Hello Mr. Fenn,
My name is Pat and I live in Denver, Colorado. I had not known of your story until I heard a morning news cast about Yellowstone Rangers rescuing a person (people) in one of their rivers and your name was mentioned. I looked into it further and read different websites and blogs……very interesting. I must admit, I tried to figure out the poem, too. My family and I already made reservations to Yellowstone before ever hearing of your story…….we LOVE going there. My husband and I have 6 children……the oldest will be 30 and the youngest will be 16……she’ll be the only one able to make it this trip. We’ve gone ever since they were little and all the pictures and memories are quite the treasure. We had always wanted to see the Perseid Meteor Shower there and this year we’ll get the chance to do that, as long as the weather cooperates. We hope to experience different things, but memories are what’s important.
I have a story I’d like to share with you in regards to the Wooly Bug fly…….I saw a video of you making one! Many years ago, my husband’s family would travel on vacation and many times gone to Yellowstone. They had fished in different areas, Fishing Bridge (which you can’t fish now, but was extremely popular as you know), Yellowstone Lake, rivers/creeks, etc. My husband was given a Wooly Bug by his father when he was a kid and he kept it throughout the years. His father passed away nearly 21 years ago and when he travels there, I can see his heart is still there with his dad. He walks through where the Fishing Bridge campground use to be, now belongs back to the bears, and searches for the rock he use to climb when they camped there. Several years ago in particular while in Yellowstone, we decided to fish at Yellowstone Lake. My husband cast his line, with Wooly Bug and bobber in tow, out into the water. After a few bites or the Wooly Bug coming to shore, he reeled in his line and made a cast and it happened………..the line broke and his Wooly Bug his father had given him went into the water and was caught in the waves! I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face when that happened. It was as if he had totally lost all the connections he had with his father…….the last bit of physical memory he had of him. It was a very sullen day for him. The following day we returned to the spot we fished and I could see it still bothered my husband. While throwing his line into the lake with a different fly, I chose to walk the shore. Yes, I found his Wooly Bug! My husband Ray was extremely happy…..as if I had brought back his life! He hugged and thanked me and I could tell it came from deep within his soul. Ray placed the Wooly Bug back into his tackle box and swore he’d never use it again. About three years or so ago, I took the Wooly Bug, with a picture of a trout Ray caught with it the very last time he used it before he lost it in Yellowstone Lake and placed it in a shadow box for display. I’m attaching a picture of the Wooly Bug and trout for you to see. We plan on doing some fishing this coming week…….vacation is Aug. 9-16. A quote my husband loves to say is, ‘A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.’
Mr. Fenn, in regards to the Wooly Bug, do you sell any of the ones you make? I would LOVE to present one to my husband rather than finding one at the store…..they’re a bit hard to come by here. Any information is greatly appreciated.
Mr. Fenn, I wish you continued success in unearthing history and telling their stories, not wanting history to go silent.
You can watch Forrest make a wooly worm and talk about them on the “Gone Fishing” videos: