TEAM7xers, Bob, Everett and Tom arrived to rain in the Catskills 7/23, limiting our Wednesday opportunities. Heading to the West Branch Delaware on Thursday, Bob left his vest behind at the Pasture Pool, Stilesville, for those who are familiar with the area. We left for the Gamelands, down river when we discovered it missing. Racing back (try that on the access road!) to the scene, the vest was gone. Now a Simms vest with Abel pliers, loaded with Bob's (an expert fly tier) flies , boxes and other usual gear would set up a fly fisher for life!
After much lamenting, as we came into cell range next AM, Bob's phone chirped a message. "I found your vest, call xxx" Sure enough, Steve a WB local from nearby PA had it and arranged to meet us at "Barking Dog" another named WB pool. Met with Tony from CT and Malcolm from NJ his fishing partners and learned that all 3 were at the Gamelands the prior evening; Bob's vest 10 feet away in their vehicle while we're racing back to locate it!
Steve and Bob
Now the tale reaches the "You can't make this up" category: Friday evening, again at the Gamelands, Everett sits on the bank, looks down at the water's edge and sees a bobbing fly box full of nymphs with a phone number inside. He calls it when in cell range and leaves a message, receiving a return call Saturday morning. Chatting with the caller about the return, Everett learns his name is "Malcolm" and he's from NJ…YEP, same fly fisherman we met the day before with Steve and the found vest…in a completely different location miles from the Pasture Pool! Go figure...
Now, acres and acres of water, woods, roads, trails, paths…what are the chances??
Malcolm's fly box
Moral: If you begin to lose faith in the goodness of people and mankind in general, find a fly fisher. Every fly fisher I know would have gone to all ends to find the rightful owner of lost gear…Steve you're a good man and we can't wait to join in your invitation to fish with you on our next trip up.
Malcolm, you'll have your fly box back shortly and Tony…we'll see you on the Farmington!
PS: Not all licenses, like Bob's RI license, contain a contact phone number. Tuck away a laminated phone contact or other somewhere in your pack, vest, etc.