By MIKE MALTAIS
When 12-year-old Chloe Temple of Winthrop was first introduced to a Martin Fly Tying Kit a while back, the result was a kind of magic that would bring a smile to the face of any devoted fisherman.
Temple ties flies, and her colorful creations are already getting attention from anglers and at least one retailer in the valley.
“Right now I tie about a dozen different patterns,” Temple said.
She has even added a twist to her art by creating pairs of colorful “fly earrings.”
A seventh grader at Liberty Bell Junior High School, Temple has a demonstrated preference for many things artistic including piano, art, poetry, drawing and making jewelry. So when this latest challenge to her imagination was set before her, she couldn’t resist taking up the vise.
“I got started about a year ago when my dad brought home a fly tying kit,” Temple recalled. That would be Jason Temple who, when he isn’t working at Winthrop’s Red Apple Market or cutting firewood, coaches youngsters involved in the valley’s popular Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball.
Lance Rider, owner of The Outdoorsman, a sporting goods retailer in Winthrop, carries an assortment of Temple’s flies. He offered the young artist some pointers with respect to what anglers coming into his store might be looking for in the way of artificial lures.
“I suggested that she use barbless hooks,” Rider said. “For example, the Methow River is catch-and-release only using a single, barbless hook.”
The same selective gear rules apply to the Twisp and Chewuch rivers.
Mike Salmon of Winthrop, who has been tying his own flies for 60 years, has been a member of the Methow Valley Fly Fishing Club for the past 10. Salmon opens every meeting of the club with a half-hour clinic devoted to tying one of the popular fly patterns used on local waters.
“One of our members saw Chloe’s flies at The Outdoorsman and suggested I go take a look,” Salmon said.
He liked the promise in what he saw, and encourages the novice to keep at her craft.
“I started when I was about 6 years old,” Salmon said. “The more you do it the better you get.”
Temple’s flies in Rider’s shop are mainly wet fly streamer patterns designed to be fished under the water’s surface.
“They are definitely bright and colorful,” Rider said.