Monday, May 2, 2011

Jiggy's Revenge

"You should retire that fly now" Jay said as soon as it was out of the pike's mouth, "it's an honorable way to go out".....

I looked at him. Was he serious? Yes -- yes it seemed he was -- so I picked up the frazzled fly and put it in my box. Obviously, there were things about this fly tying world I didn't yet get. The fly was still good, right? Why would I not continue using it? I'm a pragmatist, you see. A true midwesterner. I probably would have made a good farm wife. Well, on second thought, nah. Nix that. I wouldn't have. I've always known I wouldn't have. I would've wanted to drive his tractor.

I thought about it (the fly, not being married to a farmer). A lot. And, I came to a conclusion: fly tying is dramatic. It's like an opera. The man sings to the fly who sings to the fish who sings to the man again. And for a few minutes, it's a perfectly harmonized trio. Or at least that's what's tied up in the mind of the fisherman. That is what he sees, the inherent drama composed in every fly. He stages -- the backdrop, the scenery, the characters -- and they may all change, but the drama is still there. Crappie might be a little more comedic, and shiners silly, but still.....they are characters..... 
........there is drama.  

Anticipation builds the fly, tension fishes....and then, if you're lucky, you hook up. That's the verbiage...'hooking up.' Wishful thinking, oh fisherman? I followed that allegory in the vernacular a little too far. I thought about it a little too much. My feminist vein varicosed through the silence, bursting, "why is it that in every male dominated field, everything is so sexual!?" Jay looked at me, confused, what the hell have I done...!? Then smirked, "yeah, men really do think about sex that much."

I'm amused.

I think some more. I re-open my fly box. S l o w l y -- I think -- I begin to get it. I remember. I re-live the drama. I'm not a dramatic person by nature, which is why women make me nervous (and yes I realize, I am one). Sitting at the tying desk a few days before, Jay had thrown me a bunch of materials. "Tie up a pike fly!" and he turned around to start making dinner. Safely with backs turned in, I silently swore -- I think he smiled. I had no idea what I was doing. I had never fished for pike before, let alone tied to trick them. But I have a good memory, and had seen plenty of pictures of pike --- always, attentive to their mouth -- and thus, the fly... 
.......I composed
I learned to double haul....
.......I sang.

I hooked up....
....and was so focused on singing, I forgot to listen.

I didn't hear the drama. That is, until now. Now? I think I get it. I think I like this kind of drama.

And Jiggy's Revenge gets to enjoy a plush retirement. She did her job, and she did it well. An honorable way to go out...

(I can't give a recipe. I'm still not quite sure just what it is I did.)


  1. I expected you to whip out the recipe...being the woman who seems to have endless recipes...for all occasions.

  2. Oh I despise recipes. I like just throwing things together in pots and pans. More fun that way ;) I'm not sure how to write these fly "recipes" but they seem an awful lot more interesting than cooking ones! I'll figure it out!

  3. And about the recipes -- isn't that a glorious feeling, e.m.b? :D

  4. Oh hell yes! What a spectacular picture.

  5. that's a nice little toothy critter you have there....a retirement well deserved for Jiggy's Revenge. Well done!

  6. Val - yes....a glorious feeling. ;)

    Clif - "Hell yes" --- and I grin! Thank you!

    Sanders - Quite toothy indeed! And glad you agree on the retirement thing! Thanks so much!

  7. So cool! I'll admit I have a stash of beat up flies that have a history-- sometimes you have to save that chewed up fly for the memories it might (but probably won't) recall to you later...

    ...and, of course, be sure to tie on a shiny new virgin fly.

    Oh geez.

    Anyways-- great blog.

  8. Brian J. - Ah yes, "beat up", Jiggy's Revenge has quite the marred up eyeballs. ;) And...thanks for reading!

  9. Such a pretty fly. Looks like you're having fun!

  10. What an addiction pike become... Great story! Cheers!

  11. Backcountryfishnerd - Yes indeed! Although, my next endeavor is Tiger Muskie!

  12. I know the feeling...retiring a fly you tied. I'm always torn about it too.