OT: Lost a good, old fly rod

I believe I have fallen into an old person issue: forgetfulness.

I have a rod vault above my camper shell that allows me to store three fully rigged fly rods up to 10 feet long.

I was preparing for a 45-minute drive to White Hole parking lot to join Louis Campbell two days ago.

I checked the rod vault to see what was ready. It was an 18-year old Orvis T3. It was my first expensive rod. I have probably one dozen newer graphite high dollar rods.

My newest is a Sage R8 that is pay for 7 days work at fly shop. I used it in Pennsylvania. It is a dry fly fisher’s dream. It was not rigged. I am fortunate that I had not put it in vault after traveling in wife’s Acura MDX on our trip.

I had popped open the back of rod vault. Unlocked it. I was distracted by a phone call as I tossed my reel case and three rod tubes on back seat.

I then drove off with the back cover of rod vault open. I’ve done that before and someone honked at me a few blocks from the house and I stopped and fixed things. Not this time.

I got to White Hole and got out of truck to see fly line strung out behind the truck for 30 yards. I looked in vault to see the last 3 sections of the rod and an indicator near the tip.

The butt section and reel popped off and fell out somewhere on highway. Gone. It was a good Ross Animas reel, one of the first high dollar reels I bought.

This was a good rod combination I reserved for kids at Dry Run Creek, a solid mid flex 5 weight. It had some cosmetic defects (spots) from being put up in the sock still wet after fishing in the rain. But it was a great rod. Fished hundreds of times with thousands caught all over the country. It’s also a rod I hand to guests. It was perfect for new fly fishers like I was 18 years ago, not hard to cast although not a cannon.

It had a great warranty. It could be returned if smashed, if you had all four pieces. I have only three and a sock and a tube. Orvis won’t touch it now.

I retraced that road three times. I figure someone picked it up and maybe the reel is ok, but probably it’s trashed.

I know this is a clear sign that I’m getting old. I still know my name and where I live. I have not told this to a family member for fear they will put restrictions on me.

I have plenty of top fly rods and won’t be hurting for good weapons on the river.

But I lost an important memory. This rod was partly bought by Louis Campbell. I had been paying for it at the fly shop in Fayetteville in installments. $100 at a time for 5/6 months.

I came in to make a payment and the shop owner said, “A friend paid the balance. It’s yours.” Eventually, Louis Campbell admitted he’d done it with camp money as reward for teaching him to fly fish.

So I told Louis about the demise of that rod. I did not feel so bad when he said, “I don’t remember doing that.”

I told him that made me feel better. Here was another old forgetful dude — older than me — and he’s still getting permission to go fishing by himself, too.


Oh all the things I’ve lost in life I miss my memory the most. I forget things now and have learned to write things down when I leave for town so I can remember the things I need to get and all the places I need to go.

It don’t get better


If this is any consolation…. I was changing the batteries to my hearing aids when the doorbell rang. Put them down, answered the door and then came back to complete the battery changing task. Uh, not where I put them down. Maybe I put them on the desk. Not there. Kitchen counter. Nope.

Mrs. Pavlov and I literally tore up the whole house looking for them.

Kids came over and looked. So did our neighbors. Just flat gone.

I’ve had to get new ones at the cost of $3.5K. I suspect when the credit card has been paid they will magically reappear.

I make lists constantly. I have a list of lists.

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Man I hate to hear that Clay! Tough to lose the memories that you had with those rods.

I make lists too. I carry a pocket notebook almost everywhere I go to write names, places, or anything that pops in my head that I want to remember later. My kids don’t know how bad my memory is but they see me taking notes.

Having a mother who had Alzheimer’s and her father who probably had Alzheimer’s is a scary thought for me and my two sisters. It may not be hereditary but try convincing me and my sisters that.

I also have learned I have to put my tools back in their place after every use, and put by car keys and eye glasses (with clear frames) in the same place at home, Otherwise it’s a search and find mission every time.

The last thing I started doing a few years ago is carrying multiple sets of keys with me. I still bike, hike, and tent camp alone … often in wilderness areas. Losing you keys in the boonies of Alaska or British Columbia is not a good thing when your closest neighbors are grizzly bears. The problem is I forget where I hide my extra keys.

Lately I’ve been trying to see how much I can do without a vehicle. I moved to a new smaller place where I can walk or bike to my doctor’s appointments or hospital, walk to my pharmacist and grocery store.

My doctor’s think it’s great I’m out getting exercise but honestly my driving is getting bad. Too inattentive. I always thought that States should require annual driving tests after you turn 65 or so. My mother would get lost driving to church or the grocery store. She lived in the same house her entire life except 4 years of college so she seemed to remember that route most times.

We should have taken away the car keys from my mom several years before we did. I may take the truck keys away from myself. I told my kids that but they don’t want me to become a burden on them.

Dementia sucks. Beats the alternative for now but there is no quality of life if you have Alzheimer’s.

Ugh, that sucks. Getting old is tough! Hang in there. Fish and golf a lot!

Good friends like Lewis are few and far between. I lose keys. Then find them after getting new ones made. Car keys that cost a lot to replace. It’s infuriating.

If I don’t put something in the calendar on my phone, I will never remember it.

I have a good friend who is older than me but having issues with memory which is sad to see. He still wants to go to places such as out to eat ,movies, etc. . Somehow his wife has decided I am best one to make sure he keeps his pants zipped up on restroom visits when we do go out as a group. That was not on my bucket list when I retired but it happens to all of us sooner or later.

Turned 82 in June, so far if I can’t remember something, if I concentrate on it hard enough I can usually scrounge up an answer, the problem is it takes more and more concentration to come up with the info.
I would hate to completely lose my thoughts to that disease that shall not be named.

Life is grand and a blast, if you have your health. Every day is a blessing when you can still care for yourself. Being the youngest of twelve, I have had some sad times. I have five older sisters, my four brothers are absent from the body, but so many beautiful memories of great family get-togethers- huge get-togethers’. Family reunions were logistical wonders.

Hang in there, OldGreyHog. You are wise to remain active. Exercise and a good diet are your best friend. My cardiologist likes to say, ‘you can’t exercise enough to counterbalance a poor diet’.

I laugh a lot at things I forget to do. Good therapy. I laughed like crazy a few weeks ago. A nice really old man came into fly shop and plopped onto couch for a long visit.

He got ready to leave and pulled out his truck key. Old truck. No FOB.

It had a string tied to it. The string went into his pocket. I assumed wrong the string was sewn into the pocket so he could not lose it. No, he said. He smiled and said there was a hole in his pocket for the string and it was tied onto something else.

I laughed a long time. His wife did that after he lost a few keys.


I lose keys. Hopefully my wife does not think of that. :grimacing:

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On the other hand, I still have many wonderful memories of things that on reflection I am sure really never happened.

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