I met Bryan in 91 when I joined my first bass club, The Housatonic Valley Bassmasters. Bryan was the president of the club. We were great friends for those few years before he passed and did all sorts of stuff together, from playing video games to fishing. I cant believe it will be 12 years, since he was taken, this December.
As many of you know Bryan, had a whistle he carried during the classic and whenever he put a fish in the livewell he blew the whistle. After his passing the whistle was duplicated, mass produced and sold. His parents also had 100 of these whistles gold plated and numbered to give to family and friends. These are a couple pictures of mine.
I was coming home from somewhere, I believe it was work, and as I approached my front porch my mother opened the door to greet me. She looked like she saw a ghost and she was teary eyed. I was like "whats wrong???" She replied "It's Bryan... his plane crashed and they think he may have been killed."
I couldnt believe what I was hearing. We prayed hard for hours that he would be one of the survivors. When that phone call came in and I knew he was gone my life was forever changed. I quit fishing tournaments and fishing in general for more than a year. I just couldnt find the joy in it, any longer, for the longest time. Since then I have spoken to his mom a bunch and she is a wonderful lady. One conversation in specific stands out where we spoke for more than an hour, several years back, and made me see where I went wrong for quitting fishing because of Bryan's passing. Now when I go fishing, I'm never fishing for just me. I'm fishing for and with my own personal team: my dad, my grandfather and Bryan.
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