Delaware Adams Wulff

About ten years ago, I took the Delaware Adams fly, see  originally created by Walt Dette as a cross between the Henryville Special and the Adams, and “Wulff-ized” it.

One of my favorite Wulff patterns, in fact, my favorite attractor / searching dry pattern has been the Ausable Wulff. When I first tied the Delaware Adams a dozen or more years ago for a custom order, I thought at the time that the palmered hackle of the Delaware Adams and the white wings of the Wulff would make a great combination for an attractor pattern, and a more visible and better-floating one at that.

I tied up a dozen back then and fished them with great success, eventually losing or giving them away, and never tied anymore, but I also never publicized the pattern variation until now. A friend recently placed an order for some attractor drys to use on a local wild-trout stream that he fishes. After we conversed via e-mail for a couple days about patterns, in response to his inquiries on original patterns I had created, I suddenly remembered the Delaware Adams Wulff.

Here it is:

Delaware Adams Wulff, originated, tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Here is a front view of the divided wings:

Front view showing divided wings on the Delaware Adams Wulff

About 15 years ago, while tying commercially and for custom orders, I noticed some Royal Wulffs that were tied with red thread. They looked good, but the thread, posted around the base of the wings, made these (ugly, I thought, at the very least unattractive) little red circles, very noticeable, and somewhat distracting when you looked at the fly. Do the trout care? Quoting Jerry Seinfeld, “Not bloody likely!” But I’m particular about my tying and the appearance of my flies, and at that time I decided to start using white thread for all my white calf body and tail hair-wing postings. I also began making them up ahead, half-finished flies, setting the wings on a 1/2 dozen, dozen, or 5 dozen hooks, getting that portion of the procedure finished on a sort of assembly line process. You can see that this also creates a nicely-tapered under body, which is always a good foundation for the rest of the fly. A drop of head cement is applied at the base of the wing wraps.

The white wings above can be used for any Wulff pattern; Royal, White, Gray, Grizzly, Ausable; Charlie Meck’s Patriot, and also the Delaware Adams Wulff.

Delaware Adams Wulff

Hook: Any standard dry fly hook, sizes #8 to #14

Thread: White Danville Flymaster 6/0 #1 White for setting and dividing wings. #60 Olive, #47 Tobacco Brown, or #31 Gray for the body tying

Wings: White calf body hair, stacked, tied in, and divided

Tail: Brown and grizzly hackle barbs mixed

Palmered body hackle: Grizzly, equal to hook gape distance, five equally-spaced wraps on body. Turn number six comes alongside of thorax where hackle will be tied in. Whiting saddle hackles are ideal for this use because of the consistent barb length

Body: Olive rabbit fur

Hackle: Grizzly and brown mixed

Delaware Adams Wulffs, by the dozen. Three each #10, #12, and #14, ready to go out for trout!

I have caught lots of trout on local creeks and streams on the Delaware Adams Wulff, and I also used it with success in Maine on the Roach River for brook trout and landlocked salmon. It’s a good rough-pocket-broken water pattern. Tie ’em and try ’em!


19 comments on “Delaware Adams Wulff

  1. Kelly L says:

    Don, that pattern is unbelievably cool. LOVE IT! I really like the red head, that just makes it stand out. This looks to be another killer pattern to me!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Kelly;
      Thanks again, but FYI – the head just looks red. It’s actually that Danville #47 Tobacco Brown, but gets a rusty look when you cement it. Thanks for your comments!
      PS: You should be here in Pennsylvania today. I was just outside wearing a flannel shirt to take down my laundry. Yup. It’s a tad chilly at 68 degrees and windy. :mrgreen:

  2. Roger Mulrooney says:

    The flies look great Don! Can’t wait to put them to good use on the local wild trout waters, I will let you know how they work.

    Thanks, Roger

    • Don Bastian says:

      Roger that, Roger! :mrgreen: Ha! LOL! Thanks for the order, and for your interest in my flies. It’s good to get back in touch again after so many years…good luck with the “DAW’s” They’re being mailed tomorrow. Maybe a few fly-in-jaw photos will be forthcoming? I promise to keep the “location” secret. 😉 Thanks for your comment!

      • Roger Mulrooney says:

        Hi Don,

        I certainly will. I hope to get out Saturday, if not, definitely Monday or Tuesday. My brother lent me his Go Pro camera so I might have some video to send to you also. Nothing better than live action!
        Yes it’s been great, just wished we lived closer I might even be a half decent fly tier if I spent more time around you! 😉
        Thanks for everything. Roger aka That Roger. 🙂

      • Don Bastian says:

        Hi Roger;
        I mailed your Delaware Adams Wulffs today, along with a half-dozen of another original pattern in size #12. I created this fly several years before the DAW, back about 1995 or ’96. You’ll love that one too…I post that fly here too, maybe tomorrow, so you can see what it is before they arrive. Thanks again! 🙂

      • Roger Mulrooney says:

        Hi Don,

        The flies arrived yesterday and they are perfect the hackled body will float well in the rough pocket water and the white calf’s hair wing makes them easy for me to see. I’ve watched you tie dozens of flies but still marvel at the way your able keep the proportions exactly the same! Thanks again will post some pics as soon as I get out. By the way the bonus flies are really sharp I like the concept will definitely appeal to the Brookies around here. I will call you later.

        Thanks, Roger

      • Don Bastian says:

        Hi Roger;
        I am glad you liked the flies! I would love to get your response on how well they work, maybe a couple photos. I’ll get to posting the other pattern here too, and I appreciate your compliment on my tying. I’ve told many folks that my stint of commercial tying over twenty years ago now, is what gave me the ability to produce “fly clones.” :mrgreen: Good talking to you today! Stay in touch!

  3. Steve Dean says:

    I’m somewhat cautious how much good hackle I use anymore, but what a beautiful excuse to waste some on the fish. Thanks for sharing this one!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Steve;
      Thanks very much for your observation and comment! We certainly don’t want good hackle going to waste, 😉 but I appreciate your assessment that this pattern might be “feather-worthy.” 🙂 If you tie any of these please let me know if you have any success. Thanks again!

  4. Bob Stanton says:

    Hi Don,
    Those calf hair wings are darn near perfect! Do you use a stacker to even the tips? I have some calf hair that is relatively kink-free, but even in a stacker, I have trouble getting the tips aligned. The best results I’ve been able to achieve are by stacking them in hand, pulling out the long tips and laying them even with the rest of the bunch. It works OK, but I can’t help but think there’s a better way.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Bob;

      Thanks for your comment! To answer your question, I do use a stacker. Under the recipe, wings, it says, “white calf body hair, stacked, tied in, divided.” Easy to miss though, unless you’re actually going to tie the fly. 🙂
      I believe it was A.K. Best who said or wrote one time to use calf body hair for Wulffs because you can stack it.
      I have learned to select calf body hair pieces that have long hair for one thing. And straight. I use a Renzetti double-sided stacker when using calf hair; many tiers put too much on. I wrote a post some time ago about the importance of keeping your hair stacker clean. Calf hair has no underfur to clog it up, so if your calf hair is not stacking well, then most likely your stacker needs cleaned.
      I’m using the larger end of the Renzetti; my .30 caliber bore brush with my tying tools, used mainly as a dubbing teaser, serves perfectly as it is designed to clean the brass tube of the stacker. I was still having trouble with it so I used a Q-tip and some metal cleaner to clean the inside of the stacker.
      Static creates problems too. I think I addressed that in the hair stacker post. For instance, plastic combs are bad. Check it out, you should find it easily if you use the search tab. Let me know if you can’t, I’ll see if I can dig it out. Yesterday I made my 200th post here on my blog, so there’s a lot to go through.
      Hope this helps, thanks again for your input! I appreciate your compliment very much!

  5. Bill says:

    I really like this pattern, Donnie, and have a question about the tail: how do you mix the grizzly and brown barbs? Do you use a stacker for this? I’ve tied another pattern (Adams Flymph) that has a similar tail and always struggle with getting the barbs properly mixed/aligned. Is there an easy way to do this?

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Bill; thanks for your comment, as always, I appreciate it. The tail of brown and grizzly hackles barbs is easy, just like on the Adams.
      You take two spade hackles of each color, trim the fluff, and stand the barbs out perpendicular (or relatively so) from the stems. Then separate or “sort” what you need for half a tail of brown and grizzly, standing it out separate from the rest of the barbs. Once this is done, take both feathers, place one on top of the other, forget stem alignment; align the tips of the barbs. Hold the feathers flat, using a pinch of your opposite hand (my left); gather the tips slowly together, closing your fingers as your flesh pads come together. Close your pinch, make it tight, and pull them off, pulling toward the butt end. Properly done, the tips of both colors will be evenly aligned, even if of different lengths, and ready to size and tie in.
      I know a series of photos would be better…that would take time which right now I lack, sorry. Thanks again for your comment!

  6. […] If you’re looking for a fantastic new attractor pattern to add to your arsenal, make sure you check out the recipe and tie up a […]

  7. Neil says:

    These flies work great – the extra, small hackle around the body definitely helps them float better. I live in delaware, so first saw the pattern from “Delaware” in the name, and have been using/tying it ever since. I have made some other patterns(Wulff, March Brown, PMD) with the same idea of hackle on the body – works great for waters that would normally sink them. The thread colors you use look great on the finished flies, thanks for the article.

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