Kelly’s Rod

Posted on May 10, 2015


One day on the Yak while I was watching Mauro make consistently beautiful dry fly casts on his 3wt to no avail, I popped into a side channel and swung my muddler along a log like the dirty dredger I am. And there just like I knew it would be, I pulled out a beautiful 17″ trout. I even took a few pictures just so he would believe me, awkward as it was with my big lens which has a minimum focal length of 1m. The picture came out in a kind of magical, molten-golden way and I used it for my Facebook banner image. A friend of mine from high school whom I hadn’t talked to in 40 years saw the image, and being fisher folk herself looked me up. Mostly she fishes exotic places I’ll never go to for exotic species I’ll never catch (although I do wonder if they would take hornbergs). In my stash of blanks I had an MHX 5wt blank which I had bought long ago when I was searching for the perfect blank before I realized I was going to switch back to 2-handed rods. It’s a super-fast blank and I thought it might make a good beach rod. So, I sat down and designed a nice rod for her with the wraps in her two favorite colors, little jungle cock feathers for alignment indicators, a feather inlay, and small fighting butt with a fly cast in the handle.

We got together on the beach at Marrowstone and happened to run into my good friend Bob Triggs, fellow Yankee and sea-run enthusiast. I was glad because I always like to have him cast my rods, sort of like the Sensei in the Zen and the Art of Archery, after he casts your rod, it works better. I had a 9wt with me too, but he had no reel for it. Well, it turns out Kelly has an amazing cast. She wouldn’t believe me, but one of Bob’s clients came walking down the beach and said “I’ve been fishing for 31 years, and I cannot throw a loop like that.” Later over beers, Bob concurred, saying that my cast was beyond help, but that hers was truly a thing of beauty.IMG_6388

On the way home, I took the rod down to the beach on Deception Pass convinced it has fish in it and wanting to toss a few loops before the rod went away. I lost my single fly putting it too close to a barnacle-encrusted rock, but then stood on the cliffs and watched cormorants swimming under the water chasing the fish I had not caught. At least I know they are there.


Posted in: Photography