Dreaming in cane

Take a walk back in time, visit Maine and stop in to talk with old Fred Thomas and sample his wares!

The heat wave has curtailed my fishing a bit, though I am still haunting the Catskill rivers, the hours spent there are fewer and more precious. Left to my own daydreaming I’d love to have a pocketful of cash and take a tour of the grand rod shops of the 1930’s!

A trip to Maine would certainly be in order. Fishing the brook trout there and browsing the F.E. Thomas shop would make for a delightful holiday. Yes, Fred that 8 foot Special for a four is perfect, and the seven and a half Browntone for a five!

Closer to home I’d stop at the eastern threshold to the Catskills, visit Leonard where it all began. Their 50 DF would be a perfect three piece. Of course I would take a couple of days to hang around Jim Payne’s shop. Perhaps these three would suit me Jim, the 98 the 100 and the 102. May I try that Hardy St. George to see how it balances please!

I’d even suffer the City to browse at Abercrombie & Fitch’s and Mills’ establishments. Why each of those rods I’d acquired should have the perfect reel. A love for classic tackle is infectious and all consuming at times.

How I would simply love us to be free of the threat of this virus that I might enjoy the shops and people I know in this time. Dennis Menscer’s rod shop is just across Point Mountain from my desk and I have so many thoughts and questions for him. A few seasons back he experimented with a pentagonal rod and had me take it for an afternoon on the West Branch. I am intrigued by pents, and I enjoyed the rod, and would love to spend more time with it now that summer is here.

I haven’t set foot in either of the classic fly shops in Roscoe or Livingston Manor for months. I miss browsing, sharing stories and ideas, and finding a bit of tackle or tying material to add to my larder.

There are many friends I hoped to fish with this season. Mike and Andy and Tom looked to make the trip to Hancock where I might just put them in front of a big wild brown or two. I know John has done some work to improve the hunting at his cabin, and I’d hoped to be there to add my labor to the cause; and of course we never get to fish together enough. As this year has unfolded, it is as likely to share a day astream with these friends as to walk back in time to the Golden Age.

Daydreams: visions of light line cane rods and golden afternoons with friends…

One thought on “Dreaming in cane

  1. Mark, I bought the 71/2 penta from Dennis and have been fishing the heck out of it this year. I like the original heavier tips for most situations it it’s nice to have the lighter options. Pentas have become my favorites , 7’& 8’ Uslans ( the 8’ was owned by Doc Freid ) and a 71/2 5-6 wgt from Rob Smith ( Pentlux) I even have a tri-hex from Bob Hallowell. When this situation finally ends we need to get together for some casting and comparing. Mike Canonico


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