Thursday, November 29, 2012


Saturday, November 24, 2012 my grandfather passed away.  He had been suffering from cancer in his abdomen that had ravaged his organs before it was discovered.  I am thankful that in the grand scheme of things he didn't suffer too much.  I am also thankful that during his last month I was able to get up and visit with him several times and be with him on his last day alive. 

My Pap was a great grandfather to me who taught me so much during our time together.  He took me fishing and passed on all his secrets.  I started out with spinning gear and he showed me how to rig up to bounce nightcrawlers, and powerbait when it came out, along the bottom of the stream for trout.  Thanks Pap.  I still use this method today when I decided to break out the spinning gear.  He taught me how to read the stream and find those barely visible back eddies that trout love to hang out in.  And most importantly we just went fishing.  We'd get up early in the morning or head out after school (and eventually work) and fish.  He taught me how to fish spinners and gave me his deadly Panther Martin with a wooden body (try finding those now) and I slayed the trout with it until I got it stuck on a log and it broke off.  If that happened now, I probably would swim out and retrieve that spinner, but I was 10 and I had to just let it go.

My Pap and I took fly fishing lessons together at the Little Lehigh Fly Shop.  Over a series of lessons, we learned about stream entomology, casting, the fly setup, and it eventually all culminated with us catching trout on tricos during a prolific hatch when they still went off like that.  I was hooked.  We put away the spin rods and focused on fly fishing and trying to catch trout like that.  It wasn't long and I was interested in tying my own flies. Pap got me the tools I needed to get started and made me a deal: he would buy me the materials I needed to tie flies as long as I kept him supplied with flies.  I can live with that deal.  Once I started working and making my own money, I bought my own supplies but I kept Pap stocked with flies up until the day he passed away.  Thanks Pap.

Pap, thanks for taking me out to fish.  Thanks for spending time with me.  Thanks for getting me started with fly fishing.  It is a lifelong pursuit for me now and I'm not sure I'd ever get to this point if it wasn't for you.  Thank you for going to all the fly fishing shows with me and showing me the true worth of those shows is all the included seminars.  They can't take your education away from and never stop learning were two phrases he uttered often.

Thanks Pap.

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