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Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Their View / Opinion

Think of posterity and posteriors when tying flies

This week, I have been making an effort to tie at least one pike fly every day so that when the spring season and open water finally arrives, I will be ready.

“People fly fish for pike?” you ask.

The answer is yes. Pike, in fact, are an excellent fish to catch on a fly rod.

The thing is it takes a special kind of bravery – and not because you are dealing with a big, toothy fish either. Actually, if we have anything to be fearful of, it’s the pike fly itself.

The differences between a pike fly and a regular trout or bass fly are many but, primarily, it is this: a pike fly is way bigger and tied on a heavier hook that hurts far more. You’ll be reminded of this when a sudden crosswind realigns the trajectory of your forward cast so that it intercepts the back of your head or elsewhere.

And that’s where the real problem begins.

You see, people in the emergency room waiting area tend to notice a large pike fly hanging from your head much more than they would a tiny trout fly. In fact, often, when you have a tiny trout fly lodged in your head, people just think you are there to deal with a parasite – which, I think you’ll agree, is far less concerning.

That, in a nutshell, is why I take more care when tying my pike flies.

Call me prideful, but the last thing I want the fellow patients and medical staff to think is “Wow! That guy is not a very good fly tyer.”

The quality of your pike flies is particularly important in rural areas. For, in the medical facilities there, the unwritten rule is, when you have a fishing lure or fly extracted from any part of your body, the hospital gets to keep it. This is the sole reason I once dreamed of going to medical school.

These confiscated flies and lures are then placed in a display case in a prominent hallway, for all to see. But, the truth is no one really looks at that case and all the flies and lures within, other than fellow anglers who visit the hospital for similar reasons.

That’s why I only want to showcase my best work. 

As much as I hate to admit this, one poorly tied fly prominently displayed in a hospital showcase can cause irreparable damage to your reputation as a fly tyer. That’s why I tie every pike fly with the presumption that it will eventually find its final resting place in a hospital showcase where it will be judged by other anglers for all time.

How bad can it be, you ask?

Well, I once knew a fellow who had to go to hospital to have a size 3/0 Pike Bunny Leech removed from his posterior. I have been told by a reliable source that the procedure ruined his brand new set of waders, put a run in his favourite pair of leopard skin thong underwear and added an third eye to his unicorn-themed tramp stamp. Now, because of that one visit I can’t even look that guy in the eye anymore.

I hate to be so judgmental but when they put his fly in the hospital showcase, it was plain to see he was using fake bunny fur in his patterns and low quality hooks. As I said, that kind of thing can get people talking.

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