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Honey...It's Your Wife or The Trout!!!

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The book that started the "obsession with the world of flytying" The book that started the "obsession with the world of flytying"

Norelle Owen shares this purely light-hearted story that examines the world of flyfishing...through the eyes of a fly fisherman's wife!

"Norelle, Do You Take This Obsessed Fly fisherman...To Be Your Lawful Husband?"

Perhaps this was a question the church minister ought to have asked at our marriage ceremony! Let me explain...

My husband and I have been married for three years however, I recently discovered my husband is having a love affair! Yet how could I have known that I would end up being partly responsible for this affair?

Oh, it all started innocently enough. It began a year ago whilst browsing the bookstore in search of that perfect birthday gift, intended for my husband. Finally, after searching through countless books, I found the perfect match. Entitled 'Masters of Flytying' this book featured amazing glossy photographs, along with detailed fly patterns. (My husband had shown an earlier interest in flyfishing programmes, a fact which had not gone unnoticed by his loving wife).

Later that evening, I proudly presented my husband with his birthday present. His face lit up with excitement, when he realised this was a book on flytying. Not just any book on flytying, mind you, but one written by the MASTERS of New Zealand flytying! From that moment, on my husband's obsession with the world of flytying began.

I sensed there would be no turning back, as my husband was falling in love... Yes, in a very slow and insidious way flytying has become a part of my life. At first, I began to notice my knitting wool disappearing. My husband Chris would then hibernate in the garage for hours on end. Eventually, he would reappear with a very satisfied expression on his face. Of most concern however, was the day I found my husband looking guilty whilst clutching a large handful of plastic bags. Curious, I enquired as to the reason my husband required fifteen yellow plastic bags to put in our car. 'Oh darling, I use these bags to put all the roadkill in!' Horrified by the mere thought of my husband collecting dead things off the road, time seemed to stand still. An awkward silence passed between us. Eventually, I responded with an instinctive comment about the importance of handwashing. Given my nursing background, the concern regarding infection control is more than justified. After all, God only knows what bacteria are breeding in a dead possum!

After a few weeks the initial shock began to subside. Incredibly, my husband actually managed to convince me of his need to collecting possum fur in order to complete flies. Oh, but it gets worse... One day I venture out to the garage, only to be greeted by a dead rooster hanging from the wall! It is at this point that I begin to wonder: how much more can one woman take? Surely it is time to draw a line in the sand. Again, my husband manages to sweet talk his way out of the situation. I am given a long lecture on the value of rooster capes, for use in flytying. By now I realise my husband is too far gone. This obsession with flytying is becoming entrenched.

Perplexed by this realisation, I silently wonder if there are therapists trained to deal with obsessed flyfishermen? The strain on any marriage is more than enough to justify a special branch of therapy. However, my husband gleefully reminds me that I was the one who bought him 'that' book. (You got me there honey!)

Months have passed, and I am now resigned to a lifetime of marriage to a husband obsessed with flytying. Even tying flies that seem to require the use of fur and feathers from dead things. To my great surprise, I have become rather interested in flytying myself! I now encourage my husband to pursue his passion, while taking the time to inspect one of his new creations. Moreover, I regularly 'donate' various items from my sewing and bead collection for flytying. My payoff? A husband who is more than willing to go and buy the knitting wool I require from the craftshop. (No small feat for my husband, when you consider the craftshop is more commonly fequented by elderly ladies, not males over six foot tall!) Yes, my husband Chris is more than willing to go... just as long as he can buy that exact shade of forest green mohair...

POSTSCRIPT: Since writing this story, I am now more enlightened as to the importance of selecting the correct wool. Indeed, a recent conversation between my husband and I went something like this:

Me: "Honey, why are you sooo fussy about the shade of wool"

Husband: "The wrong shade means the trout will realise it's not a real insect, and they won't bite"

Me: "Surely trout are not that intelligent to realise the difference, honey?" (At this point my husband looks shocked).

Husband: "Why darling, how do you suppose the trout in Selwyn manage to stay alive and grow so big?!!!"

Well, I suppose he does have a point.

Author: Norelle Owen.

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