It began with a small brown trout dangling on the end of my son’s fly rod some two years ago. Since then I’ve taken a fly fishing class, joined a fly fishing club for which I am now webmaster and secretary, bought fly fishing gear and, yes, caught trout and bluegill on a fly rod. Ask my wife and she’ll tell you I look the part when fully geared up — sort of like a shorter version of Henry Blake in M*A*S*H when it was dressed to go fishing. (No lures on my hat though.)
But during the last week I have begun to flirt with fly fishing as an obsession. I tied my first few flies. I started easy, working on a flex tube scud and some zebra midges. I followed the instructions from a DVD to tie red and green chironomid (midge) pupa, replete with a red/green body, black head and white gills. Then I grew daring. I read the instructions for a Wolly Bugger…something I have yet to fish but is considered a good fly for going deep into some of pools I fish. I was rather pleased with the result, though I wouldn’t call if perfect.
My last two attempts were probably a bit too ambitious for the late hour of the evening. I began with a fur ant, which required dubbing and well as tying on a hackle. I think it turned out okay, but I’ve got to learn better how to lay down the hackle. Next I tied an hare’s ear nymph. (This design, also in other colors, doesn’t duplicate or imitate anything in nature, yet does well catching trout.) It was a bit of a struggle to get all of the parts in the right places and to figure out where my hand should go and where various parts should be held until it all came together. But it did come together. Again probably not the best example, but it offered a good learning experience.
If only I could get out and catch a fish on a fly tied by my own two hands!
(Yes, I’ve been warned that this may be only the beginning…next I’ll want to build my own rod…)