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> > Warning! Spence is going all nostalgic again...

OldredbarnSeptember 15th, 2011, 4:05 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608

I don't know what it is today that is driving me back down long since travelled roads. Maybe its the first fall chill in the air, maybe some nice PM's I have had with JohnW lately, maybe its because I floated by his old place on the Lower N Branch of the Au Sable this past June...But for some reason I have been thinking about Chauncy K. Lively today. Maybe that chill in the air is reminding me I need to return to the bench. Maybe even tie one from "Chauncy's Fly Box"...What was once "modern" is nostalgic now.

I posted the above link to the Angler's of the Au Sable web site because they have finally recorded there all of the "Riverwatch" newsletters from July 1987 when the Angler's were established through to the very last issue. If you are interested you can follow that link and along the bottom edge of the Header there you will see the link to "Riverwatch" and there you can view the old issues. Before you leave this front page you can see my friend Jim bundled up there guiding a couple old gents in an Au Sable River boat.

How does any of this relate to Chauncy? Well. He was a founding director of the Angler's and he shows up for the first time there in Issue #2 in 1987 with his recipe for the "Robber Fly". He has an interesting editorial about poaching in Issue #3 in 1989. His obit appears in Issue #34 after he passed on Feb. 24th 2000...I can't believe more than a decade has already passed! Chauncy's wife Marion's obit is in Issue #24 from 1995.

I had the chance to meet him at the Angler's 10 year anniversay dinner in Gaylord in 1997. He was in his late 70's I would guess and I was a bit younger and greener and geeked up and no doubt over Molson'ed and remember my conversation being rushed and all over the map. I wasn't sure I would get another chance I guess.

Rusty Gates had introduced us after all the hoopla was over and I was like a cub reporter getting his first big story published or something. I remember him having somewhat of a bemused look about him like he was trying to figure out just what the hell this fella was trying to say to him and why it seemed so important. Afterwards I felt like I had blown it, maybe talked too much, but my wife said it sounded like a serious enough conversation to her, and nice enough as well, but she understood not one bit of it.

I vaguely remember rambling on about how he tied his spinner wings in "Chauncy's Fly Box", and his saying something about no longer doing it that way with the knotted mono etc...But I think, in hindsight, he was thinking something like, "Spence...You do remember this is a celebration here and we should be mingling and well...Celebrating."

In 1975 I was in Boston for the opening night of a Tennessee Williams' play called, "The Red Devil Battery Sign". Faye Dunaway & her then husband Peter Wolf (J Geils Band), were sitting just across the aisle and one row down from us...I had the chance to meet Mr Williams after the play but could not let myself say anything really and he just walked right on by me basically...I felt nearly this same way when I met Chauncy but I actually spoke, though I could not shut up...I beat my self up a bit here, because it wasn't really all that bad...We both survived it.

Anyway...Check out the Angler's stuff. There is some wonderful things there and let me know what you think...I forgot to mention that Anthony Quinn & Claire Bloom were in the play I mentioned above, but don't ask me anything about that non-fishing stuff, that was another life ago anyway...:) Quinn's character shoots himself near the end of the play...Sorry if I ruined it for ya! ;)


"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood

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