Friday, June 6, 2008
This is the club house at Spruce Creek Rod and Gun Club, it is over 100 years old and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It's famous as fly fishing destinations go. Jimmy Carter, George Bush and many legendary fly fisherman have chased the trout that live in beautiful chalk stream. One of those was George Harvey, a long time member of the club, author, inventor of trout flies and teacher of the fly fishing classes at Penn State. George passed away earlier this year. When I found out, a treasured memory took me back in time two years. John Collins my friend, collector, and club member were fishing Johnsons stretch. A old station wagon pulled up as evening was closing in. It was George and his driver /caretaker. Dementia had stolen much of his recent memories but it could not steal from him his love of this place. It was Memorial Day weekend 2006. George wanted to know if the green drakes were hatching yet, even though he was physically no longer able to fish. It was enough just to be there. A b/w photo of George still hangs in the club house along with all the other current members. It was taken years ago while he was in his glory. Young enough to fish hard all day but old enough and wise enough to appreciate it. He's got a big smile and favorite fishing hat on. I studied the photo for along time ... I could not imagine him gone. Thoughts of all those I have loved and are now gone make the thought of heaven a little sweeter. When I'm on the stream it feels like they are still with me. It's one of the reasons I need to fish more and work less the older I get.