Some thoughts on what it means to pass along the Founders’ Rod (the fly rod on loan to me for one year by the Slate Run Sportsmen):
I wondered if the words I’d written in the journal would help sustain, in some small way, the richness of a sport that’s steeped in history and tradition…
“…The Peerless model, made in the 1930s and 40s, and originally selling for $35, was produced in various actions and lengths. The current value of a Heddon 35 Peerless in good condition is worth many times the original price…”
Centuries earlier, the poet William Blake suggested that a world can be seen in something as small as a grain of sand. I have no reason to doubt that’s possible, even today. If I could see a world reflected in a grain of sand, there’d be nobody big enough to dominate or control another human being; there’d be no one with an ego so inflated that he thinks he really owns a piece of the earth.
In this world we might destroy what’s under our control– through fear and anger and stupidity– but in that world, through our smallness, our diminutive nature, we have an an equal amount of power to do good. We could even, dare I say, live a life of peaceful coexistence with all others…
We are here to make some choices on the way we use the earth. For better or worse, we’ll have to pass on everything that’s saved. I could have a favorite fly rod packed inside my coffin (if I actually favored burial over cremation), but try as I might, the fishing would suck in Greenwood Cemetary.
We might guide the destiny of others, but mostly what we do is pass things on…
“…As of August 3, 2014 I have fished the rod in three states– New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia– and about a dozen rivers… the Genesee, Beaverkill, W. Branch Ausable, Willowemoc, Allegheny, Oswayo, Pine Creek, Kettle Creek, Mossy Creek, and others…”
It’s a good thing that another member of this conservation group will enjoy another year of casting with a split-cane bamboo rod.
Perhaps another member will appreciate the craft, the long hours, the weeks, spent building an instrument out of a “lovely reed.”
The founding fathers of the Slate Run Sportsmen first used this rod, and formed, in 1954, a group dedicated to the preservation of public “fly-fishing only” on Slate Run.
We remember them, and we promote the preservation of a beautiful headwaters region.