I’ve written a bit about Murray Wilson on this Journal and its predecessors over the years: the confusion his broad country Australian accent spreads among the crew at the fly shop, his down to earth philosophy on fly design and the man’s flies themselves.
We’d actually become friends through the internet, via the message board for the magazine I write for Flylife, then after I’d written a few things, there would be calls occasionally. And this from a guy I’d looked upon in awe as a young green fly fisher and tyer, But that’s Muz all over.
Last year for a few days I finally had the lucky of spending a few days in the company of my mate, who was on a tour of people and places in the US. Ad we got to spend some water time on Norfork and the White. Among the guys I really admire over here, the serious pros, there is a common term of respect: that a person, male or female, is “just fishy”. Guys like Johnson, Lafkas, Galloup, Gawesworth, Wotton, Willen and Chocklett are fishy guys. I learnt the same is true with Muz, if it lives in water and swims, he’ll figure out a way to get it to eat a fly.
His loose schedule didn’t lend itself to a major advertising effort but those who stopped through the shop were enthralled, Moose Watson, Mick Spaulding and our own tyers Ron and Rita McQuay. I sat and watched, as Muz tied and entertained the crew. None of those sitting knew Muz’s history as Australia answer to John Barr, the best known and best selling modern fly designer, the guy with the flies which work, day in day out. They were all in awe of what was rolling off the vice.
Somewhere along the way I came up with the idea of a video and set up a rig. It morphed into the video series you are about to watch. I didn’t want to just do the flies, I wanted the why, as well as the how, and once I got Muz talking, it was easy peasy.
The hard part was doing justice to the man, the flies and the stories. Getting a tick off on the finished project was a huge relief. I hope you dig it and tie the flies. They truly work, whether you are in our Ozark trout waters, the salt and the estuaries which join them.