The Missoula Fly Fishing Community Just Lost an Amazing Man
Where do you begin when someone you know, respect and are friends with passes? All you can do is remember the good times and try to share that with others. His family and friends are mourning and the fly fishing community has lost one of it's great members.
It's not easy, when my grandma passed I couldn't speak or write and I know a lot of people don't deal with loss very well. It's always comforting though for their family and friends to share. Allen Kallis was a man of passions, kindness and laughs. My friend Bryce Neilson wrote a post on Facebook where he talks about some memories of his Uncle Allen:
"He took me on my first hunts, as a young man, let me mow his yard as a kid, for some spending cash, bought my first gun from Big Al, he took me steelhead fishing in Idaho, I got my first deer, and Elk with Al. Shot a pesky badger, in Ovando."
It sounds like Allen was just that guy who took people out for their first time whether it be hunting or fishing. Not everyone wants to babysit new anglers or hunters but Allen did and those of us that learned from him are forever grateful.
Something MANY and most agree with was his love for his wife and mother. He loved to hunt and fish but loved them more. I remember just talking with him about his mother and his wife, two ladies he was always very worried about. It's something I hope I find, is a man who is passionate and has a lust for life but loves his family and wife more.
Early 2016 is when I started talking more to Allen and we were able to connect soon after that and go fishing. He took me on my first float trip on the Blackfoot, gifted me bass bugs for my trip last summer. Every month or so I would text or he would check in: fishing reports, hows your wife and mom, want to do lunch? Casual but meaningful is the best to describe my relationship with Allen. I hold my radio family very close, but my fly fishing family is just as dear.
His friend and basically nephew Drew talked to me for a while today: "He was my fishing buddy for the last 5 years," said Drew. That line just hit me hard and I started to bawl. I haven't even been fly fishing for 5 years yet, and here I am thinking I've lost one of my fishing buddies? I feel sorry for Drew as I know how great of a boat and river companion he was. Like Drew said, "I fished with him on Monday and he was gone yesterday. Sometimes there just aren't any answers." Sometimes there aren't. I know the folks at fly shops knew and liked Allen, how could you not? So to my fly fishing friends who knew Allen--and even to those who didn't--the next line you wet and fish you catch, make it for him.
Looking back at this post from last year and remembering Allen helping me learn to load my line better... great memories. Thinking of his wife and mother especially today...