For me, that was Mr. Coles. At 8 you didn't ask a man in his 'later years,' how
"My mentor as a child growing into the world of the angler, was about as far away from an eletist as one could get. However he taught me a very valued lesson in this regard and I have more or less made it a guiding principle in my angling and life beyond that."
old he was, he was just old. And knew everything about everything. Patience of God with a young kid, taught me how to tie simple flys, then on to the river to see if they worked. Some did, most didn't ... but his "version" of the same thing almost always worked. A goal to shoot for. I may have been eight, but I wasn't dumb.
One of his lessons was to take 'stuff' and see if you could make something that would work. 50+ years later I'm still trying ... and still thinking about "Mr. Coles."