David Diaz Tribute
As the excitement of 2023 spring fishing and fly casting clinics builds, a sad follow-up note from 2022 deserves a moment of recognition. Mr. David Diaz, MCI, CBOG and a truly great FFI instructor and mentor, passed away after a long illness. Until the end David showed his parch-dry sense of humor and interest in all matters of fly fishing and casting. Despite being bed-bound from a massive stroke and in a nursing home, he would relish FFI news, and in vintage fashion David would offer his opinion on such matters. A visit from a FFI friend would cause his eyes and face to light-up with excitement.
A detailed list David’s accolades and varied interests are too numerous to note in a letter of tribute. I suspect David would say he is most proud of his family and then followed by his being the first elected President of the Casting Board of Governors. He might also mention he taught over 5,000 students the art of fly fishing and casting.
Personally, I hold David right up there with the past icons of our proud organization. He represents the best ideals of our FFI founding fathers, or as I might tease David, “one of the old guard”. I was fortunate to have David as a long-distance mentor as he was the only FFI MCI in Alabama. Tom Dempsey (CI) and I would travel 4 hours each way for a casting lesson. Of course there were a lot of phones calls for advice. I remember the first lesson I had with David and boasted that someday I would be a CBOG. His sage advice was that first I better worry about passing my CI exam. I accomplished the latter several years ago, but I am still waiting on a call from the CBOG.
As this next generation of CBOG’s, MCI’s, and CI’s take the FFI helm let us follow the path that David Diaz helped forge.