Tom Hegelson Passes

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

From a report by Bob White, Whitefish Studio


Our good friend, Tom Helgeson, has crossed his last river; he's gone to the other side where the winds are fair, and the water is bright. Among many things, Tom was the creator, publisher and editor of Midwest Fly Fishing, and one of the big reasons I do what I do.

I've known Tom since 1982. He'd just opened a small fly fishing shop in South Minneapolis, which he called Bright Waters. I was counseling inner city kids and their families, and on the edge of burn out, when I saw a modest ad for the shop in the Sunday paper. It struck me that I could use an evening/weekend job to meet some normal people. So, I wandered into the shop and looked around; there wasn't much there, but I examined everything he had twice while I worked up the nerve to inquire about a job. "Could you use some part-time help?" I asked hopefully. "I'm available evenings and weekends."

Tom looked down from the newspaper he'd been pretending to read while determining if I was a shoplifter, and examined me over his glasses. "Look around you, kid," he said motioning to the four corners of the tiny shop. "Does it look like I need any help?"

So, began a 28 year friendship... and now he's gone.

Tom will be missed by a lot of people.