Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Breakfast Fly

If you read the story about the huge bonefish caught at Water Cay Lodge, you read that Curt Killar was fishing with a long time friend, Tony "Breakfast Fly" Vadella. Many anglers who read the story asked me "What the hell is a "breakfast fly"? 
Well, here is the story. I love these fishing back stories. They (along with a 15lb. bonefish) are what make our sport so great! Here is the story from Curt:

I have been fishing with the same "crew" for the last fifteen years. Good friends and fishing buddies you have known for that long tend to not let you get away with any missteps and are always good for a few snide comments to accompany that misstep. The prep for our recent trip to Water Cay was the same as usual. I pester Scott Heywood about the details, watch the weather report a month out and start tying hundreds of flies months before we depart. With my limited skill, I dress the hooks like little pieces of artwork.

On our first fishing morning, I, as always, was awake 2 hours early. I started pacing around the lodge until I remembered the tying bench in the dining room. Knowing the Water Cay environment and looking at the materials available, I came up with a gotcha variant that I felt sure would do the trick.

That evening, while sitting around the dinner table, the fishing stories started to fly (no pun intended). After describing our great day of fishing, TL asked what fly had worked so well. 

Proudly, I answered my "Breakfast Fly".

TL not missing a beat, fired back squelching my prideful feeling,"you tie 100's of flies before our trips and you end up always using the one you tie before breakfast." 

I hate to admit it, but he was right. The intricate Merkin crabby, leggy, clawed flies had stayed in the box while my Breakfast Fly was knocking them dead. 

Now Tony is the most dedicated fisherman in our group. He will cast until his arm is about to fall off. The next morning, Tony and I were scheduled to fish together. He too wakes up early. The anticipation of great bonefishing is just too much for sleep. He asked me to tie him some of my  Breakfast Fly pattern. He watched me wrap thread and add the eyes. He watched the whole process.

I said to him "why don't you try to tie your own breakfast fly".

Tony has never tied a fly before. No wonder!... his knots are questionable (Sorry I couldn't resist!). But he took the challenge under the condition that I watch and help. After a wrap or two, my A.D.D. kicked in and I "remembered" that I needed to rig my 10 weight for sharks and left Tony on his own. When I returned Tony did have "something" in the vise. With the bead chain eyes upside on the wrong side of the hook, Tony had added some rabbit fur with the pelt, and five yards of pink thread. I apologized for not returning earlier and made some encouraging comment that had nothing to do with my true feelings about his chances of success with that fly. Hey, Tony tried to tie a fly. It was a start!

Once out on the water, Ezra poled us up into the back of this beautiful cove. The tide was falling on this, our first stop of the day. Tony was on the bow and I ask him what fly he was going to throw. 

"My Breakfast Fly" he responded with pride.

Sorry, but my first thought was, "It will be a long time until I see the bow... even if we see a lot of fish".
But to be encouraging, I said to Tony, "Give it a try". 

Just then our guide Ezra said, "Bonefish sixty feet out... comin' towards us".

Tony optimistically propelled the fly towards the oncoming fish. (My thoughts regarding his chances of success were in the 1% area). The fly landed not perfectly, but sort of close. 

I thought, "It's too long and besides the hook is riding the wrong way due to his bead chain eyes being tied on the wrong side of the hook shank."

I knew it would get hung up. Of course, that fish deviated way off course, dug the fly out of its perch and voilla' "Fish On!" OK, just luck! But five fish later, I couldn't blame luck anymore. Congrats were due! From Tony's first cast with his first fly to the numerous fish after that, it must be the power of his "Breakfast Fly". Now, Tony wants a vise so he can tie a hundred flies before our next trip.

Water Cay is a special place! Go and tie a "Breakfast Fly"!

Written by Curt Killar

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