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Stupid Questions

Guest Blogger: Mike Vorhis, Fly Fisher & Author, FreeFlight Publishing

Fell_for_Prince_CharmingFirst let me apologize to the truly adept trout fishermen who may happen upon these notes, which probably won’t be of great value to you. I offer them more to novitiates and intermediates who have walked into the golden light of fly fishing and who love it with great fervor, but who just may not have hundreds of years in it…yet. Maybe a wayward comment here or there can stick and make a difference some day. And now on to the thought I’d like to express:

There are stupid questions people ask that prove to be a disservice to the listener–inquiries that are actually assertions, and that assume some tenet that’s just plain false.

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A Forgiving Fishing Friend

Elk_Hair_CaddisGuest Blogger: Mike Vorhis, Fly Fisher & Author, FreeFlight Publishing
Over the years I’ve made a lot of mistakes on the stream–missed strikes, poor leader or tippet choices, stepping without looking…saw one fly box try to make a downstream bid for freedom….

So it’s no wonder that I might hold a soft spot in my heart for one particular fly that has been very forgiving.  It’s a dry, and the first one I tend to think of when I consider fishing on top.  No, it’s not of the classic British Isles mayfly fascination, nor is it fair and refined, nor does it carry a blue-blooded Catskill-esque name.  I’m talking about the rugged little dry fly born of the North Woods, the dry fly for the Common man.

It’s the Elk Hair Caddis. Here are four good reasons why I call it “forgiving”:

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A Lifetime Infatuation

Michael_Vorhis 2Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, Author & Fly Fisherman, FreeFlight Publishing

There is a faded but curious family photo showing a three-year-old boy sitting on the rounded front fender of an axle-bound ’48-ish pickup truck. His little hands cradle a long stick from which hangs a piece of kite string down to the dusty back yard gravel. The little red wagon on which his siblings play rolls around behind him, but he is oblivious to their giggles, waiting with string touching the dry earth of the hilltop. He is fishing.
That was me. None of us really know why the sport of eternal optimism and eternal suspense took root so early in my heart. Was it a story told by my grandpa? I have to say I dragged a family of eight into the fascination, and to greater or lesser degrees we all remain a little transfixed to this day. That stick was the first fly rod I ever made, and despite the advent of thermo-resins and the beautiful wand I later hand-crafted and use today, the count of fly rods I’ve created has risen only a little in all the years since that proud scepter. I remember the satisfaction of sitting there on that fender, but don’t recall whether I caught anything.

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