Now I understand how Mugato in Zoolander felt. Everyone at the fly shop is picking out different hackle, feathers, and fur, and here I am at the fly counter grabbing fistfuls of pre-tied adams and caddis, feeling left out for not tying my own.
Sitting on my fly-tying desk, on a shelf above the straggle chenille and holographic tinsel, is an 80-year-old Richard Wheatley fly tin. The edges of its aluminum lid, with that distinctive satin finish, are rubbed bright from the friction of bouncing about in a fly-vest pocket. It bears the inscription:
4, Short St.
Lockdown at the ViseFifteen flies we’ve tied during the pandemic Illustration by Paul Puckett CHERNOBYL ANTIBODY. Unlike traditional flies, you eat this one. Helps ward off belief in fictitious cicada hatches. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE DRAKE. Only floats on the right side of the river—the far right, more like a side channel, or a drainage…