Reasons to be Thankful

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Another beautiful day comes to a close as I stand here propped against my boat preparing to clean it after a long day on the water. I start to reminisce on the day’s activities, giving thanks to the success of ‘fish in hand’. I also, find myself drifting off into the land of memories giving thanks to all that I have and all that I have been blessed with. The road that has led me here to be a Lower Keys Fishing Guide has been a long and bumpy one. Not many things have come easy but it’s the love of the sport and the support of a tightly knit family and friend base that has made the journey worthwhile. That network of support is the basis of this article in which I would like to give “thanks” to all of you. DSCN0464My parents have always encouraged me to do my very best. They instilled in me that success is what you make of it, all the way from little league to my last fishing tournament. It’s also because of them that I grew to love the outdoors. I was taught how to fish before my training wheels were off my bike.  I was fortunate enough to also have had a boat before I had a driver’s license.  They allowed me to venture out on my own and explore the outdoors, something that in my opinion has been lost with today’s youth. I could not imagine where I would be today if it wasn’t for them! Thank you! DSCN0499Almost eight years ago I was blessed with a daughter. There are no words to express how grateful I am for her. She is the most important person in my life. Charli Grace is a unique little girl that would rather dig for worms than play Barbie any day of the week. She definitely has the same bug for the outdoors that I do and I hope she never loses it. Admittedly, she is as good if not better at fishing than I was at her age. Because of that, I have a hard time keeping up with her on the water. She puts more pressure on me to put her on fish than any client I have ever had.  There is no fish too big or too difficult for her.  I can’t wait to see how she develops as a woman angler. I know it is a long way off but she has the potential to set the fishing industry on its ear if she keeps progressing. Whichever direction she decides to go as she comes into her own, I will love and fully support it! Thanks are given to all of my friends. I have traveled all over the country and have made many friends throughout where fishing has always been a common bond. Living here in the Lower Keys for almost 15 years now, I have made many friends that share the same passion for the sport that I have.  Today’s outing on the water was spent with one of my closest buddies.  Scott Yetter welcomed me into the fishing world when I was beginning my guiding career. We always try to find time to slip out on the water together. Most of the day is spent talking about non-fishing related matters. However, in between conversations we always manage to catch a few fish. The bonefish we caught on fly today was a prime example of that. I am always forming new lifelong friendships and it always begins with a common ground of fishing and family. I would love to list all of you but space is limited and you know who you are.  Some of you I would like to spend more time with and hope to do so in the future. Thanks to all of you! DSCN0547Lastly and most importantly, I would like to give thanks to my love and new fiancée Jessica. I don’t think you fully understood what you were getting yourself into when we first started dating and now that the years have gone by, we have formed a relationship that is ever evolving and growing. Your patience and understanding is remarkable. You are a caring, ultra-supportive person and ultimately my best friend.  You are the one person in my life that isn’t a fishing fanatic but you do have a love for the outdoors and an un-suppressible drive to be the very best you can be.  You are wise beyond your years and I am constantly seeking advice from you. Ultimately, I am a better person because of you and for that I am most grateful.  I love you. All of the above thanks are owed because they make me who I am. This is not a typical fishing report, I know, but I am not a typical fisherman. I advise each of you to look into yourselves and give thanks for what you have and look at what it took to get you where you are. Life is not always easy and we all have bumps at some point, but when you are sitting on that pristine flat looking for a tailing permit, mudding bonefish or rolling tarpon, reflect back. It will make the experience that much more rewarding.


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