Another oldie but a goody. Thomas Harvey has been our fly tying editor for as long as we can remember…at least three years. Before Thomas was brokering the best tiers for our pages, Thomas actually used to tie for our pages himself. Hopefully he will again soon and for a long time. With the first pre-spawn carp hitting the flats here in the South, we figured the Golden Ticket might just be…well, the ticket. SCOFno4_cover   SCOF_benchpress_harvey_a

BENCH PRESS: GOLDEN TICKET By Thomas Harvey Southern Culture On the Fly Issue No. 4: Summer 2012

Materials List: Hook: Owner Flyliner (Size 4 – 6) Eyes: Dumbbell or Beadchain Flash: Gold Krystal Flash Legs: Metallic Gold Sili Legs Body: Gold Sparkle Braid Wing: Fox Squirrel Tail Head : Thread and Clear Cure Goo Hydro You look hesitantly at the Ziploc bag: six rings, three bracelets and a necklace with a broken clasp. You’ve collected them over the past month. Slowly, in stages as to not get caught, pillaging your better half’s treasure chest. You convince yourself that she would never notice. Besides, she has a case full of newer, sparkly jewelry. Cash 4 Gold. You’ve had to have seen it. It’s all the rage. In today’s economic climate, many are quick to pawn off priceless family heirlooms for a quick buck. Temptation is everywhere. Companies blasting you from all media outlets. Torn and tempted, you hit the river to clear your mind. As you pull onto the highway, you turn the dial on your radio and hear it, “Need cash? Trade with confidence from the world’s number one consumer gold buyer.” Yeah, better stick with the iPod. You remember your gas light has been on for the past week, so you pull off an exit early to fill up. “Cash Customers Must Pre-Pay.” You walk in and hand the teller two crumpled twenties. You can’t help notice his shiny gold ring as he hands you the receipt. Really? You finally pull into the gravel parking lot and take a walk down to the river’s edge. Carp. Tails up, mouth down, Hoovering the muddy creek bottom. The six-weight should do it. You open your fly box, scanning your neatly arranged inventory. It hits you again, that shiny golden glow. You pluck it from the box and tie it on—The Golden Ticket. Five fish, four beers, and three hours later, you are back at home satisfied, covered in that scent only carp anglers can appreciate. Before hitting the shower, you slip the Ziploc bag from your pocket and dump the jewelry back in the chest. Crisis averted.




As I pack up the family truckster for our annual vacation in the low country, I am trying to stay positive. Trying is my new thing when it comes to redfish. I will not be defeated before I leave. I will be defeated when I get there, like a normal human being. So in honor of my impending mediocrity in the face of marsh donkeys, here is one of our favorites from the vault.




By Scott Davis
Photos: Steve Seinberg and Scott Davis
Southern Culture On the Fly
Issue No. 4: Summer 2012

 “we spot each other clearly by the wet pant legs, the dubbing or flashabou bits in the beard, the raccoon eyes”

Step back and think where you’d be if fish didn’t control your life. What magazines would be by your toilet? What stickers would adorn your boat’s tow vehicle? Maybe you have another passion, but I doubt it. It seems to be all or nothing, and not by choice.

Watching a redfish commit murders among the crustacean community in inches of water has got to be it…it’s the last legal drug…these tailers. When they tail, something dies—simple. Once you’ve seen it, it generally grabs you like an untreatable fever. And like a disease you’d never want to cure, you feed it thinking it will satisfy the addiction, but you’ve really made it much worse.

I meet very few “casual” redfish anglers. Most are sunburned, obsessive, smell funny and couldn’t give a damn about who won last night’s game. They tie flies out of necessity, stop to skin road kill, eat in the car, and forget birthdays, but can tell you the tides for the next month. If the flats aren’t going to flood, they’ll go where the fish go even if that means casting through tourists and labradoodles at the beach. The fish are always out there somewhere as are these maniacs, these wonderful misfits.

It becomes eerily cult-like, this lifestyle of fly fishing. Most people can’t tell by looking, but we spot each other clearly by the wet pant legs, the dubbing or flashabou bits in the beard, the raccoon eyes. We can feel the push pole or oar calluses in your handshake so don’t fake it, we know who you are.

It’s the nature of humans I suppose, to seek out what makes us happy and pursue it relentlessly, at all costs. The simplicity of fly fishing is its greatest merit. I think it’s the same with the redfish tails. They are simple. Vaguely colored, adorned with only bronze, blue and a speck of black, they lure us like mythological sirens into a life of searching—waiting and hoping for the chance at another glimpse.