Here’s a crazy fly fishing story.
In Sept. 2011 my really good friend Aaron Anderson and I were fishing on the Erie Canal above Newark, New York.
As we were pulling up the anchor to head back to the dock, he noticed that a fly had snagged the anchor line and it was still tied to a bunch of old fishing line.
Aaron pulled the anchor into the boat and I guided the boat using the trolling motor as we followed the line to collect it for the trash.
At the end of the line was Aaron’s fly rod!
That’s not the crazy part… He lost the rod at some point during a night kayak fishing trip a few years earlier!
On the first trip, we were packing up the kayaks and our gear well after midnight. The next day Aaron called to see if he had left his rod in my truck. I told him I hadn’d seen his rod. Aaron said that he thought he remembered leaning it against a tree at the dock the night before.
We went back to the dock and searched everywhere but couldn’t find it.
A few years later we did.
That’s sort of the end of that story but there was another interesting thing from that night and it doesn’t really relate to finding the rod, but it may relate to why he forgot the rod in the first place.
Aaron was a physical therapist specializing in working with people who had suffered some form of brain damage. He was an expert in equipment that is used for this therapy, especially wheelchairs.
As we were taking out that first night, another guy was putting in. He was in a wheelchair and was rolling his boat and dolly towards us down at the dock.
Aaron immediately started a conversation by yelling over, “Hey man, how do you like that chair?”
I about died. I knew that Aaron loved to meet people and find out their stories but I personally would have chosen a new first date pick-up line!
Well, they struck up a conversation that lasted the better part of an hour. They covered every topic on how this fisherman was adapting to his disability and the comfort, speed and ergonomics of both his boat and chair.
While this was going on, I cleaned up both of our boats and our gear. Looking back, it was probably me who lost his fly rod that night because I didn’t pack it away.
This is still an almost unbelievable story to both of us, but that’s the way it happened.