We lost a friend
Jim Brauch, a major player in the Snohomish County sport fishing community, died Feb. 18 of a rare and fast-moving form of cancer, according to wife Bonny. A dedicated community activist, Brauch influenced the lives of hundreds of young people in the area through his fishing classes and clinics, and the kids’ fish-ins he coordinated over the years with the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club and other groups. Those events will be continued by the club, said ESSC board member Woody Woods, but “It will be tough trying to fill Jim’s shoes.”
In addition to trout, Brauch fished salmon, here and on the B.C. coast, plus steelhead and other gamefish species, and reported on his adventures in The Reel News, a fishing tabloid published in Lake Stevens. He was arguable one of the best trout fishermen in the area, hitting local lakes such as Goodwin and McMurray at every opportunity, but it was the young people and their introduction to fishing, the outdoors and conservation that was his passion. He desperately wanted every kid who attended one of his dozens of fish-ins to catch a trout.
A Marine Corps veteran of Viet Nam and a retired Everett Police officer, Brauch had planned a trip with his brother to Asia to see some of the places where he had served, and to end the journey with-what else? -a guided fishing trip in Thailand.
Cancer caught up with him in Viet Nam, resulting in flights to Saigon, Los Angeles, Ronald Reagan Hospital at UCLA, Providence and Swedish. The disease, Bonny Brauch said, was too far along to successfully treat at any of those stops.
The young people of the area and the sport fishing community have lost a true champion.
Courtesy of Wayne Kruse-The Everett Herald 2015