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Tag: wet flies

Flies: Nothing Welcomes Fall Like a Shakey

Frank Beals was one of the only park rangers in my recollection who knew fly fishing. Sadly, I was never fortunate enough to meet angling scribe and “Trout” author Ray Bergman’s Yellowstone National Park legend, ranger Walter “Scotty” Chapman. So my ancient memory of Beals’ kindness at the West Entrance will have to do. Because he loved...

Fly Fishing Jazz: Matching the Music

I like to listen to music when I tie flies. It reinforces a free thinking mood, and if you looked inside my fly boxes, you’ll know I’m not very good at following patterns, recipes, and instructions. Some would call that attention deficit disorder, though I prefer to think of it as improvisation. The other day I got to thinking about music, and how there...

Fly Fishing Jazz: "If It Ain't Got That Swing..."

OKAY, so, by way of comment on my last column, “salmo” baited me into a topic.  With all due respect to Duke Ellington, let’s talk about swinging flies. Thing is, “swinging” wet flies—be that on a steelhead river, or in a trout stream—is nothing new at all.  Isaak Walton had swinging wet flies down, hundreds of years ago.  And in my family...

The Mystery of the Ratty Fly

ONE DAY LAST SUMMER, I was fishing a small, undistinguished local trout stream, and as I released one of its small, undistinguished local trout, I noticed that the hackle on my Adams had unwound and was trailing loose. But when I reached for my fly box to replace the ruined fly, I found myself wondering: Did the fish I was releasing tear that hackle loose...