Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Voices from the Past: Reuben Wood (1885)




The following blurb, from the June 25, 1885 issue of Forest & Stream, remembers one of the great fly casters and tackle dealers of the middle part of the ninetieth century--Reuben Wood of Syracuse, New York. A massively popular sort, this little remembrance was written by his friend, and poet, Isaac McClellan.

Reuben Wood -- In speaking of the exploit of Mr. W. H. Wood in killing a tarpon, as recorded in FOREST AND STREAM, "McClellan," in Land and Water, says of the late Reuben Wood:

"I wonder, by-the-bye, whether 'the tarpon slayer' is any relation to that dear old American angler and prince of fly casters, Reuben Wood, who was with us through the time of our Fisheries Exhibition. It seems only yesterday since he slept under the very roof which now shelters my own bend from n splendid, and most May-like, shower of hailstones. And now, alas! he sleeps under the green, mossy turf, whose every blade of glass be loved with the sweet simplicity of a guileless heart. It is no exaggeration to say that every Englishman who had the pleasure and honor to know 'Uncle Rube' loved him alike for his simplicity of nature, envied him good-naturedly for his wonderful skill with the fly-rod, and honored and respected him for his sterling qualities as a sportsman.

Poor mortals die, and make no sign,

But Nature still its life renews;

Spring woods, spring fields with glories shine,

Spring blushes Nature's face suffuse."

-- Dr. Todd

2 comments:

BCWood said...

Reuben Wood was our great- granduncle, brother of our great grandfather, Ira Wood. Both men loved the Adirondacks and were champion fly casters who traveled to England to compete, and win, in world competitions. (ref., Men I Have Fished With, by Fred Mather, c 1895) Reuben designed the Reuben Wood fly (among many others) that is still in catalogs today. Portraits of Reuben and Ira Wood appear in the Mather book.
B.C. Wood

BCWood said...

Reuben Wood was our great- granduncle, brother of our great grandfather, Ira Wood. Both men loved the Adirondacks and were champion fly casters who traveled to England to compete, and win, in world competitions. (ref., Men I Have Fished With, by Fred Mather, c 1895) Reuben designed the Reuben Wood fly (among many others) that is still in catalogs today. Portraits of Reuben and Ira Wood appear in the Mather book.
B.C. Wood