Jim Green

Jim Green

Andy Dear | Sunday, 23 December 2018

Back in 2001, I did my very first angling related interview with noted fly fisherman, caster and rod designer Jimmy Green. How I found Jimmy is a bit of a fortuitous story in and of itself that I'll save for another day. Suffice it to say that it was Jimmy's willingness to give me a peek into his highly accomplished past, that put me on a path of documenting the careers of some of the most influential and iconic tackle designers in our industry. I didn't really think about it at the time, but that series would go on to have some historical significance as well, as many of the folks I interviewed are unfortunately no longer with us. About 6 months after Jimmy's interview was published in RodMaker Magazine, I received a large envelope in the mail. The return address was from an individual in Japan whose name I did not recognize. I opened the package to find a copy of a Japanese magazine called FlyRodders, along with a nice note from one of the writers whose name was Hiroyasu Obana. Hiroyasu had also done an interview with Jimmy around the same time as I had, and was kind enough to send me an unsolicited copy of his article for my collection. It was an unbelievably thoughtful gesture that to this day I still appreciate....however that was not all. You see, Hiroyasu had the privilege of time spent casting with Jimmy and his wife Carol, who is an extremely accomplished fly caster in her own right. During Hiroyasu's stay, Jimmy made several detailed instructions and illustrations for Hiroyasu regarding his personal thoughts on the mechanics of the casting stroke. Although much of what was in the drawings had previously been detailed in Jimmy's book "Fly Casting From The Beginning", these handwritten pages were a unique piece of history done in Jimmy's own handwriting that I found, from a historical point of view, very special.

Shortly after I received Hiroyasu's generous gift, I filed the materials away in my archive for safekeeping. To be quite honest, as the years passed, I forgot that I even had them. It wasn't until the summer of 2017, when I was doing some reorganization of my collection, that I stumbled across the manuscripts Hiroyasu had sent me. For the second time in as many decades, I was humbled at his thoughtfulness and generosity.  Over the next several days I wondered if Hiroyasu was still involved in fly fishing, and if so would it be possible to find him? Of course, it's now almost 2019, and for better or for worse we have social media in our lives in a significant way. It took all of about 10 minutes for me to locate Hiroyasu, who was living back in Japan, and from the looks of it, he was still fly fishing. I sent him a friend request along with a short private message explaining who I was, in hopes that he had some recollection of the events that took place so many years ago.  Although I don't think he remembered me, he graciously accepted my request, and after we became reacquainted, Hiroyasu made a remark that I thought was very profound. " What makes fly fishing so great is that we can be connected to each other through our passion for this sport no matter where we are from".  He then went on to say "I am so glad that Jim gave us a chance to know each other, and if he saw us fishing together he would be proud for sure". 

Hiroyasu and I are now in regular contact, and I have to say how thankful I am to call him a friend. If it wasn't for his generosity, I wouldn't be able to share Jim's handwritten notes with all of you. And I agree with you Hiroyasu, I think it would make Jimmy very happy to know that he brought two people together from opposite sides of the world, through the sport that he too loved so much.  I hope one day to be able to share some time on the water with you in both of our home countries, and maybe even more importantly, shake your hand in person and thank you for the kind gesture from so long ago. 

Here's hoping this holiday season finds all of you healthy and safe,


Here is Andy's original interview with Jim Green... 

And here are the collection of notes!