Some things in life are inevitable. Unavoidable, and hence must be accepted and dealt with. As in it was only inevitable for me to continuing writing this blog and hence my meathead friends eventually finding out. Good lord what a disaster.
Myself, Nick and my cousin Weber, went out the week before Christmas to a bar in the city to meet up with our friend Mike Manfre. Home from California; Mike left New Jersey with his girlfriend chasing hollywood dreams. It was his girlfriend who actually inspired me to write, and continues to help me learn. So there again, it was inevitable Mike would become aware of the blog. And he did. No big deal, he understands it.
After a few beers at the bar that night, he “slipped” and within 5 minutes Weber and Nick were taking turns reading my blog aloud to the rest of the bar. Weber even wasted a good 10 minutes of his life creating the name “Ivana Hump” and attempted to post a reply. Jackass didn’t realize I have ability to approve all comments. Amongst my friends, word spread like wildfire about the blog. My views skyrocketed in conjunction with a new rash of ball-busting from all my friends.
Inevitability, however does not always need be a negative correlation. Maybe it was karma, but that same weekend I managed to place second in the fantasy football league against the same meatheads who took shots at “De-Hart of a Maker”. The prize money along with some Christmas gift money was enough to get me shopping for my dream bamboo fly rod! Wait, wait a minute. I build rods right? Not collect? True. However, as previously stated I have lusted for an F.E Thomas fly rod since I began googling 6 sided rods back in highschool computer tech classes. Thanks to all my moron friends inability to efficiently run a fantasy football team I was in position to shop for my vintage Thomas fly rod, finally.
I planned on playing it cool, take my time and find exactly the Thomas rod I wanted. All original, fish-able, and the F.e Thomas look. John Gierach once wrote that he was “casually looking for a 9ft Granger fly rod.” I’ve always envied that statement. The ability to have the funds, and the patience to be “casually” searching for a rod. This was my time, and that’s how I had envisioned my approach. I put some feelers out in search of my rod. I swore to myself that I would be patient and not rush anything.
Enter Sante Guiliani. In the bamboo rod collecting circles this guy is like the new Marty Keane. (If your reading this and don’t know him, find out who he was. A game changer). In the past I had read Sante’s historical recollections and theories on F.e Thomas as he is one of the top collectors of said maker. So within one week of my search I decided to reach out to him.
In my mind, nothing other than fate had taken its course. Sante had just taken in an all original Fred Thomas made rod on consignment. I’m not going to delve into the history of the F.e Thomas rod company; people like Sante have, and continue to do that leg work. I will say that this rod with no numbering on the butt cap and other intarcrite details put this rod as being made between 1901-1902. Over 100 years!!!!! The rod had everything I’d dreamed it would. Full intermediates, tiny cigar grip, the Thomas signature wraps. Jesus, after reading his description and looking over the photos he sent turned me from “casual” shopper to rabid F.e Thomas craving maniac. The transaction went perfect. He described every detail, feeding fuel to my fire. Sante even got me info from the original owners son in regards to his fathers rod. It was perfection. I was getting the rod I wanted, with all the history I could handle.
Call it fate, or maybe inevitability that I had finally gotten my dream rod. But I got it. Now if this damned east coast weather will just work with me here a bit I can go out and cast this beauty. And in spite of my own wedding taking place at the end of April, I will find the time to fish this rod for native brookies on a certain Maine pond come this July. Certainly not inevitable, but it’ll be damn close to time for the fabled hexagenia mayfly to be coming off right around then.