Split Ibis Wet Fly

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:

Split Ibis wet fly, tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Split Ibis wet fly, tied and photographed by Don Bastian. Note the tail of golden pheasant tippet fibers, in comparison to the married tail on the Orvis version. The hook is a Mustad vintage 3399 Sproat Bend.

Split Ibis:

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

Hackle: Brown

Wing: White, scarlet, white, scarlet – married

Head: Black

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 from the 1893 Orvis fly display.

Split Ibis Lake Fly from the 1893 Orvis fly display. The hook is approximately a No. 1 or 1/0. Note the body of oval silver tinsel, and the yellow part of the married tail is severely faded.

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

Hackle: Brown

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.

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2 comments on “Split Ibis Wet Fly

  1. Kelly L says:

    Another winner here Donnie. Eye candy for sure.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Kelly – I’m glad you like the Split Ibis. It’s always been a favorite pattern to tie. I like the look of the red on top as on the older Orvis pattern. Thanks for your devotion to my blog, and for your comment! 🙂

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