This is my friend Richard, he is a retired flyfishing photographer. His work has appeared in all the major flyfishing magazines and books. Having spent the past fifteen years photographing other people catching fish, Richard now spends most of his time with a fly rod in his hand instead of a camera. We have fished together all over, Montana, Alaska, Labrador, Canada and all over the great State of Maine.
This is “Richards fly”. A simple hares ear soft hackle wet fly, but in Richards hands this fly is a fish catching machine. Everyone we know carries a few “Richards flies” with them and we all catch some fish with them, but Richard simply shines with this fly. We could be standing side by side, fishing the same run with the same fly and he would outfish me 3 to 1. This says a lot about having confidence in a particular fly, if you really believe in it, it will perform for you. Last week we were fishing the West Branch of the Penobscot River, Richard was doing his usual wet fly swing (it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing) picking up fish after fish. Soon all the hackles were worn off the fly, leaving only a hares ear body with a red head. Still it continued to catch fish, Richard speculated about stripping the fly to it’s simplist form, it might catch fish with a bare hook and just a few wraps of red thread. While I go fishing with dozens of different patterns, Richard is a minimalist, he does fish other flies but generally works from an arsenal of less than a half dozen different flies, they all seem to work for him.