First off what a great Thread started by Fishin Technician. I really enjoyed everyones stories.
I can remember as a 6 year old living in Stoneham, MA sitting on the floor with my white cowboy hat on watching Gababout Gaddis and Curt Gowdy on our small black and white TV. The next year my Parents would bring me to Stoddards in Boston almost every Saturday..... If I was good. Next to going to Fenway Park, 50 Temple Place was the coolest place ever to me. The front of the store was a cutlery shop and up a few steps in back was the holly grail of fly fishing, I just loved opening all those wooden drawers and seeing all the colorful fly tying materials hidden within. The best part of Stoddards was Ed Hawley. He was always dressed in a tweed sport coat and tie. Ed would always tie a fly for me as I watched in total amazement and the best part was it was mine to keep. The next year we moved to Reading and I discovered Sid Whites Sports and Hobbies in Reading Center. Sid smoked a pipe and was a very skilled fly fisherman and tyer that was kind enough to really get me started in Fly Fishing. A Six wt Cortland fiberglass Rod, Medalist reel and a Cortland 333 Floating DT Line was the first outfit. The Ipswich River in North Reading was my home water and my first hatchery trout was on a size 14 White Miller Dry Fly. I remember multiple outings to the Malden Anglers Club pond in Saugus that Sid would take us to, what an awesome place and time to be a kid. These four class people are the reason for my passion with the fly rod.