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Old 06-24-2013, 05:05 AM
hairwing530 hairwing530 is offline
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Location: northern Michigan
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Default Re: I Met Myself Last Night...

To look at them resting there amidst rows of the flies that are more in keeping with today's tying, you'd think them an odd lot. Brightly colored with deep red, yellow or iron-blue quill-wings, oversized hackle collars and fine bodies wrapped tight with a tinseled material, they would appear to be little more than mere ornamentation in any fly box. In truth, however, they are fish-catching tributes to a time long past, decades-old acknowledgements of how the elder fishermen of my youth preferred to carry a few wet flies in their boxes, placing them hard against the dry flies that were fancied back then.

Collectively, the flies are what remain of "The Community Jar" of "Trail's End," a tall glass "cookie jar" that was prevalent when I was a much younger man. With its wide-mouthed opening-- all the better for quick "cookie grabs" --and a lid to match, the jar was a perfect storage unit for the "extras" tied during the "post-fishing" tying sessions, or those random feathered works picked up during trips to here and there. To a fly, the unique lot is nothing less than a cross-section of fly fishing as it once was done, and an "in-hand" look at the evolution of the sport and its feathered works of art over the decades...

And now, they have a place of prominence on my tying desk as the sorting process begins. For me, it will be the best kind of "busy work" imaginable, even with my medical restrictions regarding eye-intensive work over the next few weeks. Separating and inspecting each one will gift me with the chance to gain a little more perspective on the history of a sport I dearly love-- fly fishing --and on the art of wrapping a hook via the tying approaches that now find favor among the few rather than the many.

More than that, however, the unloading of the old shotshell carrier that once belonged to the late Montgomery Jackson will further keep alive the times, the places and the memories that are best served up by being very close at hand...
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