Friday, June 3, 2011

The Nebraska Nugget.

"Ah, fish'll eat anything" a fly fisherman told my dad on his last trip to Colorado -- anything, like a college boy presented with something that looks like food -- he'll try to eat it. (I've personally tested this on a former housemate of mine, and I'm sure he'd go on the record as saying that plastic bananas are damn hard to peel.) You see, things like this should not be told to the people of my ilk, from whom I've been hewn. Anything? Really? For then we go about refuting or being refuted. Either way, we'd just like to know.

- My dad questioned, "so, what's the deal with all those fancy flies?" 
- "It's sex appeal -- for the man, not the fish," the fisherman replied.

He shook his head. Silliness. And anyway, what's wrong with these men that they need flies to turn them on? I suppose that if one wanted to, one could concoct some subconscious Freudian connection between streamer flash and glittery lingerie. But I know far more about the former than the latter, thus that is for another time, another place, and another post. 

A few days ago now, I stood down the shoreline from my dad, little knowing he was secretly and silently performing a test. Anything? Really? We'd already caught bass and saved a bullhead and I had lost myself, reveling in the relaxation that comes once fish are caught. The rest of the day? The proverbial frosting which, proved more than sweet -- deliciously buttercreamed.  

Papa laughed, that kind of surprised laugh that only comes when you've gone out on a limb and you realize one of two things: either (1. the branch is thinner than you thought -- or (2. the branch is stronger than it looks. Well, at least now you know. This laugh then turned into the guilted giggle of a little boy who has admittedly done something. 

My ears perked. 

"What? What is it? What'd you catch?" It must be huge! I thought. A green sunfish? Nice! Although, I didn't understand what was so funny about this fish. 


The Laugh started up again. Teasing, leading ----> "That was my fly!" Papa said. "Get out!" I exclaimed, pulling out my best Elaine Benes impersonation. Since when is he tying flies to use on his conventional gear pole? But sure enough, tied, in a Nebraska garage with a leftover yellow rubber worm and the bristles of a floor broom, my dad came up with a darn good fly pattern: The Nebraska Nugget.



It looks like corn....and yes, fish'll eat it. 
Really!


27 comments:

  1. I love fly's like this! It's a great alternative for States that have laws against using corn (the corn kills the fish, they cannot digest it).
    I met a man who fly fishes for sharks and he showed me his prize fly....A giant hook wrapped with green and red pipe cleaners! Looked like a Christmas tree ornament. lol. He called it the "ugly fly", said he caught more sharks on it than any of those fancy store bought ones.
    Kudos to your dad.

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  2. Alan - Right?! Homegrown stuff like this is great. I have an ugly fly that got dubbed the "Christmas Jumper." It has caught a lot of fish. hmmm...what's with fish and Christmas colors? So festive! Thanks for your comment and shark story!

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  3. You dads right to a point.
    Most flies are designed to catch fishermen, and fish will eat most anything.......... at a certain time.

    Good post

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  4. good one pops ! i've been making grubs from mr. twister heads for years and they work magic on wild browns. added bonus is they make the purists cringe and squeal... ;D

    it's always a treat to read your stories, Erin. thanks !

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  5. ha...looks like the branch was stronger than it looked!

    great read as always!

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  6. food and fishing...this post is right in your wheel house.

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  7. Would you expect anything other then a corn theme from a "Cornhusker" fan! Nice job Bryan. IPOY on your first fly design. Better hole up in the garage and craft more for the next trip West.

    sgb

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  8. What's next...a foam earplug and dryer lint? Well done on thinking out of the tackle box!

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  9. Corn is a very productive bait for those who don't hang their head in shame for not buying a dozen crawlers for $3 but opt for a 69cent can of corn that has hours upon hours, if not days worth of bait in it and will catch more fish than 12 crawlers would

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  10. Thanks, all!

    No mr. twister heads, dryer lint, or earplugs, but I have been using a lot of dog hair recently, and also old wine corks!

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  11. e,
    you got a great following..."right in your wheel house", are you kidding me?!, Dude, Clif I haven't heard that since George Scott Played for the Sox , are you from Mississippi?....e, I saw a comment you made about your rod tube being mistaken for explosives....you crack me up... so creative...a good sense of humor to boot...you sure I don't know you from another life? Thanks for your spirit. Scott

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  12. Scott - I do, don't I....I like this bunch. A lot. :) Hmmm...I am pretty sure that if I had a past life, I was a cowboy. If you were a cowboy too...then maybe! Oh, and while I may be a "hoot and a half" as my mother says, that bit about the rod-tube explosive? Totally true! Thanks, I always enjoy your comments!

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  13. On a pond far away once, bored anglers put every never used piece of plastic on hooks, 2 or 3 at a time. Every concoction caught fish. I have a half finished muskie lure made from a Barbie my daughter never missed. Never has seen the water. Put flies on spinning gear and plastics on fly hooks, just put the damn thing in the water.

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  14. That fish in the pic looks like what we called in the south as a shellcracker, with the redear. Enjoyed the post

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  15. No disrespect was meant to Clif. George Scott played 1st for the Red Sox. He was from Mississippi. He would say if a pitch came into his "wheel house" he would turn it into a tater and knock it over the fence. It's an awesome saying. No disrespect was intended. Time to return to my hole.

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  16. Scott - You're going to have to try harder if you want to disrespect me. Much harder.

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  17. Great stuff as usual Erin, i am sure if you have confidence in what you are using then the fish will fall for it.......... eventually LOL

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  18. Ken G - Barbie! Genius! When I was little my sister and I would always cut off all their hair anyway...wish I tied flies then!

    Bill, thanks! Had to Google that one! Another Sunfish!

    Herringbone & Clif - I think Clif dominates... ;)

    Tom - Many thanks! Right? A fish will eat anything....given enough time!

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  19. Hmmm, I'm thinking potential carp fly here.

    Great read as per usual Erin!

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  20. Nuggets galore! nuggets abound!
    A state in which I was formerly found.
    Your Husker papa's face not forlorn,
    Catching fish on a fly tied to shadow corn.

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  21. Very good Erin, very good. Fish will bite anything they think won't bite back. Including corn. By the way, I think I failed the vocabulary test.

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  22. Ty - you gave me an idea...I tried it out on carp yesterday! I think they were tired from their past week's orgy, but I got one to eat the NE Nugget! I then promptly lost him....but still... ;)

    d.nash - You're awesome. GO HUSKERS! (My dad has one of those corn heads. I think he wears it around the house just for fun) hehe.

    Fontinalis Rising - Thanks much! And yes....I think you failed ;)

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  23. Perfect! I've often wondered how good Black Lab fur would work when tying a Stonefly imitation. We should hold a "scrounged goods" fly tying contest. You must use materials that are found in either a) Under the Kitchen Sink, b) your broom closet or c) the pile of stuff in the back of your garage. In order to enter, you must catch a fish on it and submit a picture of the fish.

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  24. Steve - I use my dog Banjo's hair for dubbing material all the time. Works perfectly!

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  25. Cool fly! Hope he took the pic precaution.

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