October 13, 2011 —
Within a few days, Barb and I will be packing up to return to Texas. Our time in the Northeast has flown by. It is now time for us to be, as Willy Nelson sings, “on the road again.” For the two of us, this has been a most disappointing fishing season. It was often disrupted by a number of trips downstate for various doctor tests and appointments. Further difficulties were encountered due to frequent high and dirty water in the local streams. There was just too much water running downhill. From the last week in July, when I mentored at the Trout Unlimited (TU) Fish Camp to the present, my fishing records show we were only able to make four short trips to Catskill streams. Even then the stream flows were higher than normal for this time of the year.
The Upper Delaware Chapter of TU was fortunate that it did not rain when it held its annual picnic at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center on October 1. Twenty members enjoyed a potluck lunch. Mr. Andrew Boyar will be our leader for the next two years. Mr. Craig English will be his vice president for this time. After the election, Ms. Karol Sundholm was given a round of applause for her two years of sterling leadership. The casting for accuracy contest generated a good deal of excitement this time. As the last contestant stepped to the line to cast, there were four casters tied for first place. The last caster was Ed Graham. He very calmly made his casts with precision accuracy. In a matter of moments, the possibility of an overtime casting session was ended. Mr. Graham won the contest for accuracy casting.
For weeks, I found myself frustrated by the fact that only once was I able to use that pretty new eight-foot bamboo rod that Dennis Menscer of Hancock, NY had built for me. As I write this, stream levels have been dropping, and perhaps I’ll be able to squeeze in one more fishing day before we leave for Texas.
Some days ago, Mr. Ado Poblete hosted a gathering of fly fishers and their wives. One of the attendees at that dinner was Mr. Gibson McKean. Mr. McKean showed us the most beautiful book regarding fishing that I have ever seen. In this book, there were some 50 color pictures of trout fishing and trout themselves. As you turned the pages, the photos covered both the left and right hand pages in one continuous picture. The book was put together without any visible stitches or glue lines. After allowing us all to view the book, we were told that there were only three copies of this book in existence. The book was given to Mr. McKean in appreciation of his generosity in sharing water that he owns with friends. Due to the rareness of this volume, it is absolutely priceless. Mr. McKean is a fortunate fellow to have friends like this.
Barb and I are looking forward to the 2012 fishing season and I will be tying lots of flies while down in the Lone Star State. In the meantime, this column will appear on the fourth Thursday of the month.
[From November through March, “The Complete Tangler” will appear once a month, the fourth week of the month.]