Purple Haze

purple haze My mother loves to fish the Purple Haze pattern, she absolutely loves it. And she should, she seems to catch a hell of a lot of fish with that fly! Last summer we parked on a school of rising fish and she pulled them out one right after the next with that bug.

That said, I’m not here to talk about the Purple Haze that my mother used to catch this fish.


I’m not talking about this cool piece of fish art by Montana painter Bern Sundell, titled “Purple Haze”.


And no, I’m not talking about Jimi Hendrix’s signature song.


Henceforth, whenever I use the term Purple Haze, it will be in fond and deferential reference to the glorious, sparkly experience of seeing Loretta Lynn live in concert.


I know, I know. This makes two non-fishing posts in a row. But if Loretta can rhyme the words ‘hard’ and ‘tired’ in a song, I can mix a little music in with my fishing stories.

(By the way, anyone know which song I’m talking about?)

Okay so I pulled a little fly pattern bait & switch on you. But as you know, I’ve been on a quest to see Loretta for quite awhile now. This was huge. The Professor and I left Mobile Friday afternoon, headed for Pensacola with plenty of time to grab some dinner before the show. Unfortunately some standstill traffic on I-10 wasn’t in our plan. The Professor – whom we will rename My Hero – wheeled off the interstate in the blink of an eye as if he were being chased by some smokeys, and he serpentined around some backroads to get us back on track.

Once in Pensacola we parked and walked around looking for food. Hour-and-a-half wait at the first place. No good. That other place looked crowded too. Next place on our list was too far, we were running out of time. We flagged down some friendly, foodie looking folks and asked for a super-fast, super-close option.

Perfect. Off we went, just passed the Saenger Theater toward a nearby grill. But as we rounded the corner, The Professor stopped me dead in my tracks and pointed: It was Loretta’s bus.


There it was in all its full, regal purple glory. Purple Haze. I mean there wasn’t a shade of lavender missing from this thing. Believe me, I know. I stalked it thoroughly waiting for a glance of the woman herself. I have a vivid picture of her little country lamp in the window with a ditzy old Victorian shade. There was a white cat with black spots prowling around inside there.

And a bodyguard on the outside who was giving me the evil eye for getting too close to the bus.



The Professor was convinced I could talk my way onto the bus and meet her, but I wasn’t feeling it. And I didn’t want to miss the chance to see her walk out on stage. So with a fast meal behind us, we scurried into the Saenger and our seats just in time.

Words cannot describe how amazing she was. First of all, the purple theme continued in her sparkling, over-the-top, formal gown that just about seared a violet hole in my retina. It was sweet country perfection.

Her song list was spot on, churning out one classic hit after the next. She gave me pretty much every song I needed to hear, and then some. The Professor didn’t say anything, but I think he must have been impressed that I knew all the lyrics to almost every song she threw at me. I sang right along with her, and in my mind I sounded pretty good, but for some reason the gentleman next to me switched seats.

Truthfully, I was blown away at how good she sounded! Sister’s still got pipes. She hit high notes, big notes, and some key changes that gave me goose bumps.

And she’s funny. Her banter with the audience and with her band was sharp and hysterical. She was seated for much of the show so she’d just quip over her shoulders, “Just play somethin’ boys and I’ll try to figure it out.” Or, “It’d help if I knew what song yall were playin!” But most of the time she kicked off each song by flipping her head toward the band and waving her mic, “Take it away boys…”

Copy of P5150014 And the accent. Oh! That country girl from Butcher Holler hasn’t lost one ounce of twang. It was to die for. I’m going to start saying aint and dadgum more often. She just makes it sound so dern good.

She finished with her signature song Coal Miner’s Daughter and that’s when I started to cry. I was completely overcome. I just couldn’t believe she was right there in front of me. Right there singing all these songs I’ve been listening to my whole life.

I am so grateful to the Professor for making this happen. I also want to extend a huge Thank You to all the Professor’s friends & family in Mobile who had to listen to me talk about the Loretta concert ad nauseum all weekend.

What can I say? I was in a Purple Haze. I felt like I could take the stage at the Opry, tour the honkytonks with Patsy, knock out some duets with Conway, win a country-girl catfight, bake a cherry pie with Crisco, and rock that lavender sequin gown. Scuse me while I kiss the sky!

I’ll have a fishing report for you tomorrow. But in the meantime, I pulled together a little taste of the songs she played last Friday. Take it away boys…

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18 Responses to “Purple Haze”
  1. Murdock says:

    Great post. I once met the guy who says “that’s sure enuff good fried chicken Loretta.” in the crisco commercials. He was a tour guide / guitar picker in Nashville. Not really the same as meeting Loretta..

  2. Launcher says:

    Very nice Chikadee.
    I’ve got some work to do in my office. I’ll listen while I work.


  3. Launcher says:

    “The Pill”?!!

    I might have to listen later.

    I can’t concentrate.

  4. Crunchy says:

    Thanks for the great music. Almost like being there.

    Loretta is good background for tying flies.

    Thanks again.


  5. trout boy says:

    should we start referring to you a Loretta Jr? How about some of Joe Ely’s song “Cool Rockin’ Loretta”?

    trout boy

  6. Don Hinton says:

    Can I get you to share the tying recipe for the purple haze? I googled it and found the name, but nothing that looks like the picture you showed. I’d like to try it out!! Thank you.

  7. Labrat says:

    Hard and tired? Coal Miner’s Daughter, of course!

  8. Don Hinton:

    Can I get you to share the tying recipe for the purple haze? I googled it and found the name, but nothing that looks like the picture you showed. I’d like to try it out!! Thank you.

    Well Don, I don’t have the full recipe with instructions. It’s basically a Parachute Adams with a purple body. Here’s a link with a partial recipe that includes materials….

    Anyone else have more detailed intrsuctions on the tying recipe for this fly? several people have emailed me asking about it, so share away if you can. Of course it’s also available commercially, listed as Carlson’s Purple Haze Chute


    Hard and tired? Coal Miner’s Daughter, of course!

    DING! DING! DING! nice work Labrat!!

    “The work we done was hard,
    At night we’d sleep, cause we were tired…”

  9. Don Hinton says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I think I can wing it from here!! If I see on the river I’ll drop off a handfull!

  10. Joe Mathis says:

    Hey FFC!

    Wonder if you could do me a BIG favor? Could you change the link to the purple haze from “beta” to “www”?

    I am ever appreciative of having a link on you site and I am getting hammered at that link (and more) ’cause so many folks love you. But, I just so happen to have launched version 2 of FlyRecipes.com today at about 4:30am and i am going to be turning off the beta site to public access and keep it for development.

    I love your stuff and I am grateful for the link (FFC is in my links too btw). Thanks for understanding. See ya around.

    - Joe (up the street in Georgetown)

  11. Hey Joe!

    (well now THAT makes me giggle given we are talking about Purple Haze, hee hee)

    no problem. check my work. edited the link above and will paste it here as well. For those interested in seeing the recipe for the Carlson’s Purple Haze pattern:


  12. Steve Nix says:

    The Purple Haze mimics the (Family: Ephemerellidae, Genus: Timpanoga, Species: Hecuba mayfly. Often refered to as Hecuba Hecuba. Aka: The Great Red Quill or Large Dark Hendrickson. A very uncommon mayfly, hatching sporadically during late summer.


    Mr, trout could look at the Purple Haze as: That looks like the SOB Barney the dinosaur. I hate that prick; I am going to eat him.

  13. uh….yeah. what he said.

    Thanks Steve! if yall are interested in more detail on the purple haze pattern Steve Nix is THE MAN. this is great detail!!

    I wouldn’t worry about Barney. I think he was arrested awhile back for being a dirty dinosaur or drinking on the set or something like that. he’s out of commission

  14. Because I’m feeling overworked and spiteful, I’d like to mention that I actually met and spoke to Loretta Lynn while backstage at the Opry.

    Nice, nice nice.

    And the Purple Haze is a good pattern to fish right before it gets too dark to see, regardless of what’s coming off. Something about visibility to the fish. I dunno, but it does indeed work.

  15. I’m sorta speechless. Only sorta because, well, it’s me here. But really. WHOA! Did she call you “honey”?

    Hang in there friend. I’ve been following your plight, sounds like you are buried with work!! hope you come up for air soon and get on the water! In the meantime, I totally agree with the Purple Haze. seems to trump the actual hatch. and I think the visibility thing works both ways. I know my mom and I both like it b/c we can SEE it in weird low light

  16. Good Morning Kid,
    Hey can you give me the pattern for the purple haze fly?

  17. susan says:

    Hendrix and fishing quotes. life is sweet!
    Purple haze, Tell me, baby, tell me
    I can’t go on like this
    Purple haze
    You’re makin’ me blow my mind…mama
    Purple haze, n-no, nooo
    Purple haze, no, its painful, baby

  18. Glad you’re having fun! I bet you’ve missed all your family so much! One of my favorite activities in the summer will be exercise outside and consume ice cream! I love to keep a balance. Colene Norrix

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