Wednesday, December 7 , 2016, 7:54 am | Fair 43º


Captain’s Log: Get Hooked on Fly-Tying

Berkley Bedell had a great dog with a perfect color. One evening, Berkley snipped a few hairs off the dog and tied up a couple of flies. The next day, those flies caught trout as fast as he could cast with his fly rod.

His fishing buddies wanted to know all about those simple but deadly new flies. Well sir, Berkley’s poor dog had to go through the rest of his life with little bald patches all over his otherwise luxurious coat. While his master worked over his vice in the evenings, the dog would sniff the hand-tied flies suspiciously and then go curl up close to the fire. That’s the way I heard the story.

Berkley went on to found one of the biggest fishing tackle companies of our time, named after himself. Now every time I see a dog with little patches of hair missing, I have to wonder if the dog’s master is a Berkley kinda guy. Fortunately for pet dogs, cats, birds, etc., there are plenty of packaged materials available today for tying flies.

With lots of trout plants up at Lake Cachuma over the past several months and with more lined up next month, this would be a good time to learn fly-tying skills and enjoy a great day at the lake. Flyfishing is also gaining in popularity out on the big salt. There are plenty of reasons for learning to fly ties.

At Hook, Line & Sinker fishing center at 4010 Calle Real in Santa Barbara, we have a good supply of tied flies, some by a local flyfishing hero named Eric Rangel, who ties freshwater and saltwater flies. More and more people are learning that surf fishing with flies is a ton of fun.

Santa Barbara Flyfishers is our local flyfishing club, and members enjoy both saltwater and freshwater fishing pursuits.

If you’re interested in joining a flyfishing club, stop by Hook, Line & Sinker and we’ll hook you up.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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