I have much more than most people on this planet to be thankful for today–a wonderful wife and family, a truly weird but fascinating dog, work that still absorbs me more than a quarter century after I published my first magazine article, a continuing enchantment with the corner of the world I live in, and the luck that my favorite fish, the coastal cutthroat trout, is doing well in the places I pursue it.
One other aspect of my life that I am grateful for but probably don’t acknowledge often enough is the community of people who read this blog, attend my clinics, and hire me to take them fishing.
I spend very little time reading internet fly fishing forums, but every so often I hear about a post a friend has made or a thread on a topic that interests me. And I have obtained useful information on these sites from time to time. But I also often come away from them shaking my head at the nastiness, arrogance, and, perhaps most of all, the chorus of scolds that seem to characterize these forums.
As a friend of mine says, “You can’t assume someone is a nice guy anymore just because he’s a fly fisherman.”
I don’t know how I came to be so lucky, but not only are just about all of the people I work with nice–they are also friendly and warm and easy-going. Many are very good fly fishers, with years of varied experiences, yet they are modest, often self-effacing. They are eager to learn about new fish or new flies or a new locations.
My wife has commented many times that I nearly always come home after a clinic or trip in a better mood than when I left the house.
I can say the same thing about the readers of the blog and newsletters, most of whom I have never met. Just about all of the comments I receive are positive and they, additionally, often contain valuable information or interesting anecdotes.
So I want to thank all of you today for the part you play in making my life and my work and my sport so richly rewarding for me.