Anthony Greer spent much of his life fishing. He began keeping a journal about his exploits when he was as young as 5, not only writing about river conditions and which fly was working but also penning philosophical essays.
He tried to fish every day when he wasn't working or going to school, starting with Jordan River canals near his South Jordan home, finding close-to-home reservoirs and eventually becoming a fine fly caster.
Greer discovered the Provo, fishing the middle and lower sections. He loved angling at Flaming Gorge and the Green River, where he worked at the Flaming Gorge Resort fly shop and as a guide for two years starting in 2006.
He dreamed of buying a piece of land and building a cabin in Dutch John where he could fish in the spring at Antelope Flats for big spawning rainbows and cutthroats or spend time on the Green, where he loved to nymph.
"What set Anthony apart was that when he met a complete stranger, he would chat you up and ask how your day was," recalled his father, Mark.
If the stranger wasn't having a good day fishing, Anthony would pull his fly boxes open, find the right fly and tie it on perfectly. He would wait until the angler got into some fish, smile and walk away with a single parting word.
The young angler told his father he was writing a book about fly fishing in Utah. More than one of his English teachers commented that Greer possessed a rare talent and that he should consider becoming an outdoors writer.
Those dreams ended March 19, when an accident claimed the 24-year-old's life.
"Anthony had a special gift for being a friend to everyone," read his obituary. "His smile was contagious. He was loyal, honest and dependable in his efforts to love, serve and take care of others. Very few men have had such a meaningful impact on so many people as Anthony did on those that he came in contact with."
Mark Greer searched his son's laptop for the fly-fishing book manuscript, but only managed to find a few details. Then he began looking through those fishing journals where he came across an essay called "The River."
Anthony had hoped to see one of his essays published. "The River" speaks to those of us who have spent time fishing, floating or sitting next to running water.
Where does one venture when the responsibilities of life weigh heavy upon the mind? The answer, of course, is very simple. We go to where no others bother to look. The places we visit, time after time. The River.She's always there. Always willing to share her bounty to the dedicated. The few. The ones who got the bug early and have never ceased to stop the quest for knowledge. The River, although a temptress at times, never ceases to amaze, and even if she takes your breath away, we always find ourselves coming back for more.
This, my friends, is not passion, hobby or sport. It cannot as easily be summed in those words. In a few enlightened anglers' minds lies an addiction so deep, I dare say, that even after a lifetime of angling they would begin to feel satisfied.
Or maybe these are just the rants of one lone fish bum?
â Anthony Greer
Tom Wharton is an outdoors and travel columnist. Reach him at email@example.com or 801-257-8909.