Friday, November 11, 2016

A Personal Veteran's Day Salute

Trying to thank all of the women and men who are serving or have served in the U.S.A.'s military forces is a concept that boggles my mind.  I feel like saying, "Thank you, active military and veterans" or "Thank you for your service" isn't anywhere near adequate.  Instead, I'm going to thank someone personally and then hope that there are others who can personally thank the other individuals who deserve more than just our thanks.

I'd like to express my deep gratitude and admiration to Ralph Long of Ralph's Fly Box.  Ralph spent more than a decade in the military. He had one of those jobs that constantly put him in danger.

Ralph, thank you for everything you did and sacrificed to protect me and my family.

When I pour my evening beer tonight, I raise my glass to you, and also to your brothers and sisters in service.
(In case you're a new visitor or you just missed it, you can read about my recent trip to fish alongside Ralph on some of his home waters in Central PA.)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mornin' Ralph...

First hookup of the day
(click any photo to enlarge)
I can't claim to have traveled to a vast number trout venues, but inevitably it seems that someone will say "there are some big fish in here" about any given piece of water.  When Ralph told me that, I heard it.  I didn't NOT believe him... it's just that "big" is a relative idea.  As I started fighting my first fish of the day this past Saturday, it occurred to me that I had a BIG trout pulling on my little size 16 hook... on 5x tippet.  Uh oh.

I've been very lucky to share water with some great folks this year.  When Ralph and I managed to find an overlapping window in our schedules, I jumped at the chance.  I had no idea where we'd go, but I knew the day would be special.  I got up early last Saturday (10-29) morning to complete my travels to an undisclosed location in central Pennsylvania, stopping at Dunkin' for a few chocolate frosted donuts for me and pumpkin donuts as requested by Ralph.

For the few of you who don't know who Ralph is, here's my attempt at an introduction:  author Ralph "R. E." Long runs the blog Ralph's Fly Box.  He's published at least four books and writes for other publications.  He's a veteran.  He's a survivor.  He's a SURVIVOR.  And a darned fine angler!  Ralph was first out of the chute with some words and lots of photos of our day together.  I'll try a few photos and lots of words, as usual.