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Have Any Retired Flies? Tell Us The Story Behind Them

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January 21, 2014

Have Any Retired Flies? Tell Us The Story Behind Them

By Joe Cermele

The fly in the photo below, held by my buddy Mike, was officially retired this past Sunday. Dubbed the Toxic Avenger, it scored Mike's first-ever northern pike. It is also the only fly that has fooled at least one member of the Esox family in three consecutive winter floats. Considering how cold the water is here in the Northeast, and considering that this time of year you're only looking for one or two bites anyway, I think that's pretty impressive. It's not the best-looking fly I've ever tied, but it just seemed to have the right shimmy or color or something that turned frozen pike heads. 

If that pike hadn't been Mike's first, I probably would have kept the Avenger in rotation until every shred of bucktail was gone (it was already looking pretty ratty), but it has treated us well this winter and deserves to hang in Mike's studio. I've got an entire bulletin board of flies that are retired for a plethora of reasons. Some have caught notable fish, some have been planted in my face, others were given to me by notable fly tiers, hence I'd rather have them then lose them.

What's the best story behind a fly hanging in your house or gargage or truck? I know you've got one. 

Comments (10)

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All Comments
from buckhunter wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

My most memorable retired fly is my first pike on a fly in the late 80's. It was a saltwater popper I purchased through Gaines Poppers. Was casting off a rocky point on a very rare day when there was no wind. The pike left a washtub size swirl on the glassy surface of the lake and gave a good fight. The fly is hanging on the picture in my workshop at this very moment.

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from cTXn wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

My most recent is a simple white clouser minnow I can't even remember tying. My wife and I were vacationing in St. John this summer and early each morning I would hit the beach behind our hotel and scan up and down the 100 yard or so stretch in hopes of tricking a bonefish - to no avail though I did get some good shots. On the last day I'd forgotten my phone, and with it my ability to take pictures. I'd been seeing some smallish (3-4ft) reef sharks occasionally and decided to cast to one. Afterwards, my little clouser was pretty torn up, but its the only proof of the catch and the only shark I've ever hauled in on the fly.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

Aside from the ones that get taken off the line and stashed never to be found again, the only one I've retired came out of your flybox, Joe.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

All of my flies retire themselves, on underwater logs, high in foliage, in fish that got away.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

Take a good photo of your wallhanger. Buy a SHADOW BOX. and carve the matting out to fit the picture. Place several pegs below the picture either wood pegs, or cork wood is great. Now place your fly, or flies on the pegs. Key is the depth dimension that a Shadow Box has. Fish can be released for someone else to put in their shadow box. I think they are more attractive, and can tell a story better than a wall mount.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

I have several of the Shadow Boxes hung in my living room. One has one of my famed, bead-headed soft hackle streamers mounted on a peg below a big South Fork Brown Trout. My lab can be seen standing in the background waded out with me. The brown was so darn big I had difficulty lifting up the Shadow Box to hang it!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 12 weeks 2 hours ago

Rocky...Quit using that slip knot on your flies! That is taking conservation of the resource a little far!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 12 weeks 2 hours ago

Rocky...Quit using that slip knot on your flies! That is taking conservation of the resource a little far!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nyflyangler wrote 10 weeks 5 days ago

I've got a few flies tied with fur and/or hair donations from some pets now long departed and missed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nyflyangler wrote 10 weeks 5 days ago

I've got a few flies tied with fur and/or hair donations from some pets now long departed and missed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from RockySquirrel wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

All of my flies retire themselves, on underwater logs, high in foliage, in fish that got away.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

My most memorable retired fly is my first pike on a fly in the late 80's. It was a saltwater popper I purchased through Gaines Poppers. Was casting off a rocky point on a very rare day when there was no wind. The pike left a washtub size swirl on the glassy surface of the lake and gave a good fight. The fly is hanging on the picture in my workshop at this very moment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cTXn wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

My most recent is a simple white clouser minnow I can't even remember tying. My wife and I were vacationing in St. John this summer and early each morning I would hit the beach behind our hotel and scan up and down the 100 yard or so stretch in hopes of tricking a bonefish - to no avail though I did get some good shots. On the last day I'd forgotten my phone, and with it my ability to take pictures. I'd been seeing some smallish (3-4ft) reef sharks occasionally and decided to cast to one. Afterwards, my little clouser was pretty torn up, but its the only proof of the catch and the only shark I've ever hauled in on the fly.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

Aside from the ones that get taken off the line and stashed never to be found again, the only one I've retired came out of your flybox, Joe.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

Take a good photo of your wallhanger. Buy a SHADOW BOX. and carve the matting out to fit the picture. Place several pegs below the picture either wood pegs, or cork wood is great. Now place your fly, or flies on the pegs. Key is the depth dimension that a Shadow Box has. Fish can be released for someone else to put in their shadow box. I think they are more attractive, and can tell a story better than a wall mount.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 12 weeks 1 day ago

I have several of the Shadow Boxes hung in my living room. One has one of my famed, bead-headed soft hackle streamers mounted on a peg below a big South Fork Brown Trout. My lab can be seen standing in the background waded out with me. The brown was so darn big I had difficulty lifting up the Shadow Box to hang it!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 12 weeks 2 hours ago

Rocky...Quit using that slip knot on your flies! That is taking conservation of the resource a little far!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 12 weeks 2 hours ago

Rocky...Quit using that slip knot on your flies! That is taking conservation of the resource a little far!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nyflyangler wrote 10 weeks 5 days ago

I've got a few flies tied with fur and/or hair donations from some pets now long departed and missed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nyflyangler wrote 10 weeks 5 days ago

I've got a few flies tied with fur and/or hair donations from some pets now long departed and missed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment