About two years ago, Andy Ramish, one of my fly shop customers, came into the store and announced that he had had enough. Andy is a machinist, a very good machinist. But he was tired of the daily grind. He wanted to pursue his dream. He said that he was going to make fly reels. This is a common sentiment in the shop. Many customers see the fly fishing business as a dream. If they could only muster enough courage to leave their day-to-day, grinding jobs then they could surely find true happiness in their lives. Of course many of these people don't realize that the fly fishing industry becomes a nightmare of bankruptcy, low wages, no fishing, and no health insurance for probably as many people as it saves. But Andy was sure he was doing the right thing.
As the days, weeks, and months went by, Andy would bring pieces of what he claimed were going to be reels for me to look at. I would smile and share in his excitement, but I really didn't know what I was looking at, until this week. On Tuesday, I was answering emails, changing our on-line stream conditions, and waiting on customers for 2 hours before I notcied what was sitting behind me on a shelf.
I turned around to answer the phone, and I saw it. I was so stunned that, for a brief pause, I forgot to say hello to the caller. Behind me was one of the prettiest, most stunning fly reels that I had ever seen. And it had my name on it. I finished the call and then picked up my new reel. Andy had done it! And he had left it with one of my part timers at the shop like it was no big deal.
Andy and the Tight Lines fly reel company of Bellefonte, PA have now produced 5 reels. But many more are soon to come. Andy is finishing his web site and still perfecting his reels, but I'll be sure to post more information as it comes available. Congratulations Andy, and thank you!!