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A Real Blonde Story

A Real Blonde Story
by Bill Linn - North Idaho

"Look what I got," Jim Bebee said, as he held forth a container full and running over with trout flies. Jim is one of the cornerstones in a cadre of local sportsmen who network daily at the local coffee shop where we share information, tackle and stories. The flies were blond in color and a pattern I'd never seen before - all just alike, except for size. He said he had "bargained" for a sample in a trade, in a round-a-bout way, and had it replicated by a custom fly-tier in Spokane. Here is how it all came about.

Jim was visiting with Rodney Wolfe, just "neighboring a bit," as he put it, when he noticed that the fly rod hanging on the wall had an unusual looking blond fly tied to the leader. He figured it to be one of those "secret" flies that Rodney is reputed to have, namely the one he calls, "The Big Bad Wolfe." You see, Rodney is perhaps the best trout fisherman on the river. I think this is due, mostly, to the fact that he ties a pretty good fly, but also, in part, because he's secretive and sneaky. Oh he's a right decent fellow and will share his common patterns with friends and even sell some occasionally, if you catch him in the right mood. But, he never owns up to the fact that he has a few "secret" patterns he uses to catch the big ones. We've always heard about these mysterious flies but no one has ever actually seen any of them in spite of considerable effort by our close-knit group to keep Rodney and his habits under constant surveillance. Anyway, Jim managed to get the rod off the wall and palm the fly before Rodney saw it. Then he proceeded to bargain for the rod, which he finally got at a premium price. Happy as a kid at Christmas, he hurried away with his prize, not the rod, but the fly, and had it expertly reproduced.

Some time later, Jim and Rodney happened to meet while fishing up the St. Joe River. Rodney parked on the high point over looking the "Big S" stretch of water upriver from Avery and made his way down the steep bank. As he parted the brush to get to his favorite fishing spot he saw Jim. He was just landing the last fish of his limit, a large native cutthroat, rounding out a very impressive catch. When Rodney saw all those nice fish, he said, "What did you catch those on?" Upon which Jim produced a large plastic container filled with dozens of those blonde replicas. "Picked these up at K-Mart," he said. "Not too bad for imports!"

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