Makers and Water Streamer Variation

My Kentucky friend and fellow streamer tier, Joel Stansbury, recently sent me photos of his Makers and Water Variation Streamer pattern. I liked the pattern and the concept so much that I wanted to post it here on my blog. I thought it would be nice for those of us who enjoy a little Maker’s Mark bourbon now and then, with or without water. I take my bourbon and scotch neat, or with one small ice cube. Follows is what Joel submitted with his streamer pattern:

“About 10-15 yrs ago I saw an ad in one of the Orvis Catalogs for an 8-1/2 Ft. Fly Rod, a Wheatley fly box and a streamer fly all with a Maker’s Mark Logo. They mentioned that the fly was originated by a Louisville resident by the name of Norman Wathen. I had been working on a Makers Mark streamer pattern and didn’t want to copy Norm’s pattern. We corresponded and he sent me the original pattern he had come up with, which was a casting type streamer, no belly, an underwing of “whisky colored craft fur”, 2 dark over 2 light ginger hackles, and a red duck breast shoulder and red throat. I have never been able to find “whisky colored craft fur”, but did recently find some amber bucktail. So this is my variation, no underwing, belly of amber bucktail, and hen back for the shoulders. That is why I call it a Makers & Water Variation.”

Norman Wathen was one of the Founders of the Louisville chapter of Trout Unlimited and passed away on 3/14/2008. He was well known locally for his streamer tying.

Maker's and Water Streamer Variation, originated and tied by Joel Stansbury.

Maker’s and Water Streamer Variation, originated and tied by Joel Stansbury.

The owner of the local Orvis Shop back then said the Maker’s items never quite caught on; I was lucky enough to get the Maker’s Mark Wheatley fly box and I treasure it along with my Maker’s Mark Whiskey bottles. A few sips when I am tying greatly aids my creativity!”
Cheers, Joel

2 comments on “Makers and Water Streamer Variation

  1. Christian says:

    Hi Joel,

    I stumbled across this great piece you wrote regarding Norman and his New England Streamers. Thanks for posting it. I managed that fly-shop in Louisville many moons ago and Norman was one of my three employees. He taught me a lot, not the least of which was how to tie those streamers. Norman could see into the 8th dimension, loved his dear wife fiercely, and had a mind that was sharp as a tack. If you ever drift out to Bainbridge Island, WA please let me know. We’ll go fish…

    Best fishes,

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Christian;
      Thank you for your comment! I am sure Joel will be very appreciative of your kind words and remembrance of his friend. In case he’s not monitoring this comment thread I’ll send Joel a direct e-mail. Thanks so much for sharing your insights on Norman.
      Kind regards;

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