Cub’s, Coffee, Frosted Flowers and ‘JackDennisless’

by | Oct 27, 2009 | cutthroat trout, Drake Fly Fishing Magazine, Fly Fishing Show, gi-clee, jack dennis sports

I feel as though I’m retarded (retired) today even though I am by no means a 44 year old retiree. Yesterday I ended a 23 year run of being a full time employee at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop. TWENTY THREE YEARS!!! And today, I am “JackDennisless” It seems weird but I know it’s going to be great thing.

The beginning of the second half of my life went like this: I slept till 7:30 am, I haven’t done that in a year. Instead of hurrying to answer emails before a long day at the shop I proceeded slowly to website and spent over an hour. I read why “Next Year is the Year”. Then I had another cup of coffee. Two big cups today. A first for me and quite enjoyable I might add. Then I headed for the yard to clean up some leaves and cut some grass, but it was cold and I retreated to the house. I decided to rest up an hour or so and let it warm up some more. I just may like being “JackDennisless” I thought to myself. Eventually I got after it and did about 6 hours of yard work. As I clipped down frosted flowers and protected small tree trunks from voles I reminisced about the great times I had at the fly shop over the last two decades. All the great friends I made and employees I worked with. It’s going to be a big change for me but I think I’ll make it OK.

After hours in the yard I spent 2 hours buying plane tickets. I heard a rumor that prices are about to rise so I figured I’d save some money, something of major importance now that there’s no regular pay check. Sure enough, it was a good move as I bought tickets for a pheasant hunt/fishing trip to Minnesota/Iowa in December, the Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough Massachusetts and Somerset New Jersey for January, Pleasanton, California in February and I just started sorting out tickets to Brazil for a March Amazon trip when friends Bruce and Katrin Smithhammer dropped in for a visit. Bruce writes for various magazines and in fact has an article in the latest Drake fly fishing magazine. We had a couple beers and shot the bull about our Fall fishing and hunting adventures so far. The Smithhammer’s were over to pick up one of my large cutthroat Gi-clees. I made a sale on my first day of retardedness! JackDennisless may be OK after all!

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!