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Eye of the Guide
The Fly Fishing Enthusiast's Online Magazine
'The Fraternity of Fly Fishers'
June 6, 2016
"When thunder roars go indoors"
Well, you see, it all began when my uncle gifted me a used Diawa Fiberglass fly rod, complete with a clay red South Bend reel. Having read everything I could get my hands in Field and Stream, Outdoor Life and by watching Curt Gowdy on TV, I knew all about fly fishing. So with a reel spooled with the running section of an old floating line, a barbed ring inserted in the end of that fly line and a six foot section of 6 pound Stren tied to that ring (the classic fly rod bait rig), I headed for the neighboring farm pond. In my nylon shoulder creel I carried a Sucrets tin filled with the various wet flies from the wall cards in the local bait shop, A Cow Dung, Royal Coachman, Parmachene Belle, Black Gnat, Iron Blue Quill, and a Hemlock just to recall a few. At the waters edge I promptly tied on a Parmachene Belle (for visual sake only), cast out to the edge of the lily pads and just as it began to sink watched as a large bluegill sucked it in.
It was not really dry, but I knew that there was one pond that I could drag the canoe into. It is not far from the parking to where the canoe can go in.
I grabbed two rods and the other accumulation of stuff and headed out. When I got to the pond I saw that the wind was increasing. I quickly loaded all the stuff into the canoe and headed to the pond.
Down through fly fishing history the caddisflies, or sedges as they were long referred to in England and even in America, with the exception of a specific hatch or two the caddis were always regarded as the second class citizens, so to speak. However over a period of years this view began to change as several fly fishing authors began to realize the importance of the caddis hatches on various waters.
Many of the historical volumes related patterns and methods of fishing the sedge or caddis hatches, however for this missive we are only going to refer to volumes by American fly fishing authors, with one notable exception and with two exceptions the volumes all of the material refers to books published from 1972 to 2009 and who contributed to the increase in knowledge of the art of caddisfly fishing. The books that I will be referring to are all volumes which either give excellent coverage to caddis flies, it is interesting to note that very few books have been dedicated to the caddis flies.
"I believe if one pursues his/her enthusiasm in Atlantic Salmon Flies, one should naturally be interested in history. Another highly respected and frequently mentioned name, as Dr. T.E. Pryce-Tannatt, is George Mortimer Kelson (1835-1920). Among enthusiasts, he is referred as "Mr. Kelson" with the highest regards so I'd like to follow that manner. All the information and stories I can have are hearsay (like in this book) but I immediately developed an immense respect and admiration to this great individual. Indeed Dr. Pryce-Tannatt (Review 5) must have been one of his apprentices. To make a long list of his legacy summarized, "what George Mortimer Kelson did with all of his written work was to rationalize the salmon fly and present it in all its glory" (direct quote from page 19).
On the dry rock-strewn benches above the river you can trace the course of the irrigation ditches by the line of cottonwood and willow trees that grow along their course. The trees are the only green thing on the benches with their sparse short grass being their only cover. Below the benches along the river, is a lush green riparian corridor of grass, shrubs and trees and on a hot, dry Montana summer day it's a vibrant, cool oasis in the midst of a seemingly endless treeless plain.
Summer is upon us and we are all eager to get outside and enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities. Hiking, camping, fishing, boating, picnicking and a plethora of other outdoor activities are enjoyed by millions of people each year and they can be very enjoyable. However, it's a good idea to remember that nature has teeth and they will bite you, even kill you if you are careless.
One of the major causes of accidental deaths in the United States each year is lighting strikes. Anglers and floaters are especially at risk of being struck by lightning. If you are in a boat on a lake, pond, ocean or stream you are the highest thing around, and a fishing rod is a great lightning rod. To increase your odds of being safe there are a few steps that you can follow.
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