Tales of the Supernormal
13 October 2004
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Ever stop to wonder why your favourite flies work? Really, when you look at these things, they donít look much like the bugs theyíre supposed to imitate, do they? Who cares, you say, itís a need to know deal. The good old attractor patterns continue to attract, the modern Ďtriggerí designs seem to pull the trigger, and the close-copy replicas dupe the trout just fine, thanks, without us needing to know why. Like a water faucet, who cares where the water comes from, as long as it works? We take for granted that some things can remain unexplained, and if a fly works, well, thatís just the way it is. Shut up and fish.
Well, I donít know about you, but the trout season is still some weeks away as I write this and Iím fighting off the shack nasties. Fly-tying is good therapy for that condition. These pre-season tying sessions may meander off into the bayous of idle speculation and woolgathering, but they at least take your mind off the weather.
I decided to sort out my fly tying desk last weekend, to get organised for the new season. I work out of an old wooden kitchen hutch with good big drawers (not me, the hutch). I thought it would be very organised to prepare some dubbing in quantity. When I opened my enormous dubbing fur drawer for a hareís mask I was annoyed to find it infested with mothís eggs and cocoons. Not in the mood for that kind of thing, I threw the mask away and just shut the drawer, promising myself to clean out the hutch later. I decided to tie some flies instead. I donít do many parachute hackles as a rule, too fiddly and time consuming, so I thought Iíd whip some up for the hell of it. Some Klinkhamer Specials might come in handy sometime, somewhere. I pawed through the tangles in my boxes for a suitable hook, found I had no small emerger hooks left, and mounted a size ten B-100 in the vise. It looked way too big.