I just received my invitation to participate in the 22nd Annual International Fly Tying Symposium the other day. The dates are November 17 and 18, 2012. In the package there was also the usual fly donation request for the beautiful frame that Ted Patlen, fly tier and fly framer extraordinaire of Lodi, New Jersey, puts together each year as a raffle item to raise funds for kids fly tying programs. The deadline for fly submissions is September 10th.
Rather than procrastinate as I occasionally do, I pondered, “What to tie and send to Ted?” Not too long though actually. Initially I thought about sending Ted an already tied Parmacheene Belle, the Henry Wells version, a la 19th Century original recipe, of which I have eight or ten in sizes #2, #4, and #6 lying around. But within minutes my thoughts turned to Carrie Stevens and one of her beautiful patterns. Besides, I did announce here some time ago that I would be eventually starting a Carrie Stevens Pattern Dictionary anyway. So why not start now? To begin with I created a new blog Category – Carrie Stevens Pattern Dictionary. For the first fly I chose a pattern that I had not previously tied, wanting to add to my portfolio of experience tying her patterns. Hence the Lady Killer:
Tag: Flat silver tinsel
Tail: Red hackle fibers
Ribbing: Flat silver tinsel
Body: Red floss
Throat: White hackle fibers
Wing: Two yellow hackles flanked on each side by one white hackle
Shoulder: A chicken breast feather dyed red
Cheeks: Jungle cock
Head: Four equal bands in sequence – black, red, black, red.
Note: as per a photo of a Carrie Stevens original Lady Killer in the Hilyard Carrie Stevens book, 2000, the band sections are listed from the rear of the head forward to the eye.
You’ll note that I also used narrow tinsel for the tag and wider for the ribbing. If a pattern lacks a tail, then I use the same section of tinsel for both tag and ribbing, winding both at once after the body is completed. While I was at it I tied two, one for Ted and one for me.
I took a macro of the rear end of the body:
Wing cement used is Elmer’s Rubber Cement. No bleeding. Instant bonding. Durable. Holds when soaked in water and shaken, hard – not stirred. See: https://donbastianwetflies.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/carrie-stevens-streamers-cementing-wings/
I have already explained in my other blog posts why I am replicating Carrie’s banded heads. I did it for a little while in the mid-1980’s and then stopped and did not do it for over 20 years. I started doing it on a few Gray Ghosts that I tied up for collector’s packages. Then in a conversation with another tier last summer we discussed this and at that time I decided I would once again begin using Carrie Steven’s banding method to finish her patterns that I tie. Initially I was using colored cements and nail polish. Then I developed my own method of using only the tying thread to accomplish the bands. Fly tiers do not normally make substitutions on other pattern ingredients and still consider the dressing complete to the original specifications. I believe her head bands are part of her specific pattern recipe. And as detail-oriented as we tiers often are, I do not believe this infringes on her signature. Carrie’s sister, Elizabeth Duley, duplicated the banding when tying her sister’s patterns. Wendell Folkins of Tamworth, New Hampshire, who bought Carrie’s business in December 1953, was expected by Carrie to continue using her banding method, which he did. This is something that Carrie specifically, not randomly, integrated into her patterns.
I will be developing and expanding my Carrie Stevens Pattern Dictionary as time passes. I will integrate existing Carrie Stevens streamer patterns on my blog into this Category. This will take some time, so please bear with me. For now, this is the first entry and eventually, if you use the search tab, you’ll be able to locate any post in the Category. I want to try and keep the Carrie Stevens Streamer Pattern Dictionary limited to photos of flies, recipes, fishing experiences, and tutorials. Thanks for your support everyone!