Nothing Says Flyfishing in
British Columbia like
By: Bob Byles
In some ways this is a
cautionary tale, describing the issues that can arise when you let grown[?]
men wander off together to places of isolation where liquor is available.
For years, every July, a few of us gather at a small lodge [Tsylos Park
Lodge] on the banks of the Chilko River in BC to inconvenience the large
and numerous Rainbow and Bull Trout that call the mountainous edge of
the Chilcotin plateau home.
is a remote place without the annoying connection with the industrial
world that we are trying to escape.
For almost as many years I have tied a cross between a Madame X
and a Rogue Stone to mimic the very large Stone Flies that usually
“hatch” during the warm months of summer.
This fly went for a while unnamed, mostly because I am sure that
at least 20 other tiers have created the same thing at some time
But early on, this
fly came to be known to the Chilko July Posse as “Elvis”.
This because of it’s durability [he never dies] and the peculiar
“do” that results from the hairs of the bullet head breaking down from
the sharp little teeth of native trout.
This is a picture of poor Elvis after three or four days of trout
Oddly, the more
disheveled it becomes, the more the trout seem to like it, which leads to
the question of why I don’t tie it disheveled to begin with….. but that is
The success of Elvis lead to many derivatives…. Lisa Marie and Priscilla in
One of the local guides, sick to death of the whole
Presley family, and the old coots who seemed so fond of them, decided one
evening to express his dismay in foam and wool.
This was aided, I’m sure, by the drams of Talisker he had previously
imbibed trying, no doubt, to drown the prattle of the surrounding geezers.
The result was Bob Marley.
You have, I’m sure,
observed the three layer foam body in the colors of Jamaica, the Mohair
dreadlock flat wing, and the somewhat suggestive indicator.
There is also a small chartreuse tag-tail signifying….. well….
He proudly presented
each of us with an example, muttered something unflattering about “aged”
and stumbled off to
bed. Of the assembled group,
only I actually tried to entice a fish with this concoction, and I would be
proud to say that I hooked a prodigious trout using it….. but I didn’t.
It floated in a promising way for a few minutes, until the mohair
soaked up enough water to cause the thing to flop over on its side for the
duration of the experiment.
In fact, although none of the local trout actually attempted to bite
Bob, it did produce two of the most spectacular refusals I have ever seen.
It is in memory of those two frightened Rainbows, and the years of
therapy that will probably be required to get them to rise again, that Bob
Marley stays in a place of honor on my hat.
Several lessons can be
derived from this series of events.
First, unlike bass, trout won’t eat anything thrown at them.
Second, old age and treachery will, in fact, prevail.
Third, and most important, Elvis is still the King.