Before arriving at the Center, Leighanne and I noticed the appearance of a new distillery in Roscoe (“Trout Town USA”) so we stopped in for a visit. Neither one of us likes vodka very much, but a free sample of booze is a free sample of booze, and we had to admit that Prohibition Distillery makes a damn smooth sipper. We purchased a bottle of corn vodka (as opposed to the traditional potato-based product) to share with friends.
Speaking of friends, we met up with fellow blogger Leigh Smith, producer of FinFollower, who came over from Connecticut for his first visit to Summerfest. If you haven’t had a chance to read Leigh’s blog, check it out, especially his recent post that gives an excellent tour of the Fly Fishing Center & Museum. We observed the “Hardy Cup,” a casting contest whereby the winner is awarded a new Hardy bamboo rod. We toured the Museum and knocked around the neighborhood of tackle vendors and art displays while enjoying the afternoon.
When we toured the Wulff Gallery (dedicated to Lee and Joan), I didn’t need to twist Leigh’s arm, suggesting he should go and introduce himself to the gracious Queen of Fly-Fishing Instruction. In exchange for the photo op, Joan inquired what sort of blogs we wrote, so Leigh and I confessed, and were forgiven.
My wife and I made another fine connection in Brian Kleinchester, a young bamboo rod maker from Virginia. Brian has been a student of the well-established cane-rod builder Rick Robbins. Following nine years of apprenticeship, Brian is the owner of Chester Rods and builds some wonderful casting instruments. I truly enjoyed casting one of his 6-weights on the grass where fly-fishing zealots passed to and fro, some of them hauling or showing off their acquisitions.
Following a late lunch at a Roscoe saloon, Leighanne and I began our homeward journey. En route we stopped at the West Branch Delaware River. I couldn’t resist casting in this fabled, chilly water. Whether I’m successful there or not, the angling is always worth the effort. I surprised myself when I found Tim D., a fishing pal from home, squatting on the bank while looking for some hatch activity. The West Branch really knows how to keep an old fellow happy.
And it didn’t end there. Waiting for me on the porch of our home, I found a shipment of books that I had edited and co-published, but had yet to see. On the Helderhill: Selected Poems of W.W. Christman was many years in coming, let me tell you. Christman was a rural poet of the early 20th-century who lived in the Helderberg region north of the Catskills. To find him resurrected on my porch on a Saturday night was an excellent finish to a stellar day.