Rod and I have known each other for more years than either is probably willing to confess. Not for any other reason than for the fear of someone noting that we are getting old(er). Having said that, I will note that Rod is always open to learning, and always looking for new ideas, new ways of doing things, a better fly for the Tricos on his beloved Little Lehigh, new waters to visit on his travels, and bigger fish to catch.
I conducted annual “schools” at his shop on the Little Lehigh in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for many years, and we had numerous, and often long discussions about the grip, casting stroke, mending tactics, leader designs, and all the other aspects of fly fishing. It was a delightful time for me, for the students, for some of the regulars at the shop, and as I watched Rod’s face, for him too.
Those times are archived in my memories of meaningful events; Rod has sold the shop and become a bit of a fly fishing gypsy. But in all those years of owning and running the shop, he gained insights not only from me, and other speakers and writers of fly fishing, but from all the regulars (and a few irregulars) who spent time with him along the river or out in front of the shop at the table under the sun shade. Some of those unsung notables became my friends—guys like Al Miller (Al’s Rat), Dave Gunnett (Dave’s Monster Beetles), Stan Cooper (Mr. Speed Tyer), and others. Rod’s was a unique community of fly fishers, and one that contributed strongly to the fishing history of the Little Lehigh.
His is an interesting story; one that is certainly worth reading. Not so much for the fishing lore, not so much for the people lore, but rather for a look at the guy who is doing the writing. It’s of great interest to see how a fly fisher can be, and is, influenced by all those that intersect his life. And Rod’s life is jammed with intersecting anglers. I am delighted to have been one of them.