Friday, September 6, 2013

Polly's Black, Pursell's Black, who knows...but it catches fish.

     I had been fishing The Williamson for weeks without a single grab, and I was about to give the whole sport up until I met a substitute teacher on a late May school day. His Name was Paul Pursell, and he caught me talking about the days fishing plans with my buddies when I should have been doing my math. He immediately told me to meet him outside in the hall. I thought, "what harsh punishment for a few words," but I didn't protest and I made my way out. He followed right behind me.
     To my surprise he shut the door, then asked "have you been catching any?" I was flabbergasted, but regained composer quickly, as I always liked to talk fishing.
     "Naw, They are jumping everywhere,  but I cant get them to bite."
     "What are you using?" he asked
     His eyebrows rose, and he looked over his glasses, "You need to come fishing with me, show up to the green house by the bridge and Ill show you how to do it; now tend to your work." he pointed to my desk.
     I took him up on that offer and we became good friends. We made a deal that if I cut his grass for the summer he would get me some decent fly gear to use. We both owned up to our bargain and at the end of the summer he gave me a Sage 9' 5wt Reserve Power Rod, it was the latest and the greatest, and I loved it.
     Paul helped me cast, learn the bugs, and gave me a few pointers on how to fish the Williamson, but he expected me to try to figure out the river for myself, as he knew how that would help my fishing for the rest of my life. After watching me bumble around the river, putting down more fish than I hooked he finally threw me a bone.
a little black fly he named after himself, Pursell's Black.
     He told me, "Cast that fly quartering downstream and let it swing across the current."
     "Drag it?But?"
     "Just do it!"
     So the next time I hit the river I followed Mr. Pursell's orders to the tee. That night I landed monster after monster, and wore a perma--grin for a week after.
     One night Mr. Pursell invited my brother, and I to come to his place to watch the new Gary Borger video with Him and Polly Rosebrough. During the course of the night I mentioned how awesome the Pursell Black had performed. Polly quickly asked me to tell him what it looked like.
     I told him, then he laughed, "I came up with that pattern."
     Like a starting pistol, those words started a argument that lasted well into the night. I heard stories of huge fish and how each of them used that pattern before the other: great stories a 12 year old boy to hear from a couple of local legends.
    I miss those days, fishing seemed simpler and less demanding. Whenever I tie the Black Fly, (what I ended up calling it so I wouldn't rile the old timers), I remember those times, I hope this pattern brings you as much joy as it has me. I have caught a ton of Williamson River Trout on it and its a great pattern for Rogue River Steelhead as well. Enjoy.

Slightly weight the fly to break surface tension.

Add 3 or 4 strands of Peacock herl tied with tips out to make a tail

Add a black, webby, hen hackle tied at the tip.

Wrap the peacock to the tip.

Palmer the Hen Hackle to the eye and tie off. 

       And there you have it a The Fly of Williamson River Legends, swing this puppy and take a step back in time. 

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