November 10, 2009


anomaly |əˈnäməlē|
noun ( pl. -lies)1 something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected
I'll try to explain. There is, to me, a very sensible explanation for that which you see above, which stands to reason otherwise I wouldn't have tied it. No, you won't find this pattern in any fly-tying book or manual, no matter how hard you look, because it's totally unique. One-of-a-kind. An oddity, or aberration. And I've not only tied several more that are remotely similar to that one, but, depending upon the success rate of these peculiarities, which I am excitedly creating because of the recent successes of earlier designs, probably many more. I can picture it now; a coffee-table sized book with huge pictures... ANOMALIES - Imagine the Possibilities photographed by Jim Schollmeyer The whole idea for this journey into the abnormal came to me one day in the form of an arm-wrenching strike on a fly I had conceptualized and tied with regard to the spring creek I fish throughout the late fall and winter months. See, as the temperature drops there, even though it's a spring fed creek, the water temperature does drop. And the insects get smaller. Even the scuds and sowbugs, those freshwater cousins of shrimp, become less active( and therefore eat less and stay smaller). And, when you couple the need to fish smaller flies with your ability to tie on those flies with little or no digital cohesion because of the cold, well, it can make for some frustrating times. Which leads me to declare: Yes, there are times when BIGGER IS BETTER. Here the plot thickens, because, getting back to the story, the fly I had been fishing was originally designed to float. My thinking was that I needed to offer the fish something BIG and juicy. After all, it was winter and I'd decided that they'd be willing to eat something with a little more meat than the usual fare, and it had to be something they'd see on the surface as I skittered it across. Great plan. And float it did, for all of 2 seconds before the weight of the hook I'd tied it on pulled it slowly below the surface. And as it gradually sank out of view, I took time to reflect, forgetting that my now immersed anomaly was slowly swinging downstream in the lazy current. It probably got about halfway through it's journey when I observed a rather persistent bow wake from a point somewhat downstream suddenly vanish at the same instant my rod nearly separated itself from my digitally-challenged hands."Hmm", I wondered aloud, a huge grin from numb ear to numb ear, and wondered, as I released that first big Rainbow, if what had occurred was an anomaly in itself, but not for long as this was to be repeated several more times that day. And thus was ushered in a new 'phase' in the fly-tying annals of a compulsive fly-fisherman. So....let's see what we've got here. A foam body, and rubber legs, but it's heavily weighted on the shaft. There's an underwing of antron under a section of black rabbit fur. And the body is arrogantly wrapped in an elegant, but rather obtrusive olive glitter-chenille. Can it possibly resemble any life form that would strike a familiar chord in these fish? That question doesn't need an answer. I just cast, let it slowly sink as it swings, and retrieve. And hold on. Actually, the genesis of this and other flies of this 'genre' has been as deliberate and calculated as any of the more 'classic' flies I have tied, or am tying (said with tongue tucked in cheek). The calculations are a hearty mix of what-ifs combined with why-nots. And that's made it one helluva lot more fun.

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