Partridge and Orange soft hackle
This is the fourth in a series of interviews with characters from the Olive books. If you’re already familiar with the books, you’ll know these “folks” being interviewed. If you’ve not yet seen the books, these interviews will give you some insight into the colorful cast of characters who help to make Olive’s adventures so engaging and fun.
Today, Olive interviews one of her closest friends, a very quiet and soft-spoken fly whom she first met at Camp Tightloops, Polly the Partridge and Orange.
Olive: Hey there, Polly! Thanks for coming on the show today.
Polly: Oh, thank you for inviting me, Olive.
Polly: Oh, I’m not very comfortable talking about myself. Must I, really?
Olive: Polly, you are so pretty and you’re such a good fishing fly. I’m sure everyone would love to know more about you. Lots of people probably don’t know what a Partridge and Orange is.
Polly: Well, thank you. I appreciate the nice words. OK, well, a Partridge and Orange is a soft hackle fly, and even though soft hackles may not be very well known to some people, they’ve been around for a long, long time.
Olive: You’re not a dry fly, right? I mean, you have hackles, but they’re not the same as dry fly hackles.
Polly: Right, my hackles are made from the soft feathers of a partridge, and instead of sticking out straight and causing me to float like a dry fly, my hackles are swept back. I’m actually a wet fly, designed to fish under the water, where my hackles move back and forth like the legs of an insect.
Olive: So, do you swing in the current like a streamer?
Polly: Yep, I can do that. Or I can also dead drift in the current.
Olive: Like Gilbert!
Polly: Right, just like Gilbert. He’s such a good guy.
Olive: He is. I’m so glad we’re all good friends. We have a lot of fun hanging out in The Fly Box. Are there any other ways that you can fly fish?
Polly: I can also be used in lakes and ponds where I’m usually fished just under the surface, like mayfly that’s just emerging from a nymph into an adult. I can also be used to imitate a caddis. I’m sorry, I feel as though I’m talking too much about myself.
Olive: That’s so cool! You sure can do a lot of different things. For someone with as much talent as you have, you’re so humble. I like that about you, Polly.
Polly: Thank you, Olive. That’s very kind of you to say. You’ve always been so encouraging. On that very first day that we fished The Big Stream, it was very frustrating. I’m so thankful to have had you there as a friend.
Olive: That was a very tough day for everyone. We were all so new to fishing and I think our expectations were that we’d all catch a whole bunch of fish. We sure learned that isn’t always the case!
Polly: Indeed. And if one isn’t going to catch fish, it’s certainly much more fun when you’re with good friends.
Olive: Absolutely! Spending time with friends is what fishing is all about! Hey Polly, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but you have a slight accent to your voice don’t you?
Polly: (shyly) Yes. The Partridge and Orange was originally an English creation, so that’s where my accent comes from.
Olive: That’s so interesting. See? You’ve got so much to offer! I’m sure everyone has enjoyed learning more about you and I’m really glad you agreed to do this interview today.
Polly: Well, anything for you Olive. We’ve been through a lot together.
Polly: It was absolutely terrifying! Luckily it didn’t hurt one bit, and I’m glad you went first. That made it much easier for me.
Olive: And it was all worthwhile because without barbs on our hooks it’s much easier to remove our hooks from a fish’s mouth without risking injury to the fish.
Polly: Right. We wouldn’t want to hurt the fish. It’s important to release them unharmed so that we can try to catch them again.
Olive: OK, Polly, I have one more question for you if you don’t mind. If you were in a movie and you could choose a famous actor to lend their voice talent to the role of Polly the Partridge and Orange, who would you choose?
Polly: Oh, I wouldn’t want to choose. There are so many talented actresses. I suppose someone with a British accent would be the perfect choice. May I suggest Jane Seymour? She’s lovely, and she’s also a fly angler.