Page 16 of “The Curtis Creek Manifesto” talks about two different types of insects and flies that can be used while fly fishing.
One is terrestrials that hatch on land and find themselves in the water (ants and beetles) and the other is aquatics that includes all flies that hatch in the river and are perpetual each year.
Every once in a while a fly pattern comes along that can be used as a terrestrial and aquatic insect.
This once in a while happened to me while I owned the fly shop. A customer came in one day and asked if I could duplicate a pattern that had been purchased at another fly shop.
This pattern was a specialty pattern tied by the owner of the shop and was charging $3.50 each at that time.
I did not recognize the pattern so I asked my customer if I could have one of the three or four that he had purchased and began to scrutinize the fly and look for a way to duplicate the material used to tie the body.
The color of the body was a mix of different dubbing materials and I was not sure that I could completely duplicate the color so I began experimenting with mixing materials. At that same time I had been experimenting with some new material that I had found that would enable the fly to sit pretty high on the water and found this new material was very good for tying the new pattern.
Upon experimenting with this new material I was able to duplicate an exact mix that could easily be applied to a hook and I could tie the flies and charge the customer the same price that I was charging for all other dry flies in my shop.
Obviously, the customer was happy about the price and took the pattern to the river to fish with his two sons. At the end of the day they returned reported that this was a great fly and had caught a good number of fish.
The customer asked if I would keep his pattern a secret and not tie it for anyone else. I said that I could do that and he continued to purchase the pattern in my shop for over 15 years. I have been able to keep his secret all along and when he retired I decided that I would not be able to keep the pattern a secret much longer.
Since closing the shop I continued to tie the pattern at my home tying bench and have not charged him since. I have seen this pattern in a couple of other fishermen’s fly boxes and asked them where they got the pattern.
Unbeknownst to me the pattern was being shared by the customer. It made me feel pretty good that my customer was so proud of his pattern that he would share it with his friends.
Once they found that I had tied the flies in their boxes they began to ask me to tie a dozen here and a dozen there. I have not done that and continued to tie only for my customer.
Now its time to release this pattern and if you attend the Fly Fishers of the Bitterroot general meeting in March I will have some there. See you then.