In the late 1960's I started this series. In the
following pages I will, in a somewhat condensed
version, bring you the 'heart' of what then became
a slide program. I find it interesting much of the
information I will present still has not been thoroughly
discussed to this date.
These pictures are prints from the original slides
from that time period. The slide program was originally
200 slides, two hours long and was presented at many
T.U., F.F.F., private club meetings and even on an
ocean cruise ship. All photos were taken by me while
living in Bay City, Michigan, and were shot either on
the Main Stream of the AuSable or in my basement.
At that time I was 'field-testing' for a major fly-line
manufacturer, teaching fly-tying, fly-casting, a
thirteen week accredited course for a local branch
of the University of Michigan and had a trout fishing
'school' on the AuSable river. The pictures were not,
at first, intended for any particular use, however
were organized into the slide program as an addition
to the above.
I had no preconceived goal other than gathering
information on the subject. That was to shed some
light on what tied flies looked like to a fish. My
investigation tended to drift occasionally but for
the most part stayed on course. A major hypothesis
driving me was the fact many thousands of flies will
catch trout. If so, why not use just one? If they all
work, what is the one thing they must each possess
in common? Or, and this was the one which disturbed
me the most, if they all look alike to the trout,
what difference does it make?
For those of you more interested in the subject, I
would refer you to two publications, both by Vincent
Marinaro, A Modern Dry-Fly Code, and,
In The Ring Of The Rise. During my
investigation he became not only my mentor, but a
most cherished and close companion. He was involved
with the creation of what we called 'the Ring' at
the time and we often worked in tandem developing
material. For his encouragement and guidance I am
most sincerely grateful. The finest gentleman I
During the development of all of this I was often
assisted by, cajoled, beaten-about-shoulders, yelled
at, and in general, put up with by one of the finest
fly-fishers and all-around best friends I have ever
had, Mr. Neil M. Travis.
Next time . . .
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