Here was the plan: my wife would play with our Lab while I tried a few casts. A freestone stream flowing through a meadow in the Poconos offered the opportunity. The day was sunny, the wind light. Very little brush reared their ugly heads on the bank. Almost immediately I needed help:
“Can you tie this fly on for me.”
I had forgotten how poor my vision was, how unsteady my hands. She was patient, got a small gold-ribbed hare’s ear tied on, and ran off with Lana. After a few casts it snapped off in the wind.
“Joan!” – well you get the idea.
She spent an hour tying flies on for me.
“Isn’t there a better way to do this, where they are tied on already?”
That day I didn’t catch anything and lost half a dozen flies. But on the way home in the car, HandiFlies were born.