Friday, May 6 will be the first day of fishing for the Tangler. My silk line has been dressed with Red Label Mucilin, the ferrules on the bamboo rod checked, various fly boxes have been stowed away in my fishing shirt. My reel has been cleaned and greased. I am set to go. The Graham brothers and I will be heading for the Willowemoc right after lunch. We are all hoping to find the Hendrickson mayfly hatching. This is the insect that usually causes the trout to lose their winter sluggishness and go on the feed voraciously. Since we have now been at the cabin for 16 days without wetting a line, I am raring to go. Even if we have the misfortune to find no flies hatching, simply being on the water will be its own reward. We are on our way.
On April 14, a Clem’s Quiz ran in this column. Here are the answers to that quiz.
1. According to Poul Jorgenson, his fly tying mentor was William F. Blades. The first name of the wife of Mr. Blades was Dorothy.
2. The first president of the Federation of Fly Fishers was Gene Anderegg.
3. Hiram Hawes, Dan Brenan and Nat Uslan were all builders of fine bamboo fly rods.
4. The originator of the streamer fly patterns the Warden’s Worry and the Supervisor was Joseph Stickney of Saco, ME. He was also a supervisor of Fish Wardens for the State of Maine. His fly patterns were aptly named.
5. The vocation of the early American fly fishing essayist George Washington Bethune was as a Protestant pastor.
6. The title of that extraordinary book on fly tying patterns was “Trout Flies.” The name of the author is Richard Salmon. Shucks, I told you that the author’s name was a fish. I guess it is hard to get the bat around on a 99 mile an hour fastball. I had the job of putting together 25 of these books. For my labor, the author kindly gave me a free copy. I wonder what that book would be worth today?
I also have a copy of Mr. Salmon’s other book, “Fly Fishing for Trout.” Jim Deren of the Angler’s Roost gave me that volume one Christmas. He signed it, “For a member of my cracker barrel crew, 1955.” Cracker barrel crew members were Deren’s unpaid sales staff who took care of customers on busy lunch hours or when Deren was simply bored with the retailing business.
7. “Goodbye to a River” was the title of the book written by John Graves in 1959 about a float trip down the Brazos River. His companion on that trip was a six-month-old Dachshund puppy. To quote Graves, “The pup was not a very practical dog, but he was company.” The book gives a historical perspective on both the Brazos and the people who originally settled Texas. Having read the book twice, it is hard to forget that the full moon in March is forever known as the “Comanche Moon.” That was a time if you were living in an isolated cabin on the Brazos you slept with pistols and rifles fully loaded. Mr. Graves takes you for a great ride down a magnificent river before it was dammed four times.