Driftless Trout Anglers

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stan b  
#1 Posted : Thursday, January 11, 2018 10:00:50 PM(UTC)
stan b
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 11/29/2016(UTC)
Posts: 243
Location: New Berlin, WI

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Was thanked: 23 time(s) in 17 post(s)

The Bamboo Fly Rod and The Rainbow Trout

I was about 13 or 14 maybe 12.
I was invited with a neighbor to go to Meremac Springs to trout fish.
This place was a Missouri Conservation Commission put and take trout stream.
My Dad wasn't going, but he pulled a rod case from his closet and began to show me the contents.
It was a beautiful bamboo fly rod.
Along with it came a J. C. Higgins reel, which by all standards was nothing to sneeze at in the day.
My Dad tried to explain to me the value of this rod.
It went over my head as all I had ever fished for blue gills with was a Pfluegger bait casting set up.
Adequate, but not fancy.
MY Dad warned me many times "whatever you do DON'T lay this on the ground."
I was near the crowds, we could see the trout stacked up in the pools.
I decided to be me and wander down the stream.
I found a quiet spot and began feeding line out down the stream through the riffle.
We were using velveeta cheese for bait, pretty crude and lame for the sport, but I plea ignorance!RollEyes
It was the fashion of the times.
Any ways after a few minutes I got a strike!!!!
I played this sucker for what seemed like an eternity (5 hours? ) as I had easily 3 or 400 yards of line out, remember I was about 13!
AS it came nearer my net, I realized that this fish was different than the pool fish.
I could see the pink and blue and green and he was enormous.
The biggest most beautiful trout of all times!
I landed the fish........my heart was racing, if only everyone could see this beautiful gift from the river!
But no one did.
I held it in both hands and beheld the unrivaled beauty of this creature, the likes of which I had never seen.
What a trophy.
The fish shuddered and slipped from my grasp and was gone!
I jumped up and tried to grab him back, to no avail.
Well when I turned to pick up my gear I had done the unforgivable!
YES, I layed the bamboo fly rod on the ground and I STEPPED on it, breaking the tip!
I told my Dad about the fish that no one saw and manned up about the rod.
It was very difficult.
My Dad told me to remember that fish, it didn't matter who else saw it, I did and that's all that matters in the end.
He didn't say anything about the rod, not a word.
But I never saw that rod again, EVER!
My Dad passed a few years back and there were a great many things he left me.........but the Bamboo Fly Rod was not among them!
Not sure where it went.
I fly fish often now and every time I get out my Dad and the Bamboo fly rod are there.
Thanks Dad, for the Rainbow trout I caught, and the bamboo fly rod.
And bittersweet lesson on "what was big, the being there."

"So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold
#2 Posted : Friday, January 12, 2018 1:19:08 AM(UTC)
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 9/19/2015(UTC)
Posts: 521
Location: La Crosse, WI

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 31 time(s) in 23 post(s)
Great story Stan. Well done.
Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.
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