The Branson Fly Fishing Expo was held this last weekend. It was canceled last year because of COVD. Unfortunately because of the COVID Delta variant attendance was down. There were few vendors, slightly more fly tyers, and an occasional visitor. However, I had a great time. I was able to tie a lot of flies and give them away. I was also able to visit every vendor and tier. As usual, I never fail to learn something. I got to see several old friends and make new ones. Isn’t that what the show is really about. I’ll be there next year!
Tom Lovig designed the Gerbubble Bug in the early 1900s to fish for bass on the Chesapeake Bay. It is a very effective fly but did not become popular until the May 1971 issue of Fly Fisherman popularized it with the history and tying instructions.
It’s not difficult to tie, but forming the head is time-consuming. Modern woodworking tools and a few jigs can make the process much easier.19
When I started tying flies in the 70s, I thought I could save money. I was wrong. Over the next 60 years, I have spent thousands of dollars on materials to tie flies. It would have been much cheaper to have purchased every fly I use in that period. Of course, I would have missed all the fun of tying the flies. I learned a lot, and I do think my flies last longer than the store-bought flies.22
In 1981 Gary Lafontaine published a seminal work entitled Caddisflies. This book is based upon observations made while scuba diving. In it, he describes the life cycle of the caddisflies and how they behave in the water. LaFontaine goes on to develop various patterns and discusses how to fish them.14