The year was 1959 when high school senior Jed Grove was invited to go to Slate Run. The dwelling where Jed stayed still exists up the hill past Hotel Manor. At this time Slate Run was stocked and Jed was introduced to fishing Slate Run to those stocked fish. However, Jed’s next stay in Slate Run would be some eighteen years later.
When Jed got back to Slate Run he went bear hunting and shot one 1977. He was accompanied by Doug Estock. Doug and Jed spent many weekends fishing in Slate Run. One such stay found them in the old Hotel Manor where Grant Larimer’s wife, Florence, asked Jed and Doug if they were “there for the meeting” (note: Grant Larimer was Slate Run Sportsmen’s second President in 1958). Jed stated they didn’t stop into the hotel knowing that Slate Run Sportsmen (SRS) were about to meet. However, Jed and Doug had already intended to join SRS and this was how they got introduced to the organization.
Eventually they got to know the ‘regulars’ at the Hotel Manor – Pat and Gene Eroh, Tom Finkbiner and others. Jed spent much time with Pat and Gene Eroh from that point forward and they became good friends. Besides fishing with Doug Estock, Jed and Gene fished quite often over the years also. On one such fishing adventure they were joined by Marty Doughty, another SRS member at the time. Jed says that Marty liked to poke fun with anyone.
As told by Jed, Gene and Marty were fishing up Slate Run many years ago when Gene had spotted some nice fish in a pool. The sequence of events went something like the following: Gene had carefully worked into position of the previously spotted fish and managed to hook into a nice trout. He battled the fish for some time that eventually found Marty trying to net the fish. However, upon attempting to net the fish, it slipped off or was knocked off according to Jed. Gene said something along the lines of ‘You knocked that fish off my line didn’t you?’. To which Marty responded – that he had to or they’d of never heard the end of how Gene had caught such a great fish in Slate Run.
According to Jed, Gene was a die-hard Slate Run fisherman. Gene apparently chose to fish Slate Run over the other waterways in the area almost exclusively.
Jed had an Uncle that helped him learn to tie flies 66 years ago. These were the days where your fingers were what was used to lash thread, fur, and materials to hook. No thread bobbin was used and waxing the thread was a matter of practice before starting to tie a fly. All natural materials were the order of the day. I believe Jed mentioned that he got Ray Bergman’s book “Trout” for a birthday present sometime along those years of learning how to tie.
Jed frequented Wolfe’s store in those days when one time Tom Finkbiner asked Jed if he could help out at the store. One of the employees had to take a leave of absence to help a family member so Tom needed someone to help out. This was only going to be for about three weeks so Jed accepted the temporary employment. In Jed’s mind he “could help out a little bit.” As of this writing he has been helping out a little bit for 13 years.
A more recent story as told by Jed goes: He and Izzack Albright, past employee of Wolfe’s Store and Slate Run Tackle Shop, went fishing up Slate Run one evening with Izzack taking the lead. This is to say that Izzack went upstream to start and Jed started fishing some distance below Izzack and worked his way up to him. Jed has some success but eventually worked his way up to Izzack. Izzack hadn’t caught much if anything to speak of, so Jed ‘threw-in’ where Izzack had just fished – just covering the water so to speak. Jed catches a fish in front of Izzack. They move upstream to the next good hole and the same thing happens. Izzack was impressed and thinks Jed is using a new ‘secret fly’. This was how Izzack got introduced to the ‘Geeen-Weenie’ – a colloquial term used to describe a green inch worm sort of insect that has some success on the streams in the area during the summer. Izzack thought this was a magic fly, and when you see how it can work at times, you might agree with him.
I’ve known Jed for several years now and have only gotten to fish with him a little in the past. Even though we’ve only fished a little together, I value the experience. While we fly fishermen can be a strange sort, Jed realizes that if we do not share some of our secrets, soon the torch will just go out instead of being passed down to the next generation. Therefore, while we do not need to give away all our secrets, Jed realizes that we need to help others who are trying to learn how to fly fish in this area. He has made me a better fly fisherman for certain. If we want to continue to protect the area we have come to love – Slate Run, Cedar Run, and the Pine Creek Valley, we’ll need others to come to it and discover what is obvious to us.
Thanks for your story Jed!
Till we see each other again… UB