Welcome to Panfish!

Part Eighty-three

Mail Bag

By John McBride

Dear Publisher LadyFisher;

All that I fish for are panfish, and most of the time it is out of a boat. After working in the factory most of my life, (carpel tunnel, and tennis-elbow.) I have gone more and more to that old dreaded spinning rod with a bubble and my flies.

I learned to tie flies while still a pup, (I am now 42.) my granddad, my dad, and three uncles supplied restaurants, and railroad hobo communities with fish during the depression.

The patterns that were handed down are proven to catch fish. I remember as a boy helping to break up ice blocks to throw on top of pick up beds full of fish.

In my twenties while traveling around the U.S. I always carried a twelve foot telescoping cane pole that I had tied eyes on to the nearest lake on the weekends. These old flies that I have modernized for flashier materials have always caught fish!

Most of the patterns that I use are not in any books that I can find, but some do appear to be variations of salt water flies that have been down sized somewhat.

My family now only keeps a few small fish to fry, but the excitement of a bull bluegill spinning his way to the surface from the drop-off is still breathtaking! And how many remember Doodle-Skipping by flashlight at night for bass in weed pockets?

I was taught the old school - slide him into the boat on the unpopulated side, and do not get loud at every bite, if a boat is going by just set the hook and let him swim around, and never tell how many you are really catching!

I live in a county in Indiana that has one hundred and one lakes, which means that from the time the kids get out of school, till they go back in the fall, we only fish during the week due to the traffic. So now is the weather we like most! (No skiers, and no water-motorcycles!)

I only have two sites that I check every week since I got my newfangled computer this spring, your FAOL, and The Virtual Fly Box. (VFB - I hosted the Catch, and Cook swap this summer, and then the Doppelganger Swap using non-traditional materials.)

These two sites do not use a micrometer to tie flies with, they just catch fish and swap information without judging how a person catches his fish, or even if he actually eats a few!

Keep up the good work!! (Gosh . . . sorry so long, I was just going to say hello!)

A fan of your site, tie a few, fish a lot!! ~ John McBride

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