This Bee, a reproduction of a 19th century Orvis Lake Fly, was tied by and the photo was taken by one of my friends from Maine, Dave Lomasney. Dave lives in York, and is a member of classicflytying.com. I met him last year when I was presenting at the Annual L. L. Bean Spring Fishing Expo in Freeport, Maine. On that note, I have been invited to return to Bean’s in Freeport, Maine, again this March; it will be a special event because this is the 100th Anniversary Year of L. L. Bean. Dave recently posted this pattern on classicflytying, and since Dave did such a nice job on the Bee I thought I would post it here as well.
Below are Dave’s posted comments on the Bee:
“Happy New Year friends!!!! This is my last fly for 2011…a BEE in the MOM (Mary Orvis Marbury) style. After seeing it in Don Bastian photos from the Orvis Museum in Vermont, and I noticed the wing feather of the Bee fly had an iridescent sheen to it. Well it just so happens I was given a complete turkey fan last week from a friend that killed a wild turkey this past spring while hunting. When I saw the fan I noticed it had some of those shiny little feathers at the base of the tail…The wing on my BEE is cut from slips of the feather, a left and right, and then doubled (I gave Dave that suggestion because the barbs are a little sparse on these feathers, and I’ve done that with other feathers with good results). The hook is a Mustad sproat bend 3371 bronze, marked #2.”
Here is the text about the Bee from Favorite Flies and Their Histories, 1892, p. 223, where the Bee appeared as a trout fly:
No. 98. Imitations of bees have been made since early times with no special restrictions as to material, so each maker has chosen his own. The one illustrated in the plate of trout flies, also in the plate of lake flies in Fishing With the Fly, was first made by C. F. Orvis in 1878, for use in the streams west of the Mississippi River. The peculiar burnished effect of the upper body feather of the wild turkey used for the wings, and the alternate rings of chenille which permitted a bulky bee-like body without too much weight, has been so satisfactory that it now seems to be the generally accepted method.”
Below is posted the actual Bee from the Lake Fly Plates from which the artist painting for the chromolithograph plates were made for the 1883 Orvis book. I took this photo of the actual mounted set of six Lake Flies through display glass at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont, this past October.
Below is posted my photo of the color plate Bee from the source I am very lucky to possess, a first-edition copy of the 1883 Orvis book.
I wanted to make this post with Dave’s Bee in combination with a feature using the other photos. Thanks Dave for your contribution, and nice tying! The recipe for the Bee was posted in my older Orvis fly post.