Neil Travis - April 25, 2010

Most of us, at some time in our life, have thought about how great it would be if we had a magic wand. A magic wand would allow you to do all kinds of wonderful things; you could make things appear and disappear, do all kinds of impressive tricks, in short a magic wand could make all your dreams come true. Well, I never found a magic wand that would do all those things but I do have a magic wand, in fact I have several, and I bet you do too.

The first magic wand I had was made from a branch I cut from a tree. I attached a string on the end of the stick and a safety pin became a hook on the other end and I had a magic wand. I took my magic wand down to the water and imagined all the fish that I was going to catch with it. I did not catch any fish with that magic wand but for several hours it was my ticket to another world. There were things swimming around in that watery world at my feet that were truly magical creatures.

Over the course of the next several years I had several more magic wands. There was a telescoping metal wand with an old level wind bait casting reel attached to the butt. I waved that magic wand over brook trout that lived in the brook that ran through the pasture on our farm in upstate New York, and it became my tool of escape into a world unknown to mere mortals.

There was a white fiberglass rod at the local hardware store that caught my attention and captured my heart. This was a true magic wand, shiny and white with silvery guides fastened to the gleaming white shaft of fiberglass with green thread. I saved my allowance and birthday money until I had enough to make that magic wand my own. Over the next few years I used that magic wand to subdue any number of fishes, and it carried me to many mythical places that still haunt my memory.

These were wonderful wands but they were all merely training tools. One day, like the sorcerer’s apprentice, I found the master’s magic wand. It was a long brown fiberglass wand made for creating magic with an artificial fly. Let the magic begin!

That old brown fiberglass wand took me too many places, and ultimately it took me to the Au Sable River in Michigan. It wasn’t heaven and it didn’t make all my dreams come true but it was, at that time, as close as I had ever come. That fiberglass wand opened up an entire new world of magic.

Over the intervening years there have been many more magic wands. There are several wands made out of a magical fiber called bamboo. The bamboo wands have magical names; Granger, Orvis, Leonard, and Kusse. They reside in their silvery tubes and cloth sacks waiting for a chance to practice their magic, and they never fail to produce.

Today wands of graphite are the wands that I use most often to work magic on my favorite trout water, but whatever wand I use it always invokes magic. Just attach an appropriate reel, add water, and attach a fly to the end of the leader, and I have a magic wand. I imagine that you have a magic wand or two in your possession, and I anticipate that they work just as well in your hands as the ones that I have. I hope you get out soon and execute some magic of your own soon.

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