ONE FLY!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: February 6, 2024

Have you ever been down to one fly, lure, or bait? 

They do have a voluntary One Fly fishing tournament that requires you to choose just the one best fly. You get to catch fish until the fly falls apart, gets broken off, or will no longer perform. That’s a hard choice to make. A “One Fly” needs to be bulletproof. Maybe tied with Kevlar thread and lots of head cement. Do you pick a floater or an underwater fly? S judge needs to be in the boat with the One Fly angler, to keep score. At some point the fly will die and the fishing will flounder. 

There is also a Whitefish Challenge that awards the boatload of anglers that can catch the most Whitefish. If you catch some trout, you must subtract whitefish as a penalty. In this case it is just one species, not one fly. 

Running out of flies or bait is no fun. It raises the bar as to how and where you fish. If you know that it’s one and done, your whole mindset changes. It is like hunting with a single shot, or primitive weapon. You get one shot! If you don’t make it count, you’re done for the day.

The crazy thing is that most fishermen carry an arsenal of flies, lures, and bait. Being prepared is essential for success. Every pocket of my fly vest has a full box of flies, just in case I need that One Fly, spinner, or lure.

Years ago, I was fishing on the Bighorn River. I was in a hurry to hit the water, so I geared up and hoofed it upstream to my favorite hole. The Baetis hatch was exploding, and I was ready to have a slay ride. I went to tie on a parachute Adams, which matched the hatch perfectly. It was then that I realized I had left my Baetis fly box back in the truck. I searched through my other boxes and finally found One Fly!

The hatch was on, so I tied a perfect knot and dressed my dry fly. The One Fly barely hit the water when a huge brown sucked it in. That’s how it went for the next half hour. After several great fish, my One fly was barely a fly. The hackles were saturated and falling apart. Browns have sharp teeth that destroy fragile flies. 

I had a few look alikes, but they were either bigger or smaller. The fish were in a feeding frenzy but not for my menu of other flies. For the next 40 minutes, I was getting skunked! The truck was a few miles down river and if I hiked there and back, the hatch would be over. 

Suddenly, I was surprised by another angler walking down the bank. He had been upstream slaying the trout too. “Howdy!” I started up a conversation with him and he said that he was worn out from catching so many trout. I showed him my One Destroyed Fly and he laughed. “Trout sure can be picky.” Next, he opened his fly box and gave me half a dozen perfect Adams dry flies. “Thank You Jesus!”

Thanks to his generosity, I was no longer in a One Fly crisis. The hatch continued and I wore out every fly that I had. I never saw that gentleman again but have always “paid it forward” when it comes to fishing. His example of sharing is how we should all be. Sharing flies, tips, tricks, and information is what good sportsman do. 

One more fly means one more fish!

Montana Grant

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