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Post by -G- » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:15 am

In today's world of photo dumping to the social medias for instant gradificafion likes, and the under appreciation of the written word I'm not quite sure how this will be received but giving it a go for the hell of it. After all, this is probably one of the last places there's guys who appreciate the finer things, and some of my favorite posts on here have been just words. So to sum it up if you're looking for a TR with lots of sweet fish pics this page isn't for you. But then again, maybe it is.

I wanted to dedicate a thread for people to write about a good friend or two they fish with. One that may be alive. One that's not. One that maybe even shows up late and leaves your passenger seat full of spitters and trash. It doesn't matter here, but it would be interesting to hear about some of the personalities the sport brings out and that you guys enjoy spending your time with.

I'll start off with my crazy buddy Nolan.

I first met Nolan in highschool when a friend and I snuck out to a college house party. We had big plans with the whole 6 pack of light beer we'd gotten from playing 'hey mister' in the parking lot of the local convenience store that night. It was Nolan's place we ended up going to and long story short we got to talking about fishing. At the time my only form of fishing was putting night-crawlers on a hook in a farm pond for catfish I deer hunted by and Nolan promptly made fun of me for doing so. I didn't know it at the time but I'd just met my best friend and in between catfish jokes he said you should come fishing with me some time. Before I knew it I was driving to cast for fresh steelhead off a lake michigan pier with small craft advisory waves showering us as they pounded the pier. Nolan swore he'd been to this spot before, but after the few missed turns, and having to walk though several peoples private property using a GPS to get to a public peer with a public access I realized maybe he hadn't. Just like that time I first fished the PM with him when he said the same thing and we ended up floating to the wrong launch and having to call the police to pick us up in the pitch black on a single digit January night. Also just like when I put him in charge of the map our most recent upper peninsula trip and we missed every single road I told him we were looking for.

It took me nearly 5 years of being friends with him, getting frustrated at times, and wondering why the hell he didn't want to be more organized in order to give us a better shot at catching a fish to realize Nolan simply didn't give a shit. See... Nolan is, and always has been about the adventure, the camaraderie, and the Busch drinking. He's still the guy I call up when I have a semi ridiculous idea of were to fish and need someone who doesn't give a damn if we catch nothing... and wade 5 miles through a swamp to do so. He just wants a challenge, and there to be good Busch drinking going on. Of course, he will fish his ass off for days straight. But, he will never show any sign of disappointment when hes gone 4 days of chucking a streamer on a 350 gr and not moved a fish. He will still crack just as many Busch lights, figure out new sarcastic ways to get under your skin, and say "fuck yeah man nice work today" while giving you a semi combative push on the shoulder goodbye.

I say it took me 5 years to fully appreciate all of the gifts Nolan has because it was 5 years or so into our friendship when I planned on fishing with him the very weekend I got back from a summer in Alaska. For some weird reason I hadn't heard from him and couldn't get a hold of him when he was suppose to be driving up state to meet me for a much needed time catching up in the north woods.

I got a call from his Dad saying that Nolan was in the intensive care unit and drove his car off the highway due to such severe brain swelling from meningitis. In fact when the cops came they thought he was on drugs and when I came to see him in the hospital that Friday he had bruises all over his body from being beaten and thrown in the cop car. The prognosis was poor and my best friend was put into a medically induced coma to give him a chance. I thought I had lost my best pal. About a week later I got a call from his dad saying he was out, and I rushed back to the hospital to see him. His speech was slurred and didn't seem to register much of what I was saying. In fact he wasn't allowed to leave his house for months after. It seemed so long he was stuck at home I imagined he was getting a little sick of being there so asked his mother If I could take him out for some food. At the bar I remember apologizing to the bar tender for Nolan almost falling out of his chair so many times and spilling his water. I regretfully drove him home thinking that Nolan would never be the same, and remember being almost more depressed than I was when I thought he was going to pass.

About 1 month later something miraculously clicked. I started getting sarcastic txt messages from him, and ones about how he was convincing his 'dumb therapist' that he was fine and improving. She finally cleared him and let him go fishing. It was October and I thought the steelhead might be in so we drove up to the PM and got to enjoy each others company once again after months of doubt. Damn it was good to have my friend back. He's totally recovered now and since then I learned a valuable lesson and that's to never take your pals for granted. Always focus on their positive traits and cherish them because you really don't know when the last time you'll get to enjoy their company will be.

Oh, Nolan caught the first steelhead that trip too, out of a spot we now call the 'dog pound'. It turned out to be arguably one of the best steelhead runs in MI history and weather you're a believer or not I think if there's a god he wanted to celebrate Nolan being back too.

Last edited by -G- on Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:15 am, edited 4 times in total.
Maybe we haven't drank enough Busch- Nolan

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Re: Friends.

Post by austrotard » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:43 am

that was good. real good.

my mate dave's a pain in the ass.


sometimes he baits up... sometimes he won't even bring a fly rod.
catches waaay more fish than I do.
never has any wonga.
constantly fucking owes me wonga.
always gives me the small 'half'.
if there's two beers left in his fridge they're both his.
talks incessantly about his late teens and early 20s. fuck me... I think I know what happened to him every fucking day for eight years.
his missus just had a stoopid baby interrupting our faithful humpday celebratories... prolly six years running.


he will drop everything to be by your side when things get proper fucked up.

dave is gay.
49% of americans assume I give a shit about what they think.

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Re: Friends.

Post by Da Ax » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:10 am

austrotard wrote:pro:

he will drop everything to be by your side "behind" you when things get proper fucked up.

dave is gay.
The difference between decency and indecency is opportunity...

One could search their entire lives for the perfect drift, and it would not be a wasted life.

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Re: Friends.

Post by austrotard » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:02 pm

jfc. I floated pain in the ass and faithful humpday.
49% of americans assume I give a shit about what they think.

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Re: Friends.

Post by MTgrayling » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:31 pm


I met Niles on a famous Montana tailwater in its heyday when the trout were large and plentiful and the water high and clear as gin. We became better friends while i was hiding out in Livingston, actually I was there for a former fiance, but that's another sad story.

Clear water gets in your blood and one winter we both bought season passes at another famous place, a spring creek. It was there that my love for groundwater and the associated skills needed for those incredible fisheries grew and I realized that Niles was gifted when a flyrod was in his hand, gifted beyond anything I could ever hope to be. Once when we both spotted a fish rising in a pocket on the farside in the creek behind a log in a punishing wind, I couldn't figure a way to get a cast to the fish. We sat and watched, smoked and talked when he got up stripped some line and roll cast 60+', layed the fly as perfect as could be and of course caught the large brown. To this day it is still the most impressive thing I've seen acomplished with graphite. I remember thinking at the time that it was the rod, a Winston, that did it. It wasn't. He was that good. A 30" brown caught later just proved it. I have a sage 3wt he pro dealed and have never made a cast as well as he did test casting while standing in the middle of the street after it arrived.

Quite a few times we ran into each other on those mythical "Livingston Saturday nights" and I would drag and drive him home when he couldn't stand up. He may have had a drinking issue but at the time i wasn't in a position to see the whole picture. We all have things to deal with and his was his. Ladies, fish and life can drive us over the edge. His was a woman and one day with a shotgun on the banks of a beautiful river in a gorgeous valley he had enough.

After a solemn wake at a bar another friend and I were gifted with some his ashes which we dutifully spread on waters we both loved and some I still fish these days. He keeps watch. He is the fish I try to catch.

I often wonder what he could have done on a steelhead river. It would have been something amazing, I'm sure.
Ryan says... "fuck you"

Let there be HIGH water!

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Re: Friends.

Post by ChaseChrome » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:47 pm

Wurds are good…never apologise…
Here's to your buddy
Last edited by ChaseChrome on Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Friends.

Post by Bigguy » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:39 pm

Nicely done, -G-!

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Re: Friends.

Post by chadroc » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:37 pm

great thread. beautiful reads, thanks fellas.
holding it down on the other side of the border

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Re: Friends.

Post by Lando » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:36 pm

I met Bill while working in a treadmill factory. He, myself, Matt, and three other college students worked the swing shift-4:00-1:30 with 54 Hispanics. Throughout our mind-numbing work, Bill and I would chat about shit, but fishing always seemed to be our favorite conversation. Bill grew up in Evanston, WY, was a high school wrestler, attending USU in hopes of becoming a high school woods teacher, and planning on marrying his high school sweetheart the next summer.

Spring break came and Bill and I found ourselves on the Logan River. Bill grew up spin/dunking fishing, but said he had “casted a fly rod before.” The first day I caught three fish and Bill caught five. The next day we went to a little stretch of tailwater my in-law’s owned. Bill and I were hopscotching our way up the river-I was nymphing and he was tossing a spinner. I was spanking fish on a worm while Bill was struggling. We came around a bend and saw a pod of fish rising to baetis in a nice run, and Bill looks at me and says, “this looks like your pool.”

I sat down and re-rigged. On the second cast, I stuck a nice bow. Bill was amazed. I handed him the rod and said, “It’s your turn.” It took about six cast and a bit of coaching before Bill had himself a nice trout as well. The day continued to be grand and the next day at work, Bill asked me how much he could get a fly pole for. I told him about Orvis’ deal where he could get that Clearwater outfit……everything for $165. He got one the next day, dropped the spin gear, and we started fly fishing together ever since.

Now Bill’s name is really Clint. One day we were out float tubing this lake and these old dudes were out in their drift boat, trolling motor, fish finder, and bobber rigs. We were doing ok, but when we asked how they were doing, they said, “Shitty…….fish are everywhere but they aren’t biting.” We kicked around, caught some fish, and then heard, “BILLLL……BILLLLL….”

“Hold on a minute.”


I looked at Clint and said, “That is going to be us one day. Ever since then, I’ve been calling him Bill. We have fished a shit ton over the years, had many adventures, laughed our asses off………..and haven’t fished in far too long.

Here’s to changing that.

If my tombstone reads, "He never ate sushi." it won't be a lie, and I'll be OK with that.

~Average Joe

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Re: Friends.

Post by SLSS » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:58 pm

This is good stuff. Thanks guys. :cool
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Re: Friends.

Post by Redchaser » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:30 pm

A couple of years ago Oscar, a friend of mine, called and asked me to join him and another friend down in the marsh for a day of fishing. They already had a room at the local fisherman's motel so I was meeting them there Saturday night to fish on Sunday. As I was driving down getting close to the place I dialed Oscar's number to let him know I was on my way in. "Hello is this Mr. Ron" came a voice on the other end that I didn't know, thick with a north Louisiana redneck accent, "yeah this is Ron", "Hey my name's Mike, Oscars in the shower right now"... we talked a bit, I let him know I'd be there in about 30 minutes, and made sure I had the right directions. I got to the hotel in due time and was greeted by Oscar and a big bearded semi-red headed dude. Mike is from Monroe originally but now lives just outside of Lafayette. We had a good dinner at the restaurant and a good day of fishing the next day. Oscar lives way up in North Louisiana, and he's getting old so he doesn't get down to fish all that often, so Mike and I started fishing together quite a bit.

If you've read many of my reports in the last couple of years, you've seen me refer to "Lurker Mike". He reads this board, and will eventually get around to seeing this. Mike and I have fished all over Louisiana, he's always game to try something, or someplace new. Mike is a really good angler, but doesn't really think so. He'll get flustered and aggrivated with himself if he misses a cast and it provides great entertainment to me, but Mike is one solid dude, generous with his time and talents (I'll be back on the water this weekend because he welded leaf spring perches on my axle for me last night), quick to show up with some duck breast or venison back strap to share, and generally always good company.

A few other Drakian's have had the opportunity to meet Mike. Last December when a number of us got together, he took time off work, hauled his boat down to the marsh and spent 3 days poling around guys he had never met or spoken to before and putting them on fish.

Sight fishing out of a skiff is like a dance. The person on each end of the boat has as much to do with every fish caught as the other, knowing how to set up the boat for a right handed caster, learning the distance your buddy fishes well at, how to set up with regard to wind and sun, all of these things are important in every fish you approach and mike and I have it dialed in for each other pretty well. Managing to do all of that is challenging enough, being good company while you do so is even a greater feat. I'm looking forward to the next time Lurker Mike and I are able to get on the water.
Last edited by Redchaser on Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Friends.

Post by -G- » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:35 am

Wow, It has been a pleasure hearing about your pals. Thanks for taking the time to write.

I was sitting here being quite pessimistic about modern fly fishing culture and am reminded once again there's a whole lot more to our sport than catching a fish and taking a picture... Contrary to popular belief.

Cheers to Mike, Clint, Niles, and Dave :cool :cool :cool :cool :cool

Keep it coming

PS Bob W.- If you get around to reading this I expect a write up about BC when you've the time. I'd do it but am afraid I wouldn't do him justice.
Maybe we haven't drank enough Busch- Nolan

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