Most days, TRL anglers know Anthony as – well – as a dear, sweet and gentle man, a guide who never falters. One who is always there at just the right moment with your raincoat, a new fly to try, or a firm hand-up to the stream bank. Whether you need his attention or want your space, Anthony delivers right on target. And tea beside a stream? His now-famous boil-up can warm the chill out of the dreariest day.
That’s our Mr. Pittman at work, on the water.
But when his day off arrives, Anthony becomes . . . . . ‘The Beaver’.
Back up. . . hold on to something solid. . . and pump off another can of gas. Anthony has the chain saw out! And my sonny boy, the chips are gonna fly! On the Island, Anthony’s work days are spent in the forest clearing land and cutting wood. After a few days holding a landing net each summer, he gets the bad twitch for that old familiar vibration in his hands. Between breakfast and lunch, the mound of slabs from the sawmill is rendered into splits for hungry woodstoves. Saw-log rejects are diced into rounds, split and stacked on the cabin porches. And the suffering, sap-dripping spruce, ringed in the winter by careless porcupines, are soon felled and out of their misery. When the camps’ wood lot is strack and the saw is still smoking, Anthony will settle in with an old stump or disfigured log. In short order, an effigy, mascot or charm is born.
A man of deep faith, Anthony, in typical Newfie fashion, welcomes the challenge of the most difficult assignments. He thrives on the odd request or trek off the beaten path. (He’s known in the guides’ camp as “Mr. Middle Rick’s”). And don’t be fooled, Anthony has had his hands wrapped around some incredulous beasts of the fontinalis persuasion.
In the quiet hours of evening, Anthony loves to sit on the front porch and whittle away with a worn pocket knife, giving second life to a discarded chunk of dry spruce. If you’re out for a walk about camp and pass him by on your way to the dock, he’ll look up, nod and smile – a calm assurance that all is right in the wilderness.