When Kent and I hit the road for a Gink and Gasoline outing, among the pile of rods, waders, cameras and Cliff Bars there’s always a canvas tool bag stuffed to the gills with feathers and fur. It’s generally a ridiculous amount of materials. Way more that we could ever use. Everything we need to tie a thread midge or a streamer that looks like something Elton John wore in the 70s.
I don’t care how well you plan for a trip you always need just one more of that hot fly. Maybe there’s an unexpected hatch or maybe a sudden inspiration. In any case that bag of feathers has saved more than one trip.
I’ll never forget a subfreezing night we spent in a fish camp on the White River in Arkansas tying shad patterns. We would tie a fly, bundle up and scramble out to the river to try it out under a flood light. We’d watch how the fish reacted then hurry back to the room to drink whisky, speculate about the fish’s reaction and tie another variation. We got no sleep but we ended up with a killer shad pattern, and a hangover.
I don’t know why I forgot, on a recent trip, to pack that bag of tying materials. We drove to West Virginia to fish for musky and before we went I tied up a half dozen patterns, no two the same. I knew that the friend we were fishing with had some killer patterns and didn’t even expect to use mine, but I can’t go fishing without tying flies. Of course, one of my patterns turned out to be the hot ticket and,of course, I lost it on some structure at the bottom of the river after four fish had eaten it.
We tried again and again to reproduce that fly from our buddy’s materials. No luck. The secret ingredient was a saltwater material that he didn’t have. We never managed another hot fly. “Never again,” Kent told me at least a hundred times.
Get yourself a travel vice and a tool bag from the home depot and spare yourself the grief. There’s nothing as rewarding as catching some bug and replicating it on the spot then tearing up some fish on that new fly. It doesn’t hurt to have some whisky on hand too.Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com email@example.com Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!