Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Fenwick

When I met my fishing hero, Matt on Saturday, he asked me if I still go fishing. I told him that I haven’t in years, but I never explained all the circumstances that caused me to stop.

There were two reasons. One was all the laws. If one reads the fishing rules in the booklet that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife puts out you will find a mass of confusion. Each stream has restricted areas where you can and can not fish. There are some places where it is catch and release, others where you can only use lures, others where you can only fly fish, others where you can only use barbless hooks. Some streams dictate what you can keep and some areas are catch and release. Then there is fin clipping. It got to the point where I felt I needed to retain an attorney before venturing out.

When I used to fish I liked to wander the stream. If a place felt good I would stay, if not I would move along not wanting to consider the consequences if I went up a fork in the stream or if I went past a certain bridge.

The other factor was my Fenwick. I was an ultra light fisher, meaning that I used this tiny rod and line no stronger than 4 pound test. This was my adventure. It takes skill to land a ten pound fish with 4 pound test line.

I had a special ultra light fishing rod. It was a Fenwick that I purchased with hard earned kid money back in the day. I fished all over the Catskills, the Adirondacks, through Canada and all through New Jersey with this rod. I had this fishing rod for twenty five years, but it all ended one day. I had someone living with me at the time and her son loved fishing. He had his own fishing equipment, but one day he decided to use my fishing rod without asking. He was on the clumsy side and while riding his bike to the river somehow my Fenwick was chopped up in the spokes of his bicycle wheel. What he brought back was what could only be described as looking like fiber optic strands. I was heart broken.

They replaced my fishing rod with some newfangled graphite rod, but it just wasn’t the same. It didn’t have the history, and I wasn’t willing to give it any history. I probably used it twice, and it’s been sitting in my garage ever since. I’m not even sure where it is in my garage, but it has and accumulation of fifteen years of dust on it.

Maybe it has been a long enough mourning period for my Fenwick. I think of its remains buried in a land fill in McMinneville. Maybe I should again all over again.


Blogger Beth said...

One's fishing rod is a scared possession. No one in our extended family dares to use one belonging to someone else. The look on my son's face when a guest at the cottage asks to borrow his rod is something to behold.

Take up fishing again - despite the rules and regulations. Sounds like you miss it.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I'm sorry, I'm still stuck on "fishing hero".

6:58 AM  
Blogger matt_stansberry said...

I have to agree, the fishing regs are really Byzantine -- but it's worth it. Ultra-light fishing is a blast and I'm sure hooking some monster West Coast fish on it would add some history to a new rod pretty quick.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

We gotta lawbook fulla regs too. But if you spend an evening and know where you'll be fishing most, you can figure out the few that apply to you as an individual. Somebody gotta keep all those biologists employed I guess.

1:52 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, yep, sacred like one's hockey stick.

Syd, yep, I'm not just your bitch, Darlin.

Matt, I did use it for years out here and landed one steelhead, a couple of Jacks, tons of Browns and even some starry flounder.

Mike, an evening won't do it here. The Lewis and Clark River has several different sets of laws depending on where you are, and that's just the first 20 miles. Maybe it's all changed since I gave up over a decade ago.

10:24 PM  
Blogger Bpaul said...

I learned to fly fish on a fenwick fiberglass rod, and I still prefer "slow" or "soft" action rods over the tight, military-feeling "fast" action rods.

I ultra-light fished as a kid in the suburbs of southern california, in park ponds. We stalked whatever we could, but the biggest quarry was catfish and carp. We'd use tiny twisty tail grubs on tiny rods and catch 10 lb carp that we'd have to fight around the pond for 45 minutes to land. It was an absolute blast.

12:51 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Ultra-light even turns catching a sun fish into an adventure.

5:20 AM  

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