Thursday, March 15, 2012

Challenge Accepted

A friend recently handed me a home-spun fly pattern, a prototype of sorts. The naysayers will surely point out that it is not an original pattern, and I do not doubt that. Rather it is a fly that I suspect was tied in a moment of spontaneous creativity. In this day and age that is about as original as any tier can hope to be.

I accepted the fly - and the challenge to catch a trout with it - somewhat skeptically, but agreed to give it a whirl. My friend's only request was that I provide photographic evidence of any fish caught with it. Apparently he has grown wise about simply taking my word for such things.

By the time eleven o'clock rolled around today I could not take another minute of sitting at my desk, looking out the window, and wishing I was on the river. An extended lunch break was in order. I pulled my nymph rod from the rack, clipped  off the remnants of last weekend's outing (a girdle bug and a well-chewed San Juan) and knotted on the prototype.

I had just a single copy of the fly, so in an effort not to lose it I fished a short leader with very little weight. I also fished it solo, I didn't want to distract any potential takers with another offering. Despite my lack of confidence in the fly, and the setup, my third drift through a productive winter run resulted in a fine brown trout. A few drifts later I broke the fly off on a submerged log; par for the course on the lower Gallatin. 

The pattern has potential, my friend, I'll take a few more in red and pink...


  1. What the hell? Squid move in? Anything pink, I guess. Well done.

  2. Yeah, it has that look. It would probably be more at home in a coastal river, yet for some reason it interested a fish in the Gallatin, go figure.

  3. Honestly, I think almost any fly will catch SOME fish. One of my best days for brown trout came on one of the most unrealistic fly patterns I've tied. It looked like nothing natural at all, but the browns hammered it on almost every cast.

  4. Patrick - That is true. In fact a bare hook will take fish at times.

    As Gierach has famously written, "If you fish the wrong fly long and hard enough, it will sooner or later become the right fly."