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 Post subject: Memories
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:16 pm • # 1 
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Location: Rusagonis, New Brunswick, Canada
A couple of days ago, I was coming in the side door and happened to look over at the 3wt rod that sits on my porch for much of the season, assembled with a fly in place so I can just pick it up and head across the road to fish at a moment’s notice. In this case, it was a well-used #12 tan buckbug with furnace hackle – simple and quick to tie, and very popular with the local fish. I tie a LOT of flies in a lot of patterns, partly because I’m too lazy to wade across stream (or back onto shore) to salvage a snagged fly when I could just break it off and tie on another. So on some level, over the years I've tended to take flies for granted for the most part.

But for some reason, that glance at that ratty old fly triggered a flood of memories from 30 plus years ago, when I first started tying my own flies. I had been fly fishing for a while, and I had taken the local fish and game club’s winter fly tying course, augmented by mentoring by a buddy who is one of the instructors. The specific memory that washed over me was of my first foray on a trout stream with my own flies. They were #12 Western Adams dries, no doubt shamefully out of proportion.

I can vividly remember carefully choosing the fly from among the half dozen I’d tied for the outing (no two alike, I should admit), reverently tying that fly on, ginking it up and wading down to where I could see a trout rising across the stream, just on the edge of the overhanging alders. I recall casting and drifting that fly over the trout perhaps 4 times and, on the 5th pass, he rose up and sipped the fly in. I’m pretty sure I hooted at least once, and quickly lined the fish back over to me. In my visual memory it was 10+”, but I’m quite certain it was closer to 6 or 7”. Rather than cradling the wild brookie and taking in his colours and shape, I shook him free, and just stared at the fly. I recall feeling a combination of smugness and awe that I had just caught a trout on a fly of my own manufacture. It was such a joy to 're-feel' those sensations, as if it was only last week.

I have no idea why that single glance brought back that flood of memories, but I’m so glad it did. It recaptured, for me, that long-past joy of those first few fish on my own flies. I’ve believed for some time that, as we age, our outings are, in part, about laying by some memories to carry us through our dotage with a grin and an ill-focused stare. Hopefully, I’ll pass my days leaned forward in my rocker, casting an imaginary rod with my right arm while double-hauling with my left. And if the nursing staff get in the way of my back-cast, well, that’ll be their lookout.
brent


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:34 pm • # 2 
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"Hopefully, I’ll pass my days leaned forward in my rocker, casting an imaginary rod with my right arm while double-hauling with my left. And if the nursing staff get in the way of my back-cast, well, that’ll be their lookout."

Maybe they'll stock some koi for you in the pond at the nursing home, Brent. :lol


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:43 pm • # 3 
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Joined: 01/26/09
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Location: Oklahoma
I remember the first flies I tied. Instead of tying a particular pattern, I just more or less "winged it" and came up with some off the wall creations. I was camping on the Lower Mountain Fork River in SE Oklahoma. We decided to go up in the hills and fish a warm water stream we had never fished before. Caught a few small bass and some really feisty sunfish. We stopped by the local fly shop owned by a friend of mine on the way back to camp. I informed him I had finally started tying my own flies and had just caught my first fish on one. He initially remarked it is always an auspicious beginning when you catch a fish on a fly you tied yourself, then he really boosted my ego when he said "of course a bass or sunfish will hit **** near anything". :\

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:12 pm • # 4 
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Joined: 06/28/18
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Location: Cornelius, NC
I wish I could figure out what fly I tied first, as I likely still have it


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:28 pm • # 5 
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I don't have my first fly but it was not pretty. Not much better now after 45 years but some fish like them.


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:01 pm • # 6 
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Brent, this is a stupendously written reflection. Thanks for conveying your thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:54 am • # 7 
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Cliff: :lol Well, if not, I"ll just focus my efforts on the aquarium in the lobby.

JimRed: Thanks for the kind words.


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:52 pm • # 8 
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All I can think of is how cruel of you to just walk on by without taking the little fellow out for a cast .


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:59 pm • # 9 
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jangles wrote:
All I can think of is how cruel of you to just walk on by without taking the little fellow out for a cast .


:lol :lol
Sadly, fishing here closes on Sept 15 on most streams to protect trout spawning, including the one I live on. Some bass and salmon waters are open til Oct 15, and tidal is year-round, but the ultralight fishing is over for me.
Happily, the grouse and hare season opened yesterday. :applause
Planning is in the works for the salmon and grouse cast-and-blast as I type.
brent


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:19 pm • # 10 
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That cast and blast sounds fun are those hare as big as they look on TV?
We don't have them here in Arizona we don't have much of anything in Arizona just a bunch of ugly Cactus sand and undesirables


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:28 pm • # 11 
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Jangles: Our 'hare' are snowshoe or varying hare (the ones that turn white in winter); not much bigger than a cottontail rabbit. Our 'grouse' are ruffed grouse and spruce grouse. Ruffies are delicious. Spruce grouse are ideal eating if your doctor has told you you're not getting enough turpentine in your diet.
brent


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:48 am • # 12 
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Brent, do you use a partridge feather fly for grouse and a red fox squirrel tail fly for hares?


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:51 pm • # 13 
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Cliff Hilbert wrote:
Brent, do you use a partridge feather fly for grouse and a red fox squirrel tail fly for hares?


:lol :lol
Nope. My preferred flies are the Four-10 Brassy in #6 for grouse and the CCI standvel in #22 for the hares. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:31 pm • # 14 
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[/quote] :lol :lol
Nope. My preferred flies are the Four-10 Brassy in #6 for grouse and the CCI standvel in #22 for the hares. ;)[/quote]

I use those exact flys but on different critters . :applause


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:33 am • # 15 
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8)


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:59 pm • # 16 
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Location: Colorado
Brent, you just took me for a walk down memory lane while reading your wonderful story. I remember the first real fly I tied, and believe me, the appearance wasn't worth the thread I tied it with, but dang if it didn't get me a trout. So I'm not really convinced that a fly has to be tied perfectly to work.

Amazing how such wonderful memories can fade in time, but be brought back to life in an instant through someone else. No matter how many new flies I tie and fish with, none come close to that one very first fly, and there will never be another like it, no matter how many of them I tie. That fly, a simple fly to tie, the Renegade, is stuck in the band of a hat, but it's just some thread and a little bit of white hackle now that brings back such a fantastic memory of such personal success at the vise and elevated confidence on the water.


Last edited by Iasgair on Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:54 am • # 17 
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Iasgair:
That's amazing, that you still have (the remnants of) that fly.
RE: untidy flies: Some years ago, my buddy and I were up buying tying materials from a shop on the Miramichi, and we noted a new pattern in one of the boxes of flies for sale. They were beautifully tied, each identical to its cell-mates. We asked the owner "do you know if they catch salmon?". His reply: "I know they catch salmon FISHERMEN".


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 Post subject: Re: Memories
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:16 am • # 18 
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wheezeburnt wrote:
Iasgair:
That's amazing, that you still have (the remnants of) that fly.
RE: untidy flies: Some years ago, my buddy and I were up buying tying materials from a shop on the Miramichi, and we noted a new pattern in one of the boxes of flies for sale. They were beautifully tied, each identical to its cell-mates. We asked the owner "do you know if they catch salmon?". His reply: "I know they catch salmon FISHERMEN".


Yeah, it's still there. My first attempt at a known fly. I wish I had the fly I conjured up though when I didn't have any idea what I was doing. That was a mess, but it worked.

My wife likes shiny lures. The ones that do catch fishermen.....ooooh, shiny!


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