Friendship | Conservation | Education
by Phil Erickson
On October 25, 2006, fly fishing pioneer and legend, Andre Puyans passed away in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Andy lost his battle with cancer and resulting complications after putting up a good fight and continuing to be active in our sport.
Andy was one of the founding members of Diablo Valley Fly Fishermen, as well as California Trout and the Trout Unlimited California Chapter.
To know Andy was to know one of fly fishing's giants.
He was a master of the talents of fly tying and casting, yet he always had the time and the interest to pass these skills on through his teaching and instruction.
His fly tying classes and Idaho/Montana Fly Fishing Seminar are legendary for their attention to detail and educational content.
Andy established the DVFF youth fly fishing program that sent youth to the Federation of Fly Fishers national conclaves.
"Andy's kids" won the top three places each year they competed.
His sense of humor was boundless; it was a ritual to immediately trade jokes when ever he met old friends.
In a lifetime one only meets a very few individuals who can touch as many hearts as Andy has.
To call him a friend is not enough, to call him a mentor and teacher also falls short of the mark, he was all these things and a lot more.
We were blessed to have been able to share a portion of his time on this earth.
Good bye and Godspeed old friend, spot those rising heads for when we fish together again.
by Wayne Hofer
I had the great privilege to know Andy about 4½ years. For about the last 3 years, once a week, I along with about 8 other fly tying nuts, would "sit at his feet" from 7-11PM while he taught us how to tie, select and understand our materials, and strive for near-perfection. We never fully tapped the resources he offered. He was a brilliant man.
Then there were wonderful trips to the Green River, where I got to help Andy put on and remove his waders, and was always a little intimidated fishing with "the master." He did not hesitate to correct you, always with my best in mind. My week with Andy and his teaching staff at his Idaho fly fishing school probably advanced my skills by 10 years.
Andy was the consummate teacher, committed to making us the best fly fishers we could be. I loved that man and always felt his acceptance and concern for me.
My wife and I had the privilege to visit Andy in the hospital on the Friday before he passed on. My last time to see him. He was still the Andy I knew, but the effects on his body from the chemo and a recent stroke broke my heart. All I could was hold that big paw of a hand that could perfectly tie #20 BWO's and pray for him. Gonna miss him...I already do.