Outdoor Storytellers – Grandson Remembers Mentor

COLVILLE — As a local fishing legend passes away, one family member spoke out about his experience with this incredible angler.

“He’s lived a full enough life for probably ten people. He just lived life to the fullest. Period,” Andy Hydorn said.

Hydorn is talking about his grandfather, Benny, who recently died and left a legacy that meant more than just family.

“Oh man, he really meant the world to me, Hydorn said. “If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have the knowledge I have. Period. I grew up with only my mom.”

Hydorn recalls how Benny took him in as a surrogate son and gave him all of the fishing and life lessons that he knew.

“Benny was always there as my dad as my father-figure and, you know, taught me what I needed to know as a man and if I grow up to be half as smart as he was I’ll be doing pretty good.” Hydorn said.

Hydorn spent a lot of his time with Benny out on Deep Lake in eastern Washington. Hydorn says that he learned a lot from Benny about everything.

“I suppose the immediate things. Patience. And understanding for nature, what nature means. How we can experience it and enjoy it,” Hydorn said. “But then there’s the underlying things the deeper things. You spend time together you share stories share life. You know you’re out there. You’re fishing. What else is there to talk about? Life.”

Benny taught his grandson that life is not only about the things you do in it, but also about the things you do with it.

“And he says, just go do it. You got the time that opportunity will never be here again. Just go do it. So once in awhile just go do it.”

It was with that principle that Benny lived his own life. He took chances and did not harbor any regrets.

Experiences in life were best spent fishing on Deep Lake and catching cutthroat trout.

Before Benny passed away, he had this to say about fishing and life.

“That’s the way you do it. You don’t try to do it by yourself. You depend on a good skipper.”

Although Hydorn’s mentor has now passed on, he learned to navigate the waters in life from one that was great.