Ray Bergman Collection

Hatches Magazine has recently as of this edit, today March 7th, 2012, added more wet flies to this project, bringing the number thus far to over 170. Plate Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are complete. To see all the flies simply cliock this link to the Ray Bergman Collection: http://hatchesmagazine.com/blogs/Hatches/category/ray-bergman-collection/

Neverwas Wet Fly and Mackinaw Trout

Neverwas Wet Fly and Mackinaw Trout

This is is a photo sent to me by my niece, Emily Bastian, of New Gloucester, Maine. She just returned after spending over three months out West, where she did LOTS of fishing. This is just one photo, a rather unusual image of a Lake Trout, or Mackinaw as they are called out West, with a Neverwas wet fly in its jaw. She caught some of them in the channel that flows between Lewis and Shoshone Lakes. I posted Emily’s writing below about this particular fish.

“Believe it or not, that fish that ate the Neverwas in the photo on your website is actually a lake trout (or “mackinaw” as they call them out west – we call them togue up here in Maine).  I caught it at the head of the Lewis Channel in Yellowstone.  There are both big lakers and brown trout in Lewis and Shoshone Lakes, and they can be caught on a fly rod in the shallows at the mouth, at the head, and throughout the channel connecting the two lakes.  The browns move into the channel to spawn in the fall, and the lake trout will follow, presumably to eat eggs.  Of course lake trout don’t fight like a brown, but it was fun to catch a different species of trout out there, and on a wet fly to boot!”


Hook: Standard 0x long wet fly hook, sizes #4 to #12

Thread: Black Danville Flymaster 6/0

Tag: None

Tail: Peacock sword fibers

Hackle: Green tied palmer

Ribbing: None

Body: Peacock herl

Wing: Orange duck or goose wing quill

Head: Black

Neverwas Wet Fly. In Ray Bergman's book Just Fishing there is a footnote on the page under the painting of the Neverwas, stating: "Not commercially available." Interesting...

Colonel Fuller Flower

These photos are an artistic effort, something I was inspired to do with a half-dozen Colonel Fuller wet flies. They’re tied on #6 Mustad 3399 sproat bend wet fly hooks.

Colonel Fuller Flower

Colonel Fuller Flower

Colonel Fuller Flower

Canada Wet Fly

Canada Wet Fly – macro in middle of 1/2 dozen size #6


Tip: None

Tail: Scarlet wool as a short tag

Ribbing: Gold tinsel

Body: Red floss

Hackle: Red

Wing: Mottled gray turkey

The written recipe for the Canada in Bergman’s book Trout lists a tip of ‘scarlet tag’ but it is more accurately a short tail made from wool. By standard definition this fly has no ‘tip.’

Canada Wet Fly 1/2 Dozen

Beamis Stream

Beamis Stream Wet Fly #6

Beamis Stream

Tip: Gold tinsel

Tail: Gray mallard and brown quill sections

Hackle: Brown tied palmer

Ribbing: Gold tinsel

Body: Dark claret dubbing

Wing: Brown

The Beamis Stream is a darker pattern, not a fancy fly. It is nevertheless an attractive wet fly pattern.


Beatrice Wet Fly #6


Tail: Scarlet quill sections

Tip: Green floss tied as a butt *

Hackle: Yellow and crimson tied palmer **

Ribbing: None

Body: Yellow floss

Wing: Barred Mandarin ***

* The tip listing of green floss is shown as a butt on Dr. Burke’s Color Plate No. 1 painting from Ray Bergman’s book Trout. The green floss could be tied as either a tip or butt.

** Notably, the Beatrice is the first of only a few wet flies calling for two colors of palmered hackle. It took me a long time to figure out that the best results for double palmer hackles are obtained by stripping one side (always the leading edge) and winding both stems simultaneously, by hand (no hackle pliers). This may also be done with folded hackles, but even then, both feathers need to be wound at the same time. (see my versions, Beatrice: Variations I, II, & III in Complete Sportsman’s 2000 Book Forgotten Flies. Click the link to the Forgotten Flies Wet Fly Gallery on the right to view these three variations. The first edition printings of Trout also listed a hackle of scarlet or gray in addition to the mixed scarlet and yellow.

Since tying those flies in 1997-1999 my preference has changed; I now believe a folded double-hackle palmer overdresses the fly.

*** Nowadays the barred Mandarin in the wing of the Beatrice and many other flies is usually replaced with barred wood duck – see the historical information regarding wood ducks at Hatches Online in my introductory article to The Ray Bergman Collection.



Tip: Gold tinsel

Tail: Scarlet, yellow, insect green, barred Mandarin – married *

Hackle: Yellow tied palmer

Ribbing: Gold tinsel

Body: Scarlet floss

Wing: Scarlet, yellow, insect green, barred Mandarin – married **

* The Trout recipe for the tail of the Cassard as assembled here is as originally written, but examination of Dr. Burke’s Color Plate No. 3 painting shows the tail in this order: scarlet, barred Mandarin, yellow, insect green.

** The dressing for the Cassard wing is correct as written and illustrated. Also, whole feather tips of wood duck could be used for the main wing on larger hook sizes with the married color sections along the sides.