4-15-2020: What the ‘h’ ‘e’ Double Hockey Sticks?? … and the Mystery Hat

April 15th right? Easter was this past Sunday, spring has sprung, the birds are chripin’ … right?

I saw it snowing when I woke up this morning and said “.. it looks pretty.” The other occupant that I share the bed with said “No it isn’t!” November, maybe October, if it doesn’t weigh too heavily on the trees that might still have leaves on them, but NOT on April 15th!

I’ve associated a Hendrickson hatch with forsythias in bloom. If there are any hendricksons around here, they must have ice on their wings! Oh it’s not sticking to the ground much. There was a dusting throughout the grass this morning, but, as it is afternoon now, all is melted while the temperature is almost 39 degrees.

So much for ‘spring talk’!

The Mystery Hat

A few years ago after attending a Slate Run Sportsmen meeting (I believe it was the summer meeting), my friend Harry and I decided to go fishing afterwards. We weren’t especially ‘slaying them’ when we saw evidence of wet footprints along the stream-side.

As we worked upstream, Harry leading the way, something caught my eye laying along the stream-side. A gray hat, nice brim, not tore up and not mangled in any obvious way. It had a rather nice machine stitched salmon fly sort of pattern along the forehead portion of the front of it. Above the fancy fly – “GRAND LAKE STREAM”, and under the fly- “MAINE”.

I tried to put the hat on and found out that the previous wearer had a smaller head. So I adjusted the strap along the back till it was sized appropriately and it fit rather nicely! Well, I could of kept my mouth shut and kept the thing. But I took it to Slate Run Tackle and talked with Jed Grove – telling him where I found it. I left it with him at the store in case anyone would come looking for their lost hat.

Past SRS President and Slate Run Tackle Fly Shop Manager – Jed Grove

I didn’t come back to Slate Run for several weeks after this discovery. When I did make it back I stopped into the store and talked with Jed. The hat wasn’t claimed and he gave it to me. Each time I wore the hat I felt slightly guilty that I was wearing someone else’s hat. I didn’t wear it fishing as I thought there still might have been a chance that someone would come in to the store and tell their sad story about losing a hat up Cedar Run. It never happened. One time I was wearing it at some fast food restaurant when a lady sitting across the way asked me where Grand Lake Stream was. I told her I didn’t know and how I came to discover it. Wearing it sparingly, I’ve grown accustomed to this hat.

I run the membership for SRS and have called many of its members over the past few years. I even remember a conversation where one member mentioned that they had a place in Maine and as a result, didn’t make it to Slate Run as much as they used to. This phone conversation happened at least a year ago folks! I NEVER made the connection!

Come to present day: Still as Membership Chair for SRS, I took to calling some of the members to see how they’ve been dealing with the Covid19 issue – just trying to help SRS members vocalize any concerns and to chat about Slate Run. I only got in touch with one member directly, once, out of the half dozen I initially called. Most of the time I just left a voice message. Enter, Mike Brunner. I had left a message for Mike and really didn’t think anything about it after that. But Mike calls me back!

Mike’s very cordial to talk with and we chat about the Covid19 issue a little. I explain that I was not expecting any call backs but he apologizes for taking a few days before calling me back anyway. I explain I was just trying to reach out to some members to see how they were dealing with things since these times are a little more stressful than typical.

As we were talking, I try to load up the SRS membership list but couldn’t get it to work. I have some notes with people that I’ve talked with in the past – just little snippets of what we talked about. Mike’s snippet documents that he had a place in Maine which I couldn’t load up and view at the time. But Mike mentions that used to have a place up in the headwaters of Pine Creek – way up over and above Galeton. Then he starts to talk about their place in Grand Lake Stream, Maine!

At that point, in my brain, something hit the master switch and a light bulb burns as bright as any light has in the past! I asked him if he fished Cedar Run a few years ago. Mike says he’s fished Cedar quite a bit in the past. I ask him if he ever lost a hat up there. Mike says he doesn’t remember ever losing a hat on Cedar, but this can’t be just a coincidence! I told him how I found one and that is was gray.

We talk for another 20 minutes at least, interspersed with laughter when I mention the hat a few more times. I told him I would send it back to him, but he told me to keep it. Hmmm… can’t blame him for that either – who would want their hat back after some stranger has wore it and probably stunk it up? Ha!

A hat with a past, an unknown history, and an unknown owner (no longer)!
The Mystery Hat!

For the past few years I’ve often wondered who lost their fishing hat up on Cedar Run. Now I know. Think I’ll go fishing up Cedar with it … but I’ll keep a little closer mind to it! I’ll be able to wear it now with a little more of a clearer conscience.

The wet footprints discovered were not Mike’s, but that’s another story.

Until next time……. I’m the Unintentional Blogger πŸ˜‰

2 thoughts on “4-15-2020: What the ‘h’ ‘e’ Double Hockey Sticks?? … and the Mystery Hat

  1. Hey there Mad Hatter… Enjoyed the story, which reminds me of a felt fishing hat I once found along the Kettle, without learning whose it was (and I still have). Also, the forsythias DO look kinda pretty in their cloak of white. At least your flowers are out! Our forsythias are too darn shy to make an appearance this year (for whatever reason). And the forecast is for a couple more inches of snow tonight… aargh.


    • Hey, thanks for the comment and relating of a similar phenomena/ occurrence. I just heard the local meteorologist say there will be ‘accumulating’ snow Friday morning. SIGHSSsssss!!!! It’s supposed to melt in the afternoon and perhaps Saturday morning as they say 1 – 3″ Friday. Mother Nature didn’t get the memo that Spring started March 19th this year! Imagine that? lol


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