Saturday, June 26, 2010
Fly Box Super Hero - Dick Gross
I met Dick Gross on bluegill fishing site (www.bigbluegill.com) in July 2009. Since then we have become great friends, almost like we've known each other for years. I posted a question asking what type/weight fly rod would be best for my then 8 year old son. Dick replied that he had a rod for my son and sent it up to him - wouldn't take any money. The rod belonged to Dick's son Chad who passed away unexpectedly many years ago. Chad's fly rod was perfect for my son, but the note Dick sent was something I'll never forget. Anyone who has the experience of meeting Dick quickly realizes he is a very special person.
As a young boy I formed a friendship with my Uncle Joe (see earlier post) from Terra Haute, IN. That bond was very strong, there isn't a day I don't think about Uncle Joe. Joe was a great outdoors man. He had a beagle named Snoopy and a dachshund named Smokey and he loved to hunt ducks and rabbits. He was an avid fly fisherman and was a die hard bluegill pond fisherman.
Uncle Joe died over a decade ago and I'll have to say I've never met a person that was even close to the man he was....until I met Dick. I'm not sure if it is coincidence or meant to be, but I met Dick on a bluegill fishing after he answered a random question I just threw out on a whim. He lives in Indiana, is an avid duck and rabbit hunter, has two beagles and is a die hard fisherman (both spin and fly). Dick Gross is from the same mold as my Uncle Joe.
We were fortunate enough to have met Dick and his wife Betty in person last summer and it felt like I was sitting with my dear Uncle again and my Aunt Doris (Sorry Betty, that makes you sound really old!). We had a pizza and spent a hours chatting it up. The next morning we met for coffee...had a great time really doing nothing but spending time together.
His wife Betty is a so much fun. Betty is a super talented photographer and she fishes too. They just don't make them like Betty and Dick anymore (Sorry again Betty....that makes you sound really old.)
Dick has since sent my youngest son his fathers Browning Silaflex and Chad's 1492 Medalist reel. He's sent me bags of turkey feathers, a few bamboo rods and countless other goodies and I'll send him some flies when I have something worth sending him.
Dick recently had a minor surgical procedure done and both of my boys asked if he was going to be okay. My 9 and 7 year old boys talk about Dick and Betty like they are the only family they've ever known. I know it sounds strange and I really can't explain it...Dick and Betty are part of our family.