Here is another old wet fly pattern that historically was a part of our fly fishing heritage in the form of the traditional Lake Flies and smaller sizes of trout flies. I present the Split Ibis – both my tied version from the recipes of Ray Bergman’s Trout, 1938, and also another antique fly from the 1893 Orvis Display at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester,Vermont.
The Bergman recipe for the wing reads, “white, scarlet, white, scarlet, married,” while visual inspection of the Orvis pattern starts with the scarlet on top. Normally in written married wing recipes, the order of components is written from the top down.
Here’s my version:
Hook: Standard wet fly hook #1 to #10
Thread: Danville Flymaster 6/0 #100 Black
Tail: Golden pheasant tippet
Ribbing: Oval silver tinsel – addition of ribbing is my personal variation to reinforce the body and provide more flash
Body: Flat silver tinsel
Wing: White, scarlet, white, scarlet – married
I apply four or five coats of head cement, finishing off with black Pro Lak on most of my wet flies and streamers.
The Split Ibis is included among the Lake Fly pattern in Mary Orvis Marbury’s book, Favorite Flies and Their Histories, 1892. It is pattern number 78. Here is my photo of the Split Ibis from the 1893 Orvis Display.
Split Ibis – Orvis Version
Tag: Flat gold tinsel – not visible on this pattern, but it can be seen on the Plate Fly image, plus I have my photo of the original plate fly; there is a tag of flat gold tinsel
Tail: Scarlet and yellow, married
Body: Oval silver tinsel
Wing: Scarlet, white, scarlet, white – married
Historically the Split Ibis was a favorite Lake Fly pattern, successfully used for native brook trout and landlocked salmon. My niece, Emily, tied this pattern and has caught brook trout and salmon with it in Maine’s Moose and Roach Rivers.