Saturday, April 10, 2010

Always on the lookout for more feathers for flies

Anybody who ties his own trout flies is always on the lookout for new sources of material. All those piles of feathers and fur do not come to the fly tying desk easily or cheaply, even though it’s really just a bunch of dead animal parts. It is a wonderful feeling to discover a newer, less costly supplier.
Virginia Beach, Va., may be the future for feathers.

The story, as related to me the other day, goes like this. Two brothers, age 6 and 8 ½, crashed into their parents’ bedroom to demand, beg and cajole politely without too much volume for a big piece of cardboard.
What on earth for? They were asked at 6 a.m.
For a business sign, of course, the fledging entrepreneurs replied. Get up.
Patrick and Spencer decided they would go into business for themselves by taking advantage of all those wild ducks flapping through the air that visit the many ponds, lakes and waterways when they tire of dodging Navy fighter jets.
The boys were ready to sell ducks.

"Duck Co." reads the sign, which also mentions the open-air store begins each day at 7 a.m. and goes until 7 at night.
Now, most fly tiers use some ducks feathers. Others might use a lot and the messiest of us spray the room with bits of feather while actually using very little for the fly being fashioned.
I’m one of the messy ones, so I’m on the lookout for new duck feathers that haven’t been trampled by my boots.

So, naturally I thought that the Patrick and Spencer Koontz Duck Company could fill that need.
One problem. No inventory. The boys have no ducks in stock.
When informed of this shortcoming, they disappeared for a long time. Apparently, they found the Pepperidge Farm bread, ripped it out of the bag and put the crumbs inside a big bucket, all with the intention of luring unsuspecting ducks from the air. Once inside the bucket, the boys could do what they wanted — maybe pull some feathers for Papaw or sell whole ducks to the neighbors.

I’m not going to rush my first order. Fortunately for our feathered friends, the inventory remains low.
I’ve had miserable, or perhaps just ironic, luck tying flies this year. One week the trout slam the wooly bugger, so I tie a pocketful for the next weekend only to find nothing is interested in the big ugly flies when the time comes. Instead, they gobble the last of my blue winged olives, so for the next weekend I tie a bagful of BWOs. You guessed it, armed with the BWOs that were so effective just seven days ago, I get skunked. The trout were looking up for light hendricksons and blue quills.

And I still have two dozen teeny midge flies that I needed way back when on the Davidson River. Perhaps today will be the right time to fish those little guys low and slow where the big rainbows go.
I almost expect the trout to be rising to little yellow sallies, of which there is a paucity in the fly box.
Do I tie a boxful? Should I place an order with the grandsons for dyed yellow duck feathers?

1 comment:

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