Published Apr 1. 1998 - 23 years ago
Updated or edited Jan 16. 2017

Carpe diem

A matter of the gravest importance

Dear friends:

The lying scoundrel
The lying scoundrel hast caught the mighty Bugle Lipped Carp on more than one occassion.

A recent posting to the flyfishing list by Hans Weilenmann has prompted me to write to you concerning a matter of gravest importance. On Friday, Feb. 27 of this year, Hans posted a message to the list in which he named his "universal selection" of dry flies, or as he so aptly phrased it "Hans' Dirty Dozen". In giving this list he makes the remark that it "covers the four main aquatic groups: mayflies, caddis, stoneflies and midges."

Now, I have been around a lot of anglers in my life. Some are more prone to bending the truth than others, but in Hans' case I would have to say that the truth has not only been severely bent it has also been smashed into a multiplicity of microscopic pieces! Why do I make this statement? Simple - I have known Hans for quite a few years and I can honestly say that I have never seen him fish with any of these patterns he lists! As a matter of fact I have never seen him fish for trout at all! On the other hand, and here I must admit that it vexes me sorely to make this known, I have seen the lying scoundrel cast to (do I dare reveal this?) the mighty Bugle Lipped Carp on more than one occassion. There, I have said it and am relieved of the great burden of guilt I have carried while hiding this Netherlanders secret.

I first became aware of Weilenman's vice a number of years ago when I peeked into one of his personal fly boxes at a show in New Jersey. He had apparently picked it up by mistake and brought it to the show with him, but had failed to hide it properly. When I opened it I was astounded to see an incredible assortment of Glo-Bugs, soft shelled crayfish imitations, mulberry flies, sucker spawn sacs, and other flies designed to appeal to the eclectic tastes of a bottom feeder (the fish, not Hans!). Even more appalling than the mere presence of these "flies" in this box (a Wheatley no less) was the fact that a distinct odor emanated from some of them. Quite a few smelled distinctly of licorice, others of garlic, and still others of some foul odor reminiscent of anchovy paste. There was even one fly which looked suspiciously like a kernel of corn which had been epoxied to the shank of a #10 heavy wire scud hook. Needless to say my suspicions were aroused. Could this paragon of the dry fly, this doubty Dutchman, this noble tier possibly be living a lie? Could he, like Steve Hiner, be incapable of recognizing fact from fantasy, dreams from reality, trout fishing from carp angling? I was determined to seek the truth.

The lying scoundrel's fish
As so often before: Hans gets his carp on his not-so-famous Cul de Carp fly

The lying scoundrel tying
Hans only ties his truly secret weapon in front of an audience on rare occasions. We came by this papparzzi shot by pure coincidence.

Not long after my surreptitious discovery of Weilenman's "fly" box (I use the term fly in the loosest possible sense here) I had the opportunity to discover the truth behind that fly box. Hans, myself, and many others were tying at a fly fishing show in Grand Rapids, Michigan where, late one evening, I was walking along the banks of the Grand River, not far from the hotel. Some distance upstream I spotted an angler, slipping through the streamside vegetation. Slipping, I think, does not adequately describe the anglers movements -skulking would be more appropriate. Sensing something out of the ordinary was going on I closed the gap between the two of us as quickly and quietly as possible. When I had approached within about twenty yards or so I entered some heavy streamside vegetation and so was adequately screened from this miscreants view. Peering from beside an overturned and partially buried 55 gallon drum I was horrified to see that the angler was none other than Hans Weilenmann. Only a few hours ago he had told me that "no, he could not have dinner with me and Bas because he had an order of trout flies to tie up for some Englishman". Another lie to add to the ever growing mountain of fibs. It began to seem that if Hans had been Pinnochio he could have indeed been an Olympic contender in the pole vault, using only his nose! But I digress.

Taking a fly box from his rear pocket I saw Hans, to my horror, tie on a white Glo-Bug to what appeared to be a very short section of approximately 16lb test tippett. Then, as though the Glo-Bug was not bad enough, he produced a small jar of colorless liquid into which he placed the Glo-Bug. The distinctive odor of anise oil drifted to me in my hideaway. "My God", I thought to myself, "am I really seeing this? Am I dreaming, hallucinating, or am I really seeing Mr. Dry Fly himself carrying out some sort of scum sucking ritual?" I rubbed my eyes in disbelief, shut them and shook my head hoping to dispell this nightmarish vision. When I opened my eyes Hans stood in the exact same spot, but the small jar he had previously held had been replaced by what looked suspiciously like a pint of Johny Walker Black Label. Glancing around, Hans raised the bottle to his lips and drained at least two ounces from it in one giant swallow. Another Lie! Only a few days ago Hans had told me that he did not drink, and here, not 60 feet away he was pulling on that pint bottle like an infant at it's mothers tit. "Well", I thought, "if indeed truths were autumn leaves they would most certainly be scattered far and wide in the wake of Weilenmann's tornado of lies."

The lying scoundrel's fly
The Cul de Carp - AKA as just The Glow Bug


Hook Any fancy, large hook
Thread Pink, preferably thick
Tail Feathers, any fancy color. Size doesn't matter
Body Flash - lots of flash - any fancy color
Hackle Two feathers; poor quality, uneven, soft, any two fancy colors
Eyes Egg yarn, any fancy color

Tying instructions:

  1. Whip the whole sherbang onto a hook in no particular order
  2. Whip finish using heavy pliers and a screwdriver
  3. Don't bother to varnish

As I watched, Hans flung the heavily weighted Glo-Bug toward the shallows in front of him, where I now saw a large school of carp milling about. No sooner had the doctored Glo-Bug settled below the surface than one of the great muck sucking scabrous brutes snatched it up in it's flabby and pendulous lips. Hans rared back on the rod with both hands and the great carp flailed away sending mud and water far up the bank. The grim struggle lasted for perhaps ten minutes before Hans, breathless, beached the huge fish. From yet another pocket of his vest he produced a small camera and proceeded to take a number of shots of the brutish fish. For the next hour or so I watched the proceedings, scarcely daring to breath lest I give away my hiding place. In that time I saw Weilenmann take six of the distasteful creatures and photograph each one in turn. After each fish he would raise the pint bottle to his lips and suck like a newborn calf. At the end of that hour both the bottle and my expectations of Hans were emptied.

When it became too dark to fish Hans flung the whiskey bottle as far as he could into the river. He then cut off the Glo-Bug and flung that into the river too.

He broke the rod down into six pieces (yes, a six piece rod - apparently so that he could smuggle it out of the hotel without anyone seeing it) and stuck it under his coat. He staggered past me, totally inebriated (or drunk as a fart, whichever you prefer) and headed unsteadily towards the hotel. He began to sing, in a cracked and broken voice, "In Munchen Steht Ein Hofbrauhaus" as he carromed off the lightposts and trees which lined the sides of the path.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. I no longer find it possible to remain silent when presented with the enormity of this miscreants chicanery. If the truth be known, and it certainly should, we have in our midst a carp fisherman disguised as a trout fisherman; a Pinnochio who has employed the best of plastic surgeons to remove that telltale protuberance from between his eyes, thus allowing him to penetrate the world of the truthful; a charlatan and poseur, hiding behind the mask of respectability; a gin swilling miscreant who hides his insideous habit behind a screen of Certs and Listerine. Indeed, he should be drummed out of the corps, stripped of his rank, and relegated to the halls of Zebco for the remainder of his existence.

There, I have unburdened my soul of this terrible secret. Make of it what you will my friends, for it is the truth.

Harrison Steeves

© April 1st 1998.


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