Monday, September 26, 2011

What's in a name?

I've been cleaning up my tying desk over the past few days. A little bit at a time. It's too much to tackle all at once. I've got an order of Steelhead fly parts arriving during the next couple of days and want to tie up some devilishly Dirrrty flies for a Steelhead trip in early November. My desk was just an unimaginable twisted mess of dead animal parts, synthetics and the plastic sleeves for all those materials. Hence a bit of tidying up.

My brain has begun the shift from thinking about fishing to thinking about tying. It's part of the rhythm in my fly tying year. I read an article this weekend in Fly Rod & Reel about five flies for Fall fishing. That sounded like a nice way to blend thoughts of fishing with thoughts of tying. One of these flies featured was the Morris Emerger. As I looked upon this creation I surmised that this was just a Quigley Cripple sans hackle. I had "invented" the Morris Emerger a couple of months ago when I thought just what this Morris guy must have thought:

"Gee, when you tie these Quiglies really small, it's a real pain in the ass to tie in the hackle. I'm just going to leave it off. The damn thing will probably fish just as good."

And it does.

So Morris put his name on this one. Of course, that brought to mind the whole Kaufmann Stimulator debate. Apparently he's not the only one of have "invented" this fly.

I find it goofy that one would want to put one's name to a fly. I didn't name my riff on the Quigley. It was simply the small Quigley that I tied without the hackle. I didn't think "Aha! It's the Cripple Emerger Deluxe" much less "Aha! It's the Steve's Emerger Cripple Deluxe!"

What drives this eponymity*? Marketing? A life absent of any meaning beyond fly tying?

Above: Quigley Cripple
Below: Steve's Cripple Emerger Deluxe (also
known as the Morris Emerger)

*Is that a word?


  1. There's a lot of that crap out there.

    But that Morris Emerger looks good.

    Isn't there a trout stream in Morris?

  2. I fish some version of the Quigley often; with and without the hackle. It's one of those flies in which I have a high degree of confidence.

  3. I would be more nervous that if I attached my name to the fly, that I would be remembered in the fly fishing community as the guy who ties flies that don't catch fish :-)