That Time of Year

It is that time of year that we must work instead of fish. We have a new release
coming out this week if our printer don't let us down. "Mayflies" has been in
progress now for over eight years. It has required far more effort than any other
DVD we have done. Actually, it has required more work than about everything
we have done put together. In fact it may have required more work than all the
fly fishing DVDs done by any and everyone for the last few years put together.
Capturing all the major species of mayflies from the east to the west coast and
getting video of them isn't easy to say the very least. When I say mayflies, most
all of them have been captured in the nymph, dun and spinner stages of life
adding far more work.
Some of these mayflies hatch on a given stream for about three or four days
and they are gone for the year. Traveling somewhere to anticipate a hatch
depending on hatch charts and locals for information can hit or miss by a month
in some cases. We have been as lucky as we have been smart a few times. For
example, we traveled from Montana to Michigan to try to catch the Hex hatch and
found out it had already ended on all the streams that are famous for it. So, we
decided to head back out west for a long shot at it on another stream
one-thousand miles away from Grayling, Michigan. We spent the night at a small
motel on a road that crosses the upper part of Michigan near Lake Michigan.
Angie woke me the next morning with a large mayfly in her hand. She didn't know
what it was but knew it was a large mayfly. As soon as I could see in the dim light
of the room, I discovered I wasn't dreaming. It was a
Hexigenia limbata, or Great
Olive Winged Drake - exactly what I was looking for. I went out the door to look
around and they were all over the light at the door, my truck and the parking lot.
I couldn't see water but soon discovered we were only a few hundred yards from
Lake Michigan.
I forgot that these mayflies also hatch in lakes and that we were a hundred miles
of so north of where the hatch had ended. Now if that isn't luck, I don't know what
is. The problem with it is that it is the good story I have to tell. Wait until you hear
the sad stories.
Another major problem is that you can be in only one place at a time. Hatches
may occur on several streams at the same time across the United States. You
can get one hatch mid April on one particular stream but not another one a
thousand miles away hatching at the same time. For several years I owned my
own twin engine Beech Craft airplane. I even had a super charged Aireo
Commander for a few years and, yes, a full time pilot. Times were good in the
construction business. It is too bad I couldn't use them looking for mayflies.
Changing the subject some but I hope people don't really know what goes on
after they are put away. Because if my father knows what I have done for at least
a lot of the time for the past eight years, I am sure he is wondering why I am not
in a nut house.
It is just another one of the crazy things I have done in my life, not the only one.
You should have seen the look on peoples face and hear the questions we were
asked when we were observed swinging a large net around the banks of some
of the streams we have visited.
Oh, by the way. I forgot to mention that is how I have been able to come up with
180 new mayfly patterns that actually look and act a lot like real mayflies
when they are in the water.
"Mayflies" will be released just in time for the start of a new fly-fishing year. Yes,
this is the time all the manufacturers, and that is what we are, show their new fly
fishing stuff. After all, if anything is going to get it into any 2009 catalog, this time
of year is when the decision to do it is made. We need in some of them for sure.
If we can get one out of a hundred dollars back on the actual production cost of
"Mayflies", we will be lucky.
We will be flying out to Denver (not for tonights speech) in a couple of weeks to
see the new stuff that will be out for the fly fishing retailer show. No, we do not
present our DVD at the show. We don't rely on fly shops to sell our DVDs. If we
did, we probably wouldn't have the money to fly a $25 chopper ride in Pigeon
Forge, much less to Denver. Some of the fly shops do a good job of that but we
let Anglers Book Supply handle that for us. Our own website, with some help for
Amazon and others, sell enough of them to keep us happy, traveling and
working full time at producing more of them. The same goes for our new line of
"Perfect Flies". We couldn't sell them for the price we do if we went through the
outdated wholesale - retail way of doing business  We don't go to the fly fishing
show to buy anything either. We just want to keep up with what's new and after
all, we are just crazy enough to try to manufacturer some of our own fly fishing
gear. This day and time, that simply means placing a call to China.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh