Apr 8, 2016

The AVIAN-DAL

....to the Fish Gods...

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web. 

Pablo Picasso


... And some times from a washed up black flip flop.

Confession... I'm not a creative person. I'm very good at picking and choosing the creativity of others and transforming that genius to my own advantage. In fact, I don't know if I've ever had a creative original thought in my lifetime. Therefore, I'm in awe when I witness that aha, light bulb moment when other's display that creative genius because it's not something that I can do.

Frequently these rare quanta of brilliance occur at the most unexpected times. Years ago, I managed to lose my car keys in the middle of nowhere near the White River in Arkansas at the end of a day. That car had security that Fort Knox would envy. The tow truck driver tried several methods without success to open the doors in a large abandoned farm field. At this point he suggested breaking the window to which I told him that a back up pair of keys were within the glove box and too bad that he couldn't figure out a way to thread a wire through the window, press the lock to the glove box, lift the keys and bring them back through the window. In just a few minutes, he did exactly that to which I remarked "that is one of the most amazing things that I've ever witnessed".

On my recent trip to the Seychelles and specifically Farquhar atoll, I had a similar experience. Amongst the group of us was Jeff Hickman, owner operator of "Fish the Swing" guide service and Kimsquit Lodge, B.C. Jeff and I shared one day walking the edge of a small island within the atoll looking for Giant Trevally, GT's that patrol the drop off waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey. Our guide that day explained that occasionally that prey includes bird that nest on the island. A BBC crew had been to Farquhar early in the season to film GT's that ambushed these birds as they skimmed the water surface. We were dumbstruck with amazement given these sea birds were roughly the size of a raven.

Later that evening when we returned to the lodge to the common's area, I witnessed Jeff taking a knife, epoxy and feathers to a black flip flop. He explained he was creating a "bird fly" to use the next day. The overwhelming majority of us heaped abuse upon Jeff and doubted the creation of this fly that I took to calling the Avian-dal. To be frank, despite years of education, I am an idiot for doubting Jeff and it eventually cost me $100.

The next day Jeff returned with my buddy Steve with tales of a GT that exploded on the Avian-dal. I still doubted them until I witnessed the unedited version of this video to which I guarantee it's authenticity. Watch for Jeff's reaction for it is priceless.


Creativity strikes many forms in the most unanticipated venues including the middle of the Indian Ocean. The key is to recognize, and wonder at the miracle of it's creation.

As Wayne would declare, "we're not worthy"!!!!







Charlie Chambers
Gorge Fly Shop Contributor 



"Fly Fish the World with Us"





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