The Gray Ghost…

Gray Ghost streamer dressed by Don Bastian, and assembled wings for 1/2 dozen more. The hook is a Gaelic Supreme.....Rangeley Style streamer, size #1 - 8x long.

The Gray Ghost – unquestionably the most popular streamer pattern ever created. It has deservedly been tied and photographed to death, well no it hasn’t, in my humble opinion. People still love the Gray Ghost!
The Gray Ghost lives on! Here’s a little something I did to create a different photo image —
The 12 assembled wings surrounding the Gray Ghost streamer in the center are for a customer order of 1/2 dozen Gray Ghosts – (remember that fellow whose wife fished the collectible $15 Gray Ghost tied on the antique Edgar Sealey streamer hook…in the Adirondacks?). It’s in one of the other topics here on my blog along with photos of the nice trout she caught on it.

These assembled Gray Ghost wings are for his flies, they are made for #4 and #6 Mustad 3665A 6x long hooks (which was the old designation before the “S” series modified and changed the 3665A to a 7x specification.

Gray Ghost streamer and assembled Gray Ghost wings.

Gray Ghost tied by Don Bastian on size #1 - 8x long Gaelic Supreme Mike Martinek Carrie Stevens Rangeley Style streamer hook.

Here is the original Stevens pattern recipe for the Gray Ghost:

Thread: White Danville 6/0 Flymaster. Carrie used white thread underneath her light-colored floss bodies; this prevented darkening when wet from wrapping floss bodies over the black working thread generally in use at the time.

Hook: Gaelic Supreme Mike Martinek / Carrie Stevens Rangeley Style Size #1 to #8.

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Body: Dressed thin with orange silk floss (or rayon floss).

Ribbing: Flat silver tinsel.

Belly: 5 – 6 strands peacock under which is a small bunch of white bucktail; both peacock and bucktail should be as long as or nearly as long as the wing.

Throat: A golden pheasant crest feather as long as the shoulder and curving upward.

Wing: A long golden pheasant crest feather as long as the wing, and curving downward, followed by four gray hackle feathers.

Shoulder: A Silver Pheasant body feather on each side.

Cheek: Jungle cock.

Head: Black with red band. The band on this fly has been painted on with red lacquer. Please see my older topic discussing Carrie Stevens’ head banding technique and my views on its use. I believe to keep the Carrie Stevens patterns fully accurate to the last detail of their original designs that the various colors of bands should be used. The topic I wrote on that presents I believe, credible evidence to support my view.

Since this fly photo was taken I have changed all Stevens head bands entirely to the use of thread and some proprietary techniques to achieve the best results. A few of the older Stevens patterns I posted here and elsewhere on the internet have no banded heads on them.

6 comments on “The Gray Ghost…

  1. jack tokach says:

    Don, you have one dozen wings prepared not 1/2 dozen as stated in your blog. I have to find something wrong with your stuff once in a while. Your friend Jackfish.

  2. You stinker Jack! Thought you had me, but when I looked, it actually is worded correctly. “Gray Ghost Streamer….and wings for 1/2 dozen more.”
    One dozen wings, yes, you are correct, for 1/2 dozen Gray Ghosts, yes, I am correct. So we are both right, “So what I said is true, from a certain point of view.”
    The quoted words are a line spoken by Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi, from the movie Star Wars.
    Thanks for your due diligence!

  3. Don, where is the post you wrote about the banded head? I would like to read your opinions on that.

  4. Bill Izzard says:

    Hey Don, I believe that you made some flies a while back for my brother in law, Chuck Tucker, Washington, Maine. It was a set of 3 named for each of his sons, Jesse, Nick and Noah. He lost 2 of his boys in a 3 year period. I am interested in getting a set for my son in law, who has become an avid fly fisherman. Do you have any or know where I might find them? I’m guessing they are non existent, but thought it worth a try. Thanks

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Bill;

      This story sounds really interesting and touching, but as far as my memory goes, I did not make those flies named for someone’s sons. Were they streamers or wet flies? Anything I would have made would have my name/signature with them.

      I could fill your interest, depending on what you would like. Thankyou for your comment!


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