Tribute: Murray “Muz” Wilson

PEOPLE have always told me that they expected something totally different when they first met Muz Wilson – “I thought he was going to be this old worldly looking fella with a pipe and tweed hat, a golden retriever by his side called Rover and a Hugh Hefner style smoking jacket on,” was one response I got!

But not Muz. You were more than likely to see him drag his sorry behind out of bed an hour late to go fishing after you had just walked through a completely open front door of his house, to get him up while he scratched his backside, wandering through the house in his jocks mumbling something about Panadol and “what the hell” were we doing there?!

That was Murray to a tee and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. As flippant as he was about belonging, he was never lost and always lucid with direction when it came to knowing what was going to play out for the day, even before he had put a shirt on and found the Panadol! Fishing was a priority and time was no enemy because of what he knew and where he lived – there’s always something to catch somewhere, he would say.

Muz lived in Camperdown, in south west Victoria, which comes as a surprise to most who didn’t know! How could a world renowned fly tier live out there? To that, Muz would say “why wouldn’t I live here … look at what I’ve got on my doorstep!?” – The Hopkins, Merri, Emu, Bullen Merri, Purrumbete, Elingamite, Bolac – a list of famous trout fisheries as long as your arm and all of them only an hour from Camperdown. So now who’s the silly one?

Murray grew up in this district and knew it like no other. With picture perfect visualisations of exactly where the fish were, down to exactly where best to stand to catch them. He could tell you precisely what to do and how to do it from the car park! This was part of his job as a professional fly tier. To work out everything about the target and then execute the delivery of an offering in a foolproof manner. A fly that was totally irresistible. But not just to these trout – to all trout.

Murray worked long and hard on fly patterns that were not only quick and easy to tie, but were durable. They also had to perform just the right way in all water types and condition. He spent countless hours perfecting everything about the flies he designed and the proof is in the pudding. From the Wee Creek Hopper to the BMS, Muz Wilson Flies are world renowned and known to all because they work.

Murray was a friend to so many people because he was a kind and gentle man. His flies and tying techniques will carry on forever, as will the memories of the days fished together with many people and the lessons learnt along the way.

My friend, in the end time became your enemy and it was running out fast for you. You tried your best as you always did, and we got things done. Things you otherwise would not have completed, and I’m proud of you for pulling it together and pushing through the pain.

You’ll be missed by many and we have benefited so much from your time with us all.

A champion of the vice and fly rod.

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