Thursday, September 1, 2011

Flannel Jackets & Sexy Legs.

Sitting, tying for waters you've never fished. It's like trying to buy a present for someone you've never met. Maybe you've seen a photo of her though. And maybe, she's wearing a blue flannel jacket with pockets. Lots of pockets. She needs something to put in those pockets, you think. And maybe, you dated her best friend 13 years back, and remember her talking about how she had this crazy obsession with legs. So now, you're just hoping she'll like yours.

The evening before fishing -- dressing flies for an unknown body -- using scraps of knowledge I've gathered. Designing. Day-dreaming for hours. And when the flies are finished, and placed in a plastic box to open tomorrow, I worry. I worry that she won't like it -- that the picture was smudged, that my memory has failed, and that the best friend was wrong about the legs. I worry that I'll give them to the two people I'm going to fish with in the morning, and they'll be duds -- my flies, that is. Nothing, cast-after cast, and then a change of flies and there will be a flash and a take...after take, after take. I can see the whole scene so perfectly now. It is of artistic temperament, I know, to be riddled with self doubt, resulting in an ego reminiscent of Swiss cheese. I try to remember this -- I'll always have holes.

That next morning, my plastic box of flies lays on a picnic table coated with dew. Jay ties one on, and takes  some for later too. He is confident, he says -- they look buggy. Still rigging, I hear a yell coming from behind a large boulder. Where is Jay, anyway? Already fishing. "Ah, he must have got a snag," someone says. I know Jay though, I know him well, and I know that he doesn't give generic yells when he gets a snag.

Running towards the boulder I clamber up on top and see him squatting, holding up a brown..."On the second cast! And a flash on the first!"

And my flies kept on keeping on. And by the end of the day, my ego had more of a semblance of cheddar.




The Curmudgeon Crumpler.

Hook: Skalka Scud/Czech Nymph #14.
Thread: White 6/0 UNI-thread
             Camel 6/0 UNI-thread
Legs: Turkey tail feathers (2 fibers knotted, trimmed down to 1 fiber past the knee.)
Wings: Montana Fly MFC Wing Material, plain web.
Elk hair.
Brown Saddle Hackle.

Step-by-step instructions at: Colorado Fly Fishing Reports.

42 comments:

  1. Yeah, I want my money back - I paid admission for a what I thought was a peep show and all I got was another well written account of fly fishing. Sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sexy legs. - bhive

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kind of cheesy (your choice Swiss or Cheddar) Erin, and I know you tie great flies.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Curmudgeon" With a name like that I am sure the fly would have the staying power to last the day. I hear they are a stubborn lot.

    Now I shall go find some cheese to go with my cider.

    sgb
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice flies Erin! All of you fancy tiers make me feel bad! I think Mctage thought I was joking when I showed him the garbage I throw at carp out here!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great fly pattern! Great name too-- pretty soon you'll bee tossing around the abbreviation "CC" as if it were just another PT or GRHE.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Marc - hehe! :P

    Kirk - My apologies. It won't happen again. ;)

    bhive - Kind of has kankles!

    Cofisher - Thanks, and I think I prefer cheddar...but I just love cheese...

    sgb - Oh, it does...strength of an old mule. ha! Cheers, and I'm going to go have a cider myself. Cheers to 21 days...

    John - Thanks! Ah, I'm not fancy though. Kind of messy, but I call that "buggy" so it's all good!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Brian - oh man, abbreviations make my head spin. I need an index card cheat-sheet. ;) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nifty little hopper pattern. I dig it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nice pattern Erin, i love this wings from MFC

    ReplyDelete
  11. Catching on your own home-tied flies is the pinnacle of fly fishing but somebody else catching on them is just that little bit better.

    Though I never tied a fly as 'sexy' as yours Erin, mine are always a mess but the trout still eat them :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Egos are overrated.

    The hopper pattern looks great

    ReplyDelete
  13. Erin, this post has it all; sexy legs, cheese, flies and trout..... as-well-as great writing... I may even tie a few---now where are those legs?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jay - Thanks! And I'm going to continue messing around with it....tweaking.

    Carlos - Many thanks...they make a really cool little wing material. I'm loving them too!

    Dave - Very right you are. Even better when it's someone else. Oh, mine are messy too. But bugs are kind of messy too. I think the trout like our messes. :)

    BrkTrt - They are indeed. And mind never gets very big...only to the point of being confident. Then it fizzles again. Thanks for the good words on the pattern! And it's great to have you back...take care!

    Doug - Ah if you find those legs, let me know how the pattern works out for you. Thanks for reading and for the kind words!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks, Russ! My first foray into wings and legs. Kinda fun!

    ReplyDelete
  16. e,
    Hurricane Irene delivered a mighty uppercut. We've been knocked out for days. It's nice to get back in touch with your writing and tying exploits. Very buggy! Nice. I think the holes and gaps make us human and interesting. I like cheddah too!

    ReplyDelete
  17. A "curmudgeon" of the best kind. Great looking fly! Glad it helped fill in some holes :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Never tied a 'Curmudgeon' before but I'm sure gonna do some now.

    Sexy legs pics next time then, Erin ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Curmudgeon Crumpler! That deserves a Nobel prize for fly names. Looks good to. Don't have the winging material, but will substitute and tie some.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Title is as misleading as the content is wonderful! Nice Tie too!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post and nice flies. Does Jay ever let you use his flies? Sounds kind of like me, "hey can I borrow that one?" Borrow it forever. =)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Herringbone - Glad you're ok! And happy to have you back on the interwebs...I've been missing your posts. Thanks for the kind words!

    Sanders - Ah those fillers are so fleeting. ;) You're a writer...you know about this, eh?! Thanks for the encouraging words! I've been called curmudgeonly before, and always take it as a compliment!

    Alvaro - Thanks for reading and for the comment...(all the way from Spain!)

    Chris - Ah, my legs shall remain fully in long pants. ;) Hope the Curmudgeon works well for ya! Thanks!

    Phillip - haha! Thanks! And I'm sure any wing material will do. The first few had wings of turkey tail feathers...just like the legs.

    Kevin - Ah, I just like keeping things interesting around here...and amusing. Thanks for the kind words!

    Kev - I used one of his today...he shares...but does like going through my fly box an awful lot. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Nicely crumpled crumpler. There was obviously no need to worry. Great P&P (pattern and post).

    ReplyDelete
  24. You had me at sexy legs :) Nice bit of writing. I've never considered them in fly design before but perhaps I should!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Rhythm Rider - Indeed...but I'm a worrier! Thanks so much for good words and new acronym. "P&P"..it's catchy!

    Anonymous - Ha! Thanks so much, and I figured it would pique curiosity. ;) I really like fly designs with legs; although, they are the most infuriating thing to get tied on correctly!

    ReplyDelete
  26. The sexy legs i like, the flannel jacket might take a bit of getting used too though :):):):)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Nie znam się na wędkarstwie muchowym. Jednak lubię czytać Erin ! Pozdrawiam !

    ReplyDelete
  28. Panowie Amerykanie, zazdroszczę Wam Erin ! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Tom - ah, flannel can be sexy too...just takes the right woman to pull it off, I've been told. ;)

    Tomek - Ale możesz mieć mnie w Polska też. Dlatego piszę! Cieszę się, że Ci się podoba czytania i komentarze zawsze wywołać uśmiech na mojej twarzy!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh, big congrats on the fly. I think you write like the musician that you are and those nimble fingers seem to be able to create with more than strings.

    ReplyDelete
  31. On the subject of music, there is a fabulous documentary about a deaf musician called "Touch the Sound". Makes you rethink how we experience sound.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks, Hart! It is funny -- when I was at the conservatory, I was told that I hadn't found my voice yet. That, I was "good" but didn't have a unique voice. I think I was just looking in the wrong place...but I can't tell you how much conservatory training has helped in writing.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I will have to look up Touch the Sound. It reminds me of how Beethoven composed his last works as he was going deaf...with his piano with its legs cut of laid on the floor so he could feel the vibrations...

    ReplyDelete
  34. Jeez, I'm out in the middle of nowhere in Alaska for a week with thirty guys and am immediately hooked on this title. Nice piece of writing though the legs are a bit skinny. Beautiful Tie. It does look buggy.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Steve - haha..."the middle of nowhere in Alaska for a week with thirty guys "...I can't imagine why the title caught you. ;) Thanks for the good words, and continue to enjoy the wilderness!

    ReplyDelete
  36. WOW!! Your tying has progressed amazingly!! -- Giving you an e-pat on the back. I sure hope you are proud because we all are!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thanks, Dustin! The 'e-pat' was much appreciated. :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Replies
    1. Freestone_bound - Nice! I'm so glad you like it....hope it's a part of many many good days for you.

      Delete