2 Local Legends…

The community gathering for Chester Marion's funeral service

Don Williams - the man, the myth, the legend...

Livingston lost two of the best anglers the Yellowstone River has ever known this year.  Chester Marion, a guide and school teacher, (famous for the Marion Spruce) had caught more Yellowstone monster browns on a fly than anyone.  Many may still remember seeing Chester’s silhouette, chest deep in the river, (perhaps with a cigar in his mouth), launching a 300 grain lines as far as the eye can see.  While the angling community will miss his passion for fly fishing, perhaps those who will miss Chester most are the students and athletes who’s lives he changed.  I remember asking Chester if he had been fishing very much and he smiled, “Yeah … a little bit.   … every day.”

Don “Willie” (as his school mates called him) was one of those guys you rarely meet in life.  Aside from being an unbelievable sportsman and guide, Don was someone that everyone looked up to and wanted to spend time with.  He had the charisma and skills of Lee Wulff, Joe Brooks, and Lefty Kreh.  Talk about an example of a career path – Don was paid to hunt and fish the world he loved so much.  As a conservationist, Don was one of the hardest workers the Joe Brooks Trout Unlimited chapter has ever seen.  His efforts to clean, preserve, and protect our waters were inspiring and significant.   You could see how much he wanted the next generation to enjoy the outdoors as he had.  Don was a tough guy and his soul shined through his multiple bouts of chemo.  Next time you’re fishing the Yellowstone, think about Chester and Don and perhaps one of them will come down and hook you up to a big brown…

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