Written by: Mel at the Idaho Fishing Notebook
Let me begin by giving some serious thanks to Jody here at The Hunters Wife for allowing me to guest blog while she is away fishing, eating good food, and hopefully getting to drive the boat! Go get em’ Jody!
I hope as I infiltrate her blog here with my post that I don’t run off any of her regular readers. She will be back, I promise! Jody has asked that I write something that includes a little humor or an embarrassing moment for me while in the outdoor mode. My hope here is that someone sees the humor in this. I know I still chuckle every time my memory drifts back to the moment in time.
Ya’ see long ago, I was a die-hard fly fisherman. I have moved beyond that rock hard stance now and just enjoy fishing period rather it is with friends, kids, grandchildren, or even by myself. Before I stray off subject, I had better focus on the story I am trying to tell here. One of the things that a die-hard fly fisherman often times does is to learn to tie his own fly for casting to his favorite fish. Over time I became fairly decent at tying my own flies. Enough so that I ended up teaching fly tying at schools and various public settings. This post is about a “funny” incident that occurred one night while teaching fly tying at the local high school. I know your waiting to find out what “Nasty Nylons” has got to do with tying flies and teaching others to tie flies. Well, I am about to tell you.
Let’s first address the nylons. You know those things are everywhere when not being worn by your wife or favorite lady friend. They cling to everything in the laundry if you are not careful. Their rolled up in your gym socks, their knotted around your pants legs, there everywhere except nicely laid out for the next time my wife wants to wear a pair. Now comes my calamity!
I was, once again, teaching fly tying to a group of adults, both male and female at the local high school. These were beginning fly tying students so I had some flexibility with this calamity and I am not sure they ever really caught it at the moment how embarrassed I was.
We were going to tie a basic nymph pattern that night. Students gathered around my desk so as to see the demonstration of what they then would try to duplicate back at their desks in the classroom. In order, the hook was placed in the position in the vise jaws so as to be held sturdy while tying other materials on to the hook. My thread was attached to the hook and the tail material added. Now I was ready for the body material that was supposed to be some pheasant tail fibers. However, as I started to reach into my fly tying box for the pheasant tail fibers, there I saw it!
One of my wife’s nylons coming out the sleeve of my shirt near my tying hand. Oh, No! To this day I still don’t how the brain works and how it works so quickly. In a heart beat, and, without hesitating for a moment, I pulled the nylon from my shirt sleeve and cut a rectangular piece from it with my scissors. I think the students were shocked, but, they looked on anxious to see what I was going to do next. I attached the “nylon strip” to the back of the hook with my thread. I was going to use it to make the body of my fly with. Knowing that nylon is super fragile (you know runs, runs, runs), I knew that I would have to use some wire to reinforce the body of the fly or it would fall apart before it ever hit the water. Thankfully I had intended on using some fine copper wire that evening anyway. So I tied some on to the back of the hook. I proceeded very carefully to wind the “nasty nylon” around the hook up towards the eye of the hook and then reverse wrapped the copper wire so as to reinforce the nylon body material.
In short order, I had a fly body of reinforced nylon from my wife and a feather wrapped around the front of the hook at the eye. Simple little pattern and easy to tie. Besides I had lots of nylon stocking left for my students to cut up and use that evening as they practiced tying their own “Nasty Nylon Nymph”. Believe it or not, I hear they even fished this fly on our local river and landed some trout with it. It became a common request as I taught other classes to show other how to tie the nylon nymph. I used it to break the ice at several tying classes to create a little humor and help new fly tying students relax.
I am sure glad that I fish Rapala lures these days and not flies anymore. However, I still find those nylons everywhere where you would at least expect them. Such is life in Idaho.