Tag Archives: Fly Tying
I like the Meat Whistle because it has a lot of movement in the water and it sinks fast, knocking against rocks and looking reasonably like a crayfish or madtom or sculpin. The fish only like the Meat Whistle a little.
I like the Hairy Mary because it’s easy and looks reasonably like a half-drowned dragonfly. But the fish would only sit underneath the Hairy Mary, looking sullen, then depart.
I like the Home Invader because, aside from the lead eyeballs, nearly all the materials can be found in a farm lot. I like the homespun look of the coyote fur collar. I like that with pale yellow marabou, some gold and pearl tinsel flash, and barred ginger hackle you can make them look almost exactly like one of the thousands of stonerollers grazing Ozark stream bottoms. But only dinks chased the Home Invader today.
The Tampon Fly is none of those things. It looks like nothing; it just wiggles. It casts like a sack of dead kittens and takes ages to reach its destination. It’s dumb to tie. There is no jarring strike or surface explosion.
But it works. And sometimes, when nothing else will- that’s good enough.
The Johnny Appleseed of browns, brookies and rainbows had a less-than-secret obsession with black bass- largemouth and smallmouth, mostly. Born in antebellum Baltimore, he moved west to Cincinatti and then Wisconsin, where he made a home on Lake Oconomowoc, west of Milwaukee. The lake became his adopted pen name as he wrote articles for national sporting magazines, while studying the behavior and reproduction of the bass that lived there- observations which would inform their culture, allow them to be propagated in hatcheries, and replenish stocks ravaged by pollution and market fishing.
He wrote The Book of the Black Bass, he wrote an autobiography- in which he spends practically no time describing his experience in the west, establishing the Bozeman trout hatchery and building the legendary Montana trout fisheries of today.
Maybe that tells us something.
With the water and western plans plus the weekly news, Madame X’s seemed like a good choice.
It’s an odd thing, tying flies for strangers all across the country and getting a dozen or so in return. Time and tedium accumulate, as you crank out one after another as close to identical as you can- and mine aren’t nearly so nice as the articulated deer-hair concoctions others will make.
It’ll all work out, though.