Saturday, November 1, 2008
Not one Whit
Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time with a mentor.
In the world of fly fishing, if there is such a thing as celebrity, Dave and Emily Whitlock are among the top of the list.
Dave left his career in research to become a full time fly fishing professional nearly 40 years ago. The world of fly fishing has been much richer for it.
Dave brought unique talents to his craft. He is an artist, a fly designer, a photographer, writer, lecturer, teacher, inventor, and the list goes on.
I was fortunate to meet him last year at a local fly shop. I was surprised that we ended up talking about gardening, drought, and peaches, not just fishing. With a Renascence man like Dave, there is always something to talk about.
My bride and I were able to share a meal with Dave and Emily Friday evening. They were exactly what I had hoped...two of the most pleasant people to spend time with you could imagine. Their affection for each other after 18 years of marriage was obvious. Just good folk.
Dave was a mentor of mine when I first began my fly fishing journey. One of his books, the "LL Bean Fly Fishing Handbook" was recommended to me by Stacy, my first fly fishing instructor. I used it as a reference guide (actually I still do)...however now it is autographed by Dave in his unique way. A personal note, with a small drawing of a fish.
That book introduced me to Dave, and I purchased several of his fly tying videos when I began to take up that facet of the sport. His teaching style made me feel very much at ease as I tried to improve my skills as a tier.
Dave is the same in person as he is on video. I consider it one of the pinnacles of my outdoor experience to have met these two luminaries.
They cast long shadows that will impact fly fishing for generations in the tradition of Joan and Lee Wulff.
Now if I could just get him to invite me on a fishing trip.... ;-)