Monday, December 7, 2009

The Koksoak

The Koksoak
Tip: fine gold thread
Tag: dark blue silk
Butt: red wool
Tail: peacock sword
Body: one turn flat gold tinsel, veiled with paired jungle cock back to back, above and below.  Remaining body section divided into thirds, each being composed of kingfisher back “chatterer” style, veiled above with paired monal neck back to back, jungle cock over, below, small tuft Canadian lynx fur, monal neck over jungle cock over that.  Butted with Lady Amherst crest wound as hackle, black ostrich behind and 1 turn dark blue floss behind that.  Each pair monal/jungle cock slightly longer, as also with the Lynx fur.  Hackle at the head is omitted and replaced with Lady Amherst as cheeks instead. 
Wing: two pairs Lady Amherst tippets back to back. 
Topping: Golden pheasant crest

In this fly I have tried to illustrate not just the complexity of life along the Koksoak River, but also the inter-dependence of each life form upon each other.  The River itself is illustrated by the complexly hidden blue feathers and silks that make up the body of the fly.  Woven into this are the fish, starting with the egg, as seen in the red wool of the butt, and in various stages of growth represented by the graduated sizing of the jungle cock feathers that overlay each of the monal pairings. 
These monal feathers also are used to divide the body sections and in part hide it, representing the spruce and larch trees that form canopy along, and islets in the river.  These trees serve to mark the rivers course  and also they provide food for the insects that feed the salmon smolts.  When they eventually die and fall in, they become cover for returning adult salmon.  Meanwhile, standing they are shade and cover for the wild life such as the caribou and lynx of the nearby forests.  With out the river, there would be no trees, with out the trees, no fish, and less game and nothing to keep the river in its banks.  There-by  the circle of life is complete.  The bright white and black of the wings remind us of the cold, snowy harshness that is the climate a good part of the year.  Yet despite this cold and seemingly barren winter landscape, there is life.  The black stripes are the marks that man has made living here.  When balanced with nature, we can see the marks almost blend in harmony with the landscape as here in the fly they are almost subdued by the monal feather trees. The red of the Lady Amherst crest that is used at each of the body segments, and finally in a bold sweep along the side and the yellow of the golden pheasant crest topping is this common life-blood and almost palpable energy that unites all the creatures including the humans in their struggle for life in this harsh climate.

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