OLMSTED COUNTY, Minn. - Ice fishing season is over so now anglers are flocking to the open water, and a 98-year-old man is still contributing to one of Minnesota's favorite past times.
Mel Dickie is an avid fisherman.
“The hobby turned into a rod building shop," said Dickie.
His craftsmanship has caught the eyes of folks from around the world. The 98-year-old man says he has probably made hundreds of rods in the 30 years he has been doing business. In the land of 10,000 lakes fishing contributes $2.4 billion to the state's economy each year. Fishing supports nearly 35,000 jobs in the state of Minnesota.
Dickie says although business has been good his favorite part about the job is being a mentor to others.
"Personally, I have enjoyed teaching other people to make their own," Said Dickie.
Then one day Jeff Minske walked into his shop.
"I said will you teach me how to make a rod," Said Minske.
Minske loved the experience so much that this student quickly became a dickie protege.
It takes the duo roughly 6 days to make one of their custom rods.
“You can have the colors you want. You can have them the color of your boat or favorite football team,” said Dickie.
The custom rod costs $175.