Trapper Rudd, who started the Silverthorne, Colorado, fly shop Cutthroat Anglers—and built it into a thriving business—passed away May 5, 2016, at the Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida, where he lived. He had suffered a massive heart attack two days earlier.
Capt. Trapper Rudd was well known in the fly-fishing world as a saltwater guide and also as a global do-it-yourself adventurer who published mostly self-filmed videos of his adventures in Mexico and around the world. He was charming and genuine in real life and on film—even though he spent many hours in front of a camera, he was never acting (except that one time he did an infomercial for Fish-D-Funk). A pioneer of digital media, he was making selfie videos before the word was coined, and before GoPro was a brand.
The first time we fished together was on the Colorado River, and in the many years we’ve met and talked since then, he never lost his infectious enthusiasm for the the “next big trip” he was planning. Trapper was a true people person though, and never a bragger. He always seemed even more interested in your next big trip, or eager to hear about your previous adventure.
Longtime friend Jeff Futzer wrote this of Trapper: “If you knew him for a short time you’d be lifelong friends, If you took a trip with him, you were never just a sport and a guide, you were an adventurer on the most excellent exhibition of your life. If you knew him any length of time, you knew he had your back in a bar fight or to get your first Permit.”