The Favorite Flies of Mary Orvis Marbury

This is the title for my new book. I mentioned in my Returning Home post that I started working on it pretty diligently the evening of my return to Pennsylvania. I’ve been bitten by the bug of gettin’ ‘r’ done. After my post Friday, I spent Friday evening, all day Saturday, like thirteen hours, and most of today working on the book. It’s been somewhat painstaking and slow, but it’s also been fun. So far I have 484 patterns total. These include all 291 originally published in Marbury’s Favorite Flies and Their Histories, plus nearly 200 more. The original flies from her book are being reproduced by twenty-four different tiers. About fifty of these patterns have never been previously published. Gleaning the pages of her book, I have added eleven additional unnamed patterns beyond those presented in Forgotten Flies. These dressing are found tucked away in the text from the contributing writers and also in the notes that Mary presented as well. It is also interesting to read the history and origins of the various patterns. Most of the unpublished patterns are from the 1893 Orvis display plates that is at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont.

I am pretty excited about this project as this hardest part, the writing, detailing the recipes and pattern notes, begins to fall behind me with the photos still ahead. My feeling is that this is the most difficult and time-consuming part.

I’m most excited about working with the actual plate fly photos, ascertaining and certifying the correct dressings (as there are numerous errors), and presenting the new unpublished patterns. I love the history and human-interest aspects of these flies. I hope to finish it up in the next several months. I plan to make more of a presentation on these 19th century flies at the shows this year.Thanks everyone for your following my my work.

Traditional Soft Hackle Selection


Soft Hackle Wet Fly Selection

One of the tasks I had when I returned home I returned home from my trip was to fill an order from for my Traditional Soft Hackle Wet Fly Selection. It’s nice to have that online fly selling site to depend on for a steady supply of orders. Earlier this summer I made up new packaging for this set, along with the same packing for my Traditional Wet Fly Selection and the Married Wing Selection. Above is a photo of the Soft Hackle Wet Fly Selection and the new packaging for the set. Below is a macro photo of half the patterns:

Black Midge, Gray Hackle Yellow, and Gray Hackle Peacock, sizes are #10 and #12.

Below is the other side of the set:

The selection and more information can be viewed at:

I have personal success fishing several of these patterns as far back as when I was in high school. The 19th century anglers referred to these patterns as “hackles.” Most of the contributing writers to Mary Orvis Marbury’s Favorite Flies and Their Histories count the hackles among their standard fishing flies.