Cassard Bass Fly

Cassard, more formally know as the "W. J. Cassard" - Bass Fly

This is / these are the Cassard Bass Fly from Mary Orvis Marbury’s 1892 book, Favorite Flies and Their Histories. I tied both of these last night; one is part of a project I’m working on (not my book).

Leigh Shuman, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, long-time friend and fellow fly tier, is one of my contributing fly tyers and has been assigned to tie the Cassard for my upcoming book on the Marbury / Orvis flies. I have only ever tied the Cassard from the recipe in Ray Bergman’s 1938 book, Trout, and since I had to tie this pattern for another project, I gave in to impulse (something I do on occasion) and decided to replicate the antique blind-eye version as illustrated on the Plate E – Lake Flies – in Marbury’s book. In the 1893 Orvis Display in the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont, the Cassard is labeled in Mary’s handwriting as a bass fly. It served (and still could) doubly-duty as a Lake Fly for trout and land-locked salmon as well.

Since I had tied one, going one step further, with all the materials out and at-hand, I decided to tie an  extra; the benefit of this is it gives me one for “speculation.”

The hooks are Partridge Bartleet 3/0, CS10/1, blind-eye, that I obtained in 1995 during a visit to England and tour of the now-closed Partridge Factory in Redditch. Perhaps not a “bass” hook per se, but Marbury’s book is full of personal hook style preferences listed by the various contributors.

Hope you like them, now I have to go change the oil in my car…(between you and me I’d rather tie more flies).

A pair of 3/0 Cassards, dressed by Don Bastian

Regal Vise Company / Pro Staff

Regal Engineering has recently updated their website. Their Pro Staff listing includes some of my friends, and also a few people who are contributing fly tiers for my current book project. Here is the link to the Regal Vise Pro Staff page:

I have been tying on a Regal Vise for 21 years, and I have no interest in looking for or trying something else. Other vises on the market may have bells, whistles, lights, and built-in CD players, or at least considering the cost of some other fly tying vises on the market, one could buy a Regal Vise and still have enough money left over to buy bells, whistles, lights, and a CD player. My feeling on this is part of my character; even if I were a millionaire, I would still not be buying an $80,000 car.

That’s just how it is. I love my Regal. The hook-holding capability of the Regal Vise, the no-adjustments for any hook size, and its ease of operation have made the Regal my favorite fly tying vise. I tie on a Medallion Series C-Clamp with the stainless steel jaws. Its non-true rotary feature may not be what the epoxy tiers desire, but on the other hand, this aspect and design provides specific advantages when tying certain types of flies. I have discovered these quirks through time at the vise, some even by accident, and I am pleased to say I have been able to exploit these particular features to my tying advantage. Some of these techniques not only afford for faster and improved tying, but also have the real added benefit of reducing some of the awkward body and arm postures that can occur when tying certain types of flies. If you tie flies for long stretches at a time as I often do, these simple tricks make for less fatigue and increase tying efficiency. Like parachutes for instance…it’s a longer explanation, which I choose not to write about here, but I certainly will be happy to demonstrate these techniques at any show, class, or venue where I am appearing.

Another nice feature of the present model of the stainless steel jaws is that they are more acutely tapered and have finer tips than the traditional and original Regal Midge Head. Last night I tied several old bass flies on blind-eye hooks, up to 3/0 and I did not place these hooks in the hook-holding groove cut into the jaws, but inside the tip of the jaws a little. The hooks were held securely in place throughout the tying procedure. And if I would have wanted to, I could have inserted a size #22 dry fly hook and tied a Griffith’s Gnat with no adjustments. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

I have added a link to the Regal Vise Company on my links categories.