The Fly Tying Journal #2
Written By: Joshua Trey Barnett
Edited and Revised By: Mrs. Tammy Barnett
Lets go boys, the fish arent going to wait very long! called my father
Were coming dad! we replied
It was Sunday morning, and my dad was ready to hit the river, as he always was! My three brothers and I jumped out of bed and threw on some old clothes. We walked into our dads fly tying room, and watched as he tied a few flies for the river. He told us to grab our vests and put the flies in it for the river! Our father had always taught us to only take the most necessary supplies! A heavy vest is bound to lead to a heavy back. he would always remind us
You see, fly fishing and fly tying had become a pretty important thing to the men in our family. You went fishing on Sunday and tied the rest of the week! When my brothers and I first learned to fly fish we didnt think very highly of it. Now its practically all we think about. My father had began to wen us in to tying when we were only 7 years old! Which I suppose had been a very wonderful thing, but all of my brothers had always had different thoughts about the whole fly fishing and fly tying thing. They were always the All American boys, they played football, baseball, and basketball. I had to, but deep down fly fishing and fly tying were my true passions.
When my eldest brother turned thirteen he went into my fathers den and explained to my father that he didnt want to be a part of the fly fishing thing anymore. To my father this was a horrific heartbreak. As because he had always thought that all of his children would be fly fisherman for life! My father sat down and talked to all of his four children at one time. He asked my second eldest brother if he still wanted to be a part of the family tradition. He said No father, it comes a time in a boys life where he needs to concentrate on his social life a little more than his family fishing tradition. Once again my father took it as a complete insult and sent my two eldest brothers out of the room.
Then he sat down with my younger brother and I and asked the same question to my younger brother first. He said that he really didnt like it, and for some reason he began to cry. My father told him to just get out! And so he did! My father looked at me very hard before saying Do you want to stop fishing? I said No sir, I love the sport and I am willing to dedicate my life to profecting the arts!
My father just smiled at me and said, Thank you, I knew you and I would do this forever! I smiled, and left the tying room and walked in to the room that I shared with my younger brother Thomas! He asked me what I said and I told him everything! Once again he began to cry. I pushed him down and said Stop acting like a baby! He walked out!
Later that night I went and found him and apologized for what I had done! Even though I really wasnt sorry, it felt like the right thing to do! I invited him to come down and eat with me and one of my friends that was to be coming over!
Next Sunday, my dad woke me up and said that it was time to go fishing! As usual I jumped out of my bed and put on some clothes, went to his tying room, gathered up my things and we left! We drove for about three hour before we met our destination. On our way, my dad asked me if I would like to move to a place where we wouldnt have to drive to get to the local river. I said Where? He said Ponders Creek, its a lovely little neighborhood with one of the best creeks flowing through it! I said Yes, of course. He explained to me exactly where it was and when we would be moving. Then he asked me another question, Would you like to open up a fly shop in a few years when you turn 16? I said Yes, we could call it Mandelria & Son.
Finally we got to the creek and we fished for about three hours. When my dad called for me I went straight to him with my rod already packed away into my Unicoi Outfitters case. I was ready to go and tell my brothers the good news! When we got home my brothers were still in the bed, so I had to wait! Hours passed and they were still not up! Finally, I went up to their room and woke them up! My eldest brother awoke first, then the rest! I told them all about the place we were going to move, and about the fly shop! They were all very excited, or at least they acted like they were. Anyways, it felt good!
Two months later we moved into our new home, and started fly fishing sessions every day! We would walk to the river, fish for an hour and come home! It was beginning to become a habit! We loved it! Occasionally, my brothers would come and go with us! It was just like old times, but somehow it was different. I felt guilty for some reason! I couldnt figure out why!
Now 15, I wondered if my dad even remembered about the Mandelria & Son Fly Shop and Outfitters! I guess I would find out in a few months! Then it hit me, the reason I had felt so guilty for the past year or so... John Mandelria, my father, didnt have a son, he had 4 sons!
It was February 18, 2002 and it was my sixteenth birthday! My dad comes up to me and said Son, do you remember what we talked about as a 16 year old gift? I said Yes father. He told me to follow him... we went to his truck, got in, and drove about 3 miles down the road! My father pulled into a parking lot to an old lodge-like building! There was something covered up on the front of the building! My dad told me to go pull on a string hanging from the side of the house.
When I pulled on the string the covering fell, and there lay a sign that read Mandelria & Sons Fly Shop and Outfitters. I was so amazed! My father told me that he too, had felt guilty about not incorporating the other kids. He also told me that Fly Fishing is supposed to be peaceful, not to disturb! That is all he said!
He showed me around our new shop! There were racks, and tables with dividers for flies, and my very own fly tying corner complete with a desk, stocked drawers, and the most amazing picture of my brothers and father building this magnificent boat out of the nicest and smoothest wood I had ever seen! When I asked my father where he had the picture taken, all he said was Follow me!
He took me around back, and there sitting under a covered barn were two wonderful creations. A boat, and a split cane rod with my brothers names ingraved in it!
The Fly Tying Journal #3
Written By: Joshua Trey Barnett
Edited and Revised By: Mrs. TammyBarnett
It was September 17, 1968 and Mr. John Thomason was going to open up his trout pond in just a few more weeks. My father and I had been waiting for the pond to open for three months. Three may not seem like such a large number but thats lamest terms for about 90 days. Now 90 is a lot!
For the past three months my father and I had been tying flies as many times a day as we could. Its practically all we did. Now that the pond is about to open all we have to do is prepare, clean, and inspect all of our equipment for an outing on a lake or river. This, to me is one of the funnest things to do! The excitement is so wonderful... the desire to fish, the sleepless nights and the constant checking and re-checking of your fly boxes makes it so great!
It is now October 08,1968 and it is the night before Mr. Thomason opens his pond! As usual my father and I will be hitting the lake the next morning around four thirty. At least that is our plan. My father has been telling me to check arsenals, and vests all night long. At one point he had told me so many times in a 10 minute period I thought I was going to freak out!
You see when it comes to fly fishing my father acts like he is new to the sport and has to check everything about fifty million times before he will stop. I think, that he thinks I like to do that, but I dont. I only like to check once, and make sure everything is good! And as I said earlier the constant checking and re-checking make it so great... that only applies to the off-season!
Ding! Ding! Ding! My alarm clock was sounding off, my clock said that it was three in the morning! My dad slowly walked up the steps to my room and made sure I was getting up! When I saw him I told him to make me some breakfast! He said he would and walked off downstairs!
After I had put on some clothes, I walked into my fly shop over the garage and picked up all of my equipment that I would need today. I slowly walked into the kitchen where my father was starting the griddle and beginning to lay the bacon on it. The sweet and bold aroma of the meat cooking was so wonderful it makes you think of all the good times, and brings back memories of mornings just like this one where you get up early and leave to go fishing.
When we finish eating my father tells me to go and brush my teeth and to make any final preparations for our day out. So, I did as he had told me... I went and brushed my teeth, fixed my hair and gathered my equipment off of my bedroom floor! I walked throughout the house checking to make sure that there were no lights or appliances left on. When I finished I walked downstairs and out the door and into the truck!
We were off! My father and I talked about many different topics on fishing and tying for a while and the rest of the time I read a fly fishing magazine that was having a special on tying spinner eggs. When we finally turned on the small dirt road named Thomason Trout Farm Road my father started to go through all the important flies for the pond and telling me the best spots and how to fish them.
Now our trip was getting exciting! My blood was flowing so rapidly that I thought, for just a moment, I was going to pass out! However, that was one of the best times in my life it was also one of the weirdest. When a small parking lot came into view my father began to fuss because there were so many people there. But, I guess we should have expected it! Thats the way it had always been.
My father finally stumbled upon a small parking spot located right near the water. He stopped and told me to get out all of my stuff and get ready for a great day of fishing. Once again, I did as he had told me... I got my Dogwood Canyon Fly Rod out and put it together in a matter of just a few seconds! I was in such a hurry I forgot to align the holes on my rod. Good thing my father was very attentive, he noticed the problem and told me to fix it.
Once I had finished putting everything together and had tied on my fly we were ready to go fishing. My father led me on a small, dirt trail to his favorite spot. When we arrived we began to fish immediately. Since it was only about four thirty we couldnt see to well, so we had to let out very sparse line! To my amazement I catch a small trout. Of course its not large enough to keep so we release it back into its natural habitat. My father tells me that if its not 17 inches long that its not large enough to keep. I ask him why and he tells me to be quiet.
About three hours had passed at this time, and I was getting a little hungry. I told my dad, and all he said was ..well eat in a while, now its time to fish. The sun is coming out now and we are starting to catch more fish. My father pulled in a nice size Rainbow, still not large enough to keep. From there on out for about thirty minutes we didnt catch anything, finally I pulled in yet another small trout. I was beginning to get irritated because my dad was catching larger fish than me.
I asked my father what fly he was using, and he said it was a Prarie Fox Special. I asked him what it was and he explained to me that it was just an easy way of saying a Barnett Brown. I said Oh. and went back to my casting. I made a pretty nice cast out into a large deep pool up in a cove. I pulled in my largest fish of the day so far, it was a nice Rainbow about 15 inches long. My dad made an exception and let me keep it so that we could cook it. I was very proud of myself. I had never really caught a trophy before then!
We stayed at Thomasons Trout Farm for a few more hours and then we went home. On our way back to our house my father told me many stories of him and his father going fly fishing just like we do. He told me stories about his huge fish and how his father was just like me and everything else. He also told me how he had always dreamed of being a professional fly fisher one day. He told me that at his age he couldnt do it, but that one day I could and that I would be the best in the world.
The next day my father passed away from a stroke. Luckily he died in his sleep and didnt have to suffer quite as much. The next few days after the funeral had been a real drag and before soon I was back in school. All I thought about was fly fishing. My grades dropped from a lack of studying. My teacher found papers throughout my folders with the most terrific stories of fishing and how I was going to be a pro one day! When my teacher contacted my mother she told her of the stories and pictures. My mother understood what I was going through, and didnt punish me. She also told me to do my best and one day my dreams will come true.
One day I got my mother to go fly fishing with me, even though I spent most of my time getting my mother out of tangles it was kinda like ol times. Me and my mother went fly fishing every now and then from there on out. But not like my father and I, there was no passion on her part she was doing it to please me, my father did it to please himself.
I am now 30 years old and I have got three beautiful young boys. My wifes name is Karen and we named our boys John, Thomas, and Jeremiah! They are the greatest children. John, the oldest, is beginning to tie flies. he has already learned to fly fish. My other two boys are beginning there casting lessons in a few weeks. Sooner or later we will be able to go on fishing trips just like my father and I did 20 or so years back.
At age thirty two, I have now got my own fly fishing show, that broadcasts once a week. It is called Stories of Father and Son On the River. Every now and then my two oldest boys will get to be on t.v. doing a short commercial for the show or something. I guess what my mom told me was true. Just do your best and your dreams will come true.
tie on... caddislfy
The Fly Tying Jounral #4
By Joshua Trey Barnett
A poem on fly fishing:
Chirp, Chirp, Chirp!
The bird's are singing wildly now...
the fish are jumpin' into a pile!
We cast out our flies,
what do I see in my eyes?
A fish is coming,
up, up, up...
The trout grabs the shank!
Whoah it's a biggin'.
wow it can pull,
Good lord, it's as large as a mule!
I thinks it's a trophy,
all up on my line,
wow it's a large on,
and it's all mine!
I don't think twice
fore' I pull on the line,
good mama it's three times your size,
I think it's a keeper,
wow, good jeepers!
It weighs a hundred pounds,
My dad takes the measurements,
and guess what it reads,
3 pounds and three ounces,
what a fish on my line!
tie on... caddisfly
PS- for all of us fisherman
this tells all the truth of how
we lie about those "huge"
fish on the ends of our