Idiot Savant
No, not the kind that let's me post this thread.

Not the kind that keep Pennsylvania Avenue and the Beltway humming.

Not the kind that Vinnie and Tony have down in Brooklyn.

They're all rather fleeting in comparison to other types of connections. Let's look at the connection between a fly, the line, the rod, the water, a fish, and maybe someone who's no longer with us. My Dad passed away a few years ago. When his wife followed him just a year or so later I went down to Florida to help settle their estate. I brought home his guns, some rods, other odds and ends, and a fly box.

As you can see it's kind of dime store in it's appearance. There's an odd collection of flys in it, some spinners, a couple of poppers, and a loose hook or two. I poked through this somewhat cheesy assortment of flies thinking "how could these ever catch a fish"? Well, this summer I plan to find out. I'm going to be taking this box with me each time I fish and I'll use one to two of them to see if they indeed can catch fish, or more accurately if I can catch a fish with them. It will be a challenge for sure, most, if not all of them are dry flys. Most of what I fish are not. I can think of one spot at the south end of Lost Lake that might be some fun with some willing brookies. We'll see...

My dad and I were not close. We spent most of our lives apart, far apart. When I was growing up in Upstate New York he lived in Southern California. When I moved west he retired and moved to Florida. We only fished together twice in our lives. I went to visit him in Florida and we would drop the skiff off the davits into the canal and head for open water. We never caught much but it gave us private time together. Our real connections only happened when he was on his downhill slide. The last few visits were the closest ones we had. It is sad we wasted so much time. But that's how it is with sons and fathers sometimes.

Maybe these little bits of fur and feather will provide some connection. We'll go fishing a few more times, And one of these trips I'll take Dads ashes with me and he'll go fishing for the last time.


When I first started fishing, I bought one of those boxes with Japanese tied patterns. I think I still have the thing somewhere.

From what I can see from the photo, there are many flies in the box that will catch fish. The tiny poppers work quite well for bluegill and crappie. Plus, it appears there is a Royal Coachman and maybe McGinty in the mix and both of those work on trout.

As far as connections go, mine is my Granddad's fedora. When he passed on, I asked Grandma if I could have his fedora and buffalo style hunting jacket. She said of course.

While everyone else in my family wore baseball caps while hunting, fishing and participating in other outdoor activities, my Granddad always wore a fedora.

He was a true pioneer and outdoors-man. He also had a great sense of humor and told stories (some may have been true)... that's most likely where I get it.

So that old fedora sitting on top of my flyfishing book shelf was my Granddad's. It is indeed a connection.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
If there were connections in my family for fishing, I'm shit out of luck. I'm the only fisherman in my family. This is going back as far as I can remember. I don't have anything of my Dads. He was a salesman, so he didn't collect anything. All I have is his memory, which is good.


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
Great plan Roper! My first fly rod was my dad's. I don't ever recall fishing with it with him, although we did have a few fishing memories. I try to get out and fish it on his birthday, November 17th and on Fathers day. It's an 8' 8wt 2pc Wright & McGill that is slooower, than slow. I refinished it, put his name on it, along with a feather inlay. It is meant to fish, imho. I may have a picture or two in my gallery, but if not will put one up.

Thanks for sharing your story! Great post!

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
I never fished with my father. Barely met and knew him. Strangely, that absence factored into who I have become as much as anything else.

Roper, take some right proper photos of those flies. I might just try to replicate them and see what your father was up to with that little box.

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
I hope my parents still have my old fishing shit. Somewhere in their garage. It's a mix of rusty flies, Panther Martin spinners, stinky power worms that never caught anything, bobbers, and a stringer. Now, with my fancy gear bag and sharp hooks, organized neatly, and with my many "fly poles", I've become something of a fly fishing storm trooper...
I was fortunate to have fished with my father while growing up. Trout, bass bluegill, perch, walleye and most every other fish in the Midwest.
Great memories of fishing for redfish off the coast of Florida with dinky assed Zebco spinning gear. We'd use live shrimp, wade out neck deep to get past the crap fish, cast. Had to be careful not to step on a horseshoe crab barb. Once one was on the line, it was a good 30 minute battle on average. Dad man would have to take a short break to rest his old ticker. (Polycythemia)
Still have a pic or two of us with trout for dinner.


Piscatorial predilection
Never fished with my father because I never knew him. It's complicated, I was a WW2 baby, born right at the end of that conflict. My mom offered to show me a picture of him once, when I was 13, but I said at the time that I didn't want too see it and I never did.
I have three son's with whom I've fished many times but never enough, I'm always ready to join them, anytime, to fish or hunt but they can't get away as much as I know they would like to. We do have great memories of trips to Canada, Alaska, Mexico (saltwater) and here in Washington too, so that's good. I'm not complaining, BUT....The awareness of how little time we have on this planet becomes more clear as we start getting older and toward the end of our own time. When we are younger it's just not that clear because we are so busy just living day to day.
I hope I'll still have time to spend creating memories with them and their children, I hope you do too with your fathers, sons and daughters but stuff happens, look at how quickly everything changed for those folks in Oso.
If you have a chance, take it, while you can.


David Loy

Senior Moment
Good luck Roper. It is a worthy endeavor.
On a only slightly similar vein (old gear), a friend here at work has some old fly reels from "grandpa". One we've laughed over several times is a faux Pflueger. WHAT I ask is the value of producing a fake Pflueger? They obviously sold some but they must have been extremely cheap. (This is not a dig on Pflueger reels mind you.)
Anyway, have fun and please report.