(NFR) So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Well here I sit, 3:05 AM, torrents of rain pelting against the door, staring at an empty room. The time has finally come, and I hop on a plane in the morning...

I'm going to try to not get too sentimental with this, but you know how these things work. This all started back in December when I firmly decided I was going to South America for two months. My plan was to roll trout bum style, hitch hiking around the major waters and seeing if I couldn't find a few fish. I started talking about it and an old friend from Colorado asked if he could join me, then a new friend from Seattle wanted to come along as well. We decided to split the cost of a vehicle and do it in style...

It evolved from there exponentially into an expedition with film crews and scientific teams and watermaster rafts, sponsors, the works. Over the last four months I've hardly slept, working forty hours a week, spending thirty hours a week planning this gig, and still fishing four days a week. Not to mention juggling a girlfriend on top of that... But the day has finally come when I'm taking off, so I thought I'd say good bye.

I came to Seattle a year and a half ago with $200 bucks to my name, didn't know anyone, squatting in a house in Woodinville with 9 polynesians I'd met on one of my many cross-country greyhound trips. I've come a long way since then, caught a few fish, made a few friends, drank a few beers... I have a lot of people to thank for helping me make this happen, and I'd like to start out with Washingtonflyfishing.com

If it wasn't for this board, I wouldn't know half as many people as I do now. It was a god-send to someone new to the area, tons of information about places to fish and tons of people to fish with. Chris and I have evolved a cherished friendship over time, and I don't think that most people know how much work and time he puts into the site, all the bull@#$% he has to deal with. But his hard work has paid off and he's created a vurtual cummunity of fly fishermen in Washington state. I owe Chris a lot of favors, the least of which is this board, so thanks Chris, rock on brutha! I still have visions in my head of us in the 'burban going 70 down a gravel road in the middle of Montana somewhere, and the barb-wire dead-end fence popping up in front of us, the look on Sparse's face as he wakes up to see the whole scene...

I'd like to thank everyone else that has helped me out along the way, laughed at my dumb jokes, listened to my stupid hair brain schemes for world domination, argued with me around endless campfires along numerous river banks. It's been a great time, one of the best years of my life, so thanks boys!

Thanks X-caddis for all the great fishing memories, endless talks about gear and fish and techniques, super secret squirell spots and what the hell we're going to do with our life. I look forward to sharing a hundred more endless summer days, long campfires, and cold beer.

Thanks Sparse for letting me crash at your house about every weekend last winter, thanks for all the great intellectual talks, fly tying sessions, and two hour phone conversations.

I'll never forget watching you pull a complete 180 in the Farmer Mobile on the road between Yakima and Ellensburg one morning on our way to fish a desert creek. Oh yeah and I'll never forgive you for not getting a photo of that 26" brown...

Thanks GreyGhost for all the intellectual talks about fisheries biology, the days of bush bashing, slamming beers around the fire, and hammering fish. I look forward to more of those days... Save a few fish for me.

Thanks Backyard for being one of the only other guys I fish with that can almost out-drink me, your crazy unorthidox methods of fishing leeches behind chironomids and I'll never forget that night we somehow got kicked out of just about every bar in Snohomish. Last men standing baby!

Thanks Bhudda for the long road trips, always being down for fishing at the drop of a hat, and for the good times. I'll never forget us out in the middle of Green Lake fishing for tiger muskies when your float tube started sinking...

Thanks AlpineTrout for all the great discussions about gear, knots, rigging, and exotic fishing destinations. The view from the fishless lake on the top of the Cascades, and the grueling hike up to it, will always stick out in my mind. I'll see you in the Falklands...

Thanks Sak for showing me that my dream life really is possible! Thanks for all the inspiration, I look forward to shooting some footage with you in the future.

MacRowdy - we didn't get to fish together enough, but the times we did were a blast. Can't wait to see the British Girlfriend when I get back! You know how jealous I am...

Whitey - It's been good fishing with you, best of luck finding that little lake of yours...

Mcolagrossi - Thanks for letting me store my stuff at your pad. Look forward to fishing with you some more when I get back.

Thanks LittleStone for all the great six page email conversations, too bad I didn't get to fish with you before I left, but there will be other days. Hope things work out well for you out there!

To all my other homies too numerous to list here, and all my friends who are lurkers on the board that don't post, thanks for everything! If I forgot to mention you, don't be offended, I got a little bit on my mind :) To all you I don't know, look forward to seeing you on the water one day! If there is one piece of advise I can give you, it'd have to be: USE THE UNI-KNOT! For those of you that think I'm lucky, it's only half luck. The rest is blood, sweat, tears, no sleep, a hell of a lot of hard work, and a dream. But hell someone has to do it right?

You can view updates from the expedition at www.worldanglr.com, you will find a page off the main one where I'll be posting written reports, voice diary recordings, and some photos.

You can sign up with your email address to be automatically notified when a new update is posted.

Leave a few fish in this state for me, I'm gonna need something to catch when I get back! I'll be back in mid-May, have fun, stay crazy, and as they once said in some book, so long and thanks for all the fish!


"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

- Henry David Thoreau


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
Have a good trip Ryan! Can't wait to hear the details... hopefully you didn't need the watermasters to get out the front door this morning.

Bill :beer1


Idiot Savant
Ryan, Most of us sleep about about a third of our lives. We work at jobs that may not be rewarding another third of our lives. That means most of us only have a third of our lives to do everything else. You on the other hand have not compromised at all, you are living life large.

I'm jealous, and inspired at the same time, enjoy these next few months.


Good things come to those who wade...
Can't wait to see that first trip update appear on your site.

You've been a valuable asset to this board as well, we'll be looking forward to your safe return.

You can be a fish recycler, too. Let 'em swim.


...has several mistresses.
Davey My Man, You rock hard, Fish hard and always know there is a small stretch of water someplace where the big browns grow. Be safe, Be aware and if something should happen to you, I get first dibs on your sheeeeot!

I agree with sak.. to bad your not around to read this so im not writing shit. Im sure I'll talk to you on the phone. peace man, and good luck.

~cHris~ :thumb
I think I have first dibs on all his sheeeoottt since it is all sitting in my back room and garage lol Take care Davey and make it back in one peice!

I am now off to try and hack into Davey's PC for all his directions to the sneaky creeks across eastern WA ( just kidding foolio)

Mike:beer1 :hmmm
Right about now he should be getting into Brazil. I'm proud of Ryan that the plan worked out. He put a lot of time into it. He's been working hard this last year just so that he can have this experience.. I wish the best of times to Ryan Davey, Brendan Mason, Chris Owens, Mikey Weir and whomever else is part of the expedition. Manifest destiny, Biotch!


Streams are made for the wise man to contemplate and fools to pass by.
(Sir Izaak Walton)