Iron Fly - Lander, WY

Iron Fly - Lander, WY Dec 3 6:30 @ Lander Bar's Coalter Loft

My Fly Fishing Family - Part 1

One of my favorite things about fly fishing is the opportunity I have been given to meet new people. There are those people you meet on the river and end up chatting with, the clients that keep you in a job, the shop owner that surprises you with kindness, and then there are those special people that become your family - your fly fishing family.

Shahab and Ryan.

There was a fly shop in Conway, NH.  It was this tiny little place, not much bigger than a tool shed.  It was situated on a busy road next to a house.  Across the street was the KFC.  There was a wooden ramp that went up to the back of the building, and out front a wooden sign that swung in the breeze. Behind the shop was an amazingly beautiful stretch of the Saco River.

The shop was called Clearwater Fly Shop, and when I walked through the door, I was greeted by a guy named Stephen.  He stood up from the table where he was tying up some rabbit fur based fly and shook my hand.  He was outgoing and seemed to be thrilled that someone new had stumbled out of the rain and into his store.   I sat down at the table and my life as an angler began.

Stephen and I must have chatted for two hours.  I left with a lot of new vocabulary, a new rod (we'll save that for another post), and most importantly, a new friend.

My life as an angler didn't launch as fast as other people I've met.  I was recovering from some pretty hardcore shoulder surgery and slinging fly line didn't really fit in to my shoulder's plan.  I did however, receive an invite from Stephen to attend an event he had organized in Wells, Maine.

Rob, Caleb, Shahab & Ryan.

The event has since become known as the "Saltwater Shindig".  It was an amazing weekend event on the coast of Maine to celebrate fly fishing, tying, friends, beer and food. I arrived on a Friday afternoon and was greeted by two women.  I remember thinking it was great that women participated in fly fishing.  Who would have thunk it?   Nome and Kathy were the first to greet me.  They showed me where everyone was and introduced me to my fly fishing family.

There were people out fishing, but the tides weren't optimal so there were quite a few people sitting around.  There was Shahab, who was tying up something beautiful.  Ryan was drinking a beer and his facial expression was telling me what he thought - "who the fuck is this newbie?"  There was a guy from Florida, Rob, who was on the phone trying to figure out where a hundred pounds of crayfish were at with FedEx.  Stephen was sitting in a chair, beer in hand, just kind of watching everyone.  It was like the Mos Eisley scene in Star Wars with a random collection of fish nerds from all over the place.

To be continued...