The secret world of the artificial fishing fly

Recently I received an artificial fly used to “allegedly” catch the biggest, badest trout around. While I am very aware of a long list of Wooly Bugger designs and configurations, this one came with the name of Mink-tailed Supreme Wooly Bugger labeled by me as a MTS Bugger for easier discussions, and I like acronyms. I am not able to give a more accurate description of this well-crafted fly due to it being the handiwork of a friend, commonly referred to as Rick. To disclose the true nature of a lure of this magnitude would border on the verge of a national travesty subject to a Grand Jury investigation or a Trout Unlimited full disclosure request.

It wasn’t but a day after receiving this beauty, and after having mightily demonstrated the shear effectiveness of this fly by catching an unmentionable amount of large trout, that I received another creation called a Super-Deluxe Pinky Dink (SDP Dink). While I was unable to confirm its prowess (it was rumored to have prowess) due to a fast moving storm, I was able to float it on a local pond as a way of getting a feel for it. The beauty issued delightful floatage, with a delicate touch of natural ambiance, coupled with a flash of pink, sassy but not pretentious, all meant to entice the most cautious fish.

After marveling at the SDP Dink and the MTS Bugger, I remembered last year I bought a couple of Modified Chernobyl Ants in Wyoming. These puppies look like giant ants with white legs, black foamy bodies and iridescent wings. Clearly, an ant that had close contact with some U238 or was it bomb grade U233. The thing was obnoxious, and possibly made to frighten fish, maybe irradiate them—and it was misshapen as if the meltdown had altered its genetics. Word had it they worked on the North Platte River and like a Russian Oligarch, I bought a couple while humming Watching Ivan Glow, and an old Ukrainian folk song in D minor.

A local favorite that I first saw in Alaska was a Purple Egg Sucking Leach, but it was more commonly called a Lawyer Fly. Now someone needs to come up with a Bodacious Giuliani, which is a bigger lawyer fly and makes a gurgling incoherent noise as it imitates a massive leach about to be eaten by giant carp (not political but just an observation).

So after reviewing some catalogs filled with various feathered flies, I found others with entertaining names including Galloup’s Butt Monkey, (might as well have called it Rick’s Ass-Clown). There on the steamer page was a Meat Whistle fly which I thought was creative but I don’t think it made noise like the B. Giuliani. Still, this fly had a nice implication as it might provide sustenance. It was then I found one called Sex Dungeon at $6.95, which must have been targeting migrating fish, you know the ones that swim upstream for a little action. I wasn’t that attracted to it even though swimming upstream still has a nice metaphorical ring to it.

There were other flies that looked like giant centipedes, the kind that drop on you when you are trying to sleep in some third-world prison. You know, they walk across the damp concrete ceiling and then lose their grip and fall on you. I can remember not being able to move even slightly because they would lay down a vicious bite at the slightest provocation. It is an uncomfortable eight inch lure but one that could be used to keep swimmers out of your trout hole.

It was then I realized I had purchased a number of really massive flies for fishing the mighty Musky and they must have had names but I didn’t recall hearing them, other than big honking fly, or something like that. These things are nine inches long, weigh half a pound wet, and require three months of weight lifting to enable the caster to chuck one of these things to distant holes. Mine ( pictured above)  has most all the feather of an entire chicken including the wing primaries, half a Guinea foul, three parrot hackles and a sparrow’s breast feathers for a delicate touch,  not to mention a special canted hook previously used for great whites. I’m modestly calling it a Womping-Stomping Deep-Diving Winky-Dinky, Goat-haired Lip Ripper. The other one, the truly large one, the one that looks like a muscled-up Norwegian rat, is a Horse-nippled, Flatulence-spewing, Short-haired Mousy.

What this all comes down to is that fishing goes way beyond just securing that one giant trout but also exercising the art of accumulating lures and even occasionally spinning a slight fabrication for the purpose of entertainment—particularly when one doesn’t really want to tell folks where or how to secure the big ones like I catch.



Aging in Place

A couple of days ago I learned something new that had a profound affect on me while at the same time potentially adding a new categorization system for various forms of behavior.  A gentleman by the name of John, a new acquaintance from Minneapolis, like me, was a touch age challenged. It seems someone asked him what he was doing while he was sitting leisurely in a most comfortable lawn chair, smiling foolishly for no apparent reason, and like a Buddhist monk, clearly taking in the afternoon as if he was one with life. His reply was, “I’m Aging in Place.”

“Absolutely profound,” I thought, “Enlightened”.

Of course, one cannot spend the rest of his or her time “Aging in Place” in such a matter but that does sum up his time in the lawn chair and I am sure, left his questioner speechless.

What did occur to me is that this outlook on life might have other almost academic applications even though I did not want to spend the rest of my life sitting in the front lawn like Bruce Dern in the film Nebraska waving at all passers-by saying, “Looking good.”

I thought,”Wow, this simple set of words may well be an inspiration for those studying aging, even make a topic for my PHD”.  As a brief note, I would suggest that some of the younger readers not rip-off this thinking, for as of this presentation, it is copyrighted and in order for you to use it in an academic setting, I will have to be compensated like any copyrighted idea. One case of Muddy Puppy Porter will do.

It works like this. If an individual is plopped in his favorite easy chair, say a lazy boy, and is watching pornos this would be aging in place (AGIP) but for clinical reasons could be called AGIP-N. The N being for naughty and connote a dirty old man.

On the other hand, the older person who insists on riding a bicycle at speed, could be said to be AGIP but due to the activity might be seen as AGIP Cat. 5 Ex. The Cat 5 is for category 5 and the Ex for extreme, meaning that the aging here is life threatening and from a clinical point of view borders on idiotic if not insane—potentially self-induced rapid aging.

There, of course, are many in between options to this system. Let’s say I am Aging in Place by sitting in a favorite chair accompanied by a nice single malt Scotch. AGIP-S1 would fit here with the S1 representing special level one. This designation could be amended with, say, Mx for maximum if the beverage was served by a spouse who would say, “Dear, could I prepare an appropriately selected beverage for you?” AGIP-S1-Mx seems fitting.

Aging in Place can take many forms but in the proposed thinking it has to be leisurely and pleasurable which could include a wide range of activities, some of which will not be discussed here, but in this day and this age of non-uniformity, could require a PHD study of a sort all unto its own.

So, we have had the AGIP-N grouping which has negative connotations, but still commonly found, and the positive grouping more to my liking, and easier to talk about in this format. Fishing from a comfortable seat in my boat, on a windless slightly overcast day, in full possession of a Point Special, cleverly attired in my second-and, but handsome Orvis shirt could be AGIP-Cat S3-Mx.

Another category for Aging in Place, and maybe the most important of the bunch has more of a group setting, or we might say a community setting. It could go like this. A content individual is Aging in Place by sitting on a tidy beach on a local lake. The chair is uncommonly comfortable. The person, yours truly in this case, is relaxing after catching a 20-inch bass, a fine wine properly chilled is gracing my hand, I am surrounded by no less than 20 individuals all Aging in Place by chatting (AGIP-C), not necessarily about my caught fish but about the pleasure of life in this community. There are a number of younger folks around (not necessarily AGIP), all of them still contributing graciously to my Social Security fund, some children, all handsome and above average, are there admiring the older AGIP adults and in their hearts intent on taking care of our world. My eyes are partially closed, my mouth in a subtle smile and nothing hurts. I am Aging in Place very nicely and in optimal position. Categorization for this is AGIP-Cat5-S5-Mx 5. It would seem there is this need to designate this condition and take pride in Aging in Place.


VISITATION: While this word almost sounds like something one does at a facility of some sort, say a hospital or a mental institution, it also can mean nothing more than a situation where one person visits another, or one group visits another group. In our case, it means the children and the one grandchild coming to town for a visitation. However, if a person were to witness these events, the vision of a mental institution quickly comes to mind. It’s not an Ed Gein facility but just a loony bin of chaotic characters, much like in The King of Hearts, all full of nonsense and gibberish.

While it is not possible to demonstrate, or discuss all of the buffoonery that goes on, I will offer but one as a way of not defending my family but one that offers insight.

It seems we were on the way back from Madison after visiting friends and other relatives, themselves questionably not totally intact, when we stopped at the ice cream shop all wanting that one big delicious cone. While most of us chose traditional flavors, the twelve year-old kid decided on Blue Moon. We adults looked at each other with a certain level of disgust knowing the flavor was derived from bubblegum, or some lab-produced ester we used to concoct in Chem. 204 at the University.

No sooner had the kid laid a lip on the double scoop, when he was asked if the flavor was Tidy Bowl. Now Tidy Bowl is a color, but also I suppose, has a flavor, but seeing as how it is used to perfume up a toilet bowl, the visual was not enticing.

The cone melted and dribbled up and down the kid and colored up the parking lot as well as making it smell like a facility for relief. It was then the group went mental. Besides the mess, Tanya, our daughter and Jake’s mother, suggested the flavor might be called Luscious Latrine or Porcelain Pony Pop.  The kid grimaced but kept up the pace trying not to be grossed out.

He headed off to a pond of stagnant water looking for his long-sought-after  Bugle-Mouthed Salmon better known locally as a carp. We assumed he was eyeing-up a possible dumping ground so I let fly, “Don’t throw that thing in the water. It will kill the damn fish.”

Jake responded “Knock it off. This is the best and I’m not sharing. You guys are bunch of chum buckets. Scumbags.” Alarmingly, it appeared much of the cone, in this eighty-five degree day, had done some serious migrating about his self and clothing. We reluctantly hopped in the car with all the adults appalled at the sight—and realizing a painter’s tarp may have to be hauled out as well as the six hp power-washer.

Back in the car, the kid kept lapping on the dribbling, artificially colored cone while the rest of us had trouble staying close to sane. “Hey, how’s the Porta Potty Blue going?” was one comment. Then “Porta Potty Periwinkle” followed by Ann’s Eau de Toilette. Everyone in the car was bent with laughter, cringing at the associations and gastronomical implications, maybe a certain disdain, and clearly all fraught with general chaos.  Folks passing by as we left town certainly must have wondered what was going on when they heard the howling coming out of our lunatic filled car. It was a moving Cuckoo’s nest with a grim-faced kid still trying to engage his ill-chosen double-dipper feature cone. The ice cream dribbled wildly. Tanya claimed she had found the perfect name—the final entry in the naming contest, Ice Cream ala Commode.

Jake, the soiled kid, announced he had a belly full and was tired of the Tidy Bowl nonsense. A couple of the critics took a final lick as a confirmation of judgment and jettisoned the remaining mess out the window in a final fit of disgust making note that while the thing was vile, it was probably organic and would quickly return to the soil where it belonged.