“You must tie your fly & FISH your fly so the trout can enjoy & appreciate it.”
The James Leisenring quote placed under the banner of this journal is there for a particular reason. It is there because I believe that short statement expresses the core working ideal of fly fishing. Like all truth it is fractal. A koan, if you will. If one meditates on it long enough one might attain enlightenment. The quote can be broke down into parts (& actual schools of thought have arisen to embrace the individual active assertions). Any species of fish can be substituted for “trout”. As it is a particular interest that some of us are drawn to, this journal for the most part devotes itself to the ‘tie your fly’ aspect. However, I’m fairly certain Leisenring meant the advice to be taken & practiced as a whole deal. Sure, he & his cohort Pete Hidy wrote a book dealing with fly tying without saying much about presentation, but the focus of that book was fly design (though the Leisenring Lift technique briefly described in a paragraph contains more practical usefulness than entire chapters I’ve read in some books). But in their articles & letters Leisenring & Hidy stress presentation. Indeed, material ‘movement’ is the fundamental element of their simulative fly designs, & that movement, that breathing obfuscation, meant to enhance presentation. Of course.
Presentation is the game. Those of us who are tying nerds are well-served to be reminded from time to time. And you can be sure Leisenring carried a selection of splitshot when he fished.
Recently a journal with the intriguing title Amber Liquid Anglers and Sportsmen showed up on the radar, written by a guy named ‘spike’, so I had to check it out. And I was immediately impressed – the journal has a white page with black print, & a distinct Victorian motif (is there a neo-classicist underground operating with abandon ‘neath the glossy marketing veneer of our sport?) Spike’s succinct prose is definitely not Victorian. I like the way this guy writes. An essay on presentation: