The Return Home

The Return Home

Andy Dear | Sunday, 18 November 2018

Life has a very funny way of adding and subtracting things out of your current circumstances that don't necessarily fit the need of the moment. Then, without warning dropping them back in with the sole intent of seeing how you'll react. After 12 years in product development in the fishing rod industry, I decided to sell my business in 2008 and focus on being a husband, and more importantly a new father. I was perfectly happy (or so I thought), not doing ANYTHING whatsoever related to angling. One day about a year and a half ago my then 8 year old decided he wanted to learn how to fish. We started out with spinning gear but very quickly graduated to the fly rod. During the process of teaching him to cast, something reignited a spark in me to pick up the long rod again. I found myself going out in the yard in the evenings, for no other reason than to watch the loop unroll from the tip of the rod. It was a strange feeling at first because I hadn't picked up a fly rod since October of 2010.

Over a period of weeks, those short sessions turned into a daily occurrence in the evenings, sometimes lasting well into the edge of darkness. And although enjoyable, to my conscious mind they weren't indicative of anything significant or meaningful. At best they were a means to an end to polish up the old form, and teach my son to fish. At worst they were a pleasant stroll down the dimly lit lane of a former life. Then it started to get a little weird.

Several folks from my past life in angling seem to appear out of the ether, within weeks of one another, to carve out a significant place in my life again. One of whom was my old mate from across the pond Paul Arden with whom I got back in touch with through Facebook. I first met Paul here on the forum somewhere around 2003. I was in the middle of compiling a series of interviews for RodMaker Magazine that profiled famous rod designers. Paul had an interest in re-publishing some of those interviews, so we worked out an agreement with the original publisher to reproduce a few of those articles on this site, where they can still be found today. I’ll never forget sitting in my office one summer day in 2006 when the phone rang, ironically enough it was our boy Paul. He was driving across America and was on his way through Texas to visit Bill Gammel. After exchanging pleasantries, Paul said he had an hour or two to kill and could I free up some time to meet up. Not knowing what the evening had in store, I went ahead and threw an 8wt. in the car just in case we had a moment to cast.

Turns out, casting was ALL we did. I had kind of assumed we would partake in the consumption of an adult beverage, and maybe some Texas BBQ. But there we stood, on a rural stretch of land just south of Marion Texas on the side of the Interstate 10 highway casting flyrods. Not much more than a fly lines length away, large semi-trailer trucks and charter buses raced by, mockingly honking their horns at the two grown men waving long whippy sticks in the air, for what would probably have appeared to be no apparent reason. It's been close to 23 years since I first picked up a fly rod, and I still contemplate daily the multitude of reasons why we wave long whippy sticks in the air. That experience reinforced in my mind that many of those reasons are not even about catching fish. It was one of those moments where you realize how this sport can bring people together, many times from different parts of the world, in a simple but very profound way. 

When I decided to make a slow and subtle re-entry back into this industry, the first thing I did was re-join Sexyloops. It is still by far, the best resource on the web for all things fly fishing and fly casting related.  And unlike many sites on the web,  it continues to provide this content with the same sense of humor and lack of arrogance and pretentiousness that it did when I first joined over 15 years ago. I have very fond memories of the board from the old days with Guys like Bill Gammel, Rick Hartman, Carlos Azpilicueta,  Jason Borger...even Karl and his flying Pulleys. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm grateful to be involved with all of you again. I'm really looking forward to reeling up the slack that has drifted downstream as quickly as possible. And to Paul, thanks for the opportunity to share my occasional musings on the Front Page, I hope you all enjoy them.


Keep those loops sexy my friends,



Here are some of Andry's past articles on Sexyloops: