Club update and sad news

Due to a busy work schedule and some personal circumstances, I will be stepping down as club president at the beginning of March 2020 and calling for nominations and a club vote at the March 5, 2020, meeting. Our official meeting season usually ends in May (but is flexible) when we start doing outdoor activities. It has been interesting and informative holding this position from 2016 till now but I need to step back now and focus on some other things. I’ll definitely stay involved with the club and support the club and its new President in whatever form they choose to lead this club. Anyone who is interested in this position or would like to know the associated duties let me know and we can discuss this. Since we are a relatively informal group the position description for the President has usually been decided on by the person holding this position and their level of commitment and time available. Also, any club members that would like to take a more active role in activities are encouraged to step up. If you have an idea but are unsure of how to do it, we will assist you in any way needed.
A couple of weeks ago I was told about the loss of Kevin Parkinson (, a friend of the club and a fishing buddy of some of us. In November 2019 Kevin was fishing alone at Stoney Lake and tragically drowned. I’ve been hesitant about how to write about this as this is a personally emotional topic for me. I first met Kevin on a lake a couple of years back when a friend and I were fishing Sulphur Lake. As usual, as soon as everyone hit the lake we scattered to our favorite spots. I noticed Kevin with his pontoon was in the same area as I liked to fish but since this is a good lake and he wasn’t in my way I didn’t mind the company. He and I were both having a good day with lots of solid hits. We started talking about what flys we were using and he showed me some of his tyed flys. At some point, I think I asked him if he was there camping or just a day trip and he said that he had been there 2 days and was sleeping in his truck. Then he started to open up that things were not going well for him. Obviously, he was in a tough place and needed someone, anyone to just talk to. Out there on the lake with a beautiful summer blue sky and a gentle breeze blowing he told me that his marriage had just broken up in the last week and he didn’t know how to deal with this. I listened to him and just tried to be supportive of him. Later when we were all onshore having lunch it was apparent that he had driven there on impulse and had no food or supplies so we shared our lunch with him. Later, we talked more on the water about where his life could go from here and also fishing and tying flys. I didn’t even know this guy but it was obvious that if we hadn’t randomly met that day on the lake he wouldn’t have been going home. We shared contact info and we texted and spoke on the phone a few times after that. Kevin did get on top of his situation and eventually found a new family. He was happy again. I bumped into Kevin on different lakes quite often after that and it’s been a privilege to know him.

If I can say two things to take away from meeting Kevin and knowing how he passed;
– Be safe out there. Accidents can happen in an instant. Find a buddy to go out with AND wear your life vest.
– Please, if you are feeling alone or overwhelmed by life, remember that this is temporary and it will pass (even if it doesn’t seem possible to you at the moment). People will listen if you need help, talk to someone, and please ask for help.
If you need help right now please use these telephone resources:
If suicide is a possibility, call 911
Alberta Mental Health Help Line: 1 (877) 303-2642
Alberta Addictions Helpline 1 (866) 332-2322
Distress Line (Edmonton and area): (780) 482-4357
Distress Centre (Calgary and area): (403) 266-4357
Distress Line of South Western Alberta: (403) 327-7905
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line 1 (855) 242-3310
Kids Help Phone 1 (800) 668-6868
Rural Distress Line: 1 (800) 232-7288
211 is here to help you find the right community and social services. You can dial 2-1-1 to speak to an Information & Referral Specialist, or search the online community resource directory, or chat online with them from 12-8pm MT daily.