Committee – Original Streamer

Continuing with the posting of my original streamers from, I present the Committee, a fly with a somewhat unique history of creation.

Back in the early 1990’s my good friend Rick Whorwood of Stoney Creek, Ontario, was getting interested in tying full-dress salmon flies. At the time he got this idea to bring some instructors into his home for classes. They were two full days of class, held in his garage with twelve students. On two occasions I sat in on these sessions. The first instructor was Rob Solo, of Newfoundland, and the second was Bob Veverka, of Vermont. These salmon fly lessons played a role in the creation of the Committee as far as my component selections.

A few friends and I had been making annual September treks to the Moosehead Lake region of Maine since 1986,where we hooked up and fished with my brother, Larry, who resides in New Gloucester, Maine. Starting in late August into September before departure, we would get together once a week at someone’s home and tie flies. Not everyone in these sessions was going to Maine, but they also attended for the fun and camaraderie.

One night, my friend Joe Radley and I were having dinner at a bar before the evening session. We came up with this idea to create a fly “by committee.” How this would go, was we took all the components of a streamer, wrote them on separate slips of paper, which would then be placed in a hat. Once the slips were drawn, each person was required to write their component suggestion on the paper without any discussion among anyone else. The Committee developed sight unseen by its contributors, being passed from vise to vise as it evolved. Besides Joe and me, the originators include Truman McMullan, Dave Rothrock Sr., and Dave Rothrock, Jr. I can only recall that I ended up getting the butt and ribbing, that is why, drawing on my recent salmon fly tying lessons, I chose a red chenille butt and the double ribbing of flat silver tinsel backed by fine oval gold tinsel.

On the trip to Moosehead that year, we all had a few Committees to toss around, and it proved to be a pattern that successfully took trout and salmon from the Roach, Moose, and Kennebec Rivers.

The Committee, a Don Batian and friends original pattern. Photo courtesy of Darren MacEachern,

The Committee, a “Don Bastian and friends” original pattern. Photo courtesy of Darren MacEachern, The hook is a Gaelic Supreme #1 – 8x long Mike Martinek / Carrie Stevens Rangeley Style streamer.

Here is the link to the Committee:


Tag:                Narrow flat silver tinsel

Tail:                Golden pheasant tippet fibers

Butt:               Red chenille

Body:             Orange floss

Ribbing:        Narrow flat silver tinsel followed by oval gold tinsel

Belly:              White bucktail followed by sparse yellow bucktail

Throat:          Grizzly hackle fibers

Wing:              Sparse red bucktail to end of tail over which are four bright orange hackles

Shoulder:     Brown-edged black and tan “church windows” from the back of a cock ring-necked pheasant

Cheek:           Jungle cock

High Roller – Original Streamer

Catching up on another posting from – September 24th, 2012 -I was fishing in Maine back on that date, I thought I would add the High Roller to the list of my original streamer patterns posted here. This has the same history of the Grizzly Orange as far as time and origin, but it’s a couple years older, and was field-tested. I created it for fishing in Maine in the mid-1990’s, (caught fish on it), then I added it to my list when I was working on the streamers for Forgotten Flies.

Here is the link to the High Roller:

The High Roller, a Don Bastian original streamer design. Photo by Darren MacEachern, courtesy of

The High Roller, a Don Bastian original streamer design. Photo by Darren MacEachern, courtesy of

I would like to credit Mike Boyer for the yellow throat. The original version did not possess this, but he posted my pattern on Classic Fly Tying and added it to the pattern. I liked that myself, and added the yellow throat hackle to my version of the High Roller. Thanks Mike!

High Roller

Tail:                 Barred wood duck

Butt:                Black ostrich herl

Rib:                 Fine oval gold tinsel

Body:              Medium flat gold tinsel

Belly:               Four strands of peacock herl followed by sparse yellow bucktail, both as long as the wing

Throat:            Yellow hackle fibers

Wing:              Very sparse white bucktail over which are four olive green hackles

Shoulder:        Silver pheasant body feather

Cheek:             Jungle cock

Head:              Black

This pattern was first published in Forgotten Flies in the chapter Checklist of Streamers and Bucktails. This pattern has been fished on the Roach River in Maine, and has hooked brook trout and salmon.

Grizzly Orange – Original Streamer Pattern

This streamer was posted on on October 16th, 2012. It is an original streamer pattern that I created back in the spring of 1998 when I was tying what ended up being two-hundred-fifty-plus streamer and bucktail patterns for my involvement in the book, Forgotten Flies and the chapter titled, Checklist of Streamers and Bucktails. What a fun time, and wonderful opportunity to expand my range and diversity of tying streamers and bucktails. I enjoyed the challenges of tying these flies, such as the entire series of Keith Fulsher’s Thunder Creek minnow patterns; Joe Brook’s Blonde series, Bob Bibeau’s sparsely-dressed, multi-layered bucktail streamers that were created for Maine’s Sebago Lake, and a fair number of tandem streamers, new for me at the time. Forgotten Flies is where the Grizzly Orange streamer was initially published.

The HGrizzly Orange streamer. Photo by Darren MacEachern,posted on

The Grizzly Orange streamer, original pattern design by Don Bastian. Photo by Darren MacEachern, posted on, October 16, 2012.

Here is the link to the Grizzly Orange:


Tail:                 Yellow hackle fibers

Body:              Medium flat gold tinsel

Belly:               Sparse black bucktail to end of tail

Throat:            Orange hackle fibers

Wing:              Medium bunch of orange bucktail to end of tail, over which are two dark grizzly saddle hackles extending slightly beyond end of tail

Shoulder:        Orange-dyed guinea fowl flank

Cheek:             Jungle cock

Head:              Red

The creation of the Grizzly Orange began with a single component – orange-dyed guinea fowl. I had an urge to use them for shoulders on a streamer. Once that was determined, the additional ingredients of grizzly and orange were combined to produce this pattern. It was created in 1998. Thanks for the great photo, Darren!

BYR Smelt

This pattern was posted on on September 8th, 2012. I never got around to placing it here as well, as I usually do. So here is the BYR Smelt, an original smelt pattern I created earlier this year. Here is the link to the fly on

This is the BYR Smelt, a streme pattern employing the use of primary colors. Photo by Darren MacEachern,

This is the BYR Smelt, a streamer pattern employing the use of the three primary colors in the wing. Photo by Darren MacEachern,

I taught this patterns as a debut to the Gray Ghost Fly Tyers in Yarmouth, Maine, last March while there on a working schedule. Part of the inspiration was Carrie Stevens version of the Silver Doctor. Here is the recipe:

BYR Smelt

Hook:              6x to 8x long standard streamer, sizes #2 to #10

Thread:           Olive Danville 6/0 Flymaster

Tail:                 Red hackle fibers

Rib:                 Embossed silver tinsel (or oval tinsel)

Body:              Flat silver tinsel

Hackle:           White hackle fibers

Wing:              Two blue hackles, with one yellow hackle and one red hackle on each side

Shoulder:        Olive-dyed gray mallard flank

Cheek:             Jungle cock (optional)

Head:              Olive Danville 6/0 Flymaster

Another acronym pattern like the RSP I created; the BYR stands for the first letter of the three primary colors in the wing. It’s pronounced “BY-ER.”

Mary Orvis Marbury – Book Fly Photos

I am really excited and I just have to share this!

Yesterday I downloaded the original photos that I have on my hard drive (also as a back-up to be safe), of the original flies from the plates of Mary Orvis Marbury’s 1892 book, Favorite Flies and Their Histories onto a CD. I was surprised that the say, more than 200, because I’m not sure how many I actually have, fit on one 720M disc. I need to revisit the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont, at some point to complete my photography of the last seven Plates. It turns out that Plate Z is missing from the collection of 32 color plates of original flies.

Anyway, my excitement, is that I fired up my laptop, (new to me, never been used yet), loaded the CD, and am now running the slide show as I type. My desktop monitor is one of those old television-looking models, not a newer flat-screen, that given the advances of electronics every eight minutes or so, is a nice Dell, and is a wide-screen with really good resolution. The photos look far better, revealing more detail, higher clarity, better color, sharper focus, than what I have seen previously on my older “Model-A” computer screen. So my excitement, is that I’m eager to have my table visitors view these photos. The hand-written numbers in ink, and the occasional pattern notations regarding materials in pencil, are all Mary Orvis Marbury’s original hand writing. As I say, this running slide show will make a very nice attraction at my display table.

Marbury – Orvis Flies Book Update

I would like to announce an update on my book, formerly and tentatively titled, The Favorite Flies of Mary Orvis Marbury. After a suggestion from my friend Alec Stansell, I got to thinking. The title may be misleading in that all 291 of the patterns from her 1892 book, Favorite Flies and Their Histories, were not actually her patterns. Most likely, her book flies were integrated into the Orvis commercial inventory, but a good many of them were sent in by the many correspondents from the United States and Canada.

Considering this my new book title is: Favorite Fishing Flies – 1892.

It will include reproductions of all 291 of the patterns from Marbury’s book, with tying recipes taken – corrected and adjusted from my scrutiny of the macros I made of each individual fly pattern, plus the tying recipes for another 211 patterns, a good many of which have never been published previously. I discovered a handful of patterns from the pages of her book not included in the Forgotten Flies – Marbury/ Orvis Chapter. Most of the unpublished patterns are sourced from the framed 1893 Orvis Display created by Mary Orvis Marbury for the 1893 Chicago Exposition, located at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont. Here is a list of the twenty-five contributing fly tiers:

Eric Austin – Ohio; Tom Baltz – Pennsylvania; Don Bastian – Pennsylvania; Dave Benoit – Massachusetts; Scott Bleiler – Georgia; John “CJ” Bonasera – Pennsylvania; Austin Clayton – Colorado; Matt Crompton – Virginia; Chris Del Plato – New Jersey; John Hoffman – Ontario; Dave Lomasney – Maine; Ronn Lucas, Sr. – Oregon; Ed Muzeroll – Maine; Ted Patlen – New Jersey; Bob Petti – New York; Roger Plourde – Connecticut; Kat Rollin – New York; Paul Rossman – Connecticut; Dave Schmezer – Florida; Mike Schmidt – Ohio; Bill Shuck – Maryland; Leigh Shuman – Pennsylvania; Royce Stearns – Oregon; April Vokey – British Columbia;  and Rick Whorwood – Ontario.

I find it interesting that these fly tiers are from across the Unites States and Canada, much the same as the correspondents of one-hundred twenty years ago were for Marbury’s original work.

I also want to announce that I just made a CD of the original book plate flies that I have thus far photographed; 24 of the original 32 color plates. I will be running these in slide show format on my laptop at the upcoming shows.

Here is a photo peek at one of the 1893 original flies from the museum display to whet your appetite:

The Juno,a pattern originated for fishing in Maine.

The Juno, a pattern originated for fishing in Maine. This photo was taken through glass that has not been cleaned on the inside for 120 years. There may have been a bit of glare, and it was hand-held. Hopefully you “get the picture.” That’s real scarlet ibis for the wing and tail and silk chenille for the body. I’d say this hook is about a 2/0. Back in the 1800’s there were still a few eight pound brook trout swimming in the Rangeley Lake Region of Maine. That was before the unfortunate extirpation of the forage base blueback trout.

Advance, limited-edition copies of the book can be reserved by contacting:

The Whitefish Press

Or by writing:

The Whitefish Press,

4240 Minmor Drive

Cincinnati, OH 45217

Release date is not yet determined.