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In Days Of Yore.....






Indulge me, I'm reminiscing.

We're looking at an old film photo from the late 1970's.  Kodachrome, just like the Paul Simon song.

This is Montana, before the river (and everyone else) ran through it.

The camera was set on self timer and rested on streamside rocks.

A selfie if you will.  I was way ahead of todays kids and their cell phones.

More nimble and quicker then, I had ten seconds to run for the water while making the resulting shot look like I was fishing.  I think that I was shooting around twelve feet of line.  Backwards.

Back then my dry fly arsenal consisted of a few crudely tied Humpy's.  Some folks called them Goofus Bugs.  For me, matching the hatch was pretty simple.  Open fly box.  Ponder.  Which one?  Hmm...   I think I'll pick a Humpy.  

Graphite rods were in their infancy.  I couldn't afford one made of bamboo by Orvis. So, the fly rod was fiberglass.  I built it.  Now really, who "builds" a fly rod?  I just bought the blank from Dale Clemens, one of the manufacturers of the day.  I did wrap the guides though, and incidentally, still have the rod.  The cork rings in the handle have shrunk. The glue in between the rings hasn't, thus leaving an interestingly textured handle.  Now, fiberglass is again en vogue.  Come to think of it, I'd better start looking for my bellbottom jeans, and my hair.

Gear has come a long way.  For the better?  Who knows.  There's just more of it.

Gore Tex?

Nope.  Remember rubber boot foot waders?

Clothing just for fishing?

It was called a flannel shirt.  I wore it, even in summer.  I sweated a lot, but the bugs couldn't chew through it.  Now it's called retro.  Pants were the aforementioned bellbottom jeans

How about that red crusher hat?  I inherited it, wore it for a few years, then a horse did me a favor and stepped on it.  Looking back, I see it was a conservation tool.  I was ahead of my time.  It tipped the odds in the favor of the fish.  They could see that bobbing red topped head of mine.  No wonder they were so spooky.  I was pretty stylish though.

There were no sling packs, backpacks or fanny packs.  Just a vest, now retired, complete with a pocket stained by a melted tin of mucilin.  I read about mucilin in The Curtis Creek Manifesto.  If it was good enough for Sheridan Anderson, well by God, then it was good enough for me.  I never used any of it, but I had some just in case.  By the way, I still own the vest.  Its "new and improved" replacement also has a tin of mucilin, waiting to melt and stain a pocket.  Mucilin, it's good stuff.  Maybe it'll help me float if I fall in.




Comments

  1. Les: Wonderful photo and wonderful story. A good chuckle ...great writing. BTW, Mucilin is all I use on my dry flies.
    bob

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    1. Bob, glad you got a kick out of the story. It's really not much of a photo but it has considerable nostalgic value. It's hard to believe that the photo is forty years old.

      As for the mucilin, I've dabbled with it as a fly line floatant. Not so much on flies. Maybe I should reconsider it's use.

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  2. Les: That photo from the 70's....looks like you are on "the creek" ; and you're still on it!
    bob

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    1. Bob, you're correct, it's a creek, but not "the creek". The creek in this photo is the site of your snake story.......

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    2. Les: Ah! I remember the snake place....haven't been back...beautiful area and the big river a few steps away.

      I also put Mucilin on fly line quite regularly when cleaning it and while fishing to keep the fly line tip from sinking after fishing for several hours, esp when fish skinny water so line doesn't catch the bottom and ruin my drift. We all have our techniques...all are good.
      bob

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    3. Few things snap one to attention like a streamside snake encounter. I got "buzzed" by one last summer too. It's just a snaky area.

      As for the fishing, it's so-so. If you happen through this area sometime, we can go take a look. I'll even let you go first!

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    4. Admit it Jim, you've probably got some mucilin and a few Humpy's weaseled away somewhere too.

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  3. Oh, and I still have a box of a humpies in the "attractor" box. It's ironic you posted a shot of that creek, I was just thinking of emailing you about that this weekend, along with a booking question about one of the Livingston creeks.

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    Replies
    1. Email away, I'll be around all weekend shoveling the snow that Bob is sending from Alberta.

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  4. Come to think of it, I used to make floatant from Mucillin and gasoline (Bergman). I still have some rubber hip boots and rubber boot foot waders. I fish in flannel shirts all the time. I have three glass rods that I "built." Hmmm. Retro is a nice word for it. I hated it when mama took my Kodachrome away, but I still have some of the containers.

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    Replies
    1. That floatant probably made you a popular guy when it was time to start a fire (aka...the combustible angler).

      As for the hip boots, I've still got a pair too, although I don't know why. I haven't worn them since the wife and I went moose hunting in Alaska in 1996.

      I'm sure we could go on an on about "old stuff" and the "good old days". And, maybe we will, streamside, on the MO or Fork.....

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  5. Lester
    Memories for sure, how I wish we could turn back the hands of time----enjoy the moment for "We're only here for a little while" quoting one of my favorite country songs by Billy Dean-----this post relates to anyone who loves the outdoors and of course fishing---thanks for sharing!!

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    Replies
    1. Bill, there's no shortage of metaphors for life. I wish I had a witty reply. All I can offer is thanks for the quote. Forty years blow by in a hurry don't they?

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