Exactly 2 years ago today I went on my first fly fishing trip with a guy who would become one of my closest friends. John introduced me to the sport and I was totally “hooked” right away. I loved being out in the quiet and peaceful stream, I loved laughing and drinking whisky from a flask, and of course I loved taking pictures.
A few trips into our adventures, a guy named Sam reached out to me and said he was also from the Omaha area and liked to fly fish. Without even meeting first (sorry, Mom!), we planned a trip to Colorado last summer. We didn’t know where we were going exactly or where we would sleep, but that was part of the fun. Sam caught one fish that trip, but our fun was summed up by much more than how many scaled creatures we brought in. I had made a new friend and that was more than enough.
I kept telling my family about my new friends and how much fun I was having on these trips before I finally realized that they should be a part of my stories too. So, last October, we went south and fished together. I taught them what little I knew and we laughed and drank whisky and shared stories and I took pictures (of course).
Throughout all of these trips and all of this fun, I never forgot about 1 person that I had heard so much about, but never got to meet. John’s good friend, Pat Orford, had just passed away before John and I became buddies. John always told me how much fun he was and how he could light up any room he walked into. Without ever speaking to him, I could tell how great he was from all that John had said about him.
Over the past few months I made this video as my way of thanking Pat. If I could have met Mr. Orford, I would have thanked him for taking John fishing for all of those years and for making him enjoy it so much and for giving him all of those good stories. I would have shown him some of my favorite pictures and I would tell him about the friends I had made.
This morning I gave John this video as my way of thanking HIM. For getting me out there and finding something that I was passionate about. For teaching me all that he knew and for letting me pass that along to my family. For giving me stories of my own that I will pass along to my friends and kids someday.
I hope you all get to experience friendships like this while doing something that you love. If anybody wants another fishing buddy or has any questions about fly fishing I would really like to chat!