Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

By Ed Hudon - February 12, 2020
John Van Deun

If someone wants or wills something strong enough, a way can be found to make it happen. It’s an old proverb, but true.

Such is the case with a friend of mine named John Van Deun (JVD). John and I went to high school together in Connecticut. Over time, we met at our class reunions. At the last reunion, John told me he had a moderate stroke, which paralyzed his left arm and his left leg. He also told me that he was an avid fly fisherman before his incident and wasn’t able to fish much at all. He mentioned that he was following me on Facebook and wished that he could fish the waters I guided in. So, I offered to guide him.

We made plans that included a weekend at my cabin. During his stay, we fished in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the West Fork of the Pigeon. In both instances, we only walked a few feet into the water. John was able to cast with his right arm and did a great job of mending and getting good drifts. It was obvious that John was a good fly fisherman. John caught several trout in both locations. This gave him the encouragement and inspiration to fish more often when he got home.

I had another fishing trip last year with a client that had two full knee replacements. We took the same precautions entering the water and fished from a safe position. He said he enjoyed himself and would be back.

I have two more scheduled trips this year and those clients also have knee replacements. In both cases, they have the will, and I will show them the way. Don’t let your handicap keep you from considering a fishing trip!

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