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The Rod

The man largely responsible for my introduction to the world of fly fishing was none other than Paul Bean, a fly tier of great international renown whose exquisitely crafted flies  – sporting names like the Princess Diana, Lady Rosalyn, or Redford - graced the walls of such sporting luminaries as Prince Philip, former first lady Rosalyn Carter, as well as actor Robert Redford. As one would expect, these are not your normal, everyday store bought flies that one could order online, say at a Cabela’s or Orvis, or find in any fly shop. These were commissioned flies by wealthy patrons directly through Paul and sometimes waiting periods could be up to a year. What made Paul and his flies unique was that they were perfect artistic recreations of old British Atlantic Salmon patterns dating back centuries, researched himself through archival information found within the dusty shelves of old and forgotten librairies in English Counties, and that he was probably the only human being alive that possessed this wealth of self-taught knowledge.  The flies are fully functional and you can fish with them but most of them lie protected as both works of art and as investments behind ornate glass frames that hang on study or office walls, often accompagnied, like Paul was during most of his life, with one of his wife Maureen’s beautiful watercolors depicting scenes of the salmon fisherman’s life. These creations were labors of love and often required hundreds of hours spent hunched over a table in his workshop, seeking for universal truth in the perfection of a salmon fly. He only cranked out a handful of these precious creations each year and despite prices in the thousands of dollars they were always quickly scooped up by discerning collectors across the globe. Read More »

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