The fly-fishing world lost its most beloved straight-man last night, when Reese Ferguison passed away at the age of 46 after a several-year battle with cancer. In his role as “Crazy Reese,” the near-silent favorite client of Hank Patterson, Reese’s dry, dead-pan responses to Hank’s zaniness made both characters even funnier. (I say “near-silent” because, although I always thought of Reese as Teller to Patterson’s Penn, when I went back to the very first Hank video (below), I realized that Reese actually speaks right off the bat.)
Reese appeared in seven Hank Patterson videos, but about two years ago, he became too sick to participate. At the time, Travis Swartz (who plays Hank) told the Boise Weekly, “Well, he’s not physically in the videos anymore, but … none of it would exist if it weren’t for him.”
In fact, according to Travis, the videos were Reese’s idea in the first place, and he always encouraged Swartz to keep going and make more. The main reason they made the first video was to win the 2012 The Drake fly-fishing film contest, so they could use the $1,000 prize money to make a film about Reel Recovery. That film, “Be Well! Fish On!” A Reel Recovery Experience, debuted in 2013, with Reese as one of its main subject. It’s well worth your time to watch it.
Reese and Travis were high-school buddies who grew up together in Boise, Idaho, and theirs was a great partnership. This morning, Travis offered a heart-felt goodbye on the Hank Patterson Facebook page:
I lost the best friend a person could ever hope to have last night and it breaks my heart. . . . I can never repay the laughs and wisdom and friendship that Reese brought to my life. The joy that Hank Patterson has given me, the friendships with so many fly fishers all over the world is all because of him. It was his idea to make the 1st video, his idea to make the 2nd video and his idea for me to keep it going. Please take a moment today and the next time you are on a river to remember Crazy Reese! and the smiles and laughs he’s brought to your lives. Remember to let your friends know how much you love them and appreciate them.
Reese leaves his wife, Kim, and their two kids, Justin and Maia. He will be missed by the entire fly-fishing community.
If you’ve ever laughed at one of these great videos, consider making a gift in his memory (or in memory of someone else in your life who suffered from cancer) to Reel Recovery.
13 thoughts on “Reese Ferguison, Co-Star of Hank Patterson Videos, Passes Away”
Sincere condolences to Travis and all those that knew and loved Reese. Too young indeed!
Be at peace…You have done well by your pal…..
RIP. Gone but not forgotten.
RIP my dear friend….in the few years we worked at Loon Outdoors together you taught me so much about life, and how to live it. I’m a better person from knowing you….I will remember you always, and look forward to seeing you on the other side.
Huge condolences to his family. His videos bring a lot of happiness to a lot of people around the world. Including here in Ireland.
RIP, loved what you gave us.
Reese is my son, and as his mother, I could not be more proud of that man. He will always be one of my little boys that turned out to be awesome. Just reading all the posts from “Everywhere” was overwhelming. I had to quit reading several times to compose myself as you can imagine. Thank you to all who enjoy the Hank Patterson and Reel Recovery experiences. They meant a lot to Reese. All of your prayers have helped. Thank you again for all the love and support..
Reese is my son, and as his mother, I could not be more proud of that man, He will always be one of my little boys that turned out to be awesome, Just reading all the posts from “Everywhere” was overwhelming. I had to quit reading several times to compose myself as you can imagine. Thank you to all who enjoy the Hank Patterson and Reel Recovery experiences. They meant a lot to Reese. All of your prayers have helped. Thank you again from the family for all the love and support.
Reese touched our lives in ways nobody else has or ever will. Reese was my husband’s “wing man” when we met over 17 years ago (June 5, 1998). Literally, I would not have met my husband if Reese hadn’t poked him saying, “That girl is checkin’ you out!” ;). He was a friend and brother in Jesus that we loved and always felt enriched after spending time with him. We are so thankful to have known him, are so sad that he was taken so soon, and thankful that he is no longer in pain and struggling. We look forward to hanging out with him in Heaven some day again!
Thank you, Orvis, for publishing such a wonderful commentary on my beloved husband Reese. He is deeply missed, but tributes such as yours have lightened the load of this great loss considerably.
Wow. Such a shame. The videos were good for laughs for sure, allowing us to poke fun at ourselves. I think quite a few anglers have a little Hank and a little Reese in them. I have always known the root of the entertainment was to raise support for Reel Recovery. The world needs more guys like that. ……Snap it.