There are people who like to fish, and there are fishermen. The distinction between the two categories may not always be apparent to the casual observer, or in conversation between two people on their first date — or the second — or third.
Karen Cambray got a hint of the fraternity she would be marrying into when she and her fiancée, now husband, John Piekos, began the planning for their Island wedding, held on June 12 in Edgartown.
John is a software guy from Westford who owns a house in Edgartown. He is also an avid fly fisherman (a particular kind of derangement) who spends as much time as he can fishing the Island.
Karen is the chief financial officer for a technology company in Lexington. I spoke with her by telephone about a week before their wedding after I learned about the unique arrangements she planned to incorporate in the ceremony.
“I’m getting married to John Piekos and he’s really passionate about fishing,” Karen told me.
Uh-huh, I thought. Wait a few years and passionate will become crazy when she describes her husband.
I did not share my well-worn insights gathered over 20 years of marriage or the countless anecdotes I have recounted in fishing columns. She was in premarital bliss, so I let her continue.
“John fishes the Derby every year and the catch and release tournament every year so when we decided to get married, Martha’s Vineyard was the perfect place for us.”
She said they planned a small wedding of about 60 family members and close friends. “John wanted some sort of a fishing theme, right? Of course I wanted something elegant,” she said and laughed.
Uh-huh, I thought. I laughed too.
The ceremony was at the gazebo in the Harbor View hotel. The reception was planned for the Boathouse at the end of Main Street overlooking Edgartown Harbor.
During a conversation with the florist, Lynda Dandeneau, “John said he wanted to wear a lure or a fly or something. We laughed, and he said, why not? Some of the flies are beautiful.
“So John and I got to talking.”
Karen went through John’s fly box to look for an appropriate fly to go with his navy blue suit. She found a fly with the required colors, white and blue, but it fell short of her requirements.
Karen and John decided to turn to a shop that has never been featured in Modern Bride magazine — Coop’s.
Justin Pribanic and Robby Morrison were in the shop. Both men are skilled fly tiers and fishermen, but I guarantee you they have never picked up a copy of Modern Bride magazine.
John was out fishing on Chappy (uh-huh), so Karen went to Coop’s by herself. “I went in, and Justin and Rob were so nice,” Karen said. “I told them I wanted the fly in place of a boutonniere and they were not sure what I was talking about. I explained it was in place of a flower and they said, okay now we get it.
“So, I was describing the colors that I wanted, a little more red here and a little more silver there and I offered to leave the tie,” she said. “And they said, no, no, no we’re not really style guys. So I told them, I’ll be the designer and you be the architects.”
Most of the fly requests Robby fields are for people who want to catch striped bass, bonito, or false albacore. He is fashionable but strictly in a fishing sense, a fact he was more than willing to admit when I asked him about Karen’s visit.
“I’m not really good at matching clothing,” Robby said, adding for emphasis, “Look at me.”
The final product took several days and several color adjustments before Karen had the match she wanted. Two flies were needed, one for John and another for the ring bearer, Thomas Cacace, 7, of North Andover.
The finished products greatly pleased Karen and John. There was no cost. Coop and Lela Gilkes said the flies were a wedding present.
One week before the wedding Karen told me, “Justin and Rob did a great job on them. So I got elegance, and he got his flies.”
Karen said it was a good compromise. I asked if that was the recipe for a good marriage. “I think so,” Karen said.
Look for bass to be in deeper cooler water. Big scup continue to delight and provide good eating. The big news will be the arrival of bonito. Check with local tackle shops and charter captains for the latest news and fishing advice.