I became interested in fly fishing as a kid in the mid 60's. Don't honestly recall what caught my interest as I came from a salt water flounder fishing family and fresh water fishing wasn't part of my world. Standing in the sporting goods section of the local Army/Navy store I spotted a fly rod and reel set-up and found it intriguing. I bought it on the spot, a St Croix 8' rod with a Pflueger 1494 1/2 reel with an extra spool. I loaded one with a 6 wt Cortland floating line and the other with a 6 wt sinking line.
Inasmuch as I was a kid and the internet didn't exist, I didn't have any idea what to do with my new tackle or the resources to find out, so my rod and reel ended up in a closet for years. By the mid 70's my interest was sparked again with the addition of a new brother-in-law into the family who knew a little about fresh water fishing. I ended up buying a new Fenwick 806 rod to experiment with using the same Pflueger reel. Well, turns out that my brother in law knew nothing about fly fishing so I ended up buying a Mitchell/Berkley spin rod/reel and off I went into the new world of lakes and ponds.
By the late 70's my interest in fly fishing was rekindled when I moved into Boston not very far from an Orvis dealer. There was something about the Orvis 7'9" Far and Fine graphite rod that caught my eye, most likely the small comfortable cigar shaped, fine tipped handle. (I say that because every time I look at a rod, the first thing I look at is the handle and if it's not tapered down at the rod end, I pass on picking it up...weird I know.) Not having the resources to buy the complete Orvis rod, I bought the blank and all of the necessary components to finish the rod. I bought a Hardy Prince to go along with the rod.
Like my previous attempts at learning the sport, this blank went only as far as my putting the reel seat on. It sat guide-less for years. By this time however I could at least afford books on the subject and I read anything that I could find on the subject. I sent away for catalogs from all the rod makers that I could find. Bamboo was still big but as I recall, in this time period, graphite was the end-all be-all of modern rod making material. I picked up the 'theory' of fly fishing but never had the opportunity to put it into practice.
In the early 90's, never having gotten the rod or reel wet, I sold the Hardy on ebay listing it as virtually new-in-box, but I did keep the rods.
Fast forward a few more years and now my son was becoming a teenager and expressing an interest in fly fishing (not sure where it came from but I did understand). At about the same time I made a friend who was also into fly fishing. It was a perfect storm for me to finally put it all together and get out to the water.
I finished building the Orvis rod over the winter, signed my son and I up for casting lessons in the spring, bought a beat up Hardy Prince to replace my old one and we're now in our second season of getting an occasional fish in our nets and having a great time.
I found my way to the forum trying to fill in some of the gaps and am appreciative of what I've learned here so far, it's been a great resource. At the same time I was surprised to learn that the fiberglass rods have 'come back' in style and amazed at some of the developments in reels (still happy though to have my old noisy one). I guess when the time comes for me to sell my stuff, I'll call it vintage
Loving every minute of it even if the journey to this point has been a long and twisted one.