08 April 2009

My Fly Dresser

Mark's love for fishing is no secret. He grew up fishing and, as he says, has fishing in his blood - generations of fishing-blood flow in his veins. I also come from fishing-blood, so maybe it's not surprising that I married a fisherman.
Mark's latest fishing passion is fly-fishing, which is supposed to be world class in Scotland. How can he not learn this unique type of fishing while here? My dad is a fly fisherman and has taught Mark some basics on a couple fishing trips while in Missouri visiting my extended family. But a few months ago Mark decided to take his learning to a new level. Using some Christmas money he invested in some equipment, started reading books and watching You Tube videos (sounds like me with photography, huh?). This, naturally, prompted him to want to tie his own flies (see his first fly below).
So here we find ourselves, in the midst of brown trout season and I have not only a fly fisherman on my hands, but a "fly dresser." Hmmm....I've never heard that term before so I laughed the first time Mark called himself that. Guess it is a posh word for fly-tier. I told him it should be called "hook dresser" because that is more accurate. (See below for some examples of Mark's handiwork.)
I used to spend evenings watching my dad tie flies in our small, unfinished basement in NE Ohio. He even let me tie some of my own from time to time. I learned (and remember!) a surprising amount from those evenings together. It's been unusually pleasant to actually hear Mark talk about "dubbing," "whip finish," "nymph," "hackle," etc. and have it conjure up childhood memories with my dad. All in all, I think Mark has found a great hobby for himself. It combines his love for fishing with his technical and creative sides....if only......
it didn't include a dead rabbit's face (mask) hanging out in my living room....or dinner table. Ugh.

A few other things worthy of mentioning. Today Mark got to escape his studies and go with one my co-workers' husbands to fish at a fishery. Despite the wind with some rain (and some cold, of course) I think Mark and Doug really enjoyed themselves. Doug has been fly fishing for probably about 35 years so he is full of knowledge to teach Mark, which works out very well for Mark, and I don't think Doug minds it too much either. Everyone needs a fishing buddy. Mark came home with a battle wound on his nose. Apparently the wind got ahold of his tiny fly, drug it across the bridge of his nose and left a wee scratch. I was glad it wasn't his eye! At least Mark got to reel in two trout for all of his efforts today - one being around 3lbs, which I'm told is a pretty decent size for a brown trout. Good job, Mark!

After dinner we had a discussion about "dry flies." I was again stating this was an inaccurate concept because the fly is obviously wet after it has been in the water. Mark was trying to explain that it was "less wet" because that particular fly stays on top of the water. Less wet? I'm not convinced.

Stay tuned, I'm sure there will be more fishing stories as the season goes on. Maybe I'll even get to go sometime to photograph him in action. Happy fishing!

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