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 Most of the unpublished patterns are from the 1893 Orvis display plates that is at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont.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fly photos, ascertaining and certifying the correct dressings (as there are numerous errors), and presenting the new unpublished patterns.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.

12 comments on “The Favorite Flies of Mary Orvis Marbury

  1. Hi Don

    As soon as your book is published, would you sign a copy for me?


    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Darrell;
      Thanks for your interest! Sure, I will do that, I should have remembered to post the contact info to the publisher from my original post in November, for reserving advance, signed, limited edition copies. I’ll put you on a “list” for now! Thanks very much!

  2. says:

    How was Maine ?? Brian Mac

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Brian;
      It was good. TG Caught a cold, and being the friendly sort he is, shared it with everyone. Fishing was good, not great, but with cold water temps in Wilson Pond we caught salmon and trout right at camp in our float tubes, nice landlocks up to nearly 20″. They jump in a lake too! Fish on! :mrgreen: The Roach was crowded one day and not the next. Wouldn’t you know it, the day Larry & I have two pools to ourselves, they’re not hitting. 😦 We got 6-8 fish each that day though, which as you know us, that’s poor for the Roach where we usually get close to 20 apiece. Everyone had a good time! Talked to Stan this morning…told him the deal…thanks for your comment!

  3. Hi Don, good to hear that you’re making progress on the book. I know with your attention to history, detail, and accuracy this will be a tremendous resource. I can’t wait to receive my copy. Hope you’re still getting some fishing in. Take care.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Jeff;
      Fishing? Well, I returned from a trip to Maine on Oct. 3rd, where I taught a class at LL Bean on Sept. 21, spent a week at Wilson Pond Camps – fishing, and after that, striper fished for part of two days. Ever since I’ve been back it’s been all about the book. More progress all day Columbus Day.
      It’s still growing. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Peter F. says:

    Hi Don, What a journey you are embarking on! Can’t wait for you to be offering the finished product, so I can buy up a few (for myself and a couple of friends). What a project of love. But it’s the “love” that makes it (and most of life) worthwhile. “Go for it!!”


    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Peter;
      Thanks for your comment and interest in the book project! I worked all day Columbus Day on it; and awoke at 5:30 this morning and dugh right in again until about 12:30. Gleaning the text, I keep finding more patterns. Now the number is at 496. More than 200 beyond the original book. And the info on the origins, history, personalities, locales, it’s scattered sometimes, as Marbury’s book does not have all the information in nice, neat order.
      Thanks again for your comment, nice to hear from you!

  5. Alec S. says:

    Can’t wait to add the book to my shelves Don! Are you including Borden’s Perch Fly? One of the “secret ” little flies tucked away in the text – and perhaps the only panfish fly in the book… Please add my name to your list as well! Alec

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Alec;
      Yup! I found the Perch Fly, and included both variations of it with the wing. Beyond Forgotten Flies, I’m up to a total of 22 unnamed patterns, so that’s 13 more than have been previously published. I also found more throughout the text, the pattern total stands at 501. Thanks for your comment, and for placing an advance order! See you later this year!
      BTW: Everytime I play Bad Company Ten From Six I can’t help but think of you! Rock on!

  6. Kelly L says:

    Don, you know I have to have this book. It sounds very exciting. Thanks for an update on it.

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