Thursday, November 22, 2012

7 Things to be Thankful For (Part VI)

For the Fifth consecutive year--2007's Missive is Here, 2008's Follow Up is Here, 2009's is here, 2010 is here and 2011 is Here.

7 Things to be Thankful For (Part VI)

1) Patient Wives: To start my list of things to be thankful for, I have to begin with my wife, who has put up with more than anyone should have to for over two decades. She has allowed our well-kept house to be invaded by more fishing tackle than most people can imagine, even in her living room. She's supported me the entire way, even when I am busy working, which seems to be all the time of late. She is the light of my life and I am deeply appreciative of all she does for me.

2) Democracy: Following a contentious election in which both sides claimed the end of the world was here if the other side won, I am happy to relay to you the information that no, the world is not coming to an end, and yes, we are still in the business of being America--the greatest country in the world. And nothing changes that; not the political affiliation of the president or congress, not the arbitrary attempts of our foes, and not the incessant political whining from all sides of the political spectrum. These pundits of all stripes spend their days blowing hot air while the vast majority of Americans get up in the morning and go about their day building a better future and a better America. And for that I'm thankful.

3) Glass Fly Rods: I do not try to hide my deep and abiding love for split cane fly rods, but over the past decade I have developed an interest and love for fiberglass fly rods and their history. In fact, it's the subject of my next book, and I've helped to organize the First International Glass Rod Expo held this coming May 2013 at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum. I grew up with glass and find that they are very, very underrated rods.

4) Fathers: I am blessed that my octogenarian father is still with us, and still collecting tackle and fishing it as well. It's very hard to be a father, a fact I'm discovering on a daily basis, and I have a deep appreciation for what my father did for me, considering all the crap I put him through in my younger days. So to all the fathers out there, here and gone, I salute you.

5) Collector Friends: Nothing I could do -- the blog, the articles, the books -- could be possible without a large, helpful, intelligent, and loyal network of collecting friends. Some of these folks I've known for twenty years of more and never met, but have spent hundreds of hours on the phone and on the internet with. To all my collecting friends, some of whom have passed, I owe you more than you will ever know. I hope I've been a good friend in return.

6) Smallmouth Bass: Dr. Henshall once called it the fightingest fish, pound for pound, in the world. While that may have been hyperbolic, the fact is a five pound clearwater smallmouth on a fly rod or ultralight spinning rod gives an angler the very real sense of the power in these fish. They are tough, wary, and beautiful -- everything you look for in a finny prey.

7) Trout Streams: Recently I've come to know the Mad River near Urbana, Ohio -- a classic trout stream. It's reminded me of how much I love these meandering, shallow water trout streams that can be found across America. I am very appreciative of the individuals and groups who have worked so hard to keep them clean and thriving. If you get a chance, make sure to volunteer helping with your local Rivers or Trout Unlimited chapter.

Here on our sixth Thanksgiving on the Fishing for History Blog, we are thankful for everything, but especially for the many readers of our blog.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and as always, be good to each other -- and most of all, be good to yourself.

-- Dr. Todd

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