Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine VOL 40 No 2 SPRING 2016 - Page 29

The Fly Guy I by Pete Cooper, Jr. Remembering Dennis haven’t had a lot of really close fishing buddies, “good companions” might be a better term. I’ve had even fewer close fly fishing buddies, possibly because when I was really getting into it, the sport had yet to become fashionable. And, I guess I’ve always been a little picky about who I shared a boat with. But for all too short a time, I had one of the best – Dennis Vidrine. I don’t remember how I first met Dennis – perhaps it was during a meeting of the Baton Rouge fly fishing group where I was presenting a seminar. He phoned me afterwards and asked if I would give a presentation to the Lafayette group, which I later learned he had been instrumental in establishing. He had good credentials, too, having been scratching the surface of saltwater fly fishing thereabouts at about the same time I had been around the Delta. The program was well appreciated, and I was invited to give a couple more over the next few years. We also crossed tracks at the Baton Rouge gatherings, where he and I would meet and chat. He and a friend also made a trip to the Delta during that time to fish the Southwest Pass jetties and got blown out. He phoned me, told me of their misfortune, and I drove over to their motel to pass some time with them. He really appreciated that. I don’t recall much concerning him between that afternoon and the passing of Katrina. After resettling just south of Lafayette – then without any form of powered watercraft, my fly fishing became quite limited, and non-existent in saltwater. Though I did make a few conventional fishing trips with some new acquaintances, I began to really miss fly fishing. Eventually, I discovered the meeting dates of the Lafayette fly fishing group and attended one. I didn’t recognize very many of the folks there, but Dennis was running the show, and I don’t believe I ever saw such a sincere smile as the one he gave me when I walked in! In later times, I would learn that Dennis was the main link in the perpetuation of that group. Besides overseeing the gatherings and all the particulars that were a part of them, he offered the conference room in his law office for the organization’s board meetings. He, and his lovely wife, Beverly, frequently opened their home to the group for holiday events and such. Then, one day, perhaps a bit less than a year after I had moved to Acadiana, he phoned me and asked if I would like to go fly fishing for reds with him. It turned out that the fish were a bit uncooperative that day, but we passed a very enjoyable time together. I learned that by then he had abandoned all conventional techniques for several years – just because. In any case, the trip was badly needed soul medicine for me. Not long thereafter, another friend and I located some reds with spoons along the shoreline of a big bay much closer to home than Dennis’ spot.