This is not gonna be a picture filled, fun-filled, post about a couple of guys chuckin bugs and landing fish. Instead, this will be a post of promise and remembrance. Kevin gave a very good account, of an experience with a man we all knew as Gene. I was a fortunate individual to spend many trips with the man, not only locally but also abroad. I fished with this man in my early years and had some really good times. We fished a few streams in the mountains of West Virginia, and also fished some waters in North Central Pennsylvania. The trips were not always full of trout catching, hell one trip we couldn’t really fish cause the streams were looking like chocolate milk. But nonetheless, we shared some fantastic times together, me and this man named Gene. I considered this man a family friend and although we didn’t see eye-to-eye all of the time, we would have done anything for each other.
So, when a good friend passes away and there is something that is needed to be done in his memory, all your thoughts and memories start rolling like a film. You ask yourself, what would be the best thing to remember a guy who was “by the book” and was a huge conservationist? Well there was this one thing, this thing that a lot of people utilize and never really know whom had a hand in its origination. Years back when Gene was a member of Trout Unlimited (an officer to be exact) this idea came up to turn one Middle Wheeling Creek into a delayed harvest catch and release stream…well not all of it, but a section of it. Well a guy named Jack, whom was president of TU upper Ohio valley chapter(WV), Gene and a few others made it happen. In fact, I still remember when Gene and Jack ran down to a state fish hatchery and picked up a shit-ton of brown trout fingerlings in a Toyota 4-banger. That’s right, Gene sacrificed blowing the shocks out on his pick-up to create a fisheries for all. This man not only helped create a fishery, but he also protected it from the greedy poachers. He promoted the fishery and had high regards for it, no matter what. So, deciding on a memorial type of project, I got the ball rolling for Gene. There will hopefully, be a plaque or sign very soon at that project in memory of Gene. Last word I received was that this “memorial sign” is ok’d and will happen. I only hope that individuals observing this sign will understand that without this man and others like him, there wouldn’t be such opportunities. I hope that they too understand how special this man was and maybe influence others to be proactive.
I hope this doesn’t seem too depressing, but uplifting. As Steve wrote about before, we all need to be proactive. The only way things happen is for you to let your voice be heard. Be more like Gene, don’t be afraid of what others think, just make it happen. Not everyone is gonna agree with you, but you will not always agree with others. Appreciate every day you spend on or off the water. Remember to quit wishin’ and go fishin’.
Rest In Peace Geno