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Old 06-16-2013, 06:13 AM
hairwing530 hairwing530 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan
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Default Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...

Late yesterday afternoon, as the day was getting on toward evening, I answered a somewhat hesitant knock at our front door. There again was the man whose actions started this posting, and whose subsequent conduct has proven to be grounds for hope. With him were his two sons.

After the usual pleasanties, his question was simple and direct-- "Do you and your daughter have a little free time open tonight?" A quick consult with The Speaker of the House and daughter Jesse got the nods of approval, and plans were quickly put into play.

As a rule, I don't normally serve as a "guide" these days, with the exception of the rarest of occasions. In this case, however, I was willing to "invest" an hour or two, as it was clear that the man had things on his mind. And, I had just the perfect place in mind for both fishing and conversation, a somewhat remote woodland cabin known as "Trail's End." (See the post "I Met Myself Last Night..." for more about the cabin...)

We split off into two groups when we met up later, "Dad" and I going in one direction, and Jesse and the boys heading downriver to an area that's easily waded and fished before working their way back upstream. The man hooked up with two decent fish rather quickly, releasing both before asking a question that I knew was coming... "Do you mind if we go back to the cabin and just talk?" At that point, we climbed out of the river and headed back up the hill to the cabin porch.

The next hour or so was enlightening, to say the least. Mostly, he talked and I listened, and for all intents and purposes, I believe that was enough for him. His father passed on years ago, his death taking with it the only other person who truly understood his growing interest in fly-fishing. In "his" world, impressive titles and "keeping up with the Jones" were more the norm and the priorities rather than the gentle art of fishing with a fly. And, it frustrated him to no end, one of the reasons behind his former outbursts...

The sound of the boys and Jesse approaching from the river brought the conversation to a close, but not before he thanked me for taking the time to serve as a sounding board. Duly acknowledged, we listened as the boys laid out stories of fish caught, fish missed and the fact that they'd had a great time. In the approaching twilight, the hatches had been good to one and all.

As we cleared out and made toward the vehicles, I stopped and reached into the back seat of the ol' "Fish Truck," pulling out three good rods that I'd cleaned up and refurbished from the "loaner rod bin"-- an old umbrella stand --at "Trail's End." They were given as they were intended to be-- reminders from a special place that there's so much more to the art of fishing a fly than what some perceive there to be.

While Jesse and the boys loaded their "new rods" into the man's car, he reached into his pocket and handed me a beautiful old tobacco pipe that once had been his father's. And, in a flash, he and his boys were headed back down the two-track trail leading back out to the main road.

Early this morning, I cleaned up the pipe, filled and lit the bowl before sending the man an e-mail with the names of friends and a fly-fishing club not far from where he lives. Among those chosen as contacts, I know that he'll find some like-minded souls who will help the man and his sons author some new pages in the book of "their" days astream, chapters that I hope will gift them with everything that my own history with fly fishing already has given me...

The book continues...
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