Mid week last week I started seeing some sad news on the interwebs; Bob Propst passed away. Bob was a Nebraska native and member of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, without a doubt one of the very best Nebraska anglers, ever!
Unfortunately, some folks may not realize who Bob Propst was so let me suggest you do some reading. My buddy Larry Porter wrote a story that was published in the Omaha World-Herald late last week, Legendary walleye fisherman Bob Propst, 78, ‘just thought like a fish’. Follow that link, read the story, and scroll through the pictures, this one is great:
Love the Thin Fin, and the shores of Lake McConaughy in the background!
This next story was written a few years ago, but you should read it because it tells even more about what kind of angler, and what kind of guy, Bob was: Greatest Walleye Fisherman Who Has Ever Lived.
Bob was a character and right now I am sure there are lots of folks telling Bob Propst stories. I have a couple myself. I never had an opportunity to fish with Bob, although I have heard a lot of stories from those who did. Sounds like he always had a line in the water and always seemed to catch fish. I had the honor of doing a “University of Walleye” workshop with Bob back in 2004.
I do not tell you to brag; I still cannot believe I have had the opportunity to do things like that in association with such great anglers. A workshop with Keith Kavajecz, Bob Propst, and Tony Puccio? Are you kidding me? As I recall, Bob told lots of stories and could have gone on all day. I would have listened!
Another time I was working the same sport show as Bob. He recognized me and we had chatted a couple times; later in the day my young son joined me. Bob came over and told me I should take Daniel over to the trout pond that was at the sport show, and then he took something out of his pocket and slipped it into my hand. He told me “put some of this on the flies they have tied to the rods”. I looked in my hand, it was a jar of PowerBait.
Bob told us to go fishing, so we went fishing. Daniel and I slipped over to the trout pond for a little bit. I love watching kids at those swimming-pool-trout-ponds at sport shows. There are a bunch of trout in those pools and once in awhile one will open its mouth and eat the fly some kid is dangling in the water. It appears to happen randomly and just often enough to keep a bunch of kids lined up to give it a try. Daniel and I dabbed a little bit of Bob’s “secret bait” onto his hook and caught one trout right after another. At those sport show pools, the deal usually is when you keep a trout you are done fishing; Daniel caught and released three or four in short order and then we put the rod down and slipped out before someone caught on to what we were doing.
You might say we were cheating, but I do not think Bob saw it that way. He just wanted a kid catch some fish, and believe me, he knew how to make them bite, maybe better than anyone ever has.