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