An old adage says that "friends of a feather flock together" which often holds true. I few weeks ago I had the fortune of spending a few days fishing some of the more remote waters of north-central Pennsylvania with one of my favorite people; a true "friend of a feather". It's always a blast to hike into some of these places with a good friend that enjoys the adventure of exploring these hidden gems. Julie fishes with intensity and most of the time I have to drag her off the water at the end of the day. We have had some great adventures in the PA Wilds, and I look forward to the next time. This week's post is a pic from one of several remote blue line gems we hiked into. Till next time ..... #julieszurflyfishing #mermaidofthepine

I think most of us have a few rods that are like old friends. Fly rod tapers are highly personal choices, and when you find one that clicks with your personality and casting style, they become the ones you string up most often. It’s been a trying period in my life lately, but there is therapy to be found in quiet places where a weary spirit can re-connect with its center. I decided to take an old friend for the day, one that had not been out of the tube for years. It was the first quality fly rod I had ever bought many years ago, and it seemed like a logical choice to fish it again. It had been years since I fished it and it felt good to put it together and thread the guides. I had nearly forgotten how smoothly it cast a line. There were Marsh Marigolds and Trout Lilies in bloom along the creek bottom, a few pink colored mayflies over the water and a slow rise mid-stream. The little fly disappeared in a quiet swirl, and I was shocked by the resistance from the other end. A few minutes later a beautifully freckled girl with bright turquoise cheeks lay panting in the net. I felt my spirit smiling like it hasn’t in a while and I offered thanks as it paddled away. I don’t add numbers when I fish; but I can say that it was a remarkably good day, and a great feeling when I finally clipped the well-chewed Hendrickson from the tippet and put the old rod back in its tube. Sometimes it’s good to fish with an old friend. Till next week … #itsaboutthefish #getwild #thomasandthomas

It’s a wonder that I ever survived the wading follies of my youth, and it’s only by the grace of God that some of them didn’t end differently. Those were days that predated felt soles, studs and cleats and thoughts of devices like a wading staff were as distant as thoughts of getting a colonoscopy or a prostate exam. I can still remember my buddy’s dad watching us crossing some heavy water when we were teenagers and shaking his head and reminding us that we weren’t invincible. Fish enough and you’ve probably had a few moments that reminded you of mortality. I used to look at the cost of cleats as a luxury item I could live without, but somewhere along the road started looking at them as another form of insurance. While the manufacturers of these things offer vague guidelines on how many cleats a stream angler needs or a recommended pattern for arranging them, my own experience says there’s a direct correlation between age and the number of cleats one should put on their wading shoes. Just recently I decided to inspect my wading shoes after seeming to slip around more than I usually do and discovered I had lost a few cleats along the way. Check those soles from time to time. It’s like renewing your insurance …