Welcome to Fly Anglers Online
The Fly Fishing Enthusiast's Online Magazine
'The Fraternity of Fly Fishers'
August 2018

"Time and tide wait for no man. "
Author unknown

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Summer's Full Bloom - N. Travis image


It is an old refrain, but it has rained again. The onions in the garden have rotted. Too much water for them to make it. Folks that had potatoes in the ground have found them to have rotted also.


Early in the year of 1995 The Ladyfisher began to develop an idea for an online fly fishing resource. She laid out the idea on a series of note cards on the floor of her home outside of Poulsbo, Washington where she was living with her late husband Jim Birkholm, aka Castwell. She wanted to offer a service to fly fishers that would provide useful information for the beginner as well as the more advanced angler, it had to be available free to any user with Internet access and the material would be free from advertising content. She anticipated that if she could attract sufficient advertisers, called sponsors, she would be able to support the site and provide an income source for her family. Thus, on September 1, 1995 Fly Anglers Online became a reality with the first issue appearing on the world-wide web.


To say that a bull Bluegill “rises” to take a fly would be misleading at best. If you have ever watched a trout approach a drifting fly, then after scrutiny open its mouth to sip it in leaving a tell-tale rise-form. That….is a rise. A big colored-up bull Bluegill on the other hand attacks a fly, porpoising over it in a way that will not only suck in the bug, but kill it in the same motion. They can at times put the surface take of a largemouth bass to shame, leaving you in astonishment to find that it’s not a 3 pound bass on the end of your line, but rather a 12 inch bluegill with shoulders an inch wide.


Recently my neighbor of over 40 years suffered some physical problems and he could no longer live alone in his home just across the hedge from my house. In all the years that I have lived here he has always been there just across the hedge. A Korean war veteran he loved to see my flag flying. A hunter and fisherman I tied special flies for him according to his instructions. I watched his only son grow up, I watched him bury his wife and I watched him grow old. Vertigo in his later years limited his ability to continue to hunt and fish and finally time and chance overtook him. His son put the house up for sale and held an estate sale to clear out the accumulation of nearly 90 years of life. I wandered through the yard looking at the various items now up for sale; tackle boxes filled with various lures, a few old rods and reels, tools, and various items to numerous to mention. People showed up and one by one the items were sold and then all was quiet. Seemingly in a moment a life came down to a few items for sale to strangers. Later, when I spoke to his son as he cleared out the last few remaining items, he noted that it had been hard for him to clear out his dad’s stuff. Suddenly it flashed across my mind that to the son it was only stuff, but to his dad it had been his life.


For the past two plus decades I have enjoyed fishing the evening spinner falls and caddis egg-laying flights on my favorite local spring creek. I would slip out of the house about two hours before dark, which during the summer months here in Montana is close to 10 pm, and make the short drive to the creek. On many of those evenings I could expect to encounter clouds of mayfly spinners dancing over the fields. As soon as the sun began to push toward the western horizon and the evening shadows would begin to stretch across the stream the spinners would begin to appear over the water; dancing, mating and falling to the surface prostrate, their brief adult lives completed. The plethora of dying insects would bring the trout to the surface and for the waiting angler it was if heaven had briefly come down to earth. As the activity brought about by the dying mayfly spinners began to wane caddis flies, as if on cue, would magically appear to continue to attract the attention of the resident trout. As the last rays of light faded I would wade from the stream; satiated after another evening of great angling.


For many years I have spent considerable time on the Big Horn River during the last half of August and during the month of September, during this time-period for the past fifteen years the Trico fishing has been outstanding. This productive fishing has afforded many challenges and allowed me to develop some very interesting and productive imitations.


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