We are losing a WFF member!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Drifter, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. I had not been on this site long when I checked the classifieds and found an older man needing a room to rent within a week! I pmed the guy thinking that my daughter had just moved for school and could help him out with a room and I could use some extra cash too! never meeting him the only thing I knew is that he was a fly fisherman and was old as dirt so I knew if it came down to it I could take em. we met and he was the nicest guy you could ever meet, so I let him move in telling him that if it came down to my lab or him having to leave - well it would be him and he agreed!

    "BOB JONES" is his name, he showed me all his rods and reels dating back to caveman ages and it showed he had not been a wealthy man, but a man with passion that collected what he could and his passion showed in the way he would hand me a 60's fiberglass fly rod or a 70's fenwick picked out of the "MASS" of blanks and half tied and finished by him rods be it gear or fly rod! he had made quite a few tied by himself!

    Then his elderly son started packing stuff in the house, load after load of fly tying stuff, capes - box's - lights - tools - a mass of crap that I didn't know if I had room for! but after a month he finally set-up his tying room (my extra bedroom) now he was taking up two rooms but the display of tying stuff was impressive! HE HAD EVERYTHING!!! and it was laid out so nice with tables and shelves, and plastic containers for everything from dubbings to beads to capes and furs. everything had its own little marked and labeled container! it made my tying table look like a crack head had set it up. I had been tying a lot of flies and every time I didn't have something I could just call out "BOB YOU GOT" and the reply would be "YEP" it was like moving in A FLY SHOP!

    Now Bob had tied some flies and showed me and I knew right away that he had not tied much. I asked how long he had been tying and he said not very long but had collected all this stuff for his retirement, he loved fly fishing - he had taught his sons when they were young and all 3 of them still fly fish but he told me that no one had ever "TAUGHT HIM" that all he always done was make sure his sons could fly fish. well the first trip I took him on it showed, he could not cast very far partly from being 73 years old and partly from not being a good caster I guess! I rode him all day like an old rodeo horse! telling him to get that rod tip down we are not bait fishing! faster back loop - quit letting go of the line when you come for your front loop! ahhhh the patients it took from me to teach this old geezer! but he "LEARNED" after the first day I asked "WAS I TO HARD ON YOU" HE SAID NO! you really helped and keeping at me "MADE ME DO IT RIGHT" he had let go of the line on the forward stroke so many times I threatened to smack him in the ear every time he let go - he quit letting go and his casting got much better!

    The first trip we took was to coldwater lake in my drifter and I saw this nice little half circle deep spot next to the bank and told him to cast to it (after I got 20 feet away from the spot to make sure he could hit it) he cast his fly in and out from the depths comes this 18 to 20 inch trout and grab his fly and headed for mid lake! "I SCREAMED GET-EM " 5 seconds later he lifted the rod with his hands clamped down on the line and snap! "OHHHH PATIENTS" fish started boiling in the deep part so I had him put a bugger on and I row trolled the deep letting him land all the fish from both rods, he landed some 20 fish that day trolling and he was like a little kid with each one - it was great times for sure.

    I also was able to use his knowledge of the members from the seattle area beings that's where he was from and he had been on the site for a long time. I would ask him stuff like hey who's that guy? I think he's an ass! he would reply with no he's a nice guy! he knew quite a few of you from shops and group functions up that way. I'm not a guy for functions and hanging out at the shop thing. even back in the day I only was known by mark bachman and doug steward and jim teeny and a few others. I had my group of friends I had taught to fly fish and we kept to ourselves but "BOB" kinda taught me how important it can be to reach out to other fly fishers and share and fish with them!

    BOB LOVED WASHINGTON FLY FISHERS for many reasons - it was where all his friend were from and moving to portland to be closer to his sons and daughters he really had no friends down here so he loved writing to some of you and the relationships he had made through this site and the shops and group functions he had attended!

    I could go on forever about the year we spent together! he called me in his room last Wednesday saying he needed help he thought he had - had a heart attack - I called 911 and they came and got him and he went into the hospital and stayed since last week. his daughter just called and told me his lungs gave out and the family is coming tomorrow to take him off life support! BOB was the first member I have met from WFF he was one of the sweetest guy's you would ever meet (not like me) and if I ever meet any of you and you die on me I will kick your lilly asses!!! to my friend I will miss you - mark kraniger - fishcentral!

    Bob told me he had never landed a salmon or steelhead - well we had to fix that now didn't we! he hooked a steelhead with me on the fly but lost it- but he did catch this springer on the columbia this spring with me gear fishing! sorry I cheated but he didn't mind at all!!!
    bobs springer 003.jpg bobs springer 005.jpg

    his favorite trout lake - coldwater!

    coldwater 013.jpg coldwater 020.jpg
  2. OMG! This is terrible. I had spoken with Bob many a times. Even went to his house a couple times when he lived down the road from me here in Graham. This is a very sad day. He was so good about volunteering with Project Healing Waters. He was all excited about coming up for the 2 Fly in a couple weeks. This is a sad day. My prayers to his family, and Godspeed to Bob! Safe journeys my friend.
  3. Wow. I don't know what to say.

    That was an extremely moving tribute, worthy of such a fine gentleman. I didn't know Bob personally but we messaged a few times and he always seemed like a great guy.

    Please, let us know if there is a fund in his name for expenses or anything.

    My hats off to you Mark, for a wonderful tribute to Bob.

  4. Sorry to hear about your dear friend's plight....he sounds like a wonderful man....who easily earned the friendship of many people. I'm sure he treasured your kindness. God bless you and Mr. Jones.
  5. Very touching. I'm sorry for your loss. You never know where a simple gesture may lead you.
  6. thanks for sharing that mark. here's to bob and to you, and to taking risks for the sake of touching another soul.
  7. I remember a lot of Bob's posts. Mark, thanks for sharing so much insight about him and I'm really taken back by the impact I know you had on his final year.

    Wish Bob and his family all the best..

  8. I met Bob at a two fly event two years ago - easily the nicest guy there.

    I was pretty surprised to see a facebook friend request from him a couple days later, but figured awhh what the heck. He would always leave the nicest comments on photos I'd post of the kid.

    I will surely never forget his submission to the steelhead jig exchange I hosted a year or so ago. They were ridiculous. He stole his wife's yarn, wrapped a technicolor assortment of yarn around a bass jig, and called it good. I got them in the mail and was like damn - that's a ton of postage to pay for a practical joke.

    Bob's jig a mops is what he called em.

    I'll miss you buddy - God speed. Those jig a mops might even work where you're headed.
  9. This sucks. This is a loss for all WFF's. God speed Bob Jones, Im fishing the jig a mop this fall...period. Next steelhead's on you buddy.
    constructeur and Irafly like this.
  10. I met Bob at a few of the gatherings along the way (Radish bash comes to mind). Interesting guy to talk to, and I agree, very passionate about the sport. I remember when Bob was having his housing/family crisis, and find comfort knowing he found a place to live with the formation of a serendipitous friendship. I'll raise a glass to Bob tonight, and thank you for looking after Bob and letting us all know about how things turned out.
  11. Mark very nice tribute, sorry to hear this.
  12. Mark not many people would have put themselves out there like that for someone they did not know......my hats off to you sir.

    I never met Bob but I will miss his posts..........now you can Salmon fish every day Bob....god speed.
    Chris Johnson and JesseCFowl like this.
  13. Mark, bless you for such a wonderful tribut to Bob Jones. I have met many of the WFF community and of those many are great friends. I have spent some quality time fishing with Bob, and to consider him a friend is an honor. Another friend, Jason, called me ten minutes ago to tell me about this thread. Jason knew that Bob and I had fished several times together and that we chatted frequently. Jason knew that I'd be more shocked to read it than to hear it from another friend. Bob Jones would do anything for anyone, as Mark detailed, and was one of the most down to Earth and likeable guys you'd ever have the priveledge to meet. I won't lie, right now as I type this I can barely read the words on the screen for the tears welling up in my eyes. Think of that what you will. Bob Jones was a kind gent that had to put up with way too many things way too late in his twilight years when he should have just been carefree, drifting a dry and setting the hook about ten minutes too late.

    Perhaps I'll share a Bob Jones story and encourage everyone else to add one if they have one.

    In preparation for the Two Fly event two years ago, Bob hitched a ride with Jason. I won't go into that ride, I'll leave that up to Jason to share if he wishes. The day before the event I wanted to get the cataraft wet, and asked Bob if he wanted to float along. He was as excited as a kid in a candy store. I spent a fair amount of time barking mend, mend, let is swim, wait, wait, hit it, hit it, dang Bob when the fish destroys your fly like that you have got to hit it and set that hook. I can't tell you how many fish he missed that day. What I can tell you is how many he caught. Three, and each one he treated like it was the greatest gift he had ever received. Nearing the end of the float I asked Bob how he liked fishing out of my cataraft compared to other boats. He turned to me, smiled and said "Mumbles, I've never fly fished out of any boat before. I like fishing out of yours just fine, but it is the company, not the boat." Those were his words.

    I can't see the screen again. Tonight, upon hearing this news, then reading it I have raised my freshly poured glass of Glenlivet 18 in his honor, held it over the sink and poured that one out for Bob. Now, having refilled that glass, I raise it high for you Bob Jones. Thank you for briefly allowing me to walk the same path in life along side you. Rest well, friend, mend, mend, wait, let it swim and for goodness sake, HIT IT!

    Best to Bob and each member of his family as they do what they need to do tomorrow. Bless you Mark, for taking in a man who needed a place to stay. For treating him with dignity. For honoring him with such wonderful words. I now raise my glass to you, and look forward to a time where I can shake your hand and offer you your beverage of choice as we toast Bob Jones and tell more stories about our brief time shared with him.
  14. I just talked to him a few weeks ago. I was getting ready for a trip, so I told him I'd ring him when I got back. I spaced. I really wish I hadn't. Really.

    Bob is a good egg.

    Had more gear than a fucking expedition would carry. I gave him a lift to the 2fly one year. When I picked him up, we chatted for a bit, then we started loading his shit in my hatchback. Bag after bag, after bag. I couldn't see out the back. I wasn't going to tell him to leave anything, but holy shit. It was a ton of gear. He wanted to bring what he wanted to bring. Can't blame the guy. He earned the right to do that, I figured.

    Ed and I fished with him a few days that weekend. Bob never complained about anything. Not hot. Not cold. Not hungry. Not thirsty. Nothing to bitch about. I know he had a hard time getting around, and a day in the boat couldn't have been easy, but he was happy to be out, and that was that. We hit a walk in spot on the way home, and Bob got geared up. This was at the end of a VERY long weekend. I was tired, and I was 33. He just got his shit on, and moseyed down to the river. Didn't fish a ton, just kinda hung out with the water running by. He seemed to enjoy himself.

    He made lanyards with corkies. They are really nice. He gave me one for driving him to the Yak. I didn't expect anything from him. I was happy to do it. I thought that was a really nice gesture. For those of you who met my boys, I always call my oldest Matty. Bob knew that because he had spent some time with him. Next time I saw Bob, he gave him a lanyard with Matty on it in little letter beads. Nice guy. Real nice guy.

    The 2fly camp will be emptier this year.

    Bob, I'm sorry I didn't call you back. I wish I did. You're a good egg. I hope the rest of the trip is easy for you.

    Bill Aubrey, Flyborg, Josh and 4 others like this.
  15. I'm taking my Bob Swap flies from another swap out and putting them in a safe place on the end of my line. I'll catch one for you Bob!
    Bill Aubrey and Luke77 like this.
  16. What bad news. I knew of him from this site, and met him briefly at last year's 2-fly. It wasn't until after I'd spoken with him that I thought "maybe he's the Bob Jones from WFF". Never had the chance to go back and BS with him more. There were so many other people... I was looking forward to saying hi again this year and actually spend some time getting acquainted. Well, crap... It's nice to read all the fond memories y'all have written.

    Peace, Bob.
  17. Mark, thanks for sharing this part of your friends life. I never had the opportunity to meet Mr Bob Jones. It was my loss.
    I hope to meet you some day as you have shared some of your knowledge with me via PM's.
    Excellent memories Ed.
    My family sends their condolences to all of his family.
  18. Very sad, I think of you Bob the next time I get out.. Very nice of you too extend yourself and help him out. Let us know if we can help out in anyway. Be at peace Bob!
  19. ED and orange you have me smiling and tearing at the same time! yeah the first time he packed up for a one day trip to the lake he filled my truck with crap! I told him my drifters only 14 ft. long for crying out load! it took a few trips for me to inspect and get rid of half the stuff he carried but we came to agree on just a few things! his hook set was at least 5 seconds later then it needed to be! but on one of our last trips we did was the moth hatch at coldwater - fish were splash rising on the patterns and he caught quite a few and did real well casting that day and setting the hook. on the way home I told him he did real good today and you could see the smile that only comes from deep down!

    I made him watch me tie flies, he would put his glasses on and watch like a scholar! he was getting much better at his tying. I guess it only makes since that if you look at each of us it must of been faith that brought us together! me never being married fishing and hunting being my whole life along with my one daughter and him being married his whole life and not really doing what he would of liked to I think. we fished a bunch together, sometimes 3 times a week - then he would tell me I can't go I'm to sore! I was glad I could help him get out and do the things he always wanted to -
    cabezon, Flyborg, Lugan and 5 others like this.
  20. Damm, I think I still have his messages on my page. I liked BOB and I'm at a loss of words. I hope he found what we are all looking for. I remember Bob said the funniest thing to me at the O Rad Bash. I brought jigs to tye to get a rise from the purist. Bob walked up to me and said "what the hell Kind of bug fly's with all that weight on it". He was a good dude, and will be greatly missed.
    Flyborg likes this.

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