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WWII Veteran and Expert Fly Fisher Honored in Oxford

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OXFORD, N.Y. -

96-year-old Phil Crooks was honored in front of his family for his expertise in fly fishing and ability to tie flies. 

"Phil is from our greatest generation and he was one of the premier fly tiers in the country at one time," said Gary Romanic, Broome Veterans Fly Fishers Co-Chair.

The organization estimates that Crooks has tied over half a million flies commercially after returning from World War II. Not a man of many words, Crooks was surprised to receive the honor. "This was something I didn't expect."

His son, David Crooks, says his father got into fishing to provide for his family.

"Dad fished to put food on the table," said David Crooks. "He was an excellent fisherman, he would always bring home his limit and your limit if you let him."

The Veterans Fly Fishers have promised Phil a free boating trip in the future, so he can get back out on the water and relive his lifelong passion.

"He probably could do it if we could get him on a boat and it would take a month of Sunday's to wipe the smile off of his face," said David Crooks.

Tune into Fox 40 HD News on Sunday for more on how Phil is giving back to current Veterans one fly at a time.