We were venturing back to the lagoon again, wind in my face,
pretending I was a kid, and eyes closed, arms spread and laughing.
I looked up to see the branches swaying in the trees, birds flew
along the tree line, an Osprey swooped down with food for its
The next sound I heard was the cavitation from my prop as I hit
the mud bank at 25 miles an hour. I stopped daydreaming for
a second and steered left to deeper water. Putting the engine
back down a tad, I could hear water rushing past the chines.
The whooshing noise was soft against the hull and soft spray
lit out from the side of the boat.
I saw bottlenose dolphin ahead playing in the water, my charter
clients were awestruck by their presence and we slowed for pictures.
The dolphin played, swam, frolicked, and hunted for food,
the perfect life style. Sometimes they terrorized schools of fish,
or smiled a lot for the tourists.
I remembered having run along this same stretch of water with Stan
and thought about the friendship that developed over the past years.
I dropped off my charter clients and was heading for the ramp when
I decided to pull up along the grass line. The day was still
beautiful and I wanted to revel in it a little longer. I started
thinking about how we met.
Did you ever stop to think how people come into your life, how
your friendship developed? After writing more than 100 articles
on Saltwater Fly Fishing you stop counting. The words just flow.
Sometimes they make sense and other times not. It seemed like
yesterday when Tam DiGristine prodded and pushed me to send some
articles to LadyFisher. It was Brian Clancy and Stan who pushed
me to get the articles published. After all, why just share them
with friends when other anglers could enjoy them too. LadyFisher
set me straight with Elements of Style (a writer's bible) and tons
of encouragement. But Stan's support has been constant all this
time. He is a mentor, writer, photojournalist, publisher, angler,
a storyteller, good father, and dreamer as well.
His writing is inspiring. Poetic, visionary, he paints with his
pen. Can you ever give back to the people who help you? I read
Roderick Haig Brown. He said, "I still don't know why I fish or
who other men fish, except that we like it and it makes us think
and feel." I think this is one of Stan's greatest gifts. Stan
could have authored the book, "Dances with Trout," the imagery
of John Gierach (1994), "Fly-fishing is solitary, contemplative,
misanthropic, scientific in some hands, poetic in others, and
laced with conflicting aesthetic considerations. It is not
even clear if catching fish is actually the point." Well the
point of this discourse is recognizing a friend and friends.
It is overdue and I'm sharing it with you too.
"I fish because I love to; because I love the environment where
fish are found, which are invariably beautiful. . . finally not
because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but
because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men
are equally important - and not nearly so much fun."
(Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman).
Stan is my modern day Hemingway, ". . . there is great pleasure
in being on the sea, in the unknown wild suddenness of a great
fish; in his life and death which he lives for you in an hour
while your strength is harnessed to his; and there is satisfaction
in conquering this thing which rules the sea it lives in."
Practice Catch & Release and don't teach your trash to swim ~ Doug
~ Doug Sinclair
Capt. Doug Sinclair has relocated from New Smyrna Beach, Florida to
Grantsboro, NC. He specializes in fly-fishing and light tackle charters.
Doug charters the Coastal Carolina area of New Bern or Oriental.
Catch him on the web at
www.flyfishacademy.net or call him at (252) 745-3500.
Doug is also a Sponsor here on FAOL.