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).