I received a package last week from my friends at Orvis that I knew contained a few new rods. These were replacing the rods that I lost in a fishing/rafting debacle last fall, the Orvis folks felt some sympathy for my misfortune and offered to help me get some new H3's to replace the ones that my friends somehow dropped and lost while rolling upside down in the dark on a cold, unfamiliar stream as the result of what could or could not have been caused by pilot error. "He Said/She Said Stuff" would be a good way to summarize our ideas on what really happened that night.
These rods were a bit more special than most in my collection as the set included a prototype Helios 3D that had worked it's way, painfully, to number one of my list for the 905 category. The other rod was matched with the 15 Year Limited Edition Hatch Gen 2 that I literally nought that morning. I hadn't lost a rod in that manner in well over 20 years (it was a Sage 590 VPS with a Gunnison) and I had become numb to the pain of losing something sweet.
Special gear just can't be replaced in the fly fishing world as they are, after all, just toys that come to mean more because of the emotions and time spent together rather than their practical functionality. So, I lamented quietly and came to resent my fishing buddies just a little bit more, everyday, for opting to cling to life in the cold, dark waters rather than clinging to my sacred sticks just a bit longer.
Shawn Combs - one of the smartest, hard-working and quietly competitive fly fishing executives I have come across (and master rod designer with Orvis) - and I exchanged a few texts one night as the weight of this loss became too much for me to bear. Also, I had given up on suing the landowner and the hope that my buddies would ever step up to replace my losses. Again, all they had to do was hold their breath a little bit longer and avoid being trapped under the raft as it POTENTIALLY rolled, end over end, in the dark down a fast-moving river in the dark...jeez! Anyway, Shawn said he would see what he could do, it might be awhile and I had the sneaking feeling that he also intended to say "don't hold your breath".
The package contained 3 new Orvis Helios 3D
fly rods, one each 905,906,907. I have a fly shop
full of new fly rods so the wonder of opening a new rod tube is often lost on me these days. However, Shawn mentioned something about personalization so I opened these with particular excitement and curiosity. I had excepted the white label on the rod's butt section to be miscolored or perhaps even not present. Maybe my name or some disparaging words referencing my boat rowing skills that particular night would be written on the label instead.
No, each rod has the name "Keyser Soze" cleanly etched into the aluminum reel seat insert. You'll have to watch the Usual Suspects from start to finish if that name is lost on you.
What did I think....I Have Been Heard!
Serious thanks to Orvis for these sticks...and to my buddies that gave up on my gear rather than risk a few more moments precariously rolling underwater in the dark.
SPECIAL NOTE (THIS CONTENT FEATURES SARCASM WHICH IS INETENDED TO BE HUMOROUS AND SELF-DEPRECATING...I love my buddies!)