Today’s post is brought to you by my friend Jillian, who is the only writer I know to incorporate fly-fishing and raunchy romance.
I asked her to send me something about her observations of fly-fishermen, along with a sample of her novel On the Fly to share with you, to go with my otherwise strangely out-of-place videos of fly-tying that have appeared here recently… and she sent this lovely article which she had previously written for the now allegedly-defunct Fishkeep.net. Over to you, Jillian…
~ OF FUR, FEATHERS AND FLUFFY BITS ~
It is now officially Spring, and as we have changed the clocks to British Summer Time, I decided it was high time to encourage the sun to come out by packing away my winter woollies and getting out the cotton frocks. But wait, what’s this, a bald patch on the fur collar of my best suede gilet?
Could it be that moths have invaded my wardrobe? Have the pernicious little buggers munched their way through anything else – the cashmere sweater I got for Christmas for example?
Close examination of every item at possible risk showed there to be no sign of damage to anything else. It seemed that these were peculiarly selective moths.
The truth revealed the blame lay not at the chomping mandibles of an innocent insect, but much closer to home – in the thieving hands of my other half who, in an attempt to while away time in the close season, had been scouring the house looking for suitable materials with which to tie himself a new breed of fly. He thought it might be a good idea to try and invent a new pattern all his own. That way he was certain to become not only rich and famous, but renowned throughout the angling world and the envy of his peers.
‘I didn’t think you’d notice,’ says he, ‘it was only a handful.’
A handful! I now have a piece of clothing (a favourite to boot) that looks like it’s developed mange! What else had he been helping himself to? The list, not to put too fine a point on it, left me gobsmacked.
‘Remember when you thought the dog had snagged himself on the barbed wire fence and ripped off the end of his tail?’
I did, and he hadn’t. The missing chunk of tail hair had been unceremoniously hacked off with a pair of kitchen scissors and used to tie a new experimental pattern, none too successfully as it happened, and the poor hound had been forced to sport an embarrassingly naked tail tip for nearly three weeks for nought.
An effort to produce a deadly lure from mixed colour/texture human hair trimmings was just as unsuccessful. He had purloined it from the barberfest I hold in my kitchen every three months when, in order to save a few precious pounds, I use the Braun clippers on all the male heads in the household, leaving them looking like a row of short-bristled brush heads.
In the quest for ever more colourful materials, and unbeknownst to me, the male spousal unit had made an arrangement with a neighbour who kept two parrots.
‘Should they by chance happen to moult,’ he’d suggested, ‘could I please have the cast off feathers? Any colour, from any part of the bird, it doesn’t matter, I’ll think of something to do with them. Oh and by the way, if your rabbit should happen to die in mysterious circumstances, could I possibly skin it before you put it in a shoebox in a hole in the ground? Waste not, want not, you know!’
I was aghast and said, jokingly, ‘I’m going to have to keep my eye on that red squirrel when he comes for his nuts from the bird table, lest you set out after him with a pair of pinking shears and lop off his tail.’
‘No need,’ says he. ‘There’s already one in the freezer. It’s wrapped in newspaper and tucked between the peas and the battered fish portions.’
The creature had been found dead by the side of the road, he did hasten to add, as if that would excuse its present resting place under a bag of frozen vegetables.
‘There’s a pair of heron wings in there, too,’ he admitted.
‘But herons are a protected species!’ I cried, ‘You can’t have them!’
OH did explain he had come across the bird while walking the dog. The poor thing had apparently come to grief on the riverbank, having succumbed to the recent devilishly cold spell. As it was already dead, he smuggled the frozen corpse home, only to find he couldn’t get the whole bird into the freezer because its beak stopped the lid from closing properly and so had to resort to taking just the choice feathers. He didn’t say what had happened to the rest of it and I thought it best not to ask.
It is rather disturbing to think it could have ended up served for Sunday lunch, roasted with a pound of sage and onion up its Parson’s Nose.
What next for this intrepid hunter of all things furry, feathery and fluffy – yeti hair?!
Come to think of it, he did mention something about wanting to develop his own updated version of a Tupp’s Indispensible*…and he has been spending rather more time than usual in the bathroom!
*For those of you who are not familiar with this fly, a Tupp’s Indispensible is traditionally tied using hairs plucked from the scrotum of a fertile breeding ram. Yes, you did read that right. Attempt collection at your own risk!
…And now, from On the Fly ~
He grasped her by the waist, pulled her to him and kissed her. She threw her arms around his neck and returned the kiss, and as she did, he felt all his tension drain away.
‘Very nice,’ he said, smacking his lips with appreciation.
‘You weren’t on the river much today,’ Lily said.
‘I’ve been spending quite a bit of time up the House doing some paperwork and sending out brochures and the like.’
‘Oh really?’ She took a step back and placed her hands on her hips. ‘You are such a fibber, Brian MacDonald.’
‘I don’t know what you mean.’
‘Yes you do, because I know exactly where you were. Did you have a nice time with her?’
The question caught Brian off guard. ‘What…I mean who…eh?’
‘The pretty blonde woman?’ Lily prompted.
Brian’s mouth fell open with astonishment. ‘How the hell…? Bloody hell, Lily, have you been spying on me?’ He was both alarmed and irked in equal measure.
‘Yes I have,’ she said, plainly. ‘And most amusing it was too, watching you squirming out through her bedroom window like a greased weasel just as her husband came in through the front door. You did cut it a little fine I have to say. You were lucky to get away with your skin still on.’
Brian was staggered. ‘But…how…where? Flaming hell, Lily, that’s a bit beyond the pale.’
‘What can I say, I like to watch,’ she said. ‘I learn quite a lot by watching.’
She passed her tongue over her slightly parted lips, moistening them, and then sucked seductively on the lower one.
‘Don’t you like to watch, Brian? Wouldn’t you like it if someone were to watch us?’
‘No of course not.’
‘Are you sure about that?’ She ran a fingertip over his lips. ‘Wouldn’t it turn you on?’
He gulped audibly. ‘Well…I…er,’ he stammered. ‘I’ve never…never really thought about it.’
‘Maybe you should. And don’t you think it might be fun if someone were to…join in? Another woman…or a man?’
Brian’s mouth moved, but no words came out. For once, he had nothing to say. Lily’s eyes sparkled with mischief and she suddenly burst out laughing.
‘I’m just teasing you, you silly man,’ she said with a smile. ‘The look on your face…’
Brian puckered his mouth and frowned. ‘Aye very funny. My sides are splitting.’
‘Made you think, though, didn’t I?’ she said, and chucked his chin.
He had never considered a threesome, whatever the combination, he always favoured the one-to-one approach. Although…
~ On The Fly, a raunchy tale of rods, flies and sex: