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April 24th, 2000

What's In A Name?
By James Castwell

'Lives there a man with brain so dead, who to himself has never said, "Boy, I wish I could invent a great fly and get to name it." Why is that? There are a few of you who may not have thought about it, mostly those of you who do not tie, yet. And some of you have thought it anyhow.

Is it so important? To some it is worth nasty mail, small claims court, and shin-kicking contests. But consider this. You are fishing and ask someone what they are using. "A muddler minnow." Well, there you are. No problem, into your fly box and select one.

Or, this. "Hi, whatcha usin'?"

"This here is my own fly, a fuzzy-bugger."

Great, now what are you going to do? So, there is something to be said for uniformity. How about the ability to fish some classic piece of water and use a fly that was used one-hundred years ago on that very stream? Heady stuff.

By creating new flies with strange sounding names are we in someway missing the trappings of fly-fishing? Some of the mystique which binds us together?

I'll be fishing some eastern water this spring and will try to use flies from the past. Famous patterns for famous streams. Kind of adds something to it for me, probably use the QG (Quill Gordon) a lot. I actually hope to use flies tied by good friends instead of my own, that adds an element too. I think I need to catch a brook trout on a cane rod using a silk line with a QG fly tied by old Rupe. That would be nice.

I don't care how good it is, I won't be casting any 'Fuzzy-buggers.' Am I an elitist snob, at times I suppose I am.

Other times I would gladly use any new fly (especially if I had tied it). There are not just a few places in my area where the fly called 'Castwell's Marblehead' is used with great success and is a somewhat known pattern. It wasn't always though, took a few years to get around. So there, I named a fly, I'm guilty of being human and a fly-fisher.

Come to think about it, most flies are variations of another fly of some kind. Mine is a variation of a streamer. What's yours, or haven't you named one ...yet? ~ JC

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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