For your enjoyment, and perhaps enlightenment; I wrote this introduction which is followed by a wet fly fishing testimonial from one of my customers. I trust you will find this report intriguing and interesting…
While I was displaying my wet fly frame collection at the Valley Forge Fly Fishing Show this past March, a fellow stopped by my table to admire the display of framed flies. He informed me that he stays in the Adirondacks every year, several times, and fishes for brook trout. He expressed interest in ordering some wet flies from me, and he did not want the usual Royal Coachman, Brown Hackle, Professor, and Gold-ribbed Hare’s Ear. He was interested in fishing with and wanted to try some “fancy” historic wet flies on the trout up there. So we agreed on an order of four dozen, size #8, and the patterns I tied were assorted, four of this, two of that, three of those; some I pulled from my stock, and the rest I tied specifically for his order.
I don’t have a written list of the flies I sent him, but I recall some of the patterns were the Babcock, Hopatcong, Ferguson, Colonel Fuller, Ibis and White, Brook Fin, and Undertaker.
I was hopeful and anxious to hear a report from this customer, and the results were, I can only say, delightful. Here is his written fishing report to me regarding his trip in May. (Note his mention of the weather, most folks will recall how much it rained, and rained, and rained in May). By the way, the name of the pond is unnamed for the sake of, well, you know, the consideration of not divulging a ‘secret’ fishing spot.
“Hi Don, I just got home to Jersey yesterday after what had to be the most dismal weather I’ve ever experienced up in the Adirondacks, I arrived on the 11th and it rained every day, oh well? Having said that, I got the flies and quickly put them to work, the results of which I believe will be very pleasing to you; I caught fish on every one I tried, “Brook Fin,” “Neverwas,” “Undertaker;” I can’t remember the name of the red feathered one with the silver body, but I think it was the Jane something? (Note from me: it was actually the James, a pattern very similar to the Silver Montreal and Quack Doctor), and that worked too.”
“Just for kicks I tied on Wooly Buggers and Gray Ghosts behind yours and the Brookies chose yours over them! All the trout I caught were native “?????? Pond” Brook trout, ranging in size from 12-18,” although I did lose a very large brown next to the boat on a Brook Fin. I can’t thank you enough for getting them out to me, and can’t wait to get back up there and try some others!”
“It really was a hoot experimenting with them, especially given the results. Needless to say a friend I fished with up there has contracted a rather bad case of fly envy and I suspect will be reaching out to you…”
Thanks again! — Rich
“These flies are more than just beautiful, they still catch trout!” — Don
Gray Ghost Streamer Testimonial
This additional account was added today after I received yet another report from the same customer. The Gray Ghost photo is the exact fly this man bought from me at the Valley Forge show. $15.00 for a Gray Ghost, it was supposed to be a ‘collectible” tied on an Edgar Sealey hook, but he, or rather, his wife, fished with it. And read what he said about the fly and her fishing. And the pictures are proof. That’s funny, but also I think pretty darn cool.
And there’s not a single thing wrong with that…
Note the info on the packing card (disregard my phone number, it’s different now); he mentions his recollection of it being an antique hook. Anything in parenthesis is my comments…Peter’s additional report and photos:
I don’t mind at all (if you post this online), its great stuff, and the truth is that the flies work, and they work well, just because time seems to have forgotten them doesn’t mean they still won’t catch fish.”
“I just got back from another week up in the Adirondacks, and thankfully the weather was finally clear and sunny, although still very few hatches to be seen. My wife it seems, has always had incredible luck when it comes to fishing, which is partly why I married her, and let me tell you she put the Gray Ghost I bought from you at the show to task this trip. The fly I believe was tied with an antique English hook? (Yes it was, an Edgar Sealey hook – Don). In any event she killed ‘em with it, and the poor fly at this point is in tatters, so I’ll have to order more…check out these photo’s of the ridiculous Rainbow and the massive 21″ 4 – 5 pound Brook Trout she boated with your Gray Ghost.”
“I also caught a nice 17″ native brookie on one of your other fly’s and I apologize for not remembering the name, but it was Black with a silver body and orange tail?” (that would be the “Black and Silver” in Shaw’s Book, or the “Silver and Black” in E. C. Gregg’s book; same fly -Don).
“All in all I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful flies, and look forward to trying the Adirondack patterns, so let me know when you have a bunch ready and I’ll put them to the test…All the best!”