Nothing Should Be More Important
So Why did I start this Flyosophy with a pick of my dad, but never the other years around Father’s Day??? Simple I haven’t had a stake in that Holiday since 1985…I only very rarely know when it is. This week, when I came off the water – I bring my gear to my truck first then go back for my kayak – I found a toddler playing in it. Her mother had her hands full with another baby and some stuff as she was trying to get to her car. I told her not to worry about it, and gave the kid a ride as I dragged the boat up the sand. The woman wished me a Happy Father’s Day, so that’s why I remembered this year.
So I’d like to share my Dad’s Father’s Day Tradition with you.
My father had five kids. Every Father’s Day we’d give him whatever crap we made for him in grammar school art class that week, served him some God-Awful breakfast, and then as we sat at the table he’d announce “Know what Father’s Day is???”
Before we could answer, he’d bolt out of his chair and run for the door…”It’s the one day of the year when I don’t have any kids…” He’d literally run away.
As a kid it was horrible and worse for my mother who’d be left with us and usually a few of the younger kids would be crying, especially later in the day if they had to go to bed before he came home. Yet still, today as probably the closest I’ll ever get to being an adult, I see it for what it is, Hilarious!!!
I can still remember my father’s last words to me. As he literally lay on his deathbed, I was choked up because even though I was pretty young I knew what was happening, he said, “Look on the bright side, you are going to get a few days out of school.”
Some have groaned at that, but I hope that when I am in that position I’m thinking of a way to make someone laugh (or machine-gunning hordes of Zombies) rather than whining like a bitch.
I learned never to whine around him. He couldn’t stand it and wouldn’t tolerate it. My father wasn’t a hitter like my uncles. No he’d come up with scathing poems to torture you like…
“Sean, Sean the leprechaun…
Couldn’t catch a fish in this pond!!!!”
Thomas Murphy – Poet
I still hear that couplet every time I get skunked especially if its a day like the other one where the water was literally think with stripers. Big stripers some close to 50 inches some bigger than that. Yet none of them took any of my flies. I’m a strong believer in presentation first…but there is only so much a guy can take before he starts trying everything he has.
Changing flys – the last refuge of a scoundrel.
So I came up with this pattern…
I guess it needs a name…it’s more or less a Half and Half, dainty, and tan…”Jessica Alba?”
Jessica Alba Sand Eel
Hook – Tiemco 811s Size 4 (I know I’m as shocked as you are…)
Thread – Whatev - like has anyone ever really changed their thread on a recipe – PROTIP - find one thread you like use it for everything – learn its breaking strength change only if you really have to like for a dry fly, deer hair or something…
Tail – Dry fly neck hackles – stiff
Body – Cream Yarn with a wee bit of sparkle
Collar - Sand Marabou
Eyes – Small dumbell
The two ingredients every fly has are: Water and Nothing. Nothing should be more important than it is. Consider a classical music piece. All the notes for all the instruments – but without the moments of nothing between them, it would be nothing but noise. Nothing defines everything. The fly exists in the experience of the fish only because of the spaces around and within it that allow it to move and to be. Seriously this is important – marabou can only move and breathe if there is empty space to allow it to.
Tie on the eyes. Know how DA MAN usually says to put them midway on the shank or the first 1/3rd or something. Screw that butt them right against the eye of the hook…it’s best for the following materials and the eyes will be more secure when against the eye ring.
Tie on the tail – these hackles need to be fairly stiff. You want this part of the fly to quiver more than it shakes…I use two feathers, I think four would be alright. I’m sure you could tie them flatwing style if you wanted to, but personally I never did that well with flatwings. Come to think of it, the guys I know who do well with flatwings use almost nothing else, so there may be like a gene or something for that.
Wrap a body of creamy yarn. Fuzzy is good but don’t go nuts. I think the body of a fly is extremely important even though it seems like a nothing step. I mean sure you are coloring the shank, but the whole rest of the hook is just sticking out there like Keanu Reeves at a Mensa meeting.
Wet and fold a marabou feather and make just a few wraps to form a collar. I took this picture to show you how sparse this is , but it the water all that material will slick back and breathe.
Remember a few months ago when I said the rabbit fur fly was responsible for my personal best striper…well now this fly is. I caught a fish that was very nearly 50 inches and very very hefty. Again it was a fish I caught on a day when dozens and dozens more refused the fly, so I can credit the fly completely but still not bad for a fly that is mostly nothing.
Anyway just something to think about. The next time you are wondering what to lash to the hook, maybe the right answer wont come to you.