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Brassie, Spruce Fly, Babine Special,
Jack Scott, and the Royal Coachman
(striking handiwork of the man of
that title who served Queen Victoria).
He got down a brittle, yellowing
1949 paperback and located the page
displaying "The Preferred Flies
in 1892." All but two were listed
in his new catalogs.
He himself
in the last eleven of some sixty
years of fi shing, used just one fl y,
in one size: the Royal Wulff
(a variant, by the master
Lee Wulff , of the Royal Coachman)
barbless, size 14. The other fl ies
he had chosen over the years --
dry fl ies, wet fl ies, in many sizes,
streamers and nymphs and muddlers
and the big stonefl ies -- fl ies for various
times of day in every phase of
the trout season, lay shut tight,
each kind in its own compartment
in a clear box, the boxes stacked
in the dark of their cabinet.
Whether the trout took his Royal Wulff
or not, he had been satisfi ed.
He'd caught enough trout. If, now
and then, he took and let go another,