IN MEMORY OF TED

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IN MEMORY OF TED
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On November 30, 2010 at the age of 51 passed away an awesome angler and a dear friend of mine, Thadeus Cwik.  The cause of his death was a massive heart attack.  Ted always remembered us.  He frequently fished with Salmo lures and was a tireless promotor of our brand far beyond the Polish immigrant community.  In Chicago he was an unquestionable fishing guru.  His trademark was a baseball cap with the Salmo logo and a big smile with a lot of warmth and sympathy for all anglers.  Yes, that was Ted.  The person of his caliber deserves a few more words than just a short farewell.  Let this article be a tribute to the Great Man, Great Angler and a Great Friend!

 

It took me some time but I tried to collect as much articles and memories about him as possible.  Besides, it is still hard for me to fully come to terms with his death.  Here are few stories about Ted (I am sorry but only in Polish) which I received from few of his friends, but I still consider this subject to be open.  I will gladly add more stories about him.  Therefore, I appeal to all who knew him to send in your memories.

 

All this fanfare is not without a reason.  Beside the fact that he was a personal friend of mine for many years and one of the best anglers that I ever came across, he was also great fan of Salmo lures.  Ted’s legacy are thousands of pictures with giant fish which most of us can only dream of.

He caught a lot of them on Salmo, and in majority of his pictures he wears his lucky Salmo baseball cap.  My only regret was that it was so hard to force him to write something.  His knowledge about fishing was enormous.  I always dreamed to utilize it one day.  I was planning to publish a series of interviews with Ted about fishing for many different fish species.  But unfortunately, forcing him even for the short session behind the keyboard was almost a miracle.  He was a man of the water, and only when outdoors- somewhere in the thick bush on the small trout stream or by the camp fire somwehere on the shores of lake Vermillion, that is where he was in his element, not in front of the computer.  On the other hand, he loved to talk on the phone.  Almost any conversation with him was an inspiration for me to keep searching and explore the new ideas.  Ted was a true gold mine of knowledge about fish and their biology and behavior.

I can brag about the fact that I was the one that infected him with the love for the muskie.  I myself fell in love with this fish after my first muskie expedition.  Unfortunately I was here inPoland, and Ted right there in theUS.  He had muskies almost a hand reach away.  I can say that I lived with his tales and adventures.  I can still remember when he called me for advice about the gear for the legendary american pike.  Overall, fishing for him was always a serious affair.  He always read fishing books and articles, talked to other anglers, analyzed the data and only then he was ready to make a decision about which lure or technique to use.  His results were a proof that usually he was right on target.  Knowing that about him, I was not that much surprised when he told me about his first muskie adventure onChippewaLakeinWisconsin.  He rented the boat from one of the local resorts, and on the very first day he came close to beating a local record by catching a49”fish!  Of course on Salmo Fatso14F! Even despite that exploit, Ted was not too happy because he came half inch short of winning a prize for the biggest fish caught in that area.  Unfortunately later on, it was not that easy anymore.  He caught many more big muskies, but never as big as his first one.

But here I must mention that his biggest passion were always the salmonid fish.  He was a virtuoso both with spinning and with the fly rod.  The pictures of trout, steelhead and salmon that he caught till this day cause heart palpitations among polish anglers.  I knew many great fishermen who were masters on their own waters.  But Ted was a master everywhere he fished.  Together we fished in many places- inPoland, inMongoliaand in theUSA.  But everywhere we went there was the same story.  After a brief reconassance fishing he could compete with the greatest local experts.  I think all his fishing buddies got used to the fact that he was always catching the biggest fish.  When fishing with him, one could only try to compete to be the second one after him.  But when he liked somebody, he always freely shared his fishing secrets.  He always liked to be the teacher for anglers who were just learning the art.  Through his natural charm, charisma and a great sense of humor he always easily won the respect of everybody that came in touch with him.  He was a big, strong guy with the outward appearance of an Apache chief, but just after the first conversation anyone could see that he was very open, warm and a friend to everybody, and especially to those with the “fishing disease”.

It is such a shame that we will never go on our long time planned muskie trip to Vermillion or trout expedition toMichigan…I will miss our long phone conversations about fishing and life.

 

Farwell my friend, see you in the Happy Hunting Ground!

 

Piotr Piskorski

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