Nothing Says Fly Fishing in British Columbia like Bob Marley

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Nothing Says Flyfishing in British Columbia like Bob Marley
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.
It 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 somewhere. 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 abuse.


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 another story. The success of Elvis lead to many derivatives…. Lisa Marie and Priscilla in particular. 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…. nothing. He proudly presented each of us with an example, muttered something unflattering about “aged” rockers, 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.

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