To Adie, With Love…

A young lady will ‘meet’ her great grandfather for the first time, thanks to a small tin box of flies and a good story teller. She has the story teller, her grandmother, my sister, and soon will have the flies, a small metal box of fishing flies, tied by the skilled hands of her great grandfather, four generations earlier.

Imagine, a family heirloom, of sorts, being passed down, not to a daughter, nor a granddaughter, but to a great granddaughter. Not a fancy piece of furniture, nor a sparkling broach, but flies. From one long-passed outdoorsman to a young vibrant outdoors woman, three generations removed.

My dad was an avid fisherman who enjoyed making his own lures. He turned wood dowels into ‘plugs’* on a lathe, and strung eels for surf fishing in the rough waters off the duned beaches of Cape Cod. He tied flies, lures that mimicked real flies, to attract trout in the placid ponds populating the rural countryside of central Massachusetts. He was proficient, passionate and a perfectionist about both skills, making the lures and catching the fish.

I kept his tin of flies, and other lures, upon his passing, some 40 years ago, as a reminder of the man. But these feathered and fuzzy creations go back even further in time, at least twenty years prior to his death. Hunched over a folding metal table, squinting through bifocals balanced on the end of his nose, and surrounded with the tools of his ‘art’, he meticulously hand crafted faux bugs to the smallest detail.

Supplied with an array of brightly covered feathers, buck tails, various size hooks, a vise to hold them and thread to join all the components tightly together, he would produce stunning replicas of the local insects that he hoped would help him land the next ‘big one’. A reference book of flies always lay open next to him as he meticulously tied them to the exact specifications, as outlined.

This story isn’t about catching fish, though. It’s not about about tying flies, it’s about a man, his passion and preserving his love of the outdoors by gifting an ‘heirloom’. It’s about connecting with following generations to keep his story alive. And, it’s about love.

It’s very likely that if my dad was here today, then he, Adie and her dad would be at the closest fishing hole, enjoying the outdoors and each other’s company, maybe spinning yarns of ‘the one that got away’.

“Adie, I want you to have these flies. Use them to catch the big one!”


Great Grandpa Bottcher

Steve (

February 2021

To Adie and avid young outdoors lovers, everywhere. ‘Keep a tight line’ and keep making memories.

And, to June, my big sister, Adie’s grandma

*Plug (Swimming Plug) – A hard plastic or wood artificial lure that is usually cast and retrieved or sometimes trolled.

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Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative to begin anew as a school crossing guard. SMy essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my blog stories, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Another offered about my blog, “it brings some sense of normalcy not easily found in the modern world.”

30 thoughts on “To Adie, With Love…”

  1. Great story, Steve. I used to love to tie flies when I was a boy scout. Also, I just passed to my grandson my grandfather’s signet ring. I wore it for over 60 years, and now my Grandson is 18 tears old, and I hope he will wear it for 60 years and pass it to his grandson.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve, this touched my heart in a big way. It makes me happy to see another family whose connection spans generations. I would give anything to have the flies my dad tied. Bless your family and the love that envelopes all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Maggie, for this nice sentiment. There’s something special about a gift from a dad, in this case, a great granddad. My dad never met Adie, but he would have loved her company, especially on fishing trips. I’m so glad this story moved you as it did. Have a great day, Maggie.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love to see the love of something passed down through the generations. What a comforting thought that Adie may pass this tradition on to her kids and grandkids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Mike, let me tell you. How much time do you have? You’ve given me an idea for a new story. I’ll lay it all out for you but the quick answer is YES!😁and could he ever fish. He could fish the way you won sales awards, the best there was. And that’s no tale!


  4.  Stephen, I really Can’t put into words my feelings right now after reading your story. It is so beautifully put. Can’t wait to see Adie and give her the gift you sent and will spend some time telling her dad’s story. What a special time that will be. Thank you so much for doing that. I think the legacy will be passed along. What a very special piece of the family puzzle will be put in its place. What fun this will be. When I get to give her her special gift, then I will send you “the rest of the story “. Love you….June

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. June,

      I couldn’t wait to send this story. Now, the presentation will be terrific. I bet she loves it. But there’s something else in the mail pkg to help you with the story. Let me know when you get home and get your mail.

      This was a fun story to write. I’ve read it and reread it a dozen times, with a tweak here and there. So glad you liked it.

      Dad would have loved being with Adie.

      Drive safely! Love you, Stephen



    1. Thank you, Liz. It was such a fun story to write. My dad would have loved being with this young lady, his great granddaughter, Adie. She lives the outdoors, as did he.


    1. Thank you, Robbie. This young girl, who loves the outdoors, is going to get a nice glimpse of her roots by her great grandfather, my dad. I think she’ll enjoy it. A horror of buttons? Oh, my!

      Liked by 1 person

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