Mar 23, 2012

Brown Trout Fare?

Well morning came around and with it a sort of settled calm. I know I’m not supposed to speak the words, but there is no wind yet and none in the forecast. When I look out the window, it’s like it’s all out there sayin’, well what the hell are you waiting for? Not to mention that it is 60 degrees, the sun is out and everything looks a little greener. How can I expect myself to just sit here and do nothing about it?

Kitchen Table

My tying table seems like it doesn’t really exist. We’ve got a new pad, and not a ton of room to spread out the feathers and feel even remotely organized. I hate tying in a mess but it seems that that is all it ever is anyway, so now that my temporary table looks like a Midwestern federal relief zone, I am just shrugging it off. It will get better but I fear it will get worse before that so I’ll just have to deal with it. It does take longer to tie up a bug in a mess, but I suppose that each one that you complete has a little more weight to it. Don’t want to get too efficient. Don’t want to take the triumph out of the fly. There’s a reason we tie I suppose, or many for that matter.

So I twisted one up this morning. I wrapped some feathers, scanned my debris pile, sat back and watched it evolve. I hunted for stuff, tied and wrapped and hunted and stared some more. I began to think of a trout out there. Certainly there would be one bully enough for this one… I hoped so, after-all it wasn’t a proven recipe but I like to think that one comes to realize what looks fishy or how something might swim when thrown overboard. It was one of those little tie sessions that just kind of morph – where the fate of that fly’s appearance is the result of personal freedom. – No set list of ingredients laid out before you. You’re not gonna tie this one because everyone else say’s you should.

It’s possible that when you are constantly digging in the pile of materials you actually give your mind that extra few moments of creativity that it needs. But tough to tell, often the best developments come on a whim and your idea plays out quickly into this new masterful pattern that should raise the beast on each and every cast. And these fly patterns will do this until you get to the river and you find that your dreams don’t quite match up with reality.

Ingredients:  Polar Chenile, Marabou, Rubber Legs, Fox, Saddle, Ice Dub, Mirage Flashabou - back hook fastened with 25lb Maxima Chameleon

But at least we’ve got the process. When you sit down at the vice, it’s like a painter bringing the beyond to canvas. But I’m no painter. This was no painting. Actually, I tied a baby rainbow. A fish. I hesitate to call it a masterpiece because I know that it is not. But at least it is art and what is even better: This art is functional.

We’ll see how well it works. I’ve been known to hang a pattern like this on a log on the initial cast. This is no doubt a rough event – much rougher than losing a commercial tie. But if I snag a mouth instead… oh the feeling! When you put more of yourself out there, the results are far more astonishing, whether for better or for worse.

Log or fish, I’m out a here. I’ll let you know how it goes…

Have a good time,


  1. Nice Mike,
    That thing looks awful tasty!!! I know some Middle Deschutes browns that are just drooling over the thought of slamming that on a short swing.

  2. Dan,
    I bet you do! Come to find out, they do like this one just fine. But sadly, it wasn't long after realizing this that it became some dangling ornament. I hope you and that switch rod make a fine pair!


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