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hairwing530 05-26-2013 01:17 PM

Everything I Hope To Never Be...
Someone once said that the true beauty of a river is that you can wade the same stretches time and again, and never once fish the same water twice! The ebb and flow of a river's currents see to that, as they provide an ever-changing "waterscape" that's there one moment and gone the next. And, I wholeheartedly agree with this observation.

I'll take the premise one step further with the fact that living near the river's edge is akin to a front row seat on life in the great outdoors, and humanity in general. An hour or so ago, said view was anything but pleasant, in that I was privy to another display of poor conduct astream, and even worse, a truly pathetic set of teaching/parenting skills.

Let me set the scene... One of the "fishing cronies" and I were putting up new screens on the riverside porch late this morning. Daughter Jesse, fresh home from college, was working a pair of decent trout that reside in the logjam across the river from us. Some 150 to 200 yards upstream was a pair of younger boys, and some 100 or so feet above them, their father stood thigh-deep in the river. How did I know of their relationship? It was obvious by the bellowing instructions being shouted downstream as the man waded back and forth.

Now, the youngsters were trying their level best to put a fly on the water in such a way that they wouldn't incur the wrath of "Dear Old Dad," but to no avail. Repeated hang-ups only brought more wading and verbal reprimands, more unnecessary comments, and a host of "descriptive" insults that would make a drill instructor blush. And he of the Big Mouth might have gotten away with it if he hadn't cut loose on Jesse while she was untangling one of the boy's flies. In that moment, he crossed the line...

The man was "persuaded" by my tree-sized "fishing cronie"-- his nickname is "Trunk" because of his sheer mass --to wade back to the landing and find somewhere else to fish. His departing comments and actions-- he snapped in two one of his son's rods, just to teach him a "lesson" --made me realize that the man was everything I hope to never be...

In the days, months and years ahead, I hope to never be:

impatient when introducing others to a sport that has given me so much...

inconsiderate of other anglers whenever my waders are gently pushed by the river's currents...

too busy to help a newbie or stranger to these waters figure out the best "fly of the day..."

unwilling to just take a kid fishing...

self-absorbed and unaware of all of the "small things" that come with a day spent astream...

forgetful of the GOLDEN RULE, or from where I once came!!! As in life, the "Rule" applies astream as well...

And, as for my humble fly-fishing beginnings? Those are lessons that have been ingrained from Day One. Sometimes, I think there are those who forget the hours spent casting on a small farm pond...

Jerry, aka hairwing530

djamtime 05-26-2013 09:10 PM

Re: Everything I Hope To Never Be...
Thank you Jerry! I enjoy reading that there are folks with values left in this world. ;)

fredaevans 05-26-2013 10:24 PM

Re: Everything I Hope To Never Be...
I cringed when I read the opening thread, not the perspective, but what lead up to that.

I'm going to (possibly) step over the line here, but I'd go have a chat with the local Police and relay this story. What this guy will do in public, he's probably doing behind his front door.

Police get a 'Domestic Disturbance' report at least they know (hopefully!) know what to expect? Did this once, years ago when I moved to California and living in an apartment. Sounds from 'next door' really alarmed me being a Fuzzy Bunny Canadian.

Called the Police and had two officers at my door in minutes. Related, they knocked on the door and took him away in 'cuffs.' He'd beat the hell out of his wife. :teef:

Just think about my thoughts?


duker 05-26-2013 11:17 PM

Re: Everything I Hope To Never Be...

Your story is both sad and frightening. I hate to say it, but I was hoping you were going to tell us that "Trunk" grabbed the guy by the neck and held his head under the water until the bubbles stopped.

I can't imagine treating any fellow angler like that. I'm horrified that someone would treat their own (or anyone else's) children like that.

When I started fly fishing I was lucky to fish with more experienced friends to help me and offer non-judgmental encouragement, along with some good natured joshing when I cast my fly into the back of my jacket or into a tree branch. I was also always pleasantly surprised and grateful when a fellow angler--complete strangers--watched my hopeless thrashing around and offered helpful tips and sometimes a hand-tied fly or sip from their flasks.

Yours is an inspiring and encouraging attitude. Taking a child fishing should be a mutually enjoyable experience that starts the kid off with the right lessons, gives him a hobby for a lifetime, and leaves him with years of happy memories. I feel for these kids.


hairwing530 05-27-2013 06:28 AM

Re: Everything I Hope To Never Be...

The "head under the water" approach was offered up by "Trunk," but I asked him not to do it. My reasoning was more for the sake of his boys rather than the man's own safety. I didn't want them leaving the river with their last thoughts of a day astream being that of seeing their father's backside thrown from bank to bank, and kicked up and down the river! Doing so risked the potential loss of two future fly-fishermen somewhere down the road, and poor parenting or not, I won't take that chance. If the sport suits them, they'll find a better teacher at some point in their lives...

How do I know this? It has to do with "Trunk" and his kid brother, "Stack." (You'd have to know my "fishing cronies" to understand their own twisted brand of humor in handing out "nicknames"...) The brothers have been friends of mine since high school, and until they reached their "full potential"-- they both dwarf me, and I'm 6'1" and 205 pounds --they were on the receiving end of weekly "beat-downs" by their father. The abuse stopped when they grew larger than "Dear Old Dad" and took a stand against him. But, the scarring remained...

It would be nearly a decade after the fact that they happened upon me working out some of the kinks in my casting stroke on the lawn at home. Four days later, we(they) were working the beds of a small pond for panfish, with me providing "knot support" and instruction. Both became immediate addicts to all things fly-fishing related-- making their own leaders, fly-tying, rod-building, et al --and they've never looked back. I believe that fly-wrangling on no shortage of rivers has been far better therapy than one could ever imagine, and a form of treatment that has made them both serious contenders for "Fathers of the Year."

With that said, I will say this... Had "He of the Big Mouth" threatened my daughter, Jesse, in any way, shape or form, or been physically abusive to his sons, the man would have known immediate and harsh retribution. No one and I mean NO ONE threatens my family, my friends or a child, even if they are "his" sons. The hours spent astream-- and those that make up our lives as well --are far too few to be burdened with threatened abuse. I wasn't raised that way, and it was never a part of my "on-stream" tutoring sessions. Call it "old-fashioned," if you will, but certain actions can and will be privy to their own reactions! I do still hold to myriad ideas of "right and wrong..."

One last thing... I did make the trek down the drive to pull a license plate number, one that I've since handed off to an old law-enforcement buddy who's promised to follow up on the man's "life at home..."

Agree or disagree... I made the call as I saw it most appropriate, and I will stand by my actions, or lack thereof. We do our best each day, and we live with the decisions we make. In this one, I have no regrets...

Jerry, aka hairwing530

fredaevans 05-27-2013 10:21 AM

Re: Everything I Hope To Never Be...
Jerry, your posting here (thread) are taking my breath away. You are a Man I'd like to meet.

A bit of an over dramatic way of putting it: You two are in a "foxhole" and its my turn to sleep. I could count on you staying awake.


jor fly 05-27-2013 10:49 AM

Re: Everything I Hope To Never Be...
Jerry, I salute you and ur friends sir, you are good men:).

hairwing530 05-27-2013 12:16 PM

Re: Everything I Hope To Never Be...
If a man's wealth was measured by the love, strength and character of the people closest to him-- his family and his friends/"cronies"(those close and distant), and his beliefs-- his faith in a better world and the Man Upstairs --then you would be well within your rights to call me "rich" on all counts. I am heavily vested in those who make up "the inner circle" and call my heart "home," and these emotional investments have always returned personal dividends without equal. I pray that in the end, I will find peace and contentment in the fact that I lived a good life and lived it well. And, that somewhere along the way, I somehow made a difference, either by conveying that sentiment in the written word or by my own actions...

I was asked once how I would describe myself to someone who didn't know me? My editor at the time was surprised when I answered that I was the sum total of the parts left to me by all of those who've come in and out of my life these many years, and made their mark upon my very soul! I hold to that description even today, as I'm a man who's a blending of many influences. From my upbring with my grandparents to the gentle mix known as my family, and onto my diverse collection of friends, I would be so much less than I am if only one of the aforementioned was ever taken out of the mix.

A very wise man told me years ago that the truly good folks in this world never stop growing, never stop learning, and never stop being "good folks." To that end, I hope to always be a continuing work in progress...

Jerry, aka hairwing530

---------- Post added at 11:16 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:12 AM ----------

And, Fred... Whichever one of life's "foxholes" we find ourselves in, know this... I've got your back!!

Jerry, aka hairwing530

duker 05-27-2013 09:02 PM

Re: Everything I Hope To Never Be...
Jerry, I was only kidding about getting Trunk to hold his head under the water. The last thing those kids need is another demonstration of violence used to resolve issues. That said, I hear you re: saying or doing anything to your daughter or the kids themselves. Under the circumstances I think you and your friend handled the situation as well as you possibly could have.

I can only echo what others have said: your approach to angling and life in general is deserving of respect. You're the type of angler I'd love to meet and fish with some day.


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