A few years back I got a book from a fellow fly caster from
Chicago and from that innocent happening grew one of the
finest acquaintances/friendships I have had. We never met
but chatted often on the phone. He would supply us with the
results of casting tournaments and bits of happenings in his
world and things in general about casting, including a section
here on the basics of tournament casting. I would eventually
learn that it was he who virtually started the fly fishing
travel business in the world. Really, it was him.
He loved to fly fish but he loved to cast as much I think.
His name was foremost in the professional casting circuit.
He was one of the worlds champions at several variations
at it. If he did not make first place, he at least was
there when whoever did made his cast. I was flattered and
honored to discuss casting with him and have his report back
that, "Hey, you were right, that worked; that fixed it. Thanks
you so much!" Heady stuff, words form someone of his stature.
Jim Chapralis passed away not too long ago and I have his book,
the one he just got done before he died. It is a fine book. I
am reading it slowly, as I can still hear his voice telling me
each of his adventures from the pages. I will suggest that if
you like to read about another fly fishers adventures on stream
and how various events went for him while fly fishing for half
a century, that you purchase a copy. I truly believe that in
doing so you will get to know and enjoy him as did I. It is
not an expensive book and I really do think you will like it.
My main problem is that I can not reach for the phone and
after punching a few buttons say, "Hey Jim, It's me. Ya, how
ya doing? I got your book. Wow, what a hell of a job. Darn it,
Jim, you're a great writer. I loved the stuff. Really nice job."
I miss Jim. I am sorry we did not get to meet in person. We surely
did in every other way. So long buddy. ~ James Castwell