I originally placed the announcement of this post on October 23rd. Since that date I have taken more photos of this set, including some macros of the head and shoulders of the flies, and I also wanted to announce in response to a few questions on these sets, that I have just recently sent all the necessary photos and information for these sets to Sharon Butterfield at MyFlies.com, and we are pleased to announce that this first Collector’s Set of Carrie Stevens Streamer Patterns is up and running for purchase on my merchandise page at MyFlies.com. The link is: http://www.myflies.com/Carrie-Stevens-Streamer-Fly-Selection-Set-1-P658.aspx
This first set in my series will be called the Carrie Stevens Streamer Set No. 1. Each set within each series will be consecutively numbered.
This boxed set of Carrie Stevens Streamer patterns is the fruition of an idea developed earlier this summer. The mounting cards used have my old phone number on them but nevertheless the idea is to present these historic patterns in a set for interested collectors. The patterns selected for this first set are the Gray Ghost, Colonel Bates, Pink Lady, and Blue Devil. These boxed sets are planned as an expanding series that will eventually feature 10 or more additional Carrie Stevens streamer patterns, themed on various topics; to be announced as they are presented. In fact I already know what the next set will be, because the customer who bought this first “Gray Ghost Set,” when I mentioned the pattern themes in one of my planned sets, he said, “I’ll take it.”
The patterns chosen for this first set in my Carrie Stevens Streamer Fly series were selected for the following reasons:
The Gray Ghost– how could I not include the Gray Ghost? It is literally the most famous and ever-popular traditional streamer pattern in history, perhaps with Herbie Welch’s Black Ghost running a close second.
The Colonel Bates – named for Joseph D. Bates Jr., author of several books, including Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing, 1950, which until the release of Graydon and Leslie Hilyard’s book, Carrie Stevens – Maker of Rangeley Favorite Trout and Salmon Flies in 2000, had actually contained what was thought to be most of Carrie’s patterns within in its pages, with the Colonel Bates photographed among 13 of Carrie Stevens’ patterns of Bates’ book on Plate IV.
The Pink Lady – A lesser known Stevens pattern, but selected for inclusion in this set because of the historical fact that this pattern was the very last fly tied by Mrs. Stevens on the day in 1953, symbolically dressed as her final pattern before she sold her business and materials to H. Wendell Folkins of Tamworth, New Hampshire.
The Blue Devil – another pattern from Plate IV of Joseph Bates’ book.
Each of these patterns is dressed on English hand-made Gaelic Supreme Mike Martinek / Carrie Stevens Rangeley Style Streamer Hooks, size #1 – 8x long.
The display case is a white enamel gift box with a customized, raised interior panel. Each fly is mounted on the cards with fine copper wire similar to the method used by Carrie Stevens. This is much more presentable, and better looking, as compared to the method used by some of the other now famous New England streamer tiers; I’ve seen some of these old flies, still carded and packaged in cellophane, still valuable to collectors, but stapled right through the packaging sleeve around the bend of the hook. Despite this easy method of ‘red-neck packaging,’ their flies are nevertheless still valued by collectors. From an old invoice, the 1932 the selling price of Carrie Stevens’ streamers was $.60 cents for number 8 hook, $.75 cents for 6’s and 4’s, and $1.00 for number 2’s. By 1949 the retail cost of her number four streamers was $2.00.
The patterns in these sets are named and sized in #2 pencil, and the custom signature set card is signed and numbered. Each set of flies is consecutively numbered; this is Number #1 (which has been sold) of the Carrie Stevens Collector’s Set No. 1. The exterior of the carton is also labeled with the signature card. A signed letter of provenance on fine granite 24 pound, 25% cotton paper also accompanies each set. The price of this first series of Carrie Stevens Streamers – Collectors Edition Sets is $80, including shipping. MyFlies.com accepts Paypal and credit cards. Special requests on custom orders can also be sent to me through MyFlies.com.