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The Fly Fishing Enthusiast's Online Magazine
'The Fraternity of Fly Fishers'
Oct 5, 2015

"The timeless cycle of the little rivers, ceaselessly flowing down the riffles of their watercress shallows, can sometimes remind us of our own mortality."

Ernest Schwiebert,Nymphs, 1973

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"Summer's End" - Image by Tom Travis


It had been several months since I'd fished the Tully as I dropped down the bank onto the floodplain that was now choked with weeds after a rather warm summer. The trail was overgrown but simple enough to follow if you were familiar with its usual route. To my right was the stream, obvious to the ear, but still unseen.


I Got a chance to fish a pond that I have not been to for a few years. I knew that there are a lot of small trees around this pond; way to many to try to cast, but there is room to roll cast. So I head out with one rod, an 8 foot 6 weight number, perhaps a little heavy for panfish, but easier for me to roll cast.

I got to the pond after about a half mile hike, and saw that it was rimmed with weeds out about 12 feet all around the pond. I knew that the water slopes out to about three feet deep at the point where the weeds stop. It then drops to about 5 to 6 feet deep and slopes out deeper from there.


The Big Horn River in Montana deserves it world-wide reputation for excellence and each year angler's flock to this stream to enjoy the outstanding fishing offered. Some are simply overwhelmed by the number of trout that can be caught using nymphing rigs; some are looking for the complete challenge offered by the hatches regardless of the reason for the visit most anglers come away from the Big Horn having wonderful time and storing many memories and often making plans for a return visit.


As I completed more patterns and worked with my mentor, I was craving more knowledge. I'm not saying previous books weren't enough but it was simply the fact my interests and involvement with Atlantic Salmon Flies were growing and glowing. This book was one among many that my mentor suggested me if I want to pursue more. Indeed my mentor contributes to significant chapters in this book.


Recently I have been reviewing some fly fishing literature; historical and contemporary and I came to the conclusion that, logically, everything that one can say about fly fishing has been said in one form or another.

Let's take fly casting for just one example. Fly casting consists of a rod, which is nothing but a tapered flexible lever.


The mid-October sky was gun metal gray with scudding dark clouds hiding the surrounding mountain peaks already white with the first snows of the approaching winter. The gusting winds sent leaves cascading from the cottonwoods along the river bottoms; like flocks of colorful birds driven before the cold blast of winter. In the tail-out flats of the Yellowstone River brown trout were digging redds preparing to launch a new generation and eager rainbows were lurking nearby hoping to snag a few eggs that might drift away in the current.


Over the past one hundred years most of the major authors have mentioned the popularity of fly patterns constructed using Hare's Ear Fur. In American Fly Fishing history the current most well known pattern is the Hare's Ear Nymph or Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph and prior to that it was the Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Wet Fly however the history and use of the Hare's Ear Fur goes way back into the far reaches of fly fishing history.

In the world of today the Hare's Ear Nymph or Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph is very popular but remember the art of nymphing began with G. E. M. Skues and the publication of Minor Tactics of the Chalk Stream, in 1910. You also need to be aware that the art of nymphing did not sweep through the world of fly fishing like a runaway brush fire, rather it grew slowly to gain the popular acceptance that nymphing enjoys in the modern world of the fly fisher. Even today there are fly fisher's to refuse to nymph and of course that is their right to do so.


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