Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > More Men Like Them

LenHFebruary 28th, 2008, 5:10 pm
driftless area

Posts: 58
More Men Like Them
By: Len Harris

My dad was the ultimate sportsman. He tried every fangled new thing that he read in the classic magazines. (Field & Stream and Outdoor Life). He always read them at the local gas station with the rest of the hunting and fishing fans.

His interests were diverse. You could see him on the stream with a bamboo fly rod in the 50s and 60s before bamboo became chic. Then you might be invited to the Harris Laboratory to help him make a recurve bow in the early 60s.

I always had a birds eye view of all of the new projects. Being the only son, my dad thought I should watch and learn from each one of his ventures into the outdoors.

I still remember the guys from the local station coming to watch my father shoot his long bow in the back yard and watch him false cast in April with his bamboo fly rod.

My dad would take out lots of the local young guys fishing and hunting. He tried to expose the young guys to the proper ways of being an outdoorsman.

He would target the boys without father or fathers that weren't outdoorsy. It was kinda a quest of his. He would say..."If they respect the outdoors and can shoot a deer or clean a fish.....that was a good step to becoming a good man in adulthood." "Lots of the lessons of the outdoors translate directly into regular day living." My dad was adamant about that.

I was too little in the beginning to go hunting so i pretty much went only fishing with him. We were always joined by one of the local young men. I was always a little jealous when dad would head up north deer hunting and would have 2 or 3 local teenagers in tow to learn the ways of the outdoors.

I started going hunting with dad at 8. We went squirrel and pheasant huntin'. I usually helped the dog flush birds or tree squirrels while my dad and his hunting friends shot them. It was really fun being out there. I would always listen to the lessons my dad gave to the local young bucks. I figured it would be my turn soon and I would have a leg up on this hunting thing because I listened very carefully to the lessons taught.

November 1967. My dad didn't get a deer locally so he was going up north to his mother's home near Trego to deer hunt. He called all of the local kids to see if they wanted go. None could go. They either had filled their tags or had to stay close due to basketball practice. My dad left on his own the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

I know I'm jumping quite a ways ahead but it seemed like time flew after that. I was 16 years old and an accomplished angler already. My mother made sure she kept me in fishin' poles and lures.

I yearned to go hunting. My mother seriously disliked hunting ever since 1967 when my father died while deer hunting. She forbid me to use any of my father's guns and sold off the majority of them. My mother told me I could use the one gun she saved for me when I was an adult and not before then.

It was opening day of squirrel season. I went to the local gas station and saw all the guys talking about how good the squirrel hunting was. One of the guys that my dad used to take was there. He asked how my hunt had went. I told about my mother's rule about hunting. He was really taken aback. He couldn't believe that Lenny Harris' son was not allowed to go hunting.

It was Sunday morning about noon. There was knock on the door. I answered it. It was Jim Chellevold, the guy from the gas station from the day before. He wanted to talk to my mom. He reminded my mother about how Dad had taken him hunting as a teenager and how he loved the outdoors because of my dad. He asked if he could take me squirrel hunting. My mother himmed and hawed for a while but finally broke down and let him take me.

Jim took me to local gas station and he bought me my small game license and a box of 410 shells. We went back to my house and we inspected the pump 410 that had not been used in 6 years, ever since my dad died. Jim gave me a quick refresher on hunting safety in front of my mother to satisfy her and off we went squirrel hunting.

We came home 3 hours later and cleaned our squirrels in the back yard. Those 3 hours of squirrel hunting with Jim were beyond description. Jim told tall tales of when my dad had taken him hunting and fishing. He told me about dad calling and wanting to take him along in 1967......Jim had already filled his tag.

My mother was softened by the kindheartedness of Jim and allowed me to go hunting then. I went hunting a few more times with Jim and he taught me all of the things I missed from not having my dad teach me.

After those early outings, all of the young men that that my dad had taken hunting, now fully grown, took turns taking me hunting. Some of the older gas station crew took me also. I learned many things from all of them.


I wish there were more MEN like Jim/Judd/Geno/Cheesy/Rod/Pat/Sig/Sig Jr. in the world.

Thank You

Are you one of those MEN?
MartinlfFebruary 28th, 2008, 6:04 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3042
Amazing story. Makes me think of my Uncle John, who took me hunting and fishing a lot when I was a kid. Len, you really have to read I Am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell. It has some creative sections that are hard to know how to take, but its heart is right where your tales are, and an inquisitive boy and a creative and enthusiastic dad are smack dab in every chapter. If you do read it, let me know. Maybe I'll have to take a ride up to the Driftless Area to talk about it with you, hint, hint. Right in the middle of trout season would be a good time.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JADFebruary 29th, 2008, 10:57 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
Louis---Your heart is in the right place, your a shameless beggar
can I go too :)

John

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cocks wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
MartinlfFebruary 29th, 2008, 3:15 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3042
Of course.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3March 1st, 2008, 7:48 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Great story, Len. Thanks for sharing it.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
DGCMarch 1st, 2008, 1:09 pm
Chambersburg

Posts: 10
LenH,

That was a wonderful post, some of the best reading I have done in quite some time--better than what gets printed in many magazines.

DGC

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Tulpehocken -
In Fishing Reports by Wbranch
4Mar 12, 2013
by Martinlf
Re: Fishing Art
In General Discussion by Softhackle
2Oct 27, 2007
by Martinlf
Re: A photo for Jesse...
In the Photography Board by Oldredbarn
8Jun 2, 2011
by Jmd123
Re: Trip report from my Idaho mule deer hunt in 2019
In Site Updates by Troutnut
5Jun 29, 2020
by Troutnut
Re: Trout Knives
In Gear Talk by Mr1911
15Feb 26, 2019
by Gt2003
Re: Rusty Gates Floating with Ernie Schwiebert
In the Photography Board by Oldredbarn
3Dec 29, 2009
by Oldredbarn
Re: Nasty
In General Discussion by LenH
2Mar 1, 2008
by Shawnny3
Re: Not exactly a fly
In the Photography Board by Shawnny3
10Apr 21, 2010
by CaseyP
Re: Finding Dobsonfly adults
In the Insect Family Corydalidae by Raider83
7Jul 3, 2008
by Shawnny3
Re: Great Last Minute Gift Idea for Dads who love fishing--also helps conservation, fish restoration...
In General Discussion by Cjbts
2Jun 15, 2007
by Troutnut
Most Recent Posts
Sage 1830 reel
In Gear Talk by TimR
Re: Euro Nymph Rod
In Gear Talk by Wbranch (Wiflyfisher replied)
Re: Timpanoga hecuba
In the Identify This! Board by Leskorcala (Troutnut replied)
Re: Beautiful fish of the South Fork
In Fishing Reports by Squarehog1 (Martinlf replied)
Re: Waders
In Gear Talk by Bellis (Martinlf replied)
Re: Trico emergers
In the Mayfly Genus Tricorythodes by Bwoklink (Martinlf replied)
Re: Possible PED mayfly ( Epeourus)
In the Identify This! Board by Leskorcala
Tying an Albright Knot
In Fly Tying by Adirman
Re: Recommended Setup for Trout Spey Rod
In Gear Talk by Onthefly11
Re: Fishing emergers.
In General Discussion by Hunter1 (Brian314 replied)