Victor Manuel Castro
Victor Manuel Castro Gutierrez has passed on today. He had COVID-19. For those who didn’t know Victor, he was one of the best human beings I knew. I loved him as a fly fishing guide. He guided my first Permit in 2009. And he guided my biggest permit in 2017. It is still the biggest permit caught in the Silver Scales Fly Fishing Tournament.
But Victor was much more than a fly fishing guide. He became my best friend in Xcalak. Yes, we had a business relationship. His Osprey Tours guided the vast majority of Acocote Eco Inn guests. But Victor was also one of best people I know. He was generous, kind, and understanding. I knew that if I had a new saltwater fly fisherman, that Victor would be the best person to give them the best first experience in what is a difficult if rewarding past time. He loved fly fishing for bonefish. One of the last times I went out with him, we parked the boat and split up walking a large flat in Chetumal Bay. Of course, he caught a lot more fish than I did.
The last time I talked to him in person was a week ago Tuesday. I had just gotten back from the US, and he suspected that he had Covid. His mother and sister had just passed away from COVID-19. We stood 6 feet apart, outside, with masks on. He was still up beat, but he did say he hoped he would survive. I told him, he would be fine, he was young (we were the same age), and strong as an ox. I wish I were right.
I just want to remember all the times I stopped in front of his house, and yelled up “Hola”, only to have Linda or Marla from the Leaky Palapa next door say, “Oh, Victor’s in Chetumal today”. Or when we went out to dinner at Toby’s with the clients, or just hanging out by his boats shooting the shit. Or running into Victor and Flora at the Al Pastor booth at the Xcalak Establishment Anniversary. Or just FB messaging daily during high season. I’m going to miss Victor. A Lot.
I guess the only thing I have left is to say, “Farewell my friend.”