Everyone cheered from the Yellow Dog table as Ian Davis finished his congratulatory speech to his friend and business partner, Jim Klug. After the applause and laughter had stopped, Jim walked to the podium to receive the Izaak Walton award.
Presented by The American Museum of Fly Fishing, the award “was established in 2014 to honor and celebrate the individuals who live by the Compleat Angler philosophy. Their passion for the sport of fly fishing and involvement in the angling community provides inspiration for others and promotes the legacy of leadership for future generations.”
Donning a blue bow-tie with yellow Labradors, Jim delivered a speech that touched on the beginnings of Yellow Dog that came from a chance encounter with Ian Davis in Breckenridge, Colorado - it's probably for the best that not all the hilarious story is put down in print. But the speech wouldn't have been complete without Jim reminiscing on a few of the many, memorable moments from traveling the globe.
"I was stranded in the jungles of Venezuela when Hugo Chavez died. I’ve taught impromptu geography classes to kids at a Guyanan grade school. And I drank heavily with an Italian pilot in Belize, only to find out thirty minutes later that he was the guy actually flying my airplane. I’ve chased bizarre species, I’ve experienced exotic cultures, and I’ve found myself in more sketchy and uncomfortable situations than I can probably count, each time swearing that I’d never discuss or mention it if I ever made it home.
But the neat thing is that all of these experiences, all of these things happened because of fly fishing. And it’s always amazing to me where this work takes you. And in the end, it is the places, it’s the people and the memorable connections and most of all the stories, that have made this journey so fulfilling. I must admit I was incredibly humbled, I was slightly embarrassed, and I was more than a little surprised to have been selected, but it’s a great honor, thank you for that."
The night culminated with fishing stories told over drinks in the company of Jim's friends and family.
Everyone at Yellow Dog is extremely proud of Jim's accomplishment - Congrats!