Got nerve?

Got nerve?

Gary Meyer | Tuesday, 24 April 2018

With my backpacking trout trip postponed indefinitely, I reluctantly moved on to option B and started planning for the upcoming Keys tarpon season. Last year I made the mistake of waiting too long to head north and by the time I got up there the water had warmed and the trout were uncomfortable. That is why I wanted to go in April this year. I could, of course, still go in May, but that can be the best tarpon month of the year. And I have my priorities.

My fly box for tarpon flies is seriously depleted so I had to place an order for materials, and while perusing the catalog I came across Snowshoe Rabbit feet. Having marveled at t.z.’s high-speed videos of various ways to tie trout flies using clippings from between an Arctic Hare’s toes I just had to add an unlucky rabbit’s foot to my order.


So, this past weekend, while clearing away the clutter left over from my trout-fly tying marathon, I just had to try my hand with some rabbit toejam. Now mind you, I had already tied a bunch of trout flies, mostly Elk Hair Caddis, Spiders, Griffith Gnats, and Frenchies. Last year I bought those flies and others, but again I’ll blame t.z. for inspiring me to attempt to tie my own.


You probably noticed that none of those trout flies are particularly difficult ties. That was on purpose. Even still, I found the whole attempt to be a blast. The change in scale was amazingly challenging at first. For my usual fishing, I commonly rely on 2/0 hooks, so dropping down to size 14s was quite different, to say the least. I did not dare to try smaller hooks, the tip of my bobbins would not fit in the gape of the 14s.


So, before all the cute stuff got put away I placed my laptop on the desk and went about following t.z.’s video Hare hair instructions. When I found myself scraping dubbing from off the petrified face of a rabbit I had to laugh out loud. Using it for twist dubbing was fun and not all that more difficult than using Antron, but splitting 6/O thread instead of making dubbing loops… are you kidding me! Once again I found myself laughing at my difficulty while watching a high-speed video that made the entire process look quick and effortless.


At the end, I have to admit I admired my incredibly buggy looking creations. Into the plastic dish they went with all the other’s I had previously tied. In total there were dozens, all mixed together as I had not yet arranged them into a fly box. And while I’ll not show a photo of them to this group, I had planned on showing them off to folks I know down here… primarily just to see the look on their face.


So, the trout materials were packed away and I went about organizing the desktop with the more usual saltwater fly components. I dug out one ragged old tarpon fly that worked well last season that I saved for a model and laid it on the desk. It was then that I realized the dish of trout flies, the dozens of them, was still open and laying right there, next to the tarpon fly model.


There is easily more material mass in one tarpon fly than there is in dozens of size 14 trout flies!


All I can say is Y'all got some nerve calling saltwater fly fishing “imaginary”!