|Orvis CFO Reel I purchased many moons ago, like the proverbial Timex "just keeps on tickin'"|
The creator of some of the finest fly reels ever made (and certainly some of the most expensive) has died.
Stanley Bogdan died Monday at the ripe old age of 92. For decades, his exquisitely machined reels were sought after by fly fishing royalty — baseball great Ted Williams, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, singer Bing Crosby and jazz legend Benny Goodman.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Bogdan’s craftsmanship is that he remained active in it until just a few months before his death.
Monte Burke wrote a nice piece about Bogdan for Forbes magazine. The article can be found in this blog post Burke wrote when he learned of Bogdan’s passing.
Upon graduating high school, almost but not quite pure, thanks to a grave yard shift job that left me not only free all day to fish as I pleased but also paid the way to keep the ol' Studebaker tickin' my fly fishing horizons took a giant leap. With fishing buddy Dale Coombes, riding shotgun we set a course to cast flies in every fishable stream within range--that is allowed us at least a couple hours sleep prior to punching in 11 p.m. That we didn't manage to hit them all was not because we didn't give it our best shot. It was during that frenzied period an old guy (sorry can't come with it) I worked with taught me to tie a decent fly--at last flies started falling off the vice didn't threatened to cause the OM to die laughing.
We also began running into Jack Beagle frequently. I had known Jack for sometime as he drove the school sports bus to all our baseball, basketball and football games. On the way to the games naturally we were not allowed to talk anything but the game at hand but on the way home victorious--which we happened to do frequently--we could talk anything we wanted. I would grab the seat behind Jack and talk fly fishing all the way home. On stream he graciously taught Dale and me maybe not every trick in the book but close...And our catch rate that summer soared beyond our wildest imaginations.
Pretty hot stuff, these two young punks? Damn straight.
But we were about to be knocked down a peg or three by a storied crick name of Penn's.
Ever since we'd first turned the pages of Outdoor Life, Field and Stream and Sports Afield periodical tales of the fabled crick had hooked us deeply. The much ballyhooed green drake hatch was of course the HATCH you didn't want to miss so...
At the appointed due date--Memorial Day is prime time--we packed the Stude with sleeping bags, food enough for an army--I could eat but Dale's appetite was the stuff of legends--fishing gear and headed. First stop though was a hardware store in Lewisburg--Donehower's I think--reputed to hold the biggest fly selection in our part of the Universe. No disappointment we came away armed to the teeth with green drake patterns and nearly too broke to get to the crick and back...a minor detail we'd deal with later.