I was reminded of my grandma and her fly rod by a comment on another thread...here's the true story of her fly rod.
My grandmother was the world's greatest fisherman. She could, and did, out fish anyone, anywhere at any time under any conditions. But, I have to mention that she fished with a cane pole and minnows. She was a bank fisher, but sometimes got out on a boat - with her cane pole. She either didn't understand fishing rods and reels, or was perfectly satisfied with what she knew.
One Christmas, before my teen years, she was given a deluxe super fancy high priced fly rod and reel. It was a beauty. It had the automatic reel, a new style device that you wound up a spring inside, when you depressed the little lever it would wind the line back up quick as a snake. It was a nine-foot six weight with floating line. Grandma had never seen a fly rod before and didn't know what to make of it, other than she was happy to have a really cool brand new fishing pole.
Grandpa was a little more worldly. He was born in West Virginia and had seen rich crazy folks fly fishing once. He explained how it worked to grandma. I don't know what her son thought she would do with it when he gave it to her, he wasn't there at the time. Fly fishing was extraordinarily exotic in our part of the world. No one fly fished for a thousand miles in any direction. I think grandpa may have been the only one in our county who knew anything about it at all, and his knowledge was pretty limited.
He took her out in the yard and showed her what he had seen, but never done himself. The good news was that he didn't put a hook on it. The bad news was that it was not a good example. Grandma watched him for a few minutes and said "I understand, I got it." Took her rod and went back in the house. I was waiting with great anticipation for our next fishing trip. That didn't come until next summer as we were living out of the state at the time. Our Christmas visit was necessarily limited to two days.
I started reading outdoor magazines - Fish and Stream, Outdoor Life. Best I recall there were only those two back then. I read every article on fly fishing that came up. I had a child's eye view of how it was supposed to look and work. I couldn't wait to see her fly fishing like that.
Summer comes and we come back to Texas for a visit and finally we go fishing. Grandma takes her fly rod. I'm pumped up. I can't wait to see her wade out into the stock tank and start whipping that fly back and forth and catching trout. Child's eye view mind you. I had learned from my reading that if you had a fly rod you caught trout. Location didn't figure into it - in my mind. Fly fishing meant trout. I wanted to see a trout about as bad as I wanted to see her casting her fly rod.
Grandma told me she loves that fly rod, it is a hundred times better than a cane pole. It has given her a new and better way of fishing and she has been catching a lot more fish than ever before. We get to the tank and she sets down on the bank, puts a minnow on the hook, clips a cork at the right depth onto the line, strips out about twenty feet of line and sails that minnow way out there. I was stunned. She wasn't fly fishing, she was just plain old fishing.
She had a lot more range now, and with small fish she just pushed that lever and zinged those fish right in. She was tickled to death with the system she now had. She used it for the rest of her life.
Grandma had the most expensive high falutin goshdarned classy cane pole in the whole county. Maybe the whole state. And boy did she catch the fish with it.
Edited by Lloyd5 (07/09/15 06:52 AM)