Friday, October 28, 2011
Flies (follow up)
My “trolling for flies” post a few weeks back has resulted in an embarrassment of riches, and my adoration for the sharing nature of this human community. We’re humbled by the response, and plan to pass on the effort in random acts of fly-sharing along various rivers in the future.
Of course I wrote the blog post with humor, all the while hoping I’d get connected with flies and with people who use them. That happened. I called it my tale of woe in attempt to get people to send me new flies for fishing. I blamed everything on my son, who has taken all of our great gear for his own.
What also happened is that my post apparently offended at least one person who sent me an anonymous note telling me to quit the begging and “buy your own flies.” Please know I didn’t mean to bother anyone with the post, and I honestly thought it was funny.
Now to the flies! Legendary fly-fishing guide and fly tier Kate H. of Nevada sent me this message: “I’ll dig through the closet and see what I find in my old vest. Fear not, I am sure there is some old moth-eaten thing or two I can send. Your blog brought tears to my eyes ...”
Here are the beauties that Kate sent up:
New York’s Bill K. was in the process of tying some salmon flies for an upcoming trip to New Brunswick when he read the blog post, so I was lucky all the equipment was out and in use. Bill made a few tough adjustments and created these three beautiful Elk Hair Caddis flies for our stash – one of my very favorite flies. What a lovely gift. And, a little later, Bill sent me a fly that is simply a work of art and is in the photo at the top of this post. Noting he doubts I’ll have a need for it, lest I’m pursuing Atlantic salmon, “Like many salmon flies, it has a lovely name: Blue Charm.”
Friend (and wild man!) Lane B. sent me what he called “Wal-Mart specials” – fancy grade poppers that are handmade in China, but distributed locally by Betts Tackle in Lane’s home turf of North Carolina. He said not to laugh too hard until we try them, since “fish will strike at the darndest, most unlikely things sometimes.” You’re right Lane, and we’ll have to give them a try. Now I’m going to have to find a bass pond somewhere. Lane also did a little artwork on the envelope, which I enjoyed, so have a look at those fancy poppers.
Colorado’s Chas sent a remarkable contribution – a fabulous collection of wet flies that were once his father’s. It’s with honor we’ll get those flies back onto western rivers. Thanks Chas, and to the late Otis Clifton, 1916–2003.
New England angler extraordinaire Paul D. sent a beautiful packet of flies via Steve and Libby. Oh but to have the success on a stream that I know Paul has had. We’re thrilled to try out flies tied by this trout master as well.
This was an entertaining exercise, and the flies are treasures. But the real jewels are the fabulous people we’ve crossed paths with in the process.