@Capt Bob LeMay
A big "Thank You!!" to all of you who have responded to my query.
I feel that I owe all of you a bit of history on myself, so for the sake of clarity, here it is.
Back in the middle 90's, I lost my job (military contracts dwindled due to the collapse of Russia), my mother was dying of cancer and my wife wanted a divorce. The only thing that mattered to me was my mother's well being. Mom died in my arms a few months later. She was taken from me much too early.
In short order, I found solace on my favorite trout water - the San Juan in Northern New Mexico. I became a trout bum. Somehow, during all of this, I came to know Norm Mabie. We both lived in the same town, Las Cruces, NM. He was retired Army who had his garage converted into an incredible fly tying shop. We enjoyed each others company and spent much time swapping tall tales about our time in the service. I was mesmerized by his fly tying skills and used to watch him tie for hours. Needless to say, he taught me a lot.
There were times when I would drop by to find his little shop stuffed with a bunch of clean cut, short-haired gentlemen who all seemed to look alike. For some reason, these guys just did not appear to be fly fishermen. Later I asked Norm about them and he just laughed and said, "They are all fighter jet pilot's from Holloman Air Force Base." Holloman is in Alamogordo, NM. Norm said they would pack their fly fishing gear in their rides and went fly fishing wherever they were stationed. Obviously, Norm was well connected to the military community. That may be how he was commissioned to make a fly rod for Bush '41, but I'm not certain.
During this time, as I recall, I thought I asked Norm to make a 9-foot 5wt rod for me. Well, you guys were right: I just measured it and it is indeed a 10-foot rod (three-piece). Words fail me to describe my shock. I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles that Norm built a 9-foot rod for me.
Fast forwarding: In '03, my wife was forced to either move to Chicago or lose her job. So, off to Chicago we went. We finally moved back to NM in 2014. During all of that time I never fly fished much less tied a fly.
Back when I could barely walk, I had an uncle who was an avid fly fisherman and would take me, together with his family, whenever they went fly fishing on some river in Northern New Mexico. He also gave me a book on fly tying that set the path for me. I suppose it would be fair to say that I have been a fly fisherman all of my life, but sadly, not a constant participant. I have been away from fly fishing and fly tying for much too long. That is all changed now.
I hope some of this all makes an ounce of sense to you and explains some of my ignorance.
Thanks for hearing me out.