Eric and I first fished together Election Day this year, May 8. I was a nervous wreck as a I always am election day. It was my first Day of meeting Eric. We had PM'd each other many times talking muskies and planning trips that never came together until that Tuesday. He came to Huntington and rode with me from there and we drove an hour to Cave Run. Craig was spot on when he said Eric was not shy but quiet and reserved. It seemed that when he spoke it was well thought out. I was impressed by his fishing skills, he hadn't been musky fishing that long but had seemed to master it. We had a very windy May morning to fish out the the famous "flats" where we pounded the weed beds with every lure in the boat. All the sudden BOOM Eric had a fish on, a fat 33" in the net. He caught her on a grim reaper spinnerbait. I remember feeling relieved that he had caught one since he had driven all the way from Clay that morning. It was a good day on the water and off getting to know a fine man.
I didn't know what he did for a living and we shared a laugh when I told him I was a Magistrate and he replied, "Well Judge, I am Trooper". It seemed to fit him well being a trooper and we as citizens of this state were fortunate to have him watching out for us and upholding the laws of our great state. He and I stayed in touch and and fished the elk a couple of times. Ive been fishing twice since hearing the news about Eric and have thought about him, a smile comes to my face as I'm typing this because I have faith he is in a better place. We live in a strange world where the good die young and bad things happen to good people, I'm sure i will struggle to understand this for the rest of my life. I remember watching a Musky DVD once and the guy was talking about when he died he didn't want pearly gates, he wanting a musky lake. That makes me think of Eric, ill bet he has found his Elk river in the sky and is burning a black cowgirl right now. I will come say goodbye to you tomorrow Eric, RIP.