A few weeks ago LadyFisher wrote about what different
people collect. As I remember she asked what each of us
collected. That thought stayed in my mind and wandered
around there. There are several folks that might admit to
thinking that there is a great deal of room for thoughts to
roam in my head. Even worse, there are times that I might
agree with that.
In any case that thought wandered around and I had it come
to mind several times. My wife feels that I collect fishing rods
and tying materials. That lasted until there were some people
that showed pictures of their tying rooms. I was able to forward
those to my wife and she realized that I was very far behind in
collecting materials. I was also reminded that I really did not have
to try to catch up to the others.
A few people had pictures of their rod racks and the number
of fly rods on those. I know that I am far behind in the number
of rods that I own. With the bamboo rod that I got I can outfit
the disciples and use one of them myself. I think that I am done
collecting fly rods. But if I find another bamboo I might have to
revisit that thought. The dark side can be very addicting.
What I realized was that I collect two things. I have a great deal
more room for each of the things that I collect. I suspect that I
may not be alone in either of these collections.
First, is fishing memories. There are many of these. Many of
these go back to days before I ever looked at a fly rod.
They are good memories.
One old memory is of hand-lining to catch salmon. There
was an old fisherman in Seward, Alaska that had hand-lined
for years. Somehow my Uncle found out about him and invited
him to go out fishing with us. We found out as we went out that
he had not been fishing for years as he could not afford a boat
that would allow him to be out on the bay.
He did bring the materials to hand-line fish. He asked me if I
wanted to try it and I was game for it. We tied the hooks on
and baited the herring on the hooks. There was about a two
foot leader for this rig. At that point you toss it overboard and
let a bunch of line out through your hands. The line was stored
in a plastic bucket. The line was close to what the backing is now
for fly rods.
When a fish hit you yanked on the line you were holding in
your hand. This was to set the hook.
It was then a battle to bring the fish in. To bring line in you
reached out with one hand and grabbed the line and pulled
the hand to your body. The other hand was turning the line
around in the bucket. If the fish pulled too hard then you
needed to let some line run out through your hands. The
spooling of the line in the bucket had to be done fairly
carefully so that the line could flow out smoothly and evenly.
It took a long time to bring the fish in. When a fish takes
50 to 100 yards of line out, you don't think much about it.
When hand-lining that is from 25 to 50 hand pulls. Not a
quick way to land a fish. I did this on two fish and then
gave up and went with a rod. But what a great memory.
I have several memories of ponds and the fish that I
caught there. I still remember the first pond that I caught
fish on with a fly rod. I was gone on the first fish that I
hooked on the fly rod.
My first casts could have parted the "Red Sea" when they
hit the water. Grace was not part of my fly fishing experience
then, and might not be now.
The other things that I collect is fly fishing friends. I have
too many of those to try to name them and not miss some
of them. Many of them I have not met. There are others
that I have met and fished with. Hopefully I will get to fish
with more of you in the future.
This is a very short description of what I collect. It would
take way to much time to try to list them all. I am sure this
is also probably true for you also.
I hope you keep collecting as I am going to. ~ Rick