Posts Tagged Fly Pattern

Lefty’s Stamp

Lefty’s Stamp . . .

 

Lefty’s Deceiver
(NYC 03 2018)

Bernard “Lefty” Kreh left us at the age of 93 on Pi Day, March 14th, a date almost fitting given the man’s full circle of a life.

One of his many achievements occured just a month after the passing of his great colleague, Lee Wullf, in the spring of 1991. No less an institution than the United States Postal Service honored Krey with a 1st Class postage stamp picturing his immortal Lefty’s Deceiver.

Lefty’ Deceiver and a 1925 Standing Liberty
(what a quarter looked like the year Mr. Kreh was born)

That stamp, part of my extended collection, keeps a central special place in my pantheon. Chuck Ripper’s photogravures, which also depicted the Apte Tarpon, Jock Scott, Muddler Minnow, and Royal Wulff, were an early artistic inspiration like Dr. Burke’s plates found in Ray Bergman’s quintessential treatise, Trout, an inspiration for my own artwork.

I have two books in print full of my own fly pattern art, yet had never attempted Lefty’s Deceiver, until now:

“Lefty’s Deceiver (of fish!)”
(pencils and rubber rub on paper, 2018)

I never fished with the man, but in person in private we talked, and I am happy to report he liked my comparison of tekara fishing the fly for crappie to that of saltwater fly fishing for the awesome Megalops, the tarpon. Both fish share a similar shaped mouth and gulp a fly in like manner; we agreed!

Memories, good memories, and a lifetime of lessons documented in interviews, videos, and a number of wonderful, readable books.

Lefty Kreh – you inform us, involve us, and your words shall remain stamped in our hearts and minds and our fishing.

Lefty Krey With Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass
(from Tips and Tricks of Spinning by Lefty Kreh, c. 1969)

Lefty Kreh, 1925-2018

 

— rPs 03 19 2018

 

 

 

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The Aliving I Do

The Aliving I Do . . .

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Hook to Hand: In Memoriam. (NYC 01 2018)

Winter, short days of natural light, on one a free hour to daydream over flies tied and once and for one tethered to a memorable fish brought to hand.

Retired, rowed under the white January light, the patterns, kebari alined in the Flybrary convey a line of gravestones, hand-to battles with individual fish, now in memory, ending well.

Two books in print gives one imagery of grace enough to give away, for a time, useful insight.

Writing, the noun, one encounters antecedents where Albert Camus traces the artist at work, or an artist, Gertrude Stein, who to the end collaged grammar and vocabulary into grand reads.

My first book in hand, dimensions of a collection of poetry. Oh, I forgot to mention in the preface:

“Start steady and seek the click rhythm worked into the prose and the cadence will carry you, ceate one of those satisfying read-in-one-extended-sitting kind of poetic books that Poe, Melville, Dostoyevsky, Kawabata, Camus, and Hesse have delivered.”

My book, at last, delivered and signed for at the cornershop on a July afternoon, picked up by me and back out on the sidewalk I raised copy #1 above the view of the leafy neighboorhood treeline in light sunny yellow and warm: I saw, I witnessed the punctuation mark to a project. I had completed some thing, words separated on purpose, as the thing itself seemed huge, philosophical, existential.

Book in hand, solid rectangle of heavy paper, cultivated, communicated a similar slab: the gravestone.

Yes, books, books you yourself author, are gravestones. Here lies, truths, of an atc lived within the intervals of your creative life.

Insight.

Yes, it is in the living, at times fishing, and in others kindred, in the documenting of the living in writing and at times select image, rendered, that drives the alive, the aliving I do.

Gertrude Stein, born in West Allegheny, PA, resided in Paris for a majority of her creative life; she wrote a lot.
(NYC 01 2018)

A New Year. 2018

— rPs 01 30 2018

 

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New York’s West Coast

New York’s West Coast . . .

Lake Erie
(11 2017)

My one fly kebari for the local freshwater, The Green Guarantee, required a second thought for a November trip to the tributaries along New York’s far west coast.

The fish from Lake Erie, migratorial steelhead, salmonid with shoulders and a girth exceeding a foot of inches, settled me on size 8 streamer and salmon hooks. The results, tied, packed, fished, finished positive.

Lake Erie Chrome
(11 2017)
(photo credit: Stephen Kasperovich)

 

Green Guarantee, meet . . .

The Ho Holiday

The Ho Holiday
(NYC 11 15 2017)

The Ho Holiday

Fly tied, alliteration activated, for a kebari salmon steelhead fly named to honor a variety of levels of meaning. Honor for the mighty steelhead river Ho on the Olympic Peninsula. The holiday red added for the steelhead’s predilection for hot color when streambound. Tinsel added for the traditional barber pole spiral dressing, the necktie of the fly.

Steelhead take such a fly in places autumnal beautiful in a way always graceful followed by a force up, down, side to side, in and out of water, sprints that push water, jumps that land on the water with a bass plunge that resonates sheer weight. Magnificent animals, each and every steelhead represents itself.

Quick Grip Before Release
(11 2017)

 

Respect.

— rPs 11 15 2017

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American for French

American for French . . .

 

One From New York City, USA to Nice, France (NYC 07 15 2016)

One From New York City, USA to Nice, France
(NYC 07 15 2016)

 

A NYC daily newspaper headline stated the fact:

AGAIN

Here today this American’s Red, White, and Blue supports the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.

 

— rPs 07 15 2016

 

 

 

 

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Postscript: (Pictured: Blue Claw Clouser Kebari, size #1, arranged with assorted French and American coinage)

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Three of One

Three of One . . .

 

Three Three Three 2016

One of Three: Green Guarantee! (NYC, 2016)

Tenkara = One Fly
Three of One? I can agree to that.

One pattern I may agree upon with allowance for three copies of said one. Three copies: one to fish, one as a backup if the first finds itself lost on fish or, to be most avoided, a snag. The third may be a gift for another angler met along a stream, or around the pond. That third one might also be the one to act as charmed third attached at last to a fish photographed and released humanely, else dispatched humanely, promptly, for shore lunch on or off the water.

Reasonable Compromise.

The one I carry most often remains the Green Guarantee, here displayed in trio with fun flea market finds. The American Buffalo nickel and Mercury dime circulated America in general when weighted hair streamers held simple and effective reputation. Archiving and philosophizing and tying attentive to all strata of the legacy from the vise remains complemented in parallel to the interest in the age of bronze, silver, and gold American coinage

Fly patterns and numismatics both share a small scale, a quality of materials rendered artfully within the frame of little physical space. Minor major wonder the two connect for me, this coming from the guy who penned Small Fry: The Lure of the Little.

Connected hobbies, activities: similar investments in a happy future on and off the water. The two tethered today make one happy indoors during a span of almost extreme weather; a cold rain drenches the city this day after sustained surface winds set at the speed of storm. Strange how the frigid air blew below an almost white sun above a bluebird sky filled with cloud of the purest white condensation, cloud marching as well, yet seemingly slower than the headlong gale off the Hudson River.

Actual angling must come later, sometimes.

 

– rPs 04 04 2016

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Flies in February

Flies in February . . .

 

There sits on one of my windowsills a squat glass jar capped in gold. February finds this once full glass filling again.

 

Interests and the path spreading like branches follows evolving passion even in the face of an other’s suggestions. I do incorporate experiments and techniques from and with friends, yet I avoid the net of orthodoxy by remaining as much as a lone cat as I can.

 

Two patterns from the vice beside the windowsill are small enough to fit a few on the cap of gold:

 

Partridge and Olive

 

Partridge and Olive Size 12 (2016)

Partridge and Olive
Size 12
(2016)

 

Heerl and Deer

 

Herl and Deer Size 12 (2016)

Herl and Deer
Size 12
(2016)

 

Tenkara Kebari all but for orientation of the hackle. As the remainder of the recipes fall in line with orthodox Tenkara Kebari I pause, side with majority rule in regards to the fundamental composition of each pattern, and I acknowledge there exists a kind of “Reformed Branch” of Tenkara, too. This branch I do practice with attention to balance.

 

Both kebari patterns fish well in my favorite waters; confidence driven by the constant elements: sparseness, natural speckled hackle, and body iridescence.

 

— rPs 02 05 2016

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Late Autumn Is December

Late Autumn Is December . . .

 

The Creek in Late Autumn 2015.

The Creek in Late Autumn 2015.

 

They are like memories, ghosts now, some of my friends living still in mind. I see them there when walking a floor of brown leaves over cold mud in misted woods. I see them as well along the gravel path beside a pond reflecting fluttering gold foliage beneath an international blue sky.

I go on, move on an impulse, a grip on the day for a run in the park, some park, somewhere. One time I went into the clear air, saw brown bark of trees, and a blue sky as it does remain bright at autumn’s end. Here, where the fall season is near to being spent, rests in December. The last annual living color breaks away on a breeze. Time shifts, accelerated states, dressed as the city in colors of stone and bark and cloudless sky. Wind more braced blasts through, some days, after a few drawn in mist quite still.

Fishing would present a passage of challenge as I waded along and into browning fields. Stands of trees, copses, work one’s way in patches to a bank worthy of a skater’s exercise. I followed animal’s trail in misted early light. I tracked hide and seek with a young buck of four points. My camera provided one blurred memory.

The stream banked in brown, tan. Stands of Teasel crowned at the end of their bloom offered regal spiked silhouettes drawn by rising sun. The pool stretched long and slow, a rare section of a creek running low at the base of a still hollow. I swung the Green Guarantee along the seam where drowned brown oak leaves met clean gravel and small stones. Water not too tannin, though low, far lower than in past years.

Fishing. A Fallfish struck with two shakes of the head above water. As silver as a tarpon and strong. Three runs up and down flashing copper fins and white belly. Drawn to the net, wet, for a fifteen second photo session before release.

Scales of the Fallfish reflect light as off an uncirculated silver coin. I once found a silver half dollar in the rain, on the lawn of a curb. John F Kennedy was the President pictured in bust profile. So, too, the Fallfish posed for a portrait in net in the cold flow of the creek:

 

Like Coinage. Green Guarantee. Late Autumn 2015

Like Coinage.
Green Guarantee.
Late Autumn 2015

 

Release your fish before they become jittery and you are even competitors.

The Fallfish, Semotilus corporalis, the native, authentic native fish of some American streams, the fish here before the men from the east who were subsumed by the invasive and immigrant people of the west. Another fish, the Cod, drew those same people who have become today’s Americans. The Fallfish welcomed my Green Guarantee, like money, that wonderful binding glue. We agreed, met in the middle, supported by a net. The symbolism was a lived occurrence too compelling not to share.

That’s as far as I go into politics.

Fallfish luster in the net. One learns, too, that down leaves, brown, rest like scales slippery upon a solid clay and gravel bank. Slip they make you do, like ice, but in a more creaking kind of way. The thin ice, of course, it already encrusts the layered leaves in the aged autumn cold. Stand back up, cast again.

I appreciate the utility of vibram soles in such environments.

Behold! A Fish. A photograph. One of Two. One Fallfish, the second and final of the day, fought off my Green Guarantee, weighted and swung, near the center of a long run hip high. “Bonefish set to scale!” I heard myself. “Tenkara! Fly Fishing. Green Guarantee.” Amazement continued.

— rPs 12 08 2015

 

Postscript: One last one for Ketan Ben Caesar. Rest In Stream. Graziare.

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