Kris Robert Hughes and his brother, Keith, were romping through Connetquot River State Park Preserve on Long Island when they saw two men, older men, fishing in a river. Their lines were flying back and forth over their heads in controlled motions, said their father, Robert Hughes.
The men looked at peace. Kris, who was about 10, and Keith, about 11, looked at each other. They stopped and decided to check it out, said their mother, Elaine Hughes.
"The men told them they were fly-fishing," she said. "They picked the men's brains for hours, and they were hooked. They got books, researched it and became fly fishermen. Fly fishermen use microscopic flies as bait. They learned to hand-tie them themselves."
The two brothers, who grew up in Nesconset, N.Y., did most everything together. Another time, they learned to train red-tailed hawks on eastern Long Island. They trapped them in potato fields, where the birds prey on mice, rabbits and pheasants.
"They just love nature," Mrs. Hughes said. "Kris, especially, was one with nature. He always had to have pets — ducks, chickens, cats, dogs, parakeets. They all liked him. Ducks sat on his lap. If I went near the things, they would start pecking at me."
The brothers even worked together on the risk-arbitrage desk at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods on the 89th floor of 2 World Trade Center.
About two years ago, Keith Hughes, 31, took a job at another company away from the World Trade Center. Kris Hughes, 30, remained.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on February 12, 2002.