It’s early morning and there’s no office chatter, no phones ringing, no meetings. Only the sound of cold rushing water to calm your soul. Yet, it has little effect on the adrenaline rush fueling the drive to experience a lifelong memory.
A good friend, Michael, loaned his fly rod to me while standing in the river and said “you’ll love this sport”. After a few attempts at casting, I handed it back, he was wrong. I did not fall in love with the sport. But as time passed, something about with the first attempt to fish with a fly rod was haunting at me. I decided to give it another try. I read books, practiced casting in our yard, baseball fields and returned to the river.
My first son was born in February 1997. I knew then that I was ready to take this sport further and bring him with me. I learned to tie fly’s, read the waters; I learned about the insects and the graceful presentation. In September 1998, my wife and I had our second son. I thought we were finished with two boys, there would be two more sons to follow.
Flies were relatively inexpensive to tie, especially since I used the materials of hunted animals, another hobby I share with my family. Having enough fly rods was a different story. We needed at least six rods for the whole family to fish. That’s when I began exploring the art of rod building. I made my first fly rod in 1998.
The passion of fly fishing and rod building is a large part of who I am. My sons standing in the river casting with our handcrafted fly rods haunts me. Watching friends cast their fly rods with grace and talent warms my soul. Teaching my boys and their friends to fly fish has been a joy.
And while standing alongside all, with a quick rise of the rod and the heartfelt cry of “Fish On!” lets me know I have found my path in life.