A man trolls through fond memories of a dear, departed friend.
The author was never quite as passionate about fly-fishing as his compatriot Charlie; during their many fishing trips over the years, Charlie would happily stay out on the water from before sunrise to well past sunset. Levy enjoyed the activity more as an excuse to soak up the great outdoors, from Alaska to Mexico, to hike or relax with a good book and to spend quality time with his friend, and occasionally their respective spouses and children. Whether fishing a remote mountain stream in northern California or sailing around the Virgin Islands, the two friends formed a bond spanning decades, surviving mishap-laden adventures, inflicting good-natured one-upmanship on each other, backing up each other’s fish stories and passing their love of the outdoors on to their children. It has taken more than ten years since Charlie’s untimely death from cancer for the author to sort through those memories and put them into words. Interspersed with anecdotes that capture the nuances of his relationship with Charlie, Levy revisits the pain he felt immediately following his friend’s passing and his struggle to find the strength to speak at the memorial service. Levy’s story is deeply touching–especially for those who have loved and lost such a companion–though readers who don’t share a similar passion for fly-fishing may find those sections less engaging. But the final pages, in which Levy recounts his last visit with Charlie and their painful conversation about facing and accepting death–while still fully experiencing life–are intimate and powerful.
A short but emotional testament to the power of friendship.