Friday, August 23, 2013

A Grandson's Manifesto

A few weeks ago an email arrived in my email box as a submission for a weekend giveaway from a young angler named Ryan Page.  His story was so exceptional that I wanted to share it with this T.F.M. post.

The Curtis Creek Manifesto is likely in just about every fly fisherman's library and this is a good reminder to pick it up and read it again.

Ryan wrote...  "Hello!  My name is Ryan, and I am 16 years old.  About a year ago in August, I was introduced to fly fishing by my Grandpa.  He grew up in northern Maine nearby Presque Isle and has forever been walking the local brooks.  Needless to say he has caught some big brookies in his lifetime and it is his passion of the outdoors that made me want to try out fly fishing. 

When I asked him if I could try this foreign sport he looked at me with a passionate glance, and I could see the excitement in his eyes.  He looked at me closely and said, I'll be right back.  He went into the house and retrieved a thin, colorful book.  It was the Curtis Creek Manifesto by .  To any fly fishermen, this book is a fun tutorial with a witty author writing and talking about the ropes of fly fishing.  If you look it up and read it I'm sure you will get a kick out of it.  But to me it was the bible of fly fishing.  

My Grandpa told me to read it once for enjoyment, then read it a second time to take in all of the information.  Only after I had read this book, this bible, could I begin casting a fly rod.  I gave him a warm hug as I left his house, and started to read the book in the car.  That night, I fell in love with fly fishing.  I stayed up all night, with a lamp to my side and the book at my hand, and read the Curtis Creek Manifesto once for pleasure and a second time for information.  While I was reading the book, the words, funny examples and witty remarks made me love fly fishing instantly, and the very next day I drove back to my grandpa's house and told him I had read the book twice.  He looked at me with surprise, but  it seemed like he knew this would happen.  He brought out the first fly rod I had ever seen.  It was a 8'6" four weight glass rod.  The maker was unknown but it looked like gold to me.  On it was a beat up black Pflueger fly reel, one that didn't suit the beauty of the glass rod.  But this didn't matter at all, as I picked up the rod with grace.  This was followed by a two hour casting lesson by my grandpa.  After those two hours, I finally started on the lake that was by his house, and I practiced all the different casts with the glass rod.  Even more than before, I fell in love with fly fishing, and have been a huge fan throughout the year. 

I now know my passion in life and I can't thank my grandpa for that glass rod enough!  Fly fishing will be in my life for as long as I live and that is something I can smile about."

As a side note to all of this, one of the winners from the Orvis Battenkill fly reel giveaway contacted me and said that instead of sending the fly reel to him that he would instead like it to be given to another worthy person.  I forwarded Ryan's email for him to read and he agreed that the fly reel that he won should be sent to Ryan instead.  Thank you to Tom Brodhead for his generosity and congrats to Ryan as I'll be sending a Battenkill fly reel your way soon.  


Middlemac said...

Great post about Ryan and thx to Tom for his gift!


Powderhorn Chronicles said...

Great Gesture is an understatement. As someone who also got started in flyfishing from the kindness of a stranger, I can relate. Ryan will remember that his whole life, and hopefully, day bring it back full circle helping someone else.

Roger Bird said...

Great story about a great gift. I think this book is so underrated. I bought it back in the 70's, had it damaged in a flood, and bought it again a few years ago. If you haven't bought it, do so.

Anonymous said...

This story is rad.