Carrie Stevens created three streamer patterns for her friend Charles E. “Shang” Wheeler. It was Shang who in 1920, gave Carrie some long shank hooks, deer hair, and feathers and basically encouraged her to try her hand at tying flies. Not to use an oft-quoted and overused line, but I will: The rest as they say, is history. The three patterns she named after Shang are the Charles E. Wheeler, Shang’s Favorite, and Shang’s Special. Mr. Wheeler must have loved the color red, because all three flies have the common ingredient of red dyed duck or chicken breast feathers for shoulders. Together they make a beautiful trio of streamer patterns.
Shang Wheeler was an expert decoy carver, and never sold his work. He won the amateur division of the New York Sportsman’s Show decoy carving contest twelve years in a row. Whenever his decoys come on the market today, they bring ten’s of thousands of dollars. He also wrote the poem White-Nose Pete, and made the trout head carving of the same name.
I also note this is another pattern with an ingredient discrepancy in the written recipe in the Hilyard Carrie Stevens book. The Shang’s Favorite in that book was tied by Carrie, and the throat on her fly is not white, but clearly grizzly. I have made the correction here.
Tag: Flat silver tinsel
Ribbing: Flat silver tinsel
Body: Red floss
Underbelly: White bucktail
Underwing: Four to six strands peacock herl
Throat: Grizzly hackle fibers
Wing: Four natural grizzly hackles
Shoulders: A red dyed duck or chicken breast feather
Cheeks: Jungle cock
Head: Black with a red band