(Nathaniel Grann/For The Washington Post)

Robert C. Plumb

71, Potomac, retired marketing executive

When I was a young boy, my father and his father were lake trout fishermen, trolling “spoons” behind a slow-moving wooden boat in the Adirondacks. My father’s older brother Dick, however, was a fly fisherman. I marveled at his graceful casting and the luminescent speckled trout he brought to his net.

Years later, while living in Connecticut, I took up fly fishing, determined not to let corporate life drain all the energy and enthusiasm out of me. Fly fishing and my corporate world coexisted for two decades as I struggled to balance the exhilarating escape of fishing with the demands of the competitive business marketplace.

The days of corporate life have now slipped into my past, but I’m still casting flies on streams and rivers that offer the promise of a rising trout. Of all my gear, the fly box is the single item that evokes the charm and challenge of casting these bits of fur and feather to catch fish before releasing them into the waters from which they came.

My fly box is stuffed with flies of most every type and size. Although my eyesight today forces me to forgo the flies the size of a gnat, I still find an array in the box that I can tie on the line. These are flies with which I know I can catch fish and whose names summon vivid memories of bygone excursions: Ausable Wulff, Hare’s Ear, Prince Nymph and Gray Ghost.

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