Thursday, January 12, 2017

My New Vest And A Memory From Dave Whitlock

OK, go ahead, I know it is coming.  Call me a "Name Dropper", or, call me whatever you want.... I deserve it, I suppose!

You know sometimes blog posts are not thought out around here and time taken to make sure everything is laid out primo.  Sometimes the idea for a blog post comes when someone jogs your memory a little, and all of a sudden there it is! It kind of works like this........................

Over the last few days both Cameron and my buddy, Howard, both had posts with picture reviews of the recent Fly Fishing Show held in Denver in early January.  Both of them did a splendid job in making those of us who didn't attend feel like we missed something special.  We did!!

Each of them highlighted many products and celebrities.  One of the highlighted celebrities was the great Dave Whitlock, Master Fly Tyer, Author, Artist, Speaker etc.  He has done it all and has been a wonderful attraction at these shows for many, many years.

 Well, so what does that have to do with the title of this post.  To go there we have to take a trip back in time.  It was the late 1970's.  I had just gotten into fly fishing and fly tying in the last couple of years.  I had joined the local fly fishing club, The Boise Valley Fly Fisherman.  I was so wrapped up in the enthusiasm of fly fishing and fly tying that I must have been, I thought, overbearing on others in the club.  Well, as it turns out, I was wrong about that "overbearing" part.  Here is why..........

The Boise Valley Fly Fisherman held their Annual Banquet during the Winter season.  Banquet? What is that all about? So, curiosity as much as anything else, talked me into purchasing a ticket to the banquet.  Good food, I was promised, and time to interact with other fly fishers.

The Guest Speaker at the banquet was none other than Dave Whitlock.  Remember, I am new to the fly fishing scene and still wet behind the ears, so to speak.  To be honest, I had never heard of Dave Whitlock!  So, again, he was not why I bought the ticket...................

After Dave had given his banquet presentation, (I do remember being impressed with what he had to say) the President of the Boise Valley Fly Fisherman took to the microphone.  A few club members were recognized for various contributions.  Then came my big surprise!

The President wanted to recognize the "Most Inspirational New Club Member".  They had a gift for them.  Lo and behold, I was stunned to hear my name called as the most inspirational new club member!  

The prize awarded was a new Columbia Fly Fishing Vest that had been outfitted with most all the things that a fly fisherman would need at that day and time to look the part of an inspirational fly fisher.  As I accepted the gift and nervously thanked the membership for their support, I was shocked to have Dave Whitlock walk up to me, congratulate me and shake my hand.  Then he opened the palm of his other hand and took two of his famous fly patterns and stuck them too the fleece fly  patch on my new vest!  I told him I would honor them and put them in a frame.  He said, "No, I want you too fish them.  Catch a big trout or bass would be thanks enough for me."  Wow,  As I recall these were the two flies he pinned on my vest.

Whitlock Hair Frog
 
 Whitlock Matuka Sculpin
 
Well, Dave and my readers of this blog, I can attest to the fact that they each got wet on the end of my fly line.  Seems I do remember catching fish on both.
 
Thanks, everyone, for letting me share this memory with you all....................
 

14 comments:

  1. Mel, great story. These memories never fade.
    Thanks

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    1. Thanks, Alan. No memories like this last forever. Some memories are more worn out than others, but, this one still has a "fine glow" to it.

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  2. Great story Mel! Dave has aged a bit since you saw him last. I call him the energizer bunny because he just keeps going.

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    1. Thanks, Howard. We have both (Dave and I) aged to the point of being fossils......... I sure hope that Dave continues to do as well as he can, and one day, we will have a chance to talk again. I would like that........

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  3. Mel
    Wonderful read, I would find it hard to use those fantastic flies, tons of memories there--congrats!!Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you, Bill. Believe me, I did find it hard to use those two flies gifted too me in that way! But, Dave, seriously meant it when he said that he would be honored if I them and catch a fish on them. He is a very humble human being.

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  4. That's a really cool memory Mel! It's fantastic, that you can see patterns and they stimulate memories like that - thanks for taking us on that memory ride with you!

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    1. Thanks, Will, it was all my pleasure! Some things are unforgettable.......... Since, Cameron and Howard, took the time to emphasize Dave Whitlock on their posts about the Show, it was easy for me to use this time to share my memory of Dave and his fly patterns.

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  5. Not surprised at all. You are entertaining and full of life.

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    1. Thank you very much for the kind words, Josh. Every day that I am blessed with another day, I strive to do the best I can and to be helpful to others I come in contact with. Your comments are always welcome here!

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  6. Not too many people out there can say Dave Whitlock gave them some of his flies, in person no less.

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    1. Rowan, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.... You are always welcome here.

      Your statement is surely true, and, I know that I was blessed to receive them and fish them. Why me? I have no idea, but, it is a treasured memory!

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  7. It's always fun to run into someone that is a legend especially when it's someone who you've heard about and/or read about. Cool story.

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    1. Thanks Mark. Fortunately, I have had a few experiences like that over the years in the fly fishing circles. Indeed, whoever is calling the shots for me in life, have allowed me to be awarded on more than one occasion by the "Legends" of fly fishing.

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