Writer, trailblazer, innovator, humorist ...

… and much more. TROUT mag columnist Paul Brunn wins coveted award from American Museum of Fly Fishing

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing someone receive the recognition they richly deserve.

So it will be in a few weeks when TROUT magazine’s “Classics” columnist, Paul Bruun, receives the 2022 Izaak Walton Award from the American Museum of Fly Fishing. 

Said AMFF in making the announcement: “Paul’s many contributions to the sport of fly fishing include his roles as writer, guide, industry trailblazer, mentor, conservationist, historian, innovator, humorist, and humanitarian. He is a renowned Wyoming float-trip outfitter and guide, and has penned his weekly “Outdoors” column in the Jackson Hole News and Guide since 1973. He was the founding editor and co-publisher of the Jackson Hole Daily newspaper, as well as a three-term town councilman affectionately known as the ‘Fishin’ Politician.’”

Truth is, I “inherited” Paul and his “Classics” column over 10 years ago when I took over as editor of TROUT magazine. But like most writers/editors in fishing and conservation, I knew and admired Paul well before then. He’s always been a role model.

Funny thing is, he’s also among the easiest, most humble, gracious yet incredibly proficient writers I’ve ever worked with. Nobody can turn a phrase quite like Paul can.

The thought behind “Classics” is simple: write (in 600 words or less) about some “iconic” tidbit of the trout fishing world. Paul has highlighted everything from innovative people to pocket knives, fly patterns to reels, and he’s done so in a way that makes us all think, “Gee, I never knew that!” But the best part is, he does it with a voice that never talks down to the reader. 

Undoubtedly, Paul has seen and done more than most anglers ever will. I keep thinking, “How did he come up with that?” when he sends me his stories. Then I simply read and learn.

Every time Paul shoots me a note, be it from his winter roost in Florida or home base in Wyoming, whether he’s ribbing me about a certain college football team or sharing a lead for another story or just checking in, he always closes with “Your friend, Paul B.” That makes me smile and consider myself lucky to have this friend.

So kudos to you, Paul. Well-deserved indeed. I look forward to the next “Classics.”

Your friend, Kirk D.

Read more: Chris Wood on Paul Bruun.