fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)

my wife doesn’t use nail polish. i do.

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I’m not the philosophical fly fisher. I fish to catch…despite knowing it’s called fishing, not catching.

I care for my gear, ensuring that loosing that bigger-than-expected trout can only be blamed on my lack of skill bad luck.

And I tie flies to replace those that have proven to be effective.

March has become the month of anticipation. The worst of winter is probably past, spring’s ahead with another season of trout fishing; either fishing alone, with my sons, with club members, or with a fellow fly fisherman just met on the stream. The Sierra Nevada streams in which the flies I tie will float or sink…and sometimes float when they should sink and sink when they should float…won’t be open to trout fishermen for another 58 days, 5 hours, and 42 minutes.

But fly tying isn’t a cure for the itch to fish. It’s merely a distraction.

I tend to use subsurface flies, or nymph, a lot. Last summer I discovered that a certain nymph designed by a certain guide produced quite a few fish for me on a certain river.

I’m not a great fly tier. Those who call fly tying an “art” haven’t seen some of my attempts. And by no means was I able to dissect a fly and end up tying a suitable duplicate.

Until now. The key: nail polish.

Any fly tier with more experience would appropriately laugh at my discovery, but for me it was the lost ingredient in this fly’s recipe. I’ve never dabbled with nail polish in fly tying ‘cause I never used any fly recipes that called for it.

But that thin, clear coating of polish that brings out the rainbow, almost opalescence, of the flash tied on the base of black thread. Cool stuff.

Now it’s only 58 days, 5 hours, and 41 minutes until Opening Day. But there are plenty more flies to tie. A few to lose in the bushes behind me, a few to share with family and friends, and at least one to tie for that bigger-than-expected rainbow.


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