Carl's First Fly
Flies With a Story

First Fly -- First Bass

Fly Tied By: Carl Defazio
Recipe By: Carl Defazio
Story By: Carl Defazio
Home: Romney, West Virginia
Web site:
Carl is an Industrial Forester with a passion for fly-fishing and fly-tying. His home water is the beautiful South Branch of the Potomac River in West Virginia, where he also has a small business called Mountaineer Flies. One of his biggest fly-fishing thrills was catching and releasing a 5.8 pound smallmouth in 1996.

That Christmas definitely changed my life. It was 1991, and I was not really in the mood for joyous celebration. You see, my little girl was dying of a terrible, mostly overlooked disease, Anorexia Nervosa. She was starving herself to death. The doctors gave her a 50-50 chance to live.

The present that Jackie gave her daddy that Christmas was a Cabella's Fly Tying Kit. It had a vice, bobbin, bodkin and a few other things. I told her that I loved it. But it was only she that I loved. Jackie recovered and has moved on to be a Graphics Designer and married a great guy. She has a son and a happy life.

A year or two after Jackie's recovery, I found that little kit buried on my workbench. I looked at it again and all the memories came back. I really didn't know anything about the tools and other items in the kit, but I spent a Saturday figuring them out. I knew nothing about fly tying even though I loved to fly fish. I borrowed some thread from my wife, used some hair from a fox squirrel,  lashed the hair to a bait hook (3/0) and hurried to the South Branch. I loaded the leader with split shot and "let fly". On the second or third try I hooked, landed and released a smallmouth. On my own fly! Needless to say, I was hooked at fly tying and have been ever since.

Thanks, Jackie. I love you.

--Carl Defazio

PS, Jackie designed the logo for Mountaineer Flies while in college. You can see it on my Web site.

First Fly, as tied by Carl Defazio

Photo by Peter Frailey

Tying Sequence:

Hook: Size 3/0, Mustad 33637
Thread: Wife’s sewing thread
Underbody: None
Tail: Fox Squirrel Tail
Body: Fox Squirrel Tail
Rib: Wife’s sewing thread



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