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Ooly showing the fishing guests where the fish live

Tight lines Ooly

My old friend and fly-fishing mentor Ooly “Lyle Pyrum”, eddied out for the big riffle in the sky yesterday.

The self-professed “brutally handsome fishing guide” who would introduce himself to his fishing clients as their “GuideEcologist” was one of the funniest guys I have had the privilege of spending time with.

He was one of my first friends upon moving to Swan Valley. I met him while I was launching my new “to me” $400.00 wooden drift boat I had rescued from the termites up at Huskey’s boat launch. Ooly declared; I think my grandfather could have built that one, then reassuring me, it was no longer a boat, it was a planter. Our friendship was off to a good start. There was always lots of irreverent laughter around Ooly.

When fly-fishing guides aren’t guiding, they are fishing and Ooly and I were out after the fish often together. In 1993 I didn’t know much about fishing, but Ooly mentored me well and I was soon a fly-fishing guide myself.

After fishing we needed fuel, nope not food ~ beer. After laughing all day, it was time to laugh into the night.

After completing my twelve-step program for my fly-fishing addiction so I could re-pursue my photography ambitions, Ooly and I didn’t fish very much anymore. I have always missed that time on the river with him, although I don’t miss the hangovers that inevitably followed.

When I think of Ooly I will always smile.

See you at the big riffle in the sky my friend!

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