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Flies Only - Section One
By J. Castwell

In the late 1960's I started this series. In the following pages I will, in a somewhat condensed version, bring you the 'heart' of what then became a slide program. I find it interesting much of the information I will present still has not been thoroughly discussed to this date.

These pictures are prints from the original slides from that time period. The slide program was originally 200 slides, two hours long and was presented at many T.U., F.F.F., private club meetings and even on an ocean cruise ship. All photos were taken by me while living in Bay City, Michigan, and were shot either on the Main Stream of the AuSable or in my basement.

At that time I was 'field-testing' for a major fly-line manufacturer, teaching fly-tying, fly-casting, a thirteen week accredited course for a local branch of the University of Michigan and had a trout fishing 'school' on the AuSable river. The pictures were not, at first, intended for any particular use, however were organized into the slide program as an addition to the above.

I had no preconceived goal other than gathering information on the subject. That was to shed some light on what tied flies looked like to a fish. My investigation tended to drift occasionally but for the most part stayed on course. A major hypothesis driving me was the fact many thousands of flies will catch trout. If so, why not use just one? If they all work, what is the one thing they must each possess in common? Or, and this was the one which disturbed me the most, if they all look alike to the trout, what difference does it make?

For those of you more interested in the subject, I would refer you to two publications, both by Vincent Marinaro, A Modern Dry-Fly Code, and, In The Ring Of The Rise. During my investigation he became not only my mentor, but a most cherished and close companion. He was involved with the creation of what we called 'the Ring' at the time and we often worked in tandem developing material. For his encouragement and guidance I am most sincerely grateful. The finest gentleman I ever knew.

During the development of all of this I was often assisted by, cajoled, beaten-about-shoulders, yelled at, and in general, put up with by one of the finest fly-fishers and all-around best friends I have ever had, Mr. Neil M. Travis. J. Castwell

Next time . . .

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