference a bottle of wine that was produced in the area. I don’t drink but to be nice, I stuck the unopened bottle in my duffle bag with my underwear. When we got home, I found that the cork had worked free and all my undies had been dyed a dark rich purple. I sported “Fruit of the Looms” that lived up to their name until they eventually wore out. I never saw Bob later that he didn’t slap his thighs in laughter at that episode.
Bob’s list of accolades and honors are too numerous to mention in this space. Suffice it to say that the nation, the state and the outdoors world has lost one its most beloved personalities. I miss him terribly. May you rest in peace my dear friend.
CANEY LAKE: A good many bass are being caught on the Ole Monster worm, black with red, but most have been in the slot or smaller.
Best bets are to fish deeper water next to shallow. Some crappie are being caught on jigs with crappie nibbles added. Lots of nice chinquapins are being caught on cold worms fished on the bottom and the yellow bass bite is starting to improve on silver spoons fished fairly deep.
LAKE CLAIBORNE: Crappie fishing is fair around the stumps off the thousand foot channel with shiners working best. Bream fishing is good with some nice bluegills caught on crickets and worms.
Catfishing is fair to good. Stripers are schooling some and are being caught on silver spoons and white bucktails. Bass are rather slow.
LAKE D’ARBONNE: Crappie fishing is best fishing jigs or shiners along channel edges and drops. Bass are schooling in the channel and hitting Rat-L-Traps and plastic worms.
A good many bream are being caught fairly shallow on crickets and worms.