Friday, December 30, 2011

Fly Fishing: Fly Friday

The annual salmon fly blitz draws fisher folk to Montana (and elsewhere) literally from around the globe. This is nothing new, however, for according to Paul Schullery (Cowboy Trout, an excellent read by the way) Montanans have been fishing the hatch religiously for at least 120 years and counting. But it wasn't until later in the 20th Century things really got rolling thanks to pioneer fly innovators such as Dan Bailey, Pat Barnes, Charlie Brooks, George Grant, Bud Lilly and a few others, somewhat lesser known.

One would think after all these years, all the many trials and tribulations, new Salmon Fly patterns would be a thing of the past. Nothing could be further from the truth as I cannot recall a single season when at least one new hot must-have-pattern has not made its way into the fly shop bins and, while it pains me to admit, most, if not all, have found their way into my box...even though I should be old enough, wise enough at this point to know better but don't. The list is long--Sofa Pillow, Improved Sofa Pillow, Orange Sofa Pillow, Bullet-head Salmonfly, Chernobyl Stone, Bird's Salmonfly, Henry's Fork Salmonfly, MoJoe Salmonfly, MacSalmon, Mystery Meat Salmonfly, Drowned Salmonfly, Salmon Fly Convertible, Norm Woods, Norm Woods Rubber-legs, Chubby Chernobyl, Clark's Stonefly Golden and, believe it or not, I count at least four more whatchamacallits in my box--and note these patterns are all dry.

At one time or another I've probably tied on just about every stone fly nymph pattern known to mankind...Montana Stonefly, Pat's Rubberlegs, Brook's' Montana Stonefly, Brook's Stonefly, AP Stonefly, Girdle Bug, Pepperoni, Bitch Creek, Kaufmann's Stone, Woven Stones and, you guessed it, several whatchamacallits.

I regret never having fished (just too-nifty-to-risk) A.P. Potts or George Grant Woven Hair Patterns (the Feather Back in the center of photo was tied by my friend Tom Harman) or the infamous Bunyan Bug (carved wood and horsehair) but fishin gods willin and the crick don't rise...well hell, you just never know what the future holds, eh?

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