Tying for the Moon

Alphlexo Crab

The Alphlexo Crab?  Somebody in the lodge on Albany Island, off Cape York, at the northern tip of Queensland, Australia, said the pattern was the ticket for the local permit.  Okay, I’ll bite.  The Alphlexo Crab, goes the story, turned the game around for permit in the Seychelles; suddenly guides expected to catch these challenging fish, rather than assuming each cast was, at best, a Hail Mary toss.

Do I believe it?  I confess I’m always a bit skeptical; experience has taught me that the Right Fly is rarely the issue, that sound casts and subtle presentations generally matter most.  Good anglers, I’ve noticed, catch more and better fish—which is why I, for one, never feel entirely confident with any fly, despite the hype, affixed to the end of my leader.

But you have to tie something.  Or at least I do, if for no other reason than I want to start to get my head, as they say, around the sport ahead.  If it’s new or different or fishing I can’t even imagine, I still like to take a stab at something that might suggest I have some claim to call myself a fishing writer—even if I don’t know the bait my flies are meant to represent.

After all, I’ve never witnessed a Woolly Bugger hatch, either.

Gray’s angling editor Scott Sadil can’t imagine why any fly angler wouldn’t want to tie flies.