My first half dozen
Right Wing Specials were tied late one July afternoon, and five were handed out
to guests on their way to the evening's fishing. No one turned down a Right
Wing Special, but then no one took them very seriously, either. When these
guests returned at dark (all of them fishless, as I recall), I learned that not
one of them had condescended to try the fly.
I, however, had
used mine to hook three steelhead, landing two eight-pounders and breaking off
on the third and larger fish. When I relayed this information at
dinner—modestly, I thought—there was some mild laughter, gentle headshaking,
then a quick change of subject.
evening, armed with six more Right Wing Specials, I went out with one of the
guests. He had been fishing hard for four or five days without so much as a
strike. We tried the pool where I had fished the previous evening. Using a
Right Wing Special—and with just a little advice on his casts—he landed two
steelhead in half an hour, one a thick, bright female of 30 inches and 10
It was just what I
needed. When the news was related that night at dinner, no one laughed. In
fact, no one even smiled. Fishermen are serious folk when they think they might
be on to something. The Right Wing Special quickly caught on. I gave out dozens
of them through the summer, and I'm sure that they accounted for as many fish
as any other pattern.
Yet, despite the
success of the Right Wing Special, I no longer fish with it myself. I have
recently switched to a fly tied in honor of my wife's homeland. West Germany.
The Deutsche Spezial is gold, black and red. To achieve its full and impressive
potential it must first be soaked overnight in strong Bavarian beer. Laugh if
you like, but don't knock it till you've tried it.