RIP Trapper Rudd

The fly fishing world lost a great angler and a great man this week.

Trapper Rudd was one-of-a-kind. While he and I weren’t close, he was someone who certainly had an impact on me. I probably first started frequently hanging out at his former shop, Cutthroat Anglers, in Silverthorne, Colorado around the year 2000. I was 19 or 20 then and tried to check in often. It was always wonderful to run into Trapper. He would greet you like a long-lost friend and make you feel like a king. There were several instances in which this actually was something that helped me a great deal at times when I was in a tough spot in the fly fishing world.

I told my wife yesterday that I was very sad, which was strange because he was more like an industry acquaintance. She corrected me and told me he was more than that, and she is right. He was inspiring. Not only did he live life to the fullest and embrace every opportunity to explore and have fun, but he was incredibly good-hearted. I emailed him last year and asked him where I should fish in Florida before or after ICAST/IFTD. His response: “With me.” He was the kind of person whom I might see or email every so often but would drop everything to make you feel like an important friend. And in the time between, his videos would inspire me to try to be a fraction of the adventurer he was.

Trapper and I were emailing a few years ago about a range of topics, and he offered the following thoughts. Perhaps they are more relevant now:

“Sometimes, you just have to let go and look for the new chapter …  It has been strange and challenging, but life isn’t what you gather, but more so what you spread.”

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