Year of the Hendrickson: February 18th 1915

Roy Steenrod
Courtesy of Dette Trout Flies

Bradley, N.Y
February 18, 1915

Dear Mr. Steenrod:
Years ago there was a boom in Magnetic Spring water in Michigan and my Mother was ordered there to drink the waters. It was almost like a gold strike, 3,000 people, many with attendants, had come for the waters, and there were no proper hotels. They were building but the place was jammed. We were lucky in getting into a nice new house, good cook, etc.

I expected no fishing but had an old fly rod, reel and line with me. There was a little river and a big half-lake, half swamp, with board, deep channels, wandering around a new hotel. I got back of it and found that one of the biggest channels was made in there and ran along firm ground. The water was dark, but clear. Soon I saw a large black shadow glide behind a stump and swim out into deep water. I ran home for rod and tried to get some minnows. Caught a few with kitchen flies and small hook, but all too big to use with fly rod. Had to cast from coils on ground. Could just get across to best water; with such big baits had to give lots of time. Presently the line began to slip thru the rings. I gave about 20 feet, then struck. In a moment a big ass was in the air. After a fine bit of sport, it proved to weigh 4 ¾ lbs. I killed five from 2 ¾ to 4 ¾ and then minnows gave out and could not get more. However, I had lots of fish for all the boarders and for a couple next door. I had a lot of good fishing on that little river and in the marshy lake. Such fine bass and a few nice pickerel of about 3 lbs. each.

Such an unexpected strike was delightful. I kept the house in fish all the time. The old mad did not wish to accept board from me. What do you think of that?
Theodore Gordon

Edited by John McDonald, by permission of Theodore Gordon Flyfishers.

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