Wheeler’s Ghost

Wheeler’s Ghost is an original streamer pattern I created last summer. It is one fly among a list of original patterns I developed that presently contains thirty-five Rangeley style streamers. These patterns are all themed on the Rangeley region; it’s history and personalities. Some are wet fly conversions that have not been previously done, like the Mooselucmaguntic and Magalloway, and others are my own inspiration, such as Bugbee’s Ghost. Frank Bugbee was the man who thought of the name Gray Ghost for Carrie Stevens’s most famous streamer fly, though she never named a fly after him. Hence my inspiration for creating Bugbee’s Ghost. Another Ghost pattern I created but have yet to tie is Carrie’s Ghost. In all there are four ghost patterns on my list. I’d like to continue tying these patterns, but trout season is upon us, and I’ve had fishing fly orders more or less streaming in. That’s a good thing. So for now the streamers will have to wait.

My inspiration for Wheeler’s Ghost is Charles E. “Shang” Wheeler, friend and fly tying mentor to Carrie Stevens of Upper Dam, Maine. Carrie created three patterns and named them after Shang Wheeler; the Charles E. Wheeler, Shang’s Favorite, and Shang’s Special. All three have shoulders of red dyed duck or chicken breast feathers, two have red floss bodies, the Shang’s Special has a red head with a black band. The Shang’s Special is unique among early streamer patterns with its jungle cock wing. I combined some of these features as components along with my ideas to create Wheeler’s Ghost. I believe it’s a safe guess that Shang liked the color red. Hence, Wheeler’s Ghost sports predominantly red colors.

Wheeler's Ghost

Wheeler’s Ghost – size #1 -8x long – Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style streamer hook. Originated, tied, and photographed by Don Bastian.

Wheeler’s Ghost

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red hackle fibers

Ribbing: Flat silver tinsel

Body: Red floss

Underbelly: Four to six strands peacock herl; then white bucktail

Underwing: A golden pheasant crest

Throat: Red hackle fibers

Wing: Two grizzly hackles flanked on each side by one white hackle flanked by a jungle cock feather extending to hook bend

Shoulders: A red-dyed duck or hen breast feather

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Red

10 comments on “Wheeler’s Ghost

  1. CD says:

    That’s fantastic Don. Love it!

  2. Kelly L says:

    Don, this is just breath taking. Killer look, I adore it.

  3. Paul J. Beel says:

    Don, this is a beautiful fly! I loved it so much, I posted it on the FrankenFly Facebook page.

  4. joel stansbury says:

    Don, absolutely Outstanding! What a tribute!
    Cheers, Joel

  5. A beautiful fly Don! Thanks for sharing.
    Best wishes – Bradley

  6. Don Bastian says:

    Hi Bradley;
    Thanks for your comment! Really glad you like the fly!

  7. […] the idea of creating a few Rangeley style streamer patterns. The first fly was White Nose Pete: https://donbastianwetflies.com/2013/04/04/white-nose-pete/ then that was followed up with the creation of Wheeler’s Ghost: […]

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