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Everyone in life has a mentor for this or that. I was just trading email with a young man who posted here looking for places to fish, and it jogged my memory a bit. I grew up on Big Fishing Creek, and I LIVED in that creek. We were poor I guess, and I was fishing every minute I got. I had a little success, but not much with the trout. Every day I would see older men with full creels. Once, one of the largest Browies in Pa records was caught in front of my house. I could just never connect with a nice one, and even at seven years old, it ticked me off. Enter Big Sid. Sid was a friend of my Uncles, but he wasn't like a normal guy. He was disabled from several heart attacks, and all the man did was fish, every single day. He was a huge man, had played college football for Cincinati, was married, and was nobody to mess with if you know what I mean. The back of his truck was full of fishing poles and gear. He had two dozen of everything, and for whatever reason he decided to take me under his wing. We became best friends that summer. We hit the water at daylight every day, and in no time flat, we were sitting at a VFW or some other watering hole, having lunch and telling fish stories. He was a character. Once, on little Raven Creek, a woman stopped on a bridge and began to scream at us for killing HER fish. She said she bought the place up the road, and she fed the fish and even named them all. Sid, all 325 lbs. of him, just smiled and said Gosh Maam I'm really sorry, but I asked this one here his name ( reaching into the creel and removing a trout), and he said Charlie, but I figured his name was Bob, so I killed him for lying! Boy did that light her fuse! Once his wife said she was leaving him. He went to the garage and came back with a chainsaw, fired it up and sunk it into the wall ! As she screamed, he paused and said I am just gonna take my half now !
Anyway, no one can stop time, and the man is long gone. If it was not for his kindness, I would not know how to tie bloodknots, or bend the tailshaft on a Mepps to make it run deeper, or get out of bed at 2Am if it starts to rain and hit the creek with nightcrawlers cuz the big boys come out then, or how to look another man in the eye when he slights you and back him down. The guy made me a fisherman, for all thats worth in todays world, and sometimes I just miss him !
 

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Thank you for sharing. Got my mind thinking of some great men that touched my life.
 

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Thank You for the story, and as Deer archer had mentioned, it too, as reminded me of those that have passed yet touched our lives in such a indelible way.
 

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From many of your posts he did more than make you a better fisherman....
 

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My "Big Sid" was my uncle Rollin. He lived in Western PA near Sandy Lake.....took me fishing at Lake Wilhelm to many times to count and untold bunny hunts with his beagles. Miss him every hunting season. Great story to share Joe !
 

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Great read, and as sportsman I think we all strive to leave our so called mark for someone to remember us (in the way you remebered Sid) with what we have passed on to the next generation.
 

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Great read to hear the stories of how we became outdoorsmen. Makes me look forward to helping my own children love the outdoors. I hope people reading these posts are inspired to help someone learn to love the outdoors as well.
 

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Here's to Sid... Good read!
 
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