Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Savor with gratitude............................

Well fall is here. It is a special time of year regardless of what species you are pursuing. Steelhead,salmon,muskie, or bass it is trophy time.

You see my friends and I had a friend named Tim Wittek. He was a muskie fisherman. Weedball as we called him was tough as nails. His endurance on the water was legendary and he caught some special fish in his day. I pretty much thought old Weedball was invincible. Well earlier this decade one of the toughest men I know was stricken by pancreatic cancer. He fought it like a son of bitch. He appeared to even be getting better for a while. Well the last year of his life he waited to the last day of the muskie season to release himself from the affliction of his disease and go to another world. I believe it was November 30th 2004. I could be wrong about the year it both feels a hundred years ago and like yesterday all at once.

Tim comes to me every once in awhile. Always the same way, I'm driving down the road in the dark and I look over to the passenger seat for brief minute and he is sitting there in a Carhartt. He looks at me with a little attitude and says"What the hell are you looking at?" then he disappears as sure as he showed up. This happens every few years and it's always out of the blue.

Well it happened tonight on the way home from dinner.

Tim left a wonderful wife and two beautiful children behind and he was only in his thirties.

I still don't understand how the toughest of the tough gets taken down.

Well here is the gist of my thoughts tonight.

In honor of my old friend Tim, I want us to savor with gratitude our time on the water this fall.

Do you know what I mean when I say savor??????

I want you to appreciate the the smell of the wet leaves falling from the trees.

The emerald green water lightly shading the presence of beautiful silver steelhead.

The sound of a light rain hitting the water while your  balls deep in your favorite run.

I want you to have gratitude for the time you have been allowed to have on the water and the special friends you share it with.

The laughter and smiles while you give each other a couple digs while walking to your next fishing hole.

The beaming smiles on each others faces when we are victorious in our catches.

The childlike state that our pursuit of the outdoors brings to us over and over again.

On the water we are powerful,fulfilled and whole in spirit and soul.

We never know when fate is going to punch our dance card like it did my old friend Tim.

Savor with gratitude..........................


  1. I'm in brother! I'm in and have been for some time now. You never know and the sh*t that don't matter to you can all take a back seat while we savour the sh*t that does. Life's too short to put it off for the next time or another day. Amen!

  2. Joe
    I'm sitting here reading your blog, and nodding my approval of your sentiments.
    I definately enjoy the whole enchalata of fishing, in fact the catching is less than 30% of the fun!
    Seeing an eagle coming back to take another look at me after he has flown at my arrival, watching the deer wade across the stream, and then stop, wondering who/what that is down there?
    Then when they get a whiff, scamper away, and look over their shoulder before they disappear.
    Bugging Frank cause he just lost a fish, and rubbing it in when I land the next one.
    I propose a toast to Tim, and regret never meeting him. I hope his wife is able raise their kids, and not be angry at her situation.
    I certainly wish all of them peace.

    Thanks for enlightening us, Joe!
    You are a delight to know, and I'm looking forward to Mondays!

  3. Tim was a great man and very enjoyable to be around. No matter the conditions that tough SOB would be on the water by first light. Looking forward to more memories on the water this Fall.