There comes a point in a fishing guide’s life when he’s good enough to let himself go

Gary McFadden is there.

Seriously, if a guy who looked like he does came out of nowhere and offered to help you with your fishing, I doubt you’d know whether to run or hand him some  kind of helpline number.

Such is the danger of being swayed by image before you’ve assessed the substance behind it.

The hirsute McFadden is in fact a fishing guide of such repute on Alaska’s Kenai River that he has just been voted into America’s Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.

“He’s kind of an icon. I don’t know if you’ve ever met him, but he’s kind of like the wizard, he’s like Gandalf almost,” Harpe said. “He has those qualities about him and there is something to say about that.”

He has quite way with words, too. The end-of-season river, full of trout sulkily moping around with sore mouths, is a word picture that will stay with me for the rest of the day…

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