from Deanna Travis

FlyAnglers Online

Publisher & Owner



February 7, 2011

That is called a narrative hook, sometimes asking an interesting question or introducing a word which sounds sort of neat - in other words a method of getting your attention.

Mullygrubs is Smoky Mountain English. It means being depressed or down in the dumps, or just another word for cabin fever or the shack nasty’s.  Outdoor writer Jim Casada’s most recent newsletter mentioned the word “Mullygrubs” and it brought back a few memories here as well.

His point is a very good one; most of our ancestors would not have been talking about shack nasty’s. They would have been busy ‘doing’ whatever was necessary to keep their lives going. We really are so very spoiled, other than tying our own flies and those who are into building their own rods; there really isn’t anything we need for fly fishing which we can’t obtain one way or another. But there was a day.

Casada also mentioned another dying art, making a sling shot. A winter project so you would have a new one ready when spring crept in. Did you ever make one? My grandfather and I made several, but honestly I have pretty much forgotten the details, but Jim Casada’s newsletter has that too.

“...find just the right sized and shaped “Y” of dogwood or alder to form the base of the catapult, then some careful whittling to shape the “Y” into a smooth, balanced form. Once that is done, it is simply a matter of attaching two pieces of strong rubber (we used slices from car or truck inner tubes but in today’s world surgical tubing is probably the best way to go), fitting a leather patch in the middle, and securing everything with strong thread or something similar. As a boy Grandpa and I used old‑fashioned black nylon line of the kind once used on casting reels; today strong monofilament can be a logical substitute, and really strong sewing thread will also work. Once the slingshot is completed, hunting suitable rocks for ammo is fun in and of itself. Mind you, marbles work fine, but they are mighty pricey if you like to shoot as much as I did as a boy. “ 

A slingshot was a lot of fun and certainly helps tune ones hand/eye coordination. There has got to be a connection to helping your fly fishing as well. Maybe only in preserving your sanity or you might target squirrels which make a nice dinner and have fur very suitable for fly tying.

There, that’s about enough to qualify as an article and it may have kept your thought processes busy for a few minutes. Works for me. ~ LadyFisher

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