A $2 Level Line and a Clinch-Knot Leader

April 6, 2006 By: Marshall Cutchin

A story in the Houston Chronicle today reminds me of when as a boy Phil Gonzalez, later one of the first lodge owners on Montana’s Bighorn River, wanted to go fish Yellowstone Park for the first time. He walked into Dan Bailey’s shop in downtown Livingston, Montana and told Dan what he wanted to do. Dan gave him a rigged fly rod and box full of flies and said, “Just bring it back when you’re done.”
In the Chronicle, Joe Dogget describes how learning to fly fish has changed in fifty years. “The concept of a tapered leader was awfully sophisticated. Angling greats Joe Brooks and A.J. McClain recommended a ’60-20-20′ system graduating from butt to tippet, but such refinements seemed unnecessary on the duck pond.”