Fly Tied By:
Recipe By: Carl
Story By: Carl
Home: Romney, West
Carl is an Industrial Forester with a passion for
fly-fishing and fly-tying. His home water is the beautiful
South Branch of the Potomac River in West Virginia, where he
also has a small business called Mountaineer Flies.
One of his biggest fly-fishing thrills was catching and
releasing a 5.8 pound smallmouth in 1996.
That Christmas definitely changed my life. It
was 1991, and I was not really in the mood for joyous celebration.
You see, my little girl was dying of a terrible, mostly overlooked
disease, Anorexia Nervosa. She was starving herself to death. The
doctors gave her a 50-50 chance to live.
The present that Jackie gave her daddy that
Christmas was a Cabella's Fly Tying Kit. It had a vice, bobbin,
bodkin and a few other things. I told her that I loved it. But it
was only she that I loved. Jackie recovered
and has moved on to be a Graphics Designer and married a great guy.
She has a son and a happy life.
A year or two after Jackie's recovery, I found
that little kit buried on my workbench. I looked at it again and all
the memories came back. I really didn't know anything about the
tools and other items in the kit, but I spent a Saturday figuring
them out. I knew nothing about fly tying even though I loved to fly
fish. I borrowed some thread from my wife, used some hair from a fox
squirrel, lashed the hair to a bait hook (3/0) and hurried to
the South Branch. I loaded the leader with split shot and "let fly".
On the second or third try I hooked, landed and released a
smallmouth. On my own fly! Needless to say, I was hooked at fly
tying and have been ever since.
Thanks, Jackie. I love you.
PS, Jackie designed the logo for Mountaineer
Flies while in college. You can see it on my Web site.
First Fly, as tied by Carl Defazio
Photo by Peter Frailey
Size 3/0, Mustad 33637
Fox Squirrel Tail
Body: Fox Squirrel
Rib: Wife’s sewing thread