Jim caught a bundle of fish. Was he the best technician? Nope. A very good angler? Yep. Fun in the boat? The best.
A good person to spend the day with was Jim. His long time Mo River and beyond fishing partner Ed was by his side for many, many fishing excursions. Here on the Mo, I met Jim many years before we had the shop in Craig. He fortunately followed John and I along with his fishing family to HH. We had many years and I believe about 80 days on the water with Jim. I had the pleasure of fishing with Jim nearly all of those.
Yeah, Jim was fishy. We like fishy people. And those not afraid of a good time. Jim qualified for both of those statements.
Jim, a lifelong fly fisher, fished all over. Lots of years up on BC fly fishing for Steelhead. Of course on the California coast. Coastal Rivers up and down the west coast. But he loved the dry fly the most. The small dry fly. Caddis. Jim was a caddis man. Ed and I forced the mayflies on him. He really liked the Bloom’s Caddis. A nice pale pink post to see! Rusty Spinners too. He loved a Rusty Spinner.
One of the clients that do become friends. Jim and Barbara hosted my wife and I in Richmond CA, outside of Oakland, and we were treated to an Oakland A’s game on a baseball tour. Very gracious and generous was he and his family. I’ve fished with both of his sons Matt and Jeff, wife Barbara too in September when Barbara caught the only fish of the day. Jim rode in the back of the boat and just talked watching his wife Barbara enjoy the day. Jim and Barbara attended Danielle my wife and I’d wedding reception held here in Craig 6 months after our marriage abroad. Made a special trip to wish us well. Genuine people, the Arkin’s.
I still fish with his long time friend Ed. We both miss Jim in the boat. He certainly kept things light and carefree in the drifter. Always smiling. Always. Easy to laugh. Easy to encourage. Easy to be with.
Jim loved to fish the dry fly. That is all we did. He began fishing the Mo in the early 2000’s visiting in July for 6 days annually. Trico’s and Caddis with PMD’s third. Then moved the trip to 3rd week in June. The front end of PMD mania. Whoa. Loads of fun.
Jim always had me put together a fly cup of the flies that were successful for the week of dry fly fun we had. He wanted to reflect on the week throughout the year by opening up the fly cup and touching those flies. Re-living the moments of the take, the warmth of the sun, the feel of the cork, the texture of the materials. Opening that cup also let him look forward to his favorite week of the year fishing with his fishing friend Ed on Montana’s Missouri River. Jim had lots of fly cups with the week’s flies in his office. Fun stuff.
Jim fishing the Blackfoot River above. Jim traveled well, and not afraid of trying something new.
Think of you often Jim. Ed and I toast you often in the boat. You are missed. Your spirit lives on. You are missed as I float in on those finicky PMD sipping trout. You are thought of often. We will have to continue on without you guiding us and drifting towards another dry fly flat.
Great to spend the last 20 years with you Jim. They were great days. And, there are more ahead as your laughter wafts downriver fading away though the water slap and gentle winds…