By Kirk Deeter
Is there anything better in the whole fly fishing world than watching, in real time, as a big old brown trout rises to eat your dry fly, especially when you know that dry fly is one you spun up yourself?
There's definitely something to be said for tying your own bugs. Sure, most fish have brains not much larger than a dry-roasted almond, and your gray matter should trump theirs.
But when you really think about it, the real challenge isn't a brain-on-brain competition. In fly fishing, it's about using fairly primitive tools to trick tens of thousands of years of instinct. And when you take that challenge from the fly tying vise to the river, and succeed, you've done something extra special.
The only way to make that even more meaningful, in my mind, is to harvest the raw materials you use to tie flies in the first place. And that's part of the reason why I'm out whackin' ducks and geese these days, every chance I get.