What I never knew was where this journey in
life would take me. It has, in fact, taken me
to where I've already been and, delightfully,
reminded me of memories I had forgotten.
Is there an end? Not really, I haven't taken my
final breath yet. This is only a pause to reflect
on my life while examining several facets of it.
It is actually a "thank you" to my dad, I suppose.
I have visited many places. I have enjoyed the
brilliant conversation of several people that are
mentors to me in this great sport of fishing. I
have been able to watch in awe, children, as well
as adults, catch their first fish and share their
excitement, simply, because I have been there.
My next birthday I will reach the age of fifty-three
and that's not too far away. Does it bother me? Not
in the least. I have my health. I have a superwoman
for a wife, and she's one hell of a fishing partner.
I have six grand sons and one grand daughter and they
are all Florida Natives! I have inherited two wonderful
daughters that I love and enjoy being around, and they
feel the same about me, even though I make them eat
strange things like venison, frog legs and 'gator.
I have managed to fish all of central Florida's east
and west coasts, and interiors. I haven't made it to
the Keys yet, but I will.
So here are a few of the millions of questions;
Why did I get so involved in this sport to begin
with? That's simple, because of the man I called
"Daddy" for not nearly long enough. I said it
before, I would give almost anything just to have
him spend one day with me on the flats; to sit and
talk with him as an adult instead of just, well,
his kid. To be able to watch his eyes and his
expressions as I map out the journeys where he
took me by squeezing that little dough ball on
that size six hook almost fifty years ago. What
would he say about my adventures? What would he
think of my wife, Linda? What would his reaction
be to my title of captain? What would I read in
his eyes as he examined my skiff? Hundreds and
thousands of questions that I would ask, but I
already know the answers to them. His smirk would
answer the most. The sparkle in his eyes would
answer more. And then the moment would come when
he would answer the rest of my questions with a
single question of his own. "Did you learn
Unfortunately, I will never have that opportunity
to sit with this man face to face, flesh to flesh.
The Master of us all knew what he was doing when
he never allowed for this in His "Rule Book on Life
and Death." One day would never be enough, so He
There is no such thing as "closure." According to
Mr. Webster, it means the act of closing. To me it
is finality; the end of it. It's a word that has
been worn out by therapists to sell books. I still
miss my dad and he's been gone from this Earth since
1973. At times, I still grieve for him, even though
he is as close to me as he ever was. So, do I want
"closure?" Hell no, that would be the end of it.
~ Capt. Gary
Gary grew up in central Florida and spent much
of his youth fishing the lakes that dot the area.
After moving a little closer to the coast, his
interests changed from fresh to salt. Gary still
visits his "roots" in the "lake behind the house."
He obtained his captain's license in the early '90's
and fished the blue waters of the Atlantic for a little
over twelve years. His interests in the beautiful shallow
water flats in and around the famous Mosquito Lagoon came
around twenty-five years ago. Even though Captain Gary
doesn't professionally guide anymore, his respect of the
waters will ever be present.
Gary began fly fishing and tying mostly saltwater
patterns in the early '90's and has participated as
a demo fly tier for the Federation of Fly Fishers
on numerous occasions. He is a private fly casting
and tying instructor and stained glass artist,
creating mostly saltwater game fish in glass.