: Who do you fish with???
05-14-2003, 12:31 AM
I was thinking about my Grandfather today. He passed on Dec. 2, 1997. It was cold that day. Rainy and dreary like most Decembers are in Kentucky. I will never forget that day...how the wind cut to your very soul...how the silence of the gray afternoon was broken by mid-migration Canadians on a nearby pond. When i heard those birds, i cried. Granddad loved the geese. And the ducks....it made the reality of his passing when those graceful birds flew to better climes. But i knew in my heart, that Granddad was just like his beloved birds, he too, was moving on to better climes. I resented the fact that i could not follow. I resented the fact that I could not keep him with me forever. I resented the fact that never again would we wade the Clinch, or the Nolichucky, or the Holston. Never again would i see his soft grin underneath that Caterpillar hat as i hauled in bluegill after bluegill. I miss him. I miss him a little more each day. But most of all, I miss having my fishing buddy around on rainy days to sit by the window and plan for the next trip while we dressed his old silk lines.
Fly fishing was a tradition, a heritage, a culture for my Granddad. Born and raised in Texas, he fly fished the East Texas creeks as a boy, and hiked through the deserts in search of Western trout and himself. He once said, " Always keep looking for your true self, my boy, because if you have already found who you are, the trip is over." He never really found himself, despite being extremely respected in the business community of my Ky hometown. But he was a strong man. He was a fair man. he was a respected man. He was a loved man. He was Sam Hancock, and everyone in two states knew it.
Every time i step into our old waters, i can hear him whispering to me, "He's right there boy, next to that big rock. Use a #4 bugger on him. He can't pass that up." Sometimes i can hear him right behind me, counting softly to the rhythm of my cast. Sometimes when the light is right, i can see him, just up ahead, waving to me as he ventures on downstream. i fish our old waters alone. It seems almost sinful to take someone else along. Those were our waters. And it shall remain so, at least until I'm a grandfather, and even then , It will seem strange to be there, fishing the timeless waters, wading the same deep pools, without him to guide us along. I miss him. He was the best damned man i have ever known.
I know we all have someone just as special as Granddad. Who calls to you when you are on those old waters? Who waits for you just up around the bend? Hell, maybe Granddad is there with them, just waiting for us to catch up.:)
05-14-2003, 06:39 AM
When I think of the best times I've had on the water, they, too, have always been with my grandfather, who is really more of a father to me than a grandfather. His fishing tales from when he was a youth to later when in the Royal Marines have always kept me entertained. I think it's been about 30 years since he picked up the long rod, as we have always used spinning tackle or surf-casting tackle when fishing together, but many of my fondest memories of fishing are from my childhood when I would spend the Summers in Greenville, SC, fishing Lake Robinson and many of the local ponds in search of largemouth and bluegills, both of which we'd always find one way or another, or when he and my grandmother would come and visit us on our lake in NJ, in search of pickerel. I've been thinking about building him a 5-wt. for Father's Day... I'll order the components for it today. I only hope that when the time comes, I can be as great a grandfather to my grandchildren as he has been for my cousins and I. God bless grandfathers everywhere...
05-14-2003, 07:07 AM
My best fishing partners have been, in order of appearance:
My Dad, 76
My buddy Artie, 42
My girlfriend Lorraine, 29
Neither of the 2 boys fish much anymore & Lor took it up last year.
My Dad is slowing way down but right now he's out in Califronia teaching the only grandson how to catch fish. They asked Bradley what he wanted to do with his Grampy - he said, "Go fishing." It was a surprise because Bradley is mad into hockey & karate - he never mentioned fishing before...
05-14-2003, 08:06 AM
I have different people that I fish with, and those who go with me on a regular basis are trusted friends or loved ones. I love to share the experience with them, even if some of them are just picking up the sport. It reminds me of past times when I struggled with a thing or two (and still do).
My best long time partner is my dad. I gained some serious perspective late last year when he had heart surgery...what would life be like without him? He has taught me more about fishing in general then everyone else in my life combined. His values towards the environment and outdoors extend to other things in day-to-day happenings. I can't wait for our trip with Capt. Ray. It's gonna be a blast, and really good to get back to having some father and son levity.
My best hard core partner is Bert. He and I met a few years back when he was doing contract renovation work at my place of employment and through casual conversation we learned about our respective loves of flyfishing. He's usually the culprit who goes with me on long weekends to the Cape, or spends 18 hour days in South County, or 10 hours in the john boat chasing bass and bluegills...his comaraderie and enthusiasm are always welcome and appreciated.
And lastly, my newest partner in flyfishing is my wife. She caught her first flyrod fish a few years ago, and since the acquisition of our boat she has shown a pretty serious interest in developing her skills. She ties a hefty number of flies every winter and likes to see what I catch with them, but this year I think she's turning a corner....she wants to see just what she can catch with them.
And then of course there's all of the great Forum members I've had the pleasure of fishing with....but I don't need to tell all of you how great you are. :)
Yeah, it was family that taught me about the outdoors. Parents, great uncles, uncles and cousins .... and it was a great experience. Fishing and hunting. Last family experience was deer hunting with Cousin Phil. He was 78, and we spent a week together, as was our custom, at my cabin. A month after I took a picture of him with a nice, fat 4-pointer, he too passed on. He was one of the last of the "greatest generation", and guided me in life and career, as well as taking "us kids" everywhere, as did all of the other family.
I hunt and fish alone now, for the most part. My kids are grown up, chasing their own kids and careers, and my grandchildren are my best friends, but are a little too small to fish yet. In a couple of years....
My old high school buddy and I get together once or twice a year to "do some fishin'" and bring each other up to date.
A lot of our old friends, however, have passed on.
Finding someone to go fishin' when you are retired and have lots of free time is tough - most folks my age don't want to go, but I do, so I go alone. Most guys I meet on stream are in the same boat, and are a good crowd.
And a lot of memories - it's easy to think, "if Great Uncle Tim could see this" with the big Great Lakes steelies and browns, "Boy, Phil and Uncle Jack would enjoy this", when fighting a salmon...
So they are still with me - at least in spirit. And God bless 'em - every one!
05-14-2003, 03:01 PM
i have often thought this, and reading the great replies we have already generated, i have learned that those that are the dearest to us are the only ones we trust to share our secret spots!!!!!! You can't just go tromping into you favoratie spot with a "new" friend or a stream neophyte...it's fishing not, babysitting! The long days on the water with a kindred soul are always the best...
05-15-2003, 01:10 AM
Hands down number 1 is my dad, who is age 78 now. I last got to fish with him 3 years ago when he and my younger brother and his then 12 year old daughter (my nice, Kate, who got a Kelson version of the full-dressed feather wing Kate from me during the visit because John told me before hand that she had started tying flies the year before and really liked full-dressed feather wings) came to visit me in Washigton State for a week in mid-June. Unfortunately, the rains were very heavy for the week before they got here and the rivers were all blown until the last 2 days they were here. No summer runs were touched by us though because even though the rivers cleared, they were still high and in the willows making it tough to get new steelheaders to the fish.
Number 2 is my beautiful wife who began fly fishing the summer we got married. I taught her how to cast on the lawn, and took her to fish Prickly Pear Creek in Montana (we lived 30 miles away from it). Long story short, she caught a 3lb brown in the first 15 minutes of fishing on a LaFontaine Emerging Caddis. This hooked her immediately and I love fishing with her.
Number 3 are my kids.
Number 4 is my very good and dear friend Bob Arnold, a fellow steelhead fanatic who I never get to see often enough or get to fish often enough with.
My very dear friend Manuel or Fortuna, CA, formally of Port Angeles. A wonderful friend and an excellent steehlead fly fisher. He has never gotten bitten by the 2-hander though. It is always a treat each September through November when he come to Port Angeles and Forks, WA to fish for summer runs on the Olympic Peninsula and I get to go visit and fish with him.
Then there are my friends John and Jim of Port Angeles, WA. Great fishing buddies and good company. I don't get to see or fish often enough with them either. My friend William of Woodinville, WA. My friend Allen, formally of Woodinville, now of Spokane, WA since he retired.
And I would be remiss if I did not acknowleged the several folks that I've met here on the boards with whom I have had the priviledge to share a run with on a steelhead river. Thank you guys.
There were Tom and Lowell of Helena, MT when I lived near there. And Hank, Gary, Gene, and Dick of Great Falls, MT. Frank of Dillon, MT. All of whom I have not seen since moving to Washington 12 years ago.
Tim of Delano, PA and Cal and Max of Hazleton, PA. Tim and I grew up together and both were taught how to fly fish by our fathers (who were fishing buddies) at age 6. We shared many a day astream until I left Pennsylvania at age 25.
Those past friends who fly fished that I have not seen since making rather long distance moves are greatly missed. However, I have been a blessed man because each time I moved, I found new friends who fished and loved it as much as I.
05-15-2003, 02:01 AM
I guess I am paranoid in that I have always held the beleif that lurking around the bend there "lies" another who will try and replace my stance in the "Piscene world". Shallow though I may be I am non the less ready to be the one that is not there when you arrive. I only fish with others when I am certain that I can not find the company of fish! Oh what a boreing selfish sort I am tsk tsk.
05-16-2003, 11:07 AM
My general interest in fishing came from seeing old B&W photos of my maternal grandpa holding up muskies, pike ,walleyes and bass. By the time i was old enuff to fish my grandma had him under her thumb and would not allow him to fish or anything fun on her watch (kinda ahead of her time;) ). I never new my father. But when my grandpa passed on i got his gear. I lived near a nice river and taught myself to fish...alone.
To this day that is how i do most of my fishing. I don't mind if some one comes along, though i don't abide by any complaining about the fishing or weather. Before i moved away i did alot of fishing with my brother he doesn't fly fish and y'all know what that's like. I.ve taken my wives fishing, no i'm not a mormon seperate marriages, but they can never be as head down concentrate go all day and into the night as I:)
05-16-2003, 02:28 PM
i find myself fishing with my dearest freind in the world "Biggen" Roberts, of Frankfort, Ky.....more often than not we spend the day on the creek with the ghosts of our childhood and wishing they were there.
05-16-2003, 02:31 PM
For me the most frequent fishing partner is my son. Its not flyfishing yet though.
05-16-2003, 05:00 PM
My Border Collie, Sophie Linn.
05-17-2003, 01:21 AM
dogs are always great companions! had an old shepard named Kla that would follow me to the ends of the earth...she loved the water...always had a swimming pal if the fish weren't biting!!! ah, sweet memories!!