Speaking of Ghosts…

Due to an inquiry from a customer a couple years ago, with his desire to have me create a frame of all the streamer patterns named “Ghost” – specifically “Something Ghost” as opposed to “Ghost Something” – which was the dividing line I decided upon, I expected to maybe find about, three dozen. Nope. Sixty-four by my count, including four original Ghost patterns that I have created. Two of these have been published here; you can use the search tab at top right of my page, for “Carrie’s Ghost” and “Wheeler’s Ghost,” type that in, hit “enter” and it will take you right to those articles.

I am tying Bubgee’s Ghost and the Rangeley Ghost next week to fill an order for a collector. All four of these patterns are part of a large series of thirty-six original streamer patterns I created about two years ago, using the Rangeley Region of Maine as the source for these patterns. I also created each pattern in the authentic style of Carrie Stevens, using her fly design concepts, use of materials, placement and layering of throat hackles, and shoulder selection from her body of work.

I have not been “on the stick” to get these flies finished, but I need to get crackin’. There are several totally new streamer / Lake Fly conversions in this collection, and the four Ghosts; Carrie’s Bugbee’s Wheeler’s, and Rangeley, were inspired by Carrie’s Gray Ghost and Ghost patterns of other tiers. Other locales and places in the Rangeley region were also used in choosing names and making these streamers come to life.

I thought that would be one frame of “Ghosts” —  looks like it will need to be two… 😉

I will have streamer materials with me at the 24th International Fly Tying Symposium this weekend, in Somerset, New Jersey. I can tie a streamer for you on custom order, do a demo, or you can place an order for me to fill later on.

4 comments on “Speaking of Ghosts…

  1. Kelly L says:

    Wow, that is a huge task. It would look simply amazing in a frame though! Good luck with that. I can’t wait to see the final product!!!

  2. Drew says:

    Cool. Is there a story behind how the “Ghost” name gave way to a lineage of patterns?

    Hope all is well.


    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Drew;
      As far as I know, and I’m going from my knowledge, not looking anything up, but Herb Welch’s Black Ghost was one of the very first Ghost Streamer patterns. I do know there is a salmon fly called, “The Ghost” that is on the 1893 Orvis display frame at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont. I have a photo of it and it is among more than 500 19th century flies that will be included in my upcoming book, “Favorite Fishing Flies – 1892.”

      Carrie Stevens created her famous Gray Ghost; it was first recorded on one of her invoices in 1934. One of her husband’s guide clients, Frank Bugbee, thought up the name, “Gray Ghost.” The rest is history…all I can say is due to the popularity of the Gray Ghost, other tiers became inspired and started a long line of Ghost streamer patterns. I had one fellow try to tell me that all “true” Ghost patterns only have silver pheasant shoulders, but that is not true. There are probably a couple dozen with other shoulder materials, and some with no shoulders at all. Thanks for your interest!

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