Category Archives: Mike Cline, Bozeman MT

A Rose by Any Other Name

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Shakespeare is famously quoted: “It may be that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,’ but I should be loath to see a rose on a maiden’s breast substituted by a flower, however beautiful and fragrant it might be, that is went by the name of the skunk lily.” It is a quote that is often used when in a quandary over names. The names we give our flies (if we name them at all) follows no doctrinal pattern, no rules, no conventions or even logic. But we indeed give our flies names to identify them and distinguish them from other flies. I read recently in an online forum where an apparent novice fly tyer believed he had invented a new fly pattern. He had looked in all the references he had access to, and he couldn’t find an example of the fly he had just invented. He wanted help from forum members in naming the fly. Of that, he got very little as the fly (he thought he invented) was nothing more than a soft hackle with a pink dubbed body and a pheasant fiber tail. The fact that he could not find a specific example of that combination of materials was not surprising. Given the vast amount of different materials we have for tying flies, the permutations of different combinations are likely more than the national debt. But some flies do indeed get named so I thought it might be interesting to examine how we name our flies. more…

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

In 1966, the year I graduated from high school, the Academy Award for best musical score went to a farcical musical film named: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Staring Zero Mostel and among others, Buster Keaton, the film was an adaptation of the successful Broadway play by the same name. It is a classic tale of a Roman slave seeking his freedom by helping a young noble woo a young Roman maiden. Funny as hell but having nothing to do with fly fishing. Much like Buster Keaton’s character—Erronius (A befuddled old man who is partially blind and always confused). A bit of trivia, this was Keaton’s last film in an acting career that spanned 49 years from 1917-1966. But the title did spur some thought about forums, particularly forums related to fly fishing.

In lay terms, a forum can be described as: a gathering place of great social significance, and often the scene of diverse activities, including political discussions and debates, rendezvous, meetings, markets, etc. Forums supplemented the function of a conciliabulum. That would be a great name for a trout fly if you could just figure out what it looked like. Angler to fly shop clerk, “I need a dozen #12 Olive Conciliabulums.” more…

Random Tying Tips and Assorted Advice – Part 2

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Mini-Hackle Pliers Make Good Drying Stations

Spring loaded mini-hackle pliers are easily adapted to drying stations for flies under production. Using an old plastic hotel key, loyalty card or in the case of the photo, an expired Florida fishing license, mini pliers are epoxied or super glued to the card to make a drying station. A bit of coarse sand paper can rough up the bottom of the pliers and a spot on the card. A drop of super glue or 5-minute epoxy will hold nicely. They are also useful for fly photography. more…