Of course, we’re in the latest issue of The Drake magazine (Summer 2011 Vol 13, Issue 2). Here’s why…
As many of you know after a day of fly fishing one of the best ways to celebrate the day is having your favorite beverage at the Murray Bar in downtown Livingston. The bar has been slinging drinks for over 100 years and is well known to locals as the ‘fish pimps’ watering hole. On any given day in the summer, you’ll be sitting next to several guides, outfitters and hardcore anglers recounting the day’s events. Besides overhearing the local fishing secrets the bar has great music, food and western atmosphere. Out-of-towners are often seen perusing the infamous “Murray Bar Flies“. These framed shadow boxes line the walls of the Murray and include a photo, signature and the anglers favorite fly. They are the creation of a long time, local artist Michael Simon as a way to pay off his bar tab many years ago. Those immortalized are well-known patrons of the establishment, local guides, outfitters, famous anglers, artists and actors
many are just plain good drinkers. It’s a well-written article written by Stephen Camelio in the latest issue so go pick it up and read it for yourself.
So what does this have to do with us? Owner Brian Menges and bar manager Cole Murphy in the course of renovations found many of the Bar Flies in storage. They turned to local outfitters and patrons Eric Adams of Montana Fly Fishing Guides and Tony Valeriano of Western Drifters for guidance. Eric and Tony sorted through more than 100 Bar Flies and identified those worthy of reinstatement on the hallowed walls. Many of those restored are well known within the fishing world such as Lefty Kreh, Joan Wulff, Don Williams, George Anderson, John Bailey and many more. The foresight of Brian and Cole along with the help of Tony and Eric, who’s knowledge and respect of fly fishing history, saved many of these locally historic treasures.
The Bar Flies have been on hiatus over the past several years with changes in owners and Michael Simons relocation to Virginia. However, with the appreciation of our local angling history, the Murray is on track to reviving the Bar Flies and even adding those who’ve risen to Bar Fly status during its dormancy. So next time you’re in Livingston make sure to hit the Murray for a couple of cold ones and take in a little bit of fly fishing history. Besides aren’t you dying to find out what some of those famous anglers flies are?
We’ll save a bar stool for you. Just make sure you buy us a beer.
PS – Our hats off to the entire Murray staff for saving the Bar Flies and continuing the legacy.
PSS – Don’t get The Drake – why not? It’s the best fly fishing mag out there. Check out their website and subscribe or pick it up in your local fly shop.