July 26, 2018 by Puff Mud Diaries
My flyfishing life has been filled with the most amazing people. As a guide and fishing companion, I learned more about life slinging flies at unsuspecting fish than I ever did anywhere else.
People, culture, life stories all have altered my perception of this wonderful journey called life. While I have had many career paths to support my passion, my soul led me back to teaching and guiding flyfishing.
The journey led me to meet and befriend three guys who all share the same love of the North Carolina mountains and streams. We long discovered it wasn’t the fish we were after and charished each moment we spent chasing the wild and native trout that enchanted the waters there.
Mike, Chap and Charlie would make every trip special, there was no such thing as “same trip, different day.” Being the guide and instructor I have been for the last four decades often had me being a guide to them until they had to remind me I was there to relax, not be on the clock. Old habits die hard but being reminded to have fun was the necessary kick in the ass I needed to switch gears.
It was in the quaint, little village of Southern Pines, North Carolina at an outdoor shop I worked where the brotherhood began. First it was Mike whom we hired to help on the floor of the new but growing business. We laughed as much if not more than we worked and got paid to do it.
Chap I met while conducting beginner fly tying lessons at the shop and Charlie was a frequent shop visitor and our own coffee conesuer.
Our trips were almost always to the swiss inn where I would take my clients to stay when I would guide. The four of us quickly became friends with the owners and would become regular fixtures in the bar and main hall of the inn.
In all seasons, in all weather we faced any element to catch our quary but ultimately to just enjoy the company in the best of God’s country.
Blessings come in many forms or so it is said. If that is true, mine came in three forms; gentlemen who I may have helped figure out the forms or functions of flyfishing but they helped me figure out life, a pretty good exchange I think.