Carrie Stevens Collector’s Edition Set No. 3

The third installment in my Carrie Stevens Collector’s Edition Sets of her streamer patterns just went live for sale this afternoon on This is the “General MacArthur” Set, officially known as Set No. 3.

The America and General MacArthur, two of the four patterns mounted as shown in the Collector’s Edition Display Box.

Casablanca and Victory

To view more photos of the flies, packaging, and for additional information on this set of Carrie Stevens patterns that I am offering for sale, please click here:

Presently, I have several more sets being developed. These sets are composed of Carrie Stevens streamer patterns, tied by me, grouped together in themed, custom Collector’s Edition Boxed Sets. Set No. 4 will feature the patterns Carrie Stevens created for the Rapid River section of the Rangeley Lakes Region: The Lakewood, Rapid River, Larry, and Larry’s Special.

Carrie Stevens created the Lakewood and named it after Lakewood Camps; the Larry and Larry’s Special were named in honor of former Lakewood Camps owner Larry Parsons, who operated the camps from 1942 until 1975. And of course, the Rapid River.

Thank you all for your support of my blog efforts! Happy Fourth of July!

General MacArthur

The General MacArthur streamer, was originated by Carrie G. Stevens of Upper Dam, Maine, during the early 1940’s. The posting of this streamer completes the “Patriotic Quartet” of four streamer patterns that she originated during World War II as her way to help support the war effort. General Douglas MacArthur, for whom this pattern is named, was the highest-ranking army general during World War II.

Carrie Stevens almost without argument can be credited with the distinction of being the first fly tier to create commemorative fly patterns. Even though many fly tiers in history created fly patterns and named them for their fishing friends, Carrie Stevens is almost certainly the first fly tier, the first woman fly tier, to elevate the commemorative streamer fly to the status it has acquired today. By the time she originated the General MacAuthur, she was already well-known in fly tying and fishing circles, thanks to the creation and popularity of her Gray Ghost.

General MacArthur – carded

General MacArthur – carded, a diagonal view. The hook is a size #1 – 8x long, Gaelic Supreme Martinek  Stevens Rangeley Streamer style.

General MacArthur

Hook: Any long shank streamer hook, tier’s discretion

Thread: I use white Danville color #1 – 3/0 monocord for the body work on the larger hook sizes of these streamers. *

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red, white, and blue hackle fibers, tied separately in sequence

Body: Flat silver tinsel

Throat: Red, white, and blue hackle fibers, tied separately in sequence

Wing: Two white hackles flanked on each side by one blue hackle flanked on each side by one natural grizzly hackle

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Red, white, and blue thread, the blue on this example is Danville’s discontinued 3/0 dark blue monocord. **

* Carrie Stevens used white buttonhole thread for her body work, as evidenced in the research of her tying methods by Austin S. Hogan, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was also the first curator of the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont.

** These thread colors are Danville #56 Red, #1 white, and blue, color number unknown. Both Danville blue threads; 3/0 monocord, and a medium blue that I luckily possess are no longer on their Nylon 6/0 color list. They list only a fluorescent blue, #507, but that is not the shade I have.

Carrie Stevens General MacArthur streamer; tied and photographed by Don Bastian. Size #1 – 8x long.

The four patriotic streamers are being offered for sale on just in time for America’s favorite patriotic holiday, the Fourth of July. God Bless America!


The Casablanca is one of the four patriotic themed streamers created by Mrs. Carrie G. Stevens, of Upper Dam, Maine, during World War II, and the third streamer of the four in this set that I have posted here. The other three streamers in the series are the America, General MacArthur, and Victory.

Casablanca – carded. The hook is a Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style Streamer, size #1 – 8x long.

Casablanca – carded, a different view.

Casablanca – a Carrie Stevens pattern, tied and photographed by Don Bastian


Hook: Long shank streamer hook, tiers choice

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red hackle Fibers

Body: Flat gold tinsel

Belly: White bucktail

Throat: Red hackle fibers

Wing: Four white hackles flanked on each side by a slightly shorter dark violet hackle

Head: Three bands of red, white and blue

I used claret-dyed hackles for the dark violet called for in the recipe; essentially the same color. Photographs of an original Casablanca tied by Carrie Stevens in the book Forgotten Flies, 2000, show the dark violet hackles appearing almost black. The gold tinsel body on the Casablanca represents the least-used tinsel by far on her flies. The preponderance of silver tinsel in her flies indicates that Carrie Stevens harbored a decided preference for it, although there may have been an economic reason for that, considering she started tying flies in the late 1920’s and continued through the Great Depression.

July 3, 2012: I couldn’t resist adding the following material as an edit. This morning I posted this photo of the Casablanca in my Carrie Stevens Streamers Photo Album on The Streamer List site administrator and fellow streamer enthusiast, Chris Del Plato, posted this comment:

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.” Which immediately made me start laughing. Then I replied to Chris with this follow up comment:

“Chris, thanks for your spontaneously appropriate comment! From the classic movie genera, that’s got to be one of the most iconic lines, in one of the most iconic scenes, spoken by one of America’s most iconic actors, to one of America’s most iconic actresses. (Back when there were actors and actresses).”

“Ah, the good old days…”

And I made that up as I went along, having seen Casablanca only twice, without doing any on-line research beforehand. And as Americans go in general, I’ve seen far fewer rather than more movies in my lifetime. Honest. You can count on that.

All this then, made me decide to add the exchange between Chris and I to this post on the streamer pattern. Then I started to speculate if there could be a connection between the Carrie Stevens streamer fly Casablanca, the patriotic effort of World War II; which we know she was interested in both as an American and as a businesswoman, and the movie of the same name. Casablanca was released in 1942. This possibility is not and will likely never be confirmed, but here is some information I found, quoting the written film material on Casablanca, from Wikipedia:

“Although it was an A-list film, with established stars and first-rate writers—Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, and Howard Koch, received credit for the screenplay—no one involved with its production expected Casablanca to be anything out of the ordinary; it was just one of hundreds of pictures produced by Hollywood every year. The film was a solid, if unspectacular, success in its initial run, rushed into release to take advantage of the publicity from the Allied invasion of North Africa, a few weeks earlier. Despite a changing assortment of screenwriters frantically adapting an unstaged play and barely keeping ahead of production, and Bogart attempting his first romantic lead role, Casablanca won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Its characters, dialogue, and music have become iconic, and the film has grown in popularity to the point that it now consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films of all time.”

I conclude with these words: Personally, from the evidence we do know, Carrie Stevens was not only a fly tier, but she was a business woman and a skilled, entrepreneurial self-promoter who possessed an uncanny marketing acumen. Considering her numerous creations of streamer patterns named after her fly tying customers and her husband’s guide business clients, in conjunction with the other three patterns in her patriotic series, the America, General MacArthur, and Victory, I believe the two are related. By more than coincidence. I think it’s a safe assumption that Carrie’s creativity and business-sense merged when she conceived and named the Casablanca streamer fly.

This study of historical information and the individuality and creativity of an iconic fly tier, fly designer, and businesswoman, in this case provides fascinating information to add another chapter to the rest of the story.