As you may have heard by now, the host of the fishing show Spanish Fly for more than 15 years, Jose Wejebe, died Friday afternoon when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed soon after takeoff from Everglades Airpark in Florida. The plane was a kit model that Wejebe had built himself over several years. You can find the story of the airplane here.
Back in 2007, I spent some time with Wejebe at a charity fly-fishing event in Colorado, and I found him charming and personable. Of course, he had tons of great stories of life in the water, on boats, and in exotic locales. He had a big heart, as well, supporting Hooked on a Cure (where I met him), as well as donating his time to other charities, such as Make a Wish Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. His loss will certainly be felt throughout the angling and non-angling communities he belonged to.
Take a few minutes to read the bio on his website, and you’ll see that he lived a fascinating life, starting out as a fishing guide and becoming one of angling’s great ambassadors. One of the things that I always found so compelling about Jose is that he simply flat-out loved fishing, no matter what the quarry or the method. He was also unpretentious, a trait that comes out clearly in the video clip below.