Rob met Sam for the first time in Pleasanton California in 2014 at the annual Fly Fishing Show. Sam had sat in on Rob’s presentation on Peacock Bass. Sam looked like the rest of the, getting old too fast, retired and living in California, looking for more information, fly fishing club member that Rob would run into at these kinds of events. What we were about to find out was Sam was more of an Airplane flyin, harmonica playin, world travelin, under a tarp in the jungle sleepin, Arapaima chasin, country servin, business ownin, beer drinkin, push-up champion. Needles to say Sam’s story is gonna be worth the read.
Sam was born in 1938 in Mississippi and Moved to New Mexico just after that. As a kid Sam did some fishing with his father but there were not a lot of places to go. So Sam spent a lot of time working weekends and summers at his dads building supply business. Sam’s first car was a 1931 Model A in which he bought for $55.
He went to college at New Mexico State and soon after joined the Navy where he became an officer. His last tour of duty was aboard a river boat in Vietnam. After the navy Sam moved to Santa Cruz in 1967 and the age of 29, started a company he still owns today called TOTLCOM which manages telephone and Data systems all over California.
Sam is a pilot and his story of flying airplanes is more interesting than his fishing stories. Sam got his Pilot’s license in 1974 followed by a commercial, instrument and instructor license as well. In 1976 Sam and a buddy flew their girl friends to Panama for a long weekend. These types of trips got longer and longer until in 1982 when Sam and his now wife Elana took a trip that would end up being over 21,000 miles (The circumference of the earth is 25,000) and was to the tip of South America, Cape Horn, lasted 40 days and included a few days to visit Elena’s relatives in Argentina.