They’re always there to greet you with a wagging tail and expression of pure joy. They can be classified as a shop dog or skiff dog but either way you look at it, they’re a fisherman’s best friend. Once a dog makes the maiden voyage on a boat or walks into the fly shop, he or she expects to accompany ever time. Flint, my 4 year old Brittany, has been on the water with me for 2 years.  Every time I say “Ready to go fishing?” he knows exactly what I mean and bolts to the door. I can always count on Flint to be there for me when I have a buddy bail on a fishing trip. No matter the weather conditions or location, he’s always ready to load up and hit the water. The only time I feel like he’s let down on the trip is if we’re skunked and he doesn’t get his tail lick. Sorry buddy, skunks happen.

The same can be said for the loyal shop dog. He’s always there to greet you at the door and welcome you with a warming tail wag. Banks, Head Guide Garner Reid’s English Setter, was well known amongst the regulars at Cohutta Fishing Co. He was loved by all for his laid back and charming personality.

Unfortunately, Banks has moved on and is now enjoying the never ending boat ride in the sky. Some dogs are made to be part of the fishing family and Banks set the standard.

When it comes down to it, a dog around the shop or boat makes the experience that much better. Having a partner around on your “solo” days or around the shop when customers are scarce never leads to a dull time. So before you hit the water next time, consider taking your dog along for the ride. If it’s a mutt or your wife’s prized Pomeranian, just get out there and enjoy time with Man’s best friend.

In loving memory of Banks