I hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving Holiday today. Despite the difficult times we find our country and our world in, we all have much to be thankful for. I for one am thankful for my wife, my children, my health, my friends, and my job.
When it comes to fly fishing, however, there are a whole different set of things I find myself to be thankful for. Here are just a few….
Solitude on the water, road trips with good friends, amazing takes, the sun glistening off of the flank of a fish that just gave away it’s position, fish that tickle the imagination because we felt them and never saw them, perfect casts that are in perfect timing, not so perfect casts that took fish anyhow, home tied fly patterns that don’t have a name, local fly shops in small towns, the anticipation of exploring new water, meeting total strangers that become friends, seeing someone catch the fish of a lifetime and not being sure if you are jealous, proud, or both, fishing well into the dark and hoping you remember how to get back to your car, and most of all I am thankful for the smile on my face every time the hatch of my car shuts and I stride towards the water wondering what might be in store today.
Tight Lines, Good Health, and a Very Happy Thanksgiving
So last night we had the pleasure of the rather infamous April Vokey (www.flygal.ca) to present a class in tying intruder style flies at International Angler in Pittsburgh. Unless you live under a fly fishing rock, you have undoubtedly seen her face gracing the cover of just about any magazine you might pick up, caught her on TV, or engaged in some salacious conversation about her “rod handling skills” with your buddies…. (or is that just me?)
Well after spending about 4 or 5 hours in close proximity, allow me to set the record straight. Yes, April is a fine looking woman by just about anyone’s standards…. and yes, her lips are real. She even managed to completely wreck my concentration a few times with a well timed, good natured poke at us guys and a sly grin as she kept it G rated (but I am guessing would have probably preferred otherwise). The funny thing is that I completely forgot all of this and found myself completely taken in by how passionate she is about her fishing, her rivers, and her Steelhead.
Within 5 minutes she knew all 13 of us by name and did not forget a single person throughout the entire class. (No name tags needed!) Her teaching style was warm, engaging, and informative. Some of us had been tying for years and others were total noobs and everyone walked out of the class with a great experience that they could build upon. After the class CW asked me what she was like and the best way I could describe it to him was that she is the type of person that you would love to share a road trip, a river, and a beer with. (and I don’t say that about many people)
So April, if you happen to read this, keep up the fantastic work and thanks for a great class. If you have yet to have the pleasure, spend some time and get to know April Vokey. I promise you won’t be disappointed and if you can check your giant male ego at the door you might actually learn a few things! I know I did.