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September 28, 2008

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A Nod to Flip Pallot


You know, one of the great things about fishing in Colorado that is you never know exactly what (or whom) you might bump into on the river on any given day... bears... bald eagles... elk... mule deer... even Flip Pallot.

Now, if you're like me, you immediately recognize Flip from his television series, "The Walker's Cay Chronicles," which I believe to be the best written and shot series on flyfishing, ever, bar none. Long before there was ever this Field & Stream gig, I'd wake up, religiously, on Saturday mornings (when I wasn't out fishing) to watch that show. It inspired me beyond words. Moreover, it taught me. Techniques and geography, sure... but more importantly, about a culture, a mindset, and those lessons still guide me.

I'm fortunate enough now to have gotten to know Flip. We've fished. We've hunted (he's a die-hard hunter). In fact, Flip tied the nock indicator on the bowstring of my recurve bow (just used elk hunting) with green dental floss. And in my experience, rarely have I met someone whom I'd seen and heard about, who turned out to be all that, and more. That's Flip. He's the real deal.

And in this day and age, when fishing-turned-television is more about money and sponsors, and guys shaking hands over "money shots" and carcasses... I really think the "Walker's Cay Chronicles" is still a beacon of what could and should be. Oh, there are others who get it, for sure, and other good shows. But, sadly, I can count them on my hands...

What do you think?



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Fishing Jones

Best fishing show ever. I still keep the VCR plugged in just so I can watch the old tapes of the first seasons. Great footage, great narrative, and what it did best was capture the natural conversations of these guys as they stalked fish.


True dat. Great show that I have not seen enough of. It's interesting...just yesterday at the local fly shop we were discussing how the luminaries of our sport..Flip, Lefty, Whit, Joan, etc. are just that when you met them. The real deal.

The other concern discussed...who will take up the mantle when they depart the scene? Who will be the next gen of fly fishing ambassadors on the national stage? Are they there but somewhat unseen because of the immense shadows cast by our heros?


The original. The first guy to bring it home ...


Labrat... I love it when people make eloquent and insightful comments like that. Thanks. In fact, thanks so much, that I'm going to blatantly steal your thought and do a post on it later this week, titled, "Finding Generation Fly."

Without tipping my hand too much, I'd say the next generation is already here... and it isn't so much the immense shadows from our heroes that covers them... rather, it's the immense clutter of amateur crap/content and over-commercialized values that obscures the true essence where it's really shining. But rest assured, it's still there.


One more thought... I grew up in Wisconsin, during a time when we lamented the fact that there might never be another QB like the great Bart Starr. Then, eventually, another kid from Mississippi showed up... did pretty well.

Chad Love

Don't know, but as someone who prefers his old, slow Howatt Hunter to his fast new Bowtech, I just think it's pretty cool you shoot a recurve.


Thanks... I don't shoot many elk though. My recurve and I have nice long walks in the woods together.

Evan V

For a second there I thought that was a roll of toilet paper on his lanyard LOL

Scott Hed


Good to see you at Retailer, man. From your 9/17 post, you make me seem something of a celebrity hanging with all the others at the Kaenon booth. You're a real king-maker.

For me, as a relatively new fly angler, I can recall watching Flip Pallot on the Walker's Cay Chronicles at least a decade before I picked up my first fly rod. To me, it was all about the essence of fishing, the calming force that it holds over us. He's a fantastic storyteller on top of it that, and not too shabby an angler to boot.

My personal Flip story is one I'll always remember and one that changed the course of my life (not at all overstating that, honest). In a piece of dialogue during an episode, Flip mentioned he previously held a position in the finance industry - part of the rat race like all-too-many in this country. He found a way to live his dream, and the rest is history. I was at a crossroads in my career - also in the finance industry. I wanted badly to make a change, but that's a scary prospect when what I'd been doing for a decade right out of college was all I had known and I was good at it too. Not to mention the pay was sweet.

I sent an email to Flip completely out of the blue, thanking him for showing us that change is possible. I asked for a bit of advice, and he replied - giving me a nudge and encouragement. I can't say it led directly to the work I'm doing today in conservation, but it was an important lesson he imparted. Life's short, and we spend too much of it working to begin with. Might as well find a way to get paid to do something we love and care about. I might not put as much in my bank account as I did from my old job, but there's more to life than that.

Something I hope to keep in my thoughts as long as I live (and work).

If you and Flip ever want to come to South Dakota to chase some pheasants...you know how to get ahold of me.

Keep up the good work

Scott Hed
Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska

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