The other day I got a little nostalgic..
I was particularly thinking of one of my fly rods,an Orvis Trident nine foot five weight. It was one of my first purchases as a young fishing guide, and I was in love at first sight, (do you remember the scene in Caddyshack where the Judge pulls the hickory putter from his bag? “Ooooh Billy, Billy, Billy..” an amazing piece of comedic work by Ted Knight…. by now you get it, i was a fanatic..),it was a work of art and an amazing piece of fly fishing technology for the late 1990’s
The Amazing thing about this rod is that it stood as a constant through the many changes in my life. It was also a time line of events… it was a time capsule.. it was like a movie – Fly Rod Time Machine..It was always in the tube waiting to be used.It’s color did not fade, its performance was the same each time I used it. It was a lot like my dog Maxine Brown, it loved me no matter if i got skunked or caught 20 fish. This one rod had many fish memories, a plethora of clients held it and caught many fish, and my wife (who was my client
at the time and not my wife) caught her first trout on that rod as one of my clients,and later caught a few nice fish on our honeymoon.
Fast forward twenty years (could be closer to 18 if I really sit back and count) and through a few life events (births of two babies, more education, job changes etc.) and the rod was still a favorite and still making memories. Both my children caught their first trout on that rod, and I even used it regularly on guide trips……. And then….
I broke it… (can’t you hear the wheels falling off now?) I broke it.. Yes,I had made it close to twenty years and the only thing I had ever had to repair on the rod was to epoxy the loose tip back on. There was no epic battle with a fish, it was not a fit of frustration and I broke into bits over my knee.. no car doors were harmed in the breaking of the rod, no I left it sitting over the bow of my drift boat and i caught a branch hanging off the bank and SNAP! It was gone. I think that most of you reading this can relate to how stupid I felt! Let me say thank you to those folks who recently gave me comforting words when i told them of this tragedy. They Assured me that those rods were prone to brake “all the time”, and “man you were lucky to have one for that long”, and “man what did they send you to replace it with?”.
A few days after the apocalypse, I mailed my broken rod to Orvis. There were no Trident blanks available for repair but they were true to their guarantee and replaced my rod with an Orvis T3. I do not remember how the rod felt while casting, I do not remember what the cork felt like, but I do remember meeting my wife for the first time, and my children being born and learning to cast for the first time. I do miss that old Trident, but I am very happy to be filling up another rod with great memories of days on the water with my family, my customers and my friends.
Nils E. Peterson