Swedish version

  Wax and old feathers
By John McHale

  My first fly tying box , I got from my father. A rag tag box of mysteries to a small boy wiith a ripe smell of old wax,wings and good memories. There wasnt much to tie with but enough to whet the appetite. A few years later my good friend Terry, one of my villages perrenial game fishing migrants from north of the border, gave me his fly tying equipment. He decided his eyesite had failed too much in the near to work so close anymore. An amazing collection of feathers and fleece and was and indeed, still is. black blue and yellow hackles, deer hair ,stoats tail ,seal fur,golden pheasant and many other wonderful fly tying materials which I had never seen before.

  I accepted it graetfully ,settled into the work bench and made my first feasible salmon fly. of course feasible is a relative term. It was of my own creation, A bumble type pattern, thick with hackle and tinsel and well suited to decorating a christmas tree.

  I took it out one early august evening to my local spate river in the west of Ireland. I cast it carefully accross the river.I cast across the water to little bay on the far side. My father told me many times in my childhood of this little bay. The fly dropped onto the water ,the water boiled, I raised my rod and on my first salmon fly i caught a beautiful silver grilse.

  I played him quick and hard as i knew I would put this one back. My friend Eamon was there to land the fish and witness what can only be described as joy or maybe rapture!

  As time has moved on and I have got older I feel my flies have become more acceptable,mainstream and beautiful, at least to the eye of the fisherman.

  A few years later I returned to my fathers old fly tying box and ruffled through it. Out of the side of my eye between two panels of wood I saw the corner of an old empty wax paper packet
hidden in the groove. I fished it out with a dubbing needle. On the back was the greatest treasure of all. Written in my fathers beautiful old script was his list of favourite flies for salmon and trout.

  These are the flies that fill my box now. Mmy fathers list.

Black Pennell.
Teal, blue and silver.
Thunder and lightening.
Golden olive
Fiery brown.
Peter Ross.

By John McHale 2007


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© Mats Sjöstrand 2007

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