Friday, January 3, 2014

The Perfect Presentation

Doug and Friend with a Double Hookup
Fly Fishing on the Karluk River
My friend Dennis Randa and I had been fishing the Karluk River on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The Silvers were teeming throughout the river and hooking fish was excellent, especially when we fished with Muddler Minnows. We used different methods of presenting the fly and had similar success. Dennis used a sinking line, a shorter leader with a weighted fly, and fished it close to the bottom with a twitching motion. I used a dry line and fished the fly down and across the surface which was much easier. Fish would take the fly aggressively this way and would often chase it across the surface numerous times.

However, one afternoon our different techniques provoked a mild confrontation when Dennis said, “Doug, the reason that my pattern works so well is the flat head. This type of design makes it keel better and drift more naturally to the fish.” 

What do you mean keel better, Dennis?” I asked.

Well, the shape of the head and the action I give it makes my pattern more effective. It’s a perfect replication!”

I had to take exception to this because I felt that any fly under the water was at the mercy of the currents, and I couldn’t see how a flat head could make any difference. I sarcastically responded, “Look Dennis, fish don’t swim up to the fly and refuse it just because the head’s not flat!” This must have ruffled the hackles of his Muddler because he snapped back,

The big reason they refuse it is because the idiot that’s fishing with it doesn’t know how to tie a fly correctly.”

After a few more derogatory comments, rather than argue more we reconciled our differences and agreed that a perfect fly is only as good as one’s ability to present it correctly.

1 comment:

  1. Well, it isn't quite like I recall it but anyone who has known Doug for long cannot deny his prickly nature, not that I'm any less opinionated now that I think of it. But then having a friend that doesn't give the best of what he thinks leaves a bit to be desired in a relationship. Although I don't recall calling Doug an idiot I will defer to his superior memory, ha. But we did have a conversation and it ended with agreement that we both caught fish so we must be doing something right. My sinking line technique along with the flat head muddler tied down Matuka style streamer I believe uses the current to work the fly near the bottom similar to the behavior of the sculpins that reside in the all Alaska fresh waters. And I've never seen a fat round headed sculpin unless it might have been drinking with Doug and I the night before. What I most remember about that trip was a wonderful week on the Karluk with friends catching a lot of slivers and a few steelhead. And I'm sure Doug being the traditionalist he is still ties those round headed muddlers while I'm still swinging those flat heads. Good fishing to you my friend...


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