Delaware Adams

The Delaware Adams is a popular Catskill area attractor dry fly pattern created by legendary Catskill fly tier, Walt Dette, of Roscoe, New York. According to Eric Leiser’s book, The Dette’s, Walt created the Delaware Adams as a cross between two famous classic dry flies; the Adams and the Henryville Special.

I recently received a custom order for some attractor drys, and included in that order, a dozen of my original creation, a variation of the Delaware Adams, a fly I named the Delaware Adams Wulff. Along with tying and photographing the Delaware Adams Wulff, I thought I would also include the Delaware Adams.

Here is the Delaware Adams:

Delaware Adams, originated by Walt Dette, tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Delaware Adams, frontal view from hook eye.

Here is the pattern recipe:

Delaware Adams

Listed in order in which I tie them in:

Hook: Standard dry fly

Thread: Danville Flymaster 6/0 – #60 Olive, #47 Tobacco Brown, or #31 Gray

Wings: Grizzly hen hackle tips, tied spent, Adams-style

Tail: Grizzly hackle barbs

Palmered body hackle: Grizzly, half-size of standard for normal hook size; equal to hook gape is a good built-in visual unit of measure

Body: Olive rabbit dubbing. I also apply dubbing – very sparingly- through the thorax under the hackle. This provides a soft base and prevent any hackle twisting; a George Harvey fly tying idea.

Hackle: Brown and grizzly mixed

The Delaware Adams is a good searching and attractor dry pattern. My original variation – the Delaware Adams Wulff, is (will be) posted in a separate topic. Use the search tab to locate any fly or topic of your interest here on my blog.

6 comments on “Delaware Adams

  1. Kelly L says:

    That is a great looking pattern. I’ve never seen it before. Love it. I am a huge grizzly fan by the way. Can’t go wrong with grizzly in my book!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Ha, ha, ha!
      Your reply made me laugh!
      Hi Kelly!
      You were like a fly on you-know-what, so fast with your comment to this post! I just posted it minutes ago. That’s funny!
      All kidding aside, I first tied this pattern 10 – 12 years ago for custom orders. It’s in the book, The Dette’s, that Eric Leiser wrote in the early 1990’s. At the time I was working for Cathy and Barry Beck when they owned a shop. They had signed copies available. I even got a discount. :mrgreen: I guess I’ll have to photograph the book and signature page and include that along with the fly. It’s signed by the author, Eric Leiser, and also Winnie, Walt, and Mary Dette. Only Mary is still living, at 81 years of age. Thanks for your support and comment!

  2. Eunan says:

    My next project??? I never cared much for tying dry flies, was never any good at it. Might have to give these (Adams and Wulff) a go to see how I fair….
    Thanks for posting the patterns too, Don.


    • Don Bastian says:

      Hey Eunan, thanks for your comment!
      I like tying everything. 🙂 It’s all fun, and I enjoy the different techniques, methods and materials that present inherent variety in their application. But, traditional wets, streamers, bucktails, and drys that honor the heritage of fly tying and fishing are it for me. Thanks for your interest and your own continued good tying efforts!

  3. Steve Nack says:

    We tied this fly in the Main Line Fly Tyers advanced class this year. Really nice fly and very effective.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Steve;
      Thanks for sharing the info about Main Line Fly Tyers tying this pattern. I honestly haven’t had one on my leader for about five years, but I’m going to revive the Delaware Adams fly in my fly box. I already tied up a few extras while I was working on the order. Thanks again for your comment!

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