By SLIM RANDLES
It was just one of those things. It didn’t really mean Marvin Pincus had lost his mind. Consider this yourself for a minute. Marvin had opened the mail that morning and in it was the Fenwick glass fly rod he’d ordered. Oh, it was used, of course. But there’s a feel to a Fenwick that only a man dedicated to a life of using dry flies can appreciate.
The weather was gorgeous. The fish were biting on Lewis Creek. But there was a hitch. Marvin had broken his ankle the previous week and was temporarily in a wheelchair. It was his right ankle, so he couldn’t drive down to the creek. And there, in his hands, was the Fenwick. He put it together, attached a reel and some four-weight line and set it on the couch and looked at it.
Marjorie was off visiting her sister, so she couldn’t help him. But there’s a pull, an irresistible draw to a fly rod. He had to cast it. Now.
It took Marvin about 20 minutes to negotiate the front steps with that wheelchair and the Fenwick. Oh, he could’ve called a friend to help him, but how could he possibly explain why?
Finally, he negotiated the sidewalk and then the edge of the street itself. There were no cars coming this early afternoon.
Up came the Fenwick. A few swishes in the air told Marvin he’d done the right thing in ordering the rod. So he ran out some line and began casting. About halfway across the street was a large mulberry leaf. He did a double haul on the line and sent the fly toward the leaf. It took several tries before he hit it, but when he made that cast, you could’ve sold tickets to it. His fly came to rest about three feet above the leaf and then fluttered gently down onto its target. Marvin’s smile said it all.
Then the school bus came around the corner full of kids heading home, and Marvin realized he was casting a fly rod from a wheelchair onto dry pavement.
“Hi Mr. Pincus!” yelled one of the kids. “Catch anything?”
“A little slow today, Billy,” he yelled back.
“Isn’t it hard to catch fish without water?” Billy yelled.
“It’s okay, son,” Marvin said with a grin. “I’m using a dry fly!