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