Monday, November 11, 2013

Elegant (if somewhat rough), simple and deadly.

The best type of legendary figures are those who walk amongst us with humility and modesty. They impact others postively, and take life on objectively. Jack (Jax) Murray is such a man. To my regret I never fished with him extensively; rather I met him on streams on occassion and over the years we've swapped fly patterns.

He's a hugely accomplished angler and a self-effacing role model, and is the only bloke who I've met who has his flies featured by Hans Weilenmann on his tier's page. We've vicariously shared each other's angling adventures for over a decade. Jax's most influential fly, The Roughie, was first introduced to me by my mate Milo on a stream that was in low flow. The browns were cagey and lethargic, moving only for tiny natural nymphs and semi rising for unseen microscopic pupae. From time to time a hatch came off which normally signals a dinner gong for trout, but not today. We tried tiny nymphs. We tried emergers in nymph and flymp versions. Finally Milo tied on a small black bodied shaggy wee thing, first cast and the fish snaffled it. I rummaged around in Milo's fly box (do guides have the messiest fly boxes?) grabbed one and tied it on.

Since that day, The Roughie has proven itself time and again. I don't always use one, but when stuck for answer have found it to be a wee little gem of a fly. I got an email from Jax the other day; he'd ventured out on opening but had forgotten to take a drink so ended up dehydrated. I asked if he could spare some original roughies and promptly forgot - then received a wee small package containing a small pill bottle containing 6 of the lovliest examples a man could wish for. Thanks mate. You're a legend.

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