Monday, August 01, 2011

A Tale of Two Flies

I came across one of those little known, local patterns a few years ago called the Zirdle. I don't know who invented the Zirdle but my guess is that it's something of Dave McKee's creation - if not than it was the brainchild of someone at the River's Edge in Bozeman (credit where it's due). There were rumblings about this fly - half girdle bug/ half zonker - amongst the various guides hanging out at Trax and Mama Macs. Inquiries were made and the source was located. I went to the River's Edge and bought a handful thinking I can always use a little help. The fly worked really well at times on the Lower Madison (probably everywhere but that's where I used it) and I kind of kept it to myself amongst the Fins & Feathers world. My little secret.

Well, Eventually it got out that I was getting 'em on zirdles and when I asked about the fly... I said I was out of them and something else worked better anyway. I've been known to mislead and lie before so my cohorts looked at me with raised eyebrows.

Rick Weisend is a helluva fly tyer - maybe the best I've ever known - and kind of like my Bizzaro Superman. We are different and sometimes a little competitive when it comes to guiding and getting fish. So , he went ahead and tied something up that he thought was a Zirdle based on what he had heard from me and others. He tells me he's getting 'em on zirdles and I was wondering where the hell he found a zirdle as he's way to cheap to go out an buy a few flies that I said were working! Well, his zirdle looked nothing like a zirdle is supposed to look and I berated him and his half-cooked pattern invention. In fact, I refused to call it a mini-zirdle or zirdle, I told him it was a ZIC (zirdle inspired crayfish) and it was stupid too (probably). The truth is the fly worked, maybe even a little better than a real zirdle or zonker, so we opted to have them tied commercially the following year. I don't know how many we had tied, but it was enough to last us a few seasons.
Rick wishing he had a ZIC
Fast forward to a month ago when the Missouri and Lower Madison were both fishing well but dirty. Guides were coming in everyday picking up all of remaining ZICS and Zirdles. I watched this happen in disbelief as if the ZIC is working, surely they'd prefer something could any fish prefer a ZIC to a clouser cray, copper zonker, or anything. Just don't tell me the ZIC is the shiznic...can't be...I'll never hear the end of it from the hammer!
Neuman, Rick, and I were up on the MO last week and the hot fly was,,,yeah yeah...the ZIC. I've only got a couple of them buried in some mass of rotten rubberlegs and 400 feet of 8 inch lengths of tippet all balled up in the bottom of some Tupperware container I use for garbage flies. So, I root through the mess and clean them up and proceed to get the fish much better than anything else. The bite was good anyway but sometimes the right fly makes the difference between every few drifts and twice a drift when the fish are really eating. The ZIC was of the latter last week.

The three of us engaged in various levels of thievery and deceit as we each tried to hoard the few remaining ZICS between us. There was the odd peak into the other driftboat when the other guys weren't looking. I may or may not have removed a ZIC or two from my associates' foam patch on their boats without discussing the matter. It was done to me as well. Anyway, Rick came across a stash of in our minds. But, he didn't tells us this, the anglers he was fishing with told Paul and I. So, we went to breakfast the next morning (I had chicken fried veal and eggs), we offered to pay and proposed a trade once the bill was received. 4 ZICS for breakfast.

The ZIC is dead now but we'll have more next spring because few things in life pain me more than asking Rick for help.

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