Warning this is a long winded rant about the merits of PACK. Delete now if you don't want to listen to my appreciation for PACK.
Many of you are aware that I am leaving the Texas Coast for the Pacific Northwest. I apologize for using this forum and the news capability to send this message, but I wanted to reach as many PACK members as possible.
After nearly 10 years of membership I can't begin to express what a special group PACK really is. After only a couple meetings I decided to take my then 20 year old daughter with me on a PACK Weekend trip to determine just what kind of group this was. Since I was clearly much older than my daughter, and no one in PACK really knew me, they weren't sure what was going on when I showed up at Sea Rim Park with this much younger female for a weekend of kayak fishing and camping. I didn't feel compelled to explain that this was my daughter and not my "niece" or wife, but just another kayaker along for the weekend of fishing and camping. My experience with the group was exceptional that weekend, as they treated me and my daughter with such respect and hospitality that I quickly realized this was a special group of individuals. I can only say that PACK has continued to demonstrate what a special group this is after many more trips and many years of trips.
I've never been a part of a group that on any given weekend, 5-20 individuals can gather, fish together, camp together, eat together, and enjoy the fellowship of outdoorsmen and women, and never hear a cross word,or ever see someone get out of line, or demonstrate any kind of inappropriate behavior as this group. There must be something special about kayak fishermen in general or about the individuals in this group to perpetuate such a positive vibe.
I have made some fantastic friends in this group. I've shared some extremely memorable hours in some outstanding venues, and learned a ton from some very knowledgeable fishermen and outdoorsmen and women.
I would be remiss if I didn't elaborate for a minute on just a few of these extraordinary folks.....The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but you'll know who you are:
to the Bellaire duo....I will really miss you guys... you have camping down to a science.. I've never seen two guys stick together like you two and I've learned a bunch from watching how you set up camp. I will always strive to do it faster than you do however.....my back thanks you a million times for introducing blow up mattresses that perfectly fit an REI tent. I appreciate your friendship like you'll never know and thanks for making my final kayaking outing in Texas such a memorable one.
to the fishkiller.... best of luck raising your twins... my wife is a twin.. I know how special they are... You are probably the guy I would most like to potlick on any fishing trip, anywhere, anytime. You have a knack for finding fish and catching them like no one I've ever seen..... but someday I hope you experience the joy of fly fishing and the pleasure of just fishing and not worrying about how many you killed that day..you also know how to fryem with the best of em....never seen anyone filet a fish as fast as you.....
to the PINS Ranger and friends.... you are maybe the toughest guy I know. Anyone that survives being shot down while riding in a perfectly good airplane is a hero to me. Hope you continue to lead those hearty souls to the sands of South Padre and that someday one of you gets a winch on the vehicle.
To the Kayak Kid... all I can say is I want to be you when I grow up. You continue to inspire me and I hope we get to wet a line in some exotic locale somewhere down the line.
Greg C... thank you for introducing me to fly tying and being a fantastic mentor. You have special talents and I hope more of the guys take advantage of your special skills and join the fly tyers group.
Sandbagger... I'd adopt you if I could. Hope you continue to chase fish and take care of the worn out old boat you recently added to your collection. Please continue to include me in your fishing exploits and take a leadership role in the club when you can...they need guys like you.
Mackerel... best beer making, fly tying, music producing, fish catching, fly casting, blog writing, beard growing guy I know. Hope we have the chance to share a cold one on your hops buying trips down the line. Bring your fly rod, we'll chase some redsides someday I hope.
Mr McG..esq... you are really a special guy. Never probably expressed properly how much I respect your approach to the club. You can have some fun, and still give back to the environment, and represent a different point of view with class and distinction. Best to your bride as well.
Pres... how can I not thank you for taking over the gavel when I had enough slide show producing. Thankfully there are guys like you to step up and lead the group and keep up the spirit of PACK.
to the perpetual treasurer of the club. When you speak people should listen. You get it more than anyone else in the club... it is a fishing club and I hope it will stay that way. As long as you are involved, I know there will be a voice of reason and the club will be in good hands. And, we are all secretly jealous of how quietly you go about catching fish, being a good steward of the outdoors, and we dig your taste in women also.....she's definitely a keeper.
Katmar....wish I had known you longer. You are the most passionate, positive, and knowledgable spokesman for all things fly I've ever met. Your willingness to share your knowledge and your ability to express it are a rare commodity. I know many a yakker, fly tyer, fly caster, fisherman in general will be lucky to have you around and get to experience your special kind of enthusiasm.
I've totally enjoyed my association with everyone in PACK and don't mean to slight any of you by not mentioning you in my little rant. I hope PACK prospers and it will be all of you that make it happen...
I'll remember this group so fondly and will miss getting together with you monthly. I hope some of you can come to Bend and we'll talk about how we chased down those reds in the marsh, and how we tied those crack flies, and how we fried that fish, and how we killed them in the Bolivar Marsh each fall, and how we watched the sunrise over Panther Point, and how we laughed with Slow Ride, and caught fish with Scott N, how we nailed those flounder in Sea Wolf Park..and paddled for miles into the wind at Powderhorn........and remembered what a great group a people are in PACK...
Adios for now..