Fishing With Paul

December 2021

The morning was rainy in Palm Beach.  My thoughts drifted to fishing in Wales with my friend Paul Reddish, who had been in touch recently on my 82nd birthday.  Paul and I first crossed paths in 2007 while fishing in Alaska.  We met by chance while staying at Mission Lodge in Bristol Bay. He was with his longtime fishing companion Phelam, and I was with my nephew Richard.  We began a conversation that has lasted 14 years and continues to this day, usually in connection with a special event, like a birthday, or the fishing calendar.  I thought of all the fishing trips we took together after that initial meeting – to Wales, Scotland, Austria, Ireland, England, Spain, Slovenia and Iceland. Fishing companions are a special kind of person.  In my case as some of you know from previous columns, I am easy at striking up a conversation.  Paul is quieter and does not let on his extraordinary depth of knowledge of the outdoors, particularly about wildlife from around the world.  His background is fascinating and diverse.  He has been a professional photographer for the BBC in England, a professor of film arts, an author, he is an extraordinary flytier and, of course, one of the best fishermen imaginable.  His bucket list includes catching every type of trout that exists in the world.  With Paul I have fished for Coho salmon, Rainbow trout, Arctic char and grayling, exotic Iceland brown trout, Zebra trout and Marbled trout.  Fishing the mornings were never lonely with Paul.  Always anxious to get on the water and dressed well before breakfast, Paul was always the first in the car on the way to the stream.  His flies tied in anticipation of the day’s fishing were aligned in his little pouch.  His fishing boots were usually tattered as were his waders.  Not one for new Orvis duds he was all about the basics—catching fish!  Most importantly for me, Paul was my solace and escape during periods in my life when I needed quiet time to catch up from a hectic career. Paul provided that and more.  Our fishing trips were marvelous journeys not just destinations.  In 2007 and 2010 my family joined me on the trips to Scotland and England. My late wife Judie, was there, along with my daughter Kara and her husband Peter.  Those trips were wonderful intervals for me and my family that we cherish.  Paul made it all happen and for that and more I will be eternally grateful.  So on this rainy Palm Beach day, I look through the pictures on Shutterfly online of our fishing in Wales and elsewhere.  With friends, fishing the morning is never lonely.  

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