|Say hello to Vivian... I first met her on a remote
stream in Michigan's Upper Peninsula about forty
years ago. As I walked along a high ridge, I
suddenly spotted this lovely red head skillfully
casting to a riser in the shadow of a log jam.
Unknown to her, I sat down to watch... It wasn't
long before the pool exploded, and so did Vivian in
an eruption of red hair, giggles, and squeals of
delight. As she gently released the large brook trout,
I worked my way down the slope to "introduce"
myself to this lovely girl...
Of course, she knew I was watching her all along,
for she didn't act a bit surprised as I approached.
|Vivian was a natural beauty, but as lovely as Vivian was, I couldn't take my eyes from the
wonderful split cane rod she cradled in her hand. That afternoon began a very intense
friendship between Vivian and myself, and not one based solely on our mutual love of
fishing... Well, as things tend to go with twenty somethings, Vivian and I began to
gradually drift apart. I must say, as great a girl as Vivian was, I just couldn't get past the
stigma of dating the county sheriff's daughter and she had a hard time with the fact that I
was pretty much a shiftless bum living in a tipi and working a minimum wage job without
much of a future...
I'm not sure what ever happened to Vivian, but for my part, I eventually became a
respectable (I think), husband, father, fly fisherman, and rodmaker, and oh yeah, I had a
day job too!
Vivian did leave me with one lasting legacy however. One day after a long day on the
river she handed me her bamboo rod and asked me for mine.
She wanted to know if I wanted to trade. I asked her if she knew what she was asking,
and she said she did. She wanted to know if I minded getting the short end of the stick.
After all, she had picked up the old Paul Young Driggs Rod at a garage sale for ten bucks
and she really wanted to try one of the new graphite rods. She gave me that little smile,
batted her eyes, and I melted.
Remember, this was 1979...
What Vivian unwittingly gave me that day was a life long love of the split bamboo fly
rod, its aesthetics, and its artistry. I still hold that love in my heart today.
|The Story of Vivian...