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Ritchie Fly


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I was going through my Dad's old fishing tackle and came across a few Ritchie Flies. (I'm not sure if I have the spelling right as they were not in the original packaging). Am I recalling correctly that the man who made these was George Ritchie from somewhere in Michigan? It was probably 30+ years ago that my dad and him corresponded with each other and traded his flies for my dad's squids.

Looking at them, I was thinking that the colors of flies he sold 30 years ago are remarkably similar to the "hot" flies of today. Given all the changes in the Great Lakes ecosystems over the past 30 years, history seems to have proven that Mr. Ritchie introduced many proven bait patterns that have stood the test of time.

I wonder, is Mr. Ritchie still with us?

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John...........George has been gone for at least 1o years or better now. Time flies and it could be 15 years now ,I just don't remember for sure. When George was alive I bought several 100 flies and squids from him . His son Casey Ritchie took over the fly making business and still may be making flies. I still see a few around in several area tackle stores in northern Michigan.

George's aqua-gold fly was a killer on king salmon for me with a Bechtel fish catcher flasher in white/glow or white with silver prism tape. Another one that worked great was George's black squid fly and a white Luhr Jensen dodger on over cast or dark days .

George usually gave me a good break on flies if I bought a 100 at a time,think I was buying flies from him for a buck a fly if I bought a 100 and they at that time sold for 2.75 each at local stores.

George was a firm believer in the double single hook set up on his flies and over the years I've come to think he was right there.... I lose more fish on today's treble hook flies....such as the KRW flies. Now I buy KRW fly bodies and make my own double single hook set up.

George lived in Honor,MI on Big Platte lake and had a barber business in Honor and I grew up in Benzie county so I knew him for many years.

Just in the past several weeks his twin brother Dave Ritchie past away. Dave wrote for the Detroit Free Press for many years doing the sunday outdoor page. Both Dave and George wrote books on fishing in their lifetimes. George also wrote for the local weekly Benzie Record news paper on fishing/hunting in north west Michigan. The Ritchie brothers grew up in the Flint,MI area and both moved to northern Michigan...Dave lived in Buckley,MI and as I mentioned earlier George lived in Honor,MI....

I still use some of George's flies that I have left,just last week I used a yellow/glow squid and a chrome dodger for lake trout off of my home port of Arcadia. MI

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Here's an article about Dave's recent death:

http://record-eagle.com/local/x1912992397/Writer-dedicated-life-to-outdoors/print

His wife Kay is an accomplished author, also. She used to write for the old Michigan Fisherman magazine.

I still have some old copies laying around from the mid 80's. And yes, a lot of the lures/techniques from that era still work today.

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Is Kay still around and writing cookbooks? I remember in the early 80s working the shows for the steelheaders with my dad. we were two booths down and the smells of her food cooking drove us nuts. Everything that lady cooked was awesome. One night after the show closed she came down to our booth with something for us to try. It was deep fried pickles. She was trying them on us as she loved them and wanted to see others reactions. I loved em. This was about 1980 or so. I have a few of her cook books but always looking to add from her as I never had a bad thing out of recipes.

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