According to Scott: March 2008

According to Scott: March 2008
If I have said it once, I have said it a dozen times- I am truly blessed in that I have the best friends in the world. Of course they have all gotten the short end of the stick with me, but regardless, they all take good care of me and in turn, I do my best to visit the kindness and favors back on them by several fold. Recently I learned that one of my long-time friends, Chris Phillips was having seizures and that they were a result of a tumor in his head. This information immediately led me and a tight-knit group of friends and colleagues to start thinking of a way to help Chris out.

Now for those of you who do not know him, Chris Phillips is not only the only credible fly fishing guide to fish the Galveston Bay complex, but can often be found working behind the counter at Fishing Tackle Unlimited helping anglers from all walks of life. Another thing that you might not know about Chris is that he was one of the driving forces that helped popularize salt water fly fishing in Texas many, many years ago.

You see, back when I was running around the neighborhood getting a good tan while wearing nothing but my underwear, Chris was down, right smack-dab in the middle of, not only the time, but the place where light-tackle sport fishing was pioneered- the Florida Keys. He was there during the days when luminaries such as Flip Pallot, Stu Apte, Jimmy Albright and Billy Pate were writing the book on how to catch not only tarpon, but many other inshore fish on fly tackle and, he brought a lot of it back home to Texas. Since then, he has not only shared the skills and knowledge that he learned back in the days, but also the many incredible stories that came from the glory days of fishing.

Now that you all know Chris a little better, I will get back on track here.

When we all found out about the troubled days ahead for our friend, we decided that we needed to first lift his spirits. Of course none of us had to make our little brains work to figure out how to do this. It is like everyone simultaneously shouted out the same thing- fishing trip.

Well, before I knew it, a date was set to get everyone together to host Chris on a big blowout fishing trip to Port O'Connor. There was only one problem I was scheduled to be on an airplane on that day. With some finagling, I talked Cory Hawryluk, a mutual friend of ours, to take the day off and bring Chris down a day early so that I would be able spend a day on the water with him and be a small part of the festivities. Needless to say, Cory obliged and I got to spend one of the most pleasant and memorable days of the year on the water with my dear friend.

The morning of November 30 was perfect. Mother Nature blessed us with a beautiful sunrise and cloudless sky. Sure it started off a little chilly but it sure got the reds fired up. Wanting to show Chris a little bit of everything that my home water could offer, I decided to look for some pods of tailing fish to get the day started. Moments later we were on plane and pointed in the right direction.

The first spot was, as predicted, a home run. Within a short time, Chris was hooked up with his first red and the day was only getting started. Several fish later and a couple of hours into the game, I threw Chris and Cory a curve ball by asking the question that has ruined a many good fishing trips.

"Do you guys want to go find some bigger fish?" I asked.

They agreed; so I poled to deeper water, started the motor and we were off to bigger and better things.

We did find the bigger fish and even caught a half-dozen of them. And, as the day went by, we all took turns on the bow and on the platform, enjoying the good company and sharing stories. It was a perfect day and one that I will not soon forget.

Now I know the above is a real short fishing story however, it is only a small part of a bigger story. The bigger story is- Chris is going to have a life-threatening operation on the day that this issue goes off to the printer. Hopefully, the prayers of many will not go unanswered, and Chris will be in bed, recovering, while you are reading this.

So I ask this from you all- please say a prayer, chant, cross your fingers or whatever the Spirit moves you do for our friend. There are few that deserve less and I can assure you, he is one of the few that deserves more.

In addition to our gathering of friends and a couple of fine days on the water, we have decided to have a little fundraiser to help Chris though the financial hardships that are sure to come during his lengthy recovery. This event will be held on March 30 at Blanco's on West Alabama Street in Houston. It will start at 1:00 P.M. and run until 5:00 P.M. There will be a live and silent auction as well as plenty of raffle items. We have some first-class auction items that I am sure are going to make a few start looking at taking out a second mortgage on their home. Please join us in helping out our friend at an event we are now calling Chris-a-palooza.

For more information please contact me by phone or via my website or contact Andy Packmore at [email protected]