Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Friend Lost

I am sad to report that my long-time friend Dick Fujita passed away recently.  At 86, Dick had many good years under his belt.  Dick was an avid fly angler, but his passion was casting.  He was a fly caster for over 70 years and cast competetively for many decades.  Dick was a member of the American Casting Association Hall of Fame and International Casting Hall of Fame.  Over the years, he won countless casting events and a number of championships.  He was always willing to help out less-skilled casters.
My favorite memory of Dick is from a sport show.  After one of the featured demos by a nationally-known angler/caster (who shall remain nameless), Dick asked to try out his 4-piece rod and proceeded to remove one section at a time and continue casting until he threw the entire line with just the tip section, leaving the pro openmouthed and speechless.  Dick's only comment as we walked away was, "He's too full of himself and was doing it wrong anyway." 
An engineer by trade, Dick worked well into his 70's before finally retiring.  Never one for the spotlight, few people in the Cleveland area ever knew of his accomplishments.   His suggestion to improve ones casting skills, "Join an FFF or ACA Club and practice."  Those of us who knew him will miss him.

1 comment:

mike janosko said...

I attended the Southfield show with Dick and we tried the computerized casting analysis together. I was happy with my results after years of fishing with "the best". When Dick's chart came up the guy running the booth said it was very good compared to the "expert caster's charts". Dick asked "Who are those experts?" and when told he was applying too much power to his forward stoke he said "I had to compensate because the rod was too soft!"
When we fished together, I always went downnstream first. I said "You go first today and get the first shot at the trout" he said "he watched how much freeboard I had on my waders so he could adjust his path downstream!" The one day that Dick went first, He covered a deep hole so thoroughy that I got into the second stage of hypotheria in a downpour wading deep and we had to walk to the car to get me warm. A true friend that was always willing to help---we will all miss him.