“I was fortunate in that my mother did not protest when I decided, at age nine, to give up Catholic Mass in pursuit of fish. Honestly, I think she was ecstatic to have me out of the house. Little did I realise then, that I was simply replacing one doctrine for another. In the beginning, as in all beginnings, it was simple. I chased trout and bluegills armed with a Fenwick fiberglass rod, a Pflueger fly reel loaded with an expired double tapered line, and an aluminum fly box, which held no more than two dozen flies, half of which were never removed from their spring metal clips. I caught fish with a simple Hare’s ear, and I was happy with these few basic patterns…until I wasn’t.”

From a one-fly boy to a multi-pattern junkie and now a believer in simplicity, when it comes to fly selection, Omani permit whisperer Ray Montoya has gone full circle. Read his story in issue 14 of The Mission.

 

The story behind the prayer scene above? Ray writes:
“This is a very old photo (pre-digital days) from Los Roques, Venezuela. I had broken off several large tarpon the previous day. I told my mate Lorenzo I was going to duck into the church and say a few knot prayers. He followed me in and snapped the pic. He also commented that I was going to hell! A few hours after this photo was taken, I landed my first proper sized tarpon!”
“They say there are no atheists in fox holes, but the same applies to when you’re hooked up to a tarpon!
Here’s the answer to that morning’s prayers.”