Crow Flies: The Shortest Distance Between You and the Fish!
In the summer of 1987, Steve Driskill left Oregon and drove to Montana in his VW bus to fish the Madison River for a month. At the time, he was working for Oregon State University, and when summer rolled in, he was able to hit the road. Fortunately for him, his wife Laurel understood his “problem” with trout, salmon and steelhead, therefore giving him the green light.
Steve camped at Slide Inn where he met fly tier Ross A. Marigold. At night, he and Ross would tie flies and sip whiskey along the banks of the Madison. Back then, there were braids in the upper Madison, and one could get lost fishing for hours in just a mile or two of river. There was no real reason to go anywhere else as the hatches were plentiful, and the crowds were non-existent. Every year since, Steve has come to Montana with his own creations and fooled trout, never fishing more than one fly.
I met Steve and Laurel in 2000, working with them at Madison River Outfitters. That summer, I lived next door to the Driskill’s and learned that Steve could not only tie flies, but is, by far, one of the finest tiers I have ever met.
Over the next six years, he graciously showed me pattern after pattern that earned their spot in my boxes. After sitting at my bench and failing to reproduce his high quality bugs, I bit the bullet and bought them from the fly shop. I hated buying flies, but Steve’s bugs worked, and as a guide on the Madison and Missouri Rivers, you need fishy flies when you don’t always have the best drift.
Crow Flies is Steve Driskill’s custom fly tying business based in Corvallis, Oregon. Now for the first time, Big Sky Anglers is offering his patterns for purchase on-line, as well as a few of our own favorites. These flies are tied in the USA by Steve, and the rest are tied by local tiers from West Yellowstone.