Lee Wulff and Curt Gowdy in Labrador

Greetings blog followers and friends! Long time no see! 😀

It has been a long while since I posted anything here. Lots of reasons for that, mostly living a busy life, still tying flies, drumming and singing in the Classic Rock band and the church Praise Band, enjoying life with Mary, to whom I am now engaged for a June 2016 wedding. Together, we’ve spent time at soccer and T-Ball games with our collective eight grandchildren. We went to Maine in June for the Carrie Stevens weekend at the Rangeley Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum. We both love music, and we saw Garth Brooks in Concert last May. In less than two weeks, we are going to see Joe Walsh in concert in Poughkeepsie, New York. Then in October we have tickets to see Paul McCartney in State College, Pennsylvania, just an hour away. I did manage to get some fishing in, and gave Mary some fly casting lessons. She is anxious to get on the water where she can hook some trout! Hopefully before the autumn leaves are gone. I have quite a backlog of stuff to post here. I have also been very busy with some personal matters and getting caught up on things as life always moves forward.

This video link was sent to me by a friend. I started watching it and thought, how very classic and iconic, and I wanted to share it. Lee Wulff and Curt Gowdy fishing together for trophy brook trout in Labrador. I met Curt Gowdy in the 1980’s when he came to speak at our Trout Unlimited Chapter. This came about because a local angler and chapter member reached out to Curt in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s when he was in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, as the sports announcer for the Little League World Series Games. My friend, Dave Wonderlich, who works at the Slate Run Tackle Shop (see link to that fly shop on the right), offered to take him fly fishing. Dave provided all the equipment since Mr. Gowdy was not prepared to fish on this particular visit to Williamsport.

This is one of the episodes of “American Sportsman” and I believe it was filmed in the 1960’s. It is just under a half-hour in length, but will be well-worth your time to view and enjoy it. Grab a beverage and some snacks and relax!

Recycled Fish

Yes, indeed. A fish made from recycled materials. Who’d have thought this up? But apparently two women artists from western Pennsylvania did, and made this “beast.”

One of my blog followers and friends who lives in the area near Pittsburgh, saw this in a local recycling center and took the photo. In this shop, they also have almost anything and just about everything for sale, including used furniture, doors, car parts, etc.

Recycled Fish. I'm not sure if this creation actually has a name...

Recycled Fish. I’m not sure if this creation actually has a name…photo by Bill Havrilla.

It measures sixteen feet long and weighs 1500 pounds. The two women who built it made it entirely from trash and junk collected along the Allegheny River and donated it to the center. It has at least three bicycle forks (on this side) in the dorsal fin and two more in the caudal fin. The mouth is made of a couple front quarter-panels from a car, and various bits and pieces. The eyes on both sides, are car headlights. The fins are all made of bundles of electrical wiring in among the bicycle forks.

Oh, and it’s not for sale…in case you were wondering.

Bastian’s Floating Caddis / Mayfly Emerger

I had announced this on my facebook page last week, but I also wanted to post something here. I am pleased to announce that the Orvis Company has picked up for the third year, my original pattern, “Bastian’s Floating Cadddis Emerger.” It is offered in their online catalog:

http://www.orvis.com/store/product_search_tnail.aspx?keyword=bastian%27s+floating+caddis+emerger

This pattern was created in 2006, a revised fly that began in 1996 with my original Hatching Caddis Adult pattern. It has been field-tested in Pennsylvania; on Penn’s Creek, Big Pine Creek, and Spring Creek. I also used it successfully on the Beaverkill in New York, and Montana’s Madison River, and my brother has used it on Maine’s Penobscot River for land-locked salmon. It has also proven itself as a very effective still-water fly. Since its release with Orvis, a customer and his wife from Massachusetts, who guide with the 2014 Orvis Guide of the Year, Tim Linehan, used it on the Missouri River in 2013 and hammered ’em. Tim had not seen the pattern previously and was surprised by its success. He bought some from me afterward.

Here is a photo of Susan Ukena with Tim Linehan, and a fine Missouri River rainbow that took my emerger – a #14 tan:

Sue Ukena and Orvis 2014 Guide of the Year, Tim Linehan, with a Missouri River rainbow that fell to Bastian's Floating Caddis Emerger.

Sue Ukena and Orvis 2014 Guide of the Year, Tim Linehan, with a Missouri River rainbow that fell to Bastian’s Floating Caddis Emerger.

I also wanted to get the fly on the MyFlies.com site, but could not in good conscience place the same pattern there. So I made two changes in the pattern, number one, the way the hackle is applied. On the MyFlies.com version, Bastian’s Floating Caddis / Mayfly Emerger, I side-lash the legs. And number two, I added a chartreuse foam indicator to the top of the fly and the neck, between the body and head section. This helps improve visibility of the fly, which rides on the surface. It is called an emerger, but this fly is actually a dry fly, even though it is unconventional in its appearance as a dry fly. Another thing about it, even if swamped by surface turbulence, it remains in the film. That is why the hi-vis indicator is helpful. Plus I have successfully for the last three seasons, doubled-up and used a tandem dry fly rig with this pattern; a sulfur dun and a ginger colored “sulfur” version of Bastian’s Floating Caddis / Mayfly Emerger. The larger, high-floating, more visible dun pattern keeps your eye tracking the drift of the emerger as well. Trout flash, swirl, boil, or just show themselves under the dun, and they are generally always looking at, or most times, have taken the emerger. This is why I have trained myself to be quick to strike at any sign of a trout. Even with just 10″ of tippet between the dun and emerger, the dry fly does not always give indication that the trout took the emerger. They are faster and quicker on the “take and spit” than most of us ever realize.

There are about ten or eleven articles here on my blog related to this pattern. Use the search tab, type in “Floating Emerger,” hit the enter key and they will come up. Lots of photos, success stories, tactical stuff, tying instructions…it’s all there.

Here is a pic from the MyFlies.com site:

This is the gingeerr colored veersion of Bastian's Floating Caddis / Mayfly Emerger, this KILLS on Speing Creeek and any stream where the sulfurs, Ephemerella rotunda exist.

This is the ginger-colored version of Bastian’s Floating Caddis / Mayfly Emerger. This fly KILLS on Spring Creek and any stream where the sulfurs, phemerella rotunda exist.

A customer here in Pennsylvania recently ordered some of these. Here is a quote from the e-mail I got the other day when he received his order:

“Received the flies. Once again, I am just stunned at the character of these flies in person, I am not surprised they are so killer.”

These flies are available from Orvis, or from MyFlies.com. I also offer them in custom colors and sizes, I have tied them as small as #20, and as large as a #10 – 2x long in brown as a Slate Drake Emerger. Now all we have to do is wait for Spring…

Rock ‘n’ Roll

Soon, in the next couple posts, I will reach the number 400 in the total number of posts I have made here since starting this blog in March of 2010. A lot of water has passed under the bridge in the last five years, and I have had some difficulties, actually longer than five years if you consider this coming February 22 will mark eight years since the beloved mother of my daughters passed away from pancreatic cancer, but nonetheless, life has been getting better for me. I am involved in an amazing relationship with a wonderful woman whom I’ve actually known for 43 years. Bearing down on eight months now, Mary is a fellow musician, great singer – she was formerly in a Heart cover band and also sang in another ’80’s Band, where they performed an entire set of Heart and another of Pat Benatar’s music. She also plays guitar and keyboards. She and I also share so many other mutual interests: good food, wine, Captain and Coke, Dirty Martinis, cooking, photography, good beer, she loves my fly tying and is fascinated by it, nature, dancing, she loves to fish, though I will be getting a fly rod in her hands for the first time when the weather warms a bit. It is just amazing and miraculous to find someone this late in life when one might have though the best has already passed by.

My music career, hobby that was more or less given up in ’79 when I dropped out of the rock band I was in (back then we were just a rock band; the term Classic Rock had not yet been invented), has taken off as I’ve been drumming full-time in a Classic Rock Band called Pepper Street. We played fifty-seven gigs last year. It’s great fun, relieves stress, and I’ve met new friends and gotten reacquainted with old ones from back in the day. For not playing at all in thirty-four years, save for the occasional performance in church and a few theater musicals in the ’80’s, I had not played at all. Sadly, the drum kit was just collecting dust. I’ve since gotten my playing stamina back, and am getting my chops tuned as well. 😉 And doing some lead vocals, either from the drum kit or fronting the band when a friend who is also our soundman sits in. Such a blast!

Here is a shot of me at my vintage Premier drum kit:

Don Bastian - Premier 1975 Powerhouse PD2500 drum kit.

Don Bastian – at my vintage Premier 1975 Powerhouse PD2500 drum kit. Taken on my birthday in April 2014 at a local American Legion Post.

The hardware is all new, upgraded to the heavy-duty stuff from the last ten or so years. We play tonight. Another night of fun and music!

Here are a couple more pics of the band in action:

The Pepper Street Band performing July 2014 at the Tiki Bar and Patio at the Pier 87 Bar and Grill near Montoursville, PA. We have five bookings there again this summer.

The Pepper Street Band performing July 2014 at the Tiki Bar and Patio at the Pier 87 Bar and Grill near Montoursville, PA. We have five bookings there again this summer.

Pepper Street Band at the New Mountain Tavern, Allenwood, PA.

Pepper Street Band at the New Mountain Tavern, Allenwood, PA.

A highlight of the band’s gigs from last year: At Shade Mountain Winery and Vineyards, north of Middleburg on PA. RT. 104, and near Pennsylvania’s famed Penn’s Creek, at their Annual Fall Harvest Festival. There were more than 500 people present at this outdoor event in October. The band had a blast, the crowd loved us!

Crowd of 500-plus people aat Shade Mountaain Winery in October 2014, music by the pepper Streeet Band, covering Classic Rock and Rock 'n' Roll Oldies.

Crowd of 500-plus people at Shade Mountain Winery in October 2014, music by the Pepper Street Band, covering Classic Rock and Rock ‘n’ Roll Oldies.

View of the Pepper Street Band, behind the stage at Shade Mountain Winery for their Annual Fall Harvest Festival, October 2014, near MIddleburg, PA. Rock 'n' Roll!

View of the Pepper Street Band, behind the stage at Shade Mountain Winery for their Annual Fall Harvest Festival, October 2014, near Middleburg, PA. Rock ‘n’ Roll!

View toward the front of the stage, the Pepper Street Band is rockin'!

View toward the front of the stage at the Annual Fall Harvest Festival at Shade Mountain Winery, the Pepper Street Band is rockin’!

More good news: We have been invited back for the Annual Fall Harvest Festival at Shade Mountain Winery on Saturday October 10th, 2015.

Bastian’s Red Squirrel Silver Picket Pin SBS

Now that we are a few days into 2015, I figured I better get something on here. When a friend sent me this link on one of my original patterns – the title fly, or “RSP” as it is now called for short, I thought it would be great to highlight an excellent step-by-step tutorial posted on Fly Anglers On Line (FAOL).

It was done by a fellow whose forum name is ScottP. He did a great job on this, so I figured I could post this here, and augment it with some pertinent fishing info.

The RSP was created over twenty years ago, a brainstorm of mine to modify the famous Pickett Pin wet fly / streamer pattern. Hence the Red Squirrel Silver Body Picket Pin was born. Initially I tied the hackle palmer fashion as on the Pickett Pin, but I later dispensed with that for ease of tying, and the increased durability one achieves from a solidly lashed-in throat hackle.

With a six-word title the fly had way too long of a name, but I never did anything about it until a few years ago. The RSP has accounted for a lot of fish over many years, primarily in Maine, where I ventured nearly every year since 1986 with my brother and a number of different close friends. I assume the fish take the RSP for a minnow, with the gleam of the silver body and added flash of the oval tinsel rib. By itself as a small bucktail type of fly, it does not have a lot of built-in action, but what one imparts with the rod and line hand during a drift and retrieve – twitching, falling back, stripping, slow retrieve with short jerks, etc., can create wonderfully pleasing results. Meaning to say, “Fish on!”

In May of 2011, my brother Larry, his daughter Emily, and I spent a long weekend fishing Maine’s Magalloway River, in the area between Wilson’s Falls and Aziscohos Lake. This fly was posted back then, lacking the SBS, but the highlight of the trip was three large brook trout that all took the RSP, all in the same pool, two in the evening, five minutes apart, and one early the next morning. Here are those pics:

My brother, Larry, with a 17" Magalloway River brook trout caught on the RSP.

My brother, Larry, with a 17″ Magalloway River brook trout caught on the RSP.

Don Baastiaan with a 17-1/2" Magalloway Riveer Brook trout caught on the RSP.

Don Bastian with a 17-1/2″ Magalloway River Brook trout caught on the RSP.

Emily Bastian with the biggest Magalloway River brook trout of our trip (of course!) - a 20-1/2" female, caught on the RSP.

Emily Bastian with the biggest Magalloway River brook trout of our trip (of course!) – a 20-1/2″ female, caught on the RSP.

Notice we are all smiles! Each of these trout was caught using a sink-tip line, 6 or 7 weight, and a Wooly Bugger in front of the RSP. Both flies are normally attached on 3x or 5# Maxima leader material, about 22″ to 24″ apart. The water was high. We spent a half-hour nymphing to no avail, prior to my decision to go with the bugger and RSP rig. When I did, I hooked up in five minutes. Emily at once changed her rig and took her trophy on the very first cast. Larry was also into a third large trout minutes later, but his got away when the hook pulled out. Next morning we returned and gave him the hotspot at the head of the pool. Then he lucked out and landed his big trout, too.

Here is the link for the RSP SBS:

http://www.flyanglersonline.com/bb/showthread.php?54150-Bastian-s-Red-Squirrel-Silver-Picket-Pin-SBS

He altered the tail by using pheasant fibers; I always use schlappen or hen fibers and generally always tie in a beard-style or false hackle throat. Thanks Scott for a great job and great photos on my pattern!

Now a last word or two on the RSP. It works as a crappie fly. Most guys who have fished for them know they love minnows. I have done well with the RSP on crappies. I have sold some to local customers here in Pennsylvania, and they have contacted me telling of their success using it on my home waters of Spring Creek and Penn’s Creek…both hard-fished waters, and places I confess, I have mostly dry fly fishing and used nymphs for the last many years…they tell me the RSP works very well there, so I better start giving it a whirl come Spring. 😉

The RSP can be purchased from me on MyFlies.com:

http://www.myflies.com/RSP-P618.aspx

The RSP - tied by Don Bastian. We almost always tie and fish this fly in a #8 or #10, 3x long shank hook.

The RSP – tied by Don Bastian. We almost always tie and fish this fly in a #8 or #10, 3x long shank hook. The wing is red squirrel. Scott posted that he used fox squirrel, which I have also done. They are both marked the same, but the red squirrel is shorter, making it better suited for the small sizes the RSP is normally tied in.

Santa and The Reintrout are Back

Santa and his Reintrout...

Santa and his Reintrout…

Last Christmas, I posted the painted card image of Santa, a sunfish, leading his sleigh with eight reintrout, being led by what we are led to believe is Rudolph, a channel catfish. People didn’t believe this, but now we can see for sure, courtesy of this artist’s rendition who just so happened to get a glimpse of Santa and his reintrout during the most recent full moon, just the other night in fact, as they are shown coursing across the nocturnal sky. It is believed that Santa was making some pre-Christmas trial runs across the far north to test out his new Orvis 9 foot, 7-weight bamboo whip / rod with a WF7F floating line…and isn’t that a beautiful loop he’s got going there? Especially in the face of a strong headwind, too. My source was unable to get a good definitive identification of the reel. However, as we all know, Santa would have nothing but the best. 😉

I have only question…where is Rudolph the Red-nosed Reintrout?

Chris Helm – Gone Fishing In Heaven

It is with great sadness that I announce that Chris Helm passed away last night, after a several year battle with cancer. I learned of this sad news on facebook, from Steve Wascher, fellow fly tier and friend from western New York. Chris operated his mail-order fly tying business, White Tail Fly Tieing Supplies, from his home. (yes, that’s how he spelled tying).

Chris was instrumental in the filming of my first DVD, “Tying Classic Wet Flies,” in April 2004. He had booked me to teach a classic wet fly class at his home shop in Toledo, Ohio. The class went from one day, to a second day, both sessions filling up with ten students. His fly tying shop was the most well-equipped / stocked tying materials shop I ever saw in my life. Seven brands of hooks, 8 brands of thread, every material you could think of for tying anything from basic trout flies to full-dress salmon flies, was on the shelves. He also bought about 30 deer hides each year, and totally processed them, by himself, washing them in a bathtub, dried them, and then cut, sorted, graded, and labeled the sections / packets for sale. I guess his wife Judy may have helped a little…

Chris totally set up the contact, booking, and filming for my first DVD, which I will always remember, since it was recorded on my birthday, April 4, 2004. Chris did the introduction as well.

Then in 2007, when Kelly and Jim Watt of Bennett-Watt Entertainment were making a new, hi-def video series on DVD, “The New Hooked on Fly Tying,” Chris invited me to participate in that as well. They were filmed at his house. My advanced wet fly and streamer DVD’s were recorded in one day.

A friend in Florida, and I saw this on facebook, drew this card, just this morning, as an expression of sympathy. I believe since Chris was one of the foremost bass bug deer hair dressers in the entire country, that it is very fitting, and the artist, Joe Mahler, kindly granted me permission to share it with my readers. Thank you Joe, for your heartfelt expression of sympathy, combined with your talent. Well done.

Goodbye Chris Helm...

Goodbye Chris Helm…

Streamer Hackles – A Primer on What to Look For

A few weeks ago I was tying 16 Carrie Stevens streamer patterns, actually about ten different patterns, for a few orders. While doing that I thought, as I had previously, that I get lots of questions as to what is the best hackle, where can they be found, etc., the choice of hackles, and what is best, decent, mediocre, and useless (except perhaps for Buggers, poppers, salt water flies, and cat toys), came into my mind. I took some pics of the stuff I use, this is by far not all of it, but the pictures here and comments will hopefully help you to select and maybe even find some good to better to best feathers to use.

Some of these packages are available, you can find them in your area fly shops, or maybe have a friend look for you, or even mail order them, but in the latter case, you take your chances on getting what you want. There is no substitute for: 1) being there in person to make your selection, and 2) having a trusted friend buy what they use for themselves, and get some for you. Option three, having a certified New England, Classic, traditional, heritage, or whatever term you choose to use, streamer expert on hand at the shop you order from is not something you can easily find, nor take for granted. If you have one of those in the employ of your shop, tip him gratuitously! 😉

That said, here are the pics:

Three saddle hackles, all from the same pack of strung hackle. Feather on the left, pretty much useless for streamers.

Three saddle hackles, all from the same pack of strung hackle. The brand in this case is Orvis; they come from China. Feather on the left, pretty much useless for streamers. The one in the middle, useable, but it is not of the best, preferred shape, due to the pointy end. That said, in the Carrie Stevens book, there are specimens of original flies dressed by her, where the outer wing hackle looks very much like this one, narrow at the end, but it is usually laid over a perfectly shaped feather for the inner hackle(s). Sometimes we get too hung up on “feather perfection.” She did not do that… The hackle on the right – pretty much represents streamer feather perfection. Note the rounded end, it’s not too wide, not too narrow, just right, like the medium-sized bowl of porridge in Goldilocks and The Three Bears. Also note the area, size, and shape of the webbing nearing the butt end of what will be the tie-in point on a streamer. This helps create a foundation for shoulders, or makes a good looking wing when there is no shoulder. This feather is a good representation of the “best” streamer hackles.

Neck hackles can also be used, but nowadays the genetic dry fly breeding preference in the fly tying industry has bred out a lot of what used to be good for both drys, and the bigger feathers of the preferred shape, on a cape or neck (same thing, interchangeable term), out of existence. I am very fortunate to have a good selection of old, 20-plus year old Metz, CQH, Orvis, etc. dry fly necks, whose bigger feathers make perfect streamer wings. Lacking that, here are more options:

I found both these packages at the Orvis Store in Manchester, Vermont, a couple years ago. Saw them recognized them as great streamer hackles, and grabbed 'em.

I found both these packages at the Orvis Store in Manchester, Vermont, a couple years ago. Saw them, recognized them as great streamer hackles, and grabbed ’em.

When buying strung saddle, the first thing I do is take the bundle from the pack, and go through all the feathers. There will be some schlappen in there; sort that out and store it with your schlappen to be used for tailing and throats. I keep my schlappen, trimmed, fluff removed, in three Plano boxes. Having the colors sorted, with a small inventory of each color, and ready-to-use makes this much easier.

The next thing on sorting strung saddle, if you want to, remove the non useable, and any damaged feathers. You are pretty much good to go from there on. Lots of the feathers can make fishing flies though. Let’s not forget that. Especially, you can place the inferior feathers on the inside of the wing, or use six hackles when only four are called for.

Whiting Streamer Pack - thankfully some companies are breeding and  producing feathers for the streamer tiers.

Whiting Streamer Pack – thankfully some companies are breeding and producing feathers for the streamer tiers. There are generally the perfect shape, but their downside is that often the stems are a little stout. They can be made better for tying-in by cutting the tip of the butt section with a scissor-cut, right in the stem. Basically you are making a cut in the stem, and parallel to it. This lessens the bulk of fat stems, by partly shredding it. Finally, the use of a pair of flat-blade, non-serrated tweezers, flattening the stems of all wing components, just before tying in, makes them lie flatter on the head / tie-in area on your fly.

Whiting also has their American Rooster Capes, these are pretty good for streamers, but again from what I have seen, the stems are a bit stout. My fellow streamer tier, Eunan Hendron, posted a very good reply below, after this piece was published. I decided to do an edit by placing notice here, of his recommendation based on experience of Whiting American Rooster Saddles. Be sure to read his comment, as he discussed his experience with them and the price range of under $30.

And finally, Chinese necks or capes, these are not saddle feathers. Bill Keough’s salt water necks / capes are good feathers for streamers, but most of the colors are a little too hot for traditional streamer tying;chartreuse, purple, hot pink, fluorescent orange. Yet, at the upcoming Fly Fishing Shows, if you can get there, check them out. If he has white ones and you don’t mind dyeing, go for it.

Chinese Streamers Necks, both came from LL Bean they are Wapsi Products.

Chinese Streamers Necks, both came from the LL Bean Flagship Store in Freeport, Maine. They are Wapsi Products.

Plenty of fly shops are Wapsi Dealers, if they do not carry these capes in their regular stock, get them to order some for you. Tying streamers should be the hardest part of this; locating good materials ought not prevent anyone interested in twisting up some classic streamer patterns from doing so.

And, seven years ago, my Streamer DVD was published. They are still available.

Traditional Streamers and Bucktails, 2007, recorded and produced by Bennett- Watt Entertainment

Traditional Streamers and Bucktails, 2007, recorded and produced by Bennett- Watt Entertainment as part of their DVD series, The New Hooked on Fly Tying Collection.

The methods demonstrated in this DVD, while it does not cover Carrie Stevens cementing wing components techniques, still contains a lot of good info that will benefit your streamer tying.

And I close with a photo of a streamer pattern, as an example of pretty good feathers for the wing:

G. Donald Bartlett, a Carrie Stevens pattern created and named after G. Donald Bartlett of Willimantic Connecticut.

Don’s Special, one of three Carrie Stevens patterns created and named after G. Donald Bartlett of Willimantic, Connecticut. Dressed by Don Bastian on a Gaelic Supreme Rangeley Style Hook, size #1 – 8x long.

Tight threads everyone! Happy Thanksgiving too!

Carrie Stevens – Silver Doctor

Not too long ago a friend sent me this picture of a streamer. At first we were not sure what it was, though we were both pretty sure it was a Carrie Stevens tied fly. My friend sent the image to Don Palmer, of the Rangeley Outdoor Heritage Museum in Oquossoc, Maine, and he identified it as a Silver Doctor, though sans a few parts.

It’s pretty well beat, missing both cheeks, and the shoulder is gone as well on one side. The significant part of this image is that you can see evidence of Carrie’s use of cement / varnish, in the interior section of the wing. In addition to pre-assembling and cementing her wing components in advance; hackles, shoulders, and cheeks, she applied cement to the inner portion of the wing to help hold the fly together, and also used it to help set the wings. Here you go:

Silver Doctor Streamer, tied by Carrie Stevens.

Silver Doctor Streamer, tied by Carrie Stevens. The jungle cock cheek is missing. The normally red head has oxidized and changed color from rusting of the hook.

And here is the revealing image that most of us never get to see:

The inside of a Carrie Stevens streamer fly - look closely, you can see residue of cement that held the shoulder in place. This also bears witness to how much cement she used, and how long of the stem portion of the feathers she applied it to.

The inside of a Carrie Stevens streamer fly – Silver Doctor, missing both the gray mallard shoulder and jungle cock cheek. Look closely, you can see residue of cement that held the shoulder in place. This also bears witness to how much cement she used, and how long of the stem portion of the feathers she applied it to. You can also see more of the throat fibers exposed, revealing a bit of her unique, self-taught, layering method of applying the throat to her flies. The copy of notes I have that were made by Austin S. Hogan, angling historian, and the first curator of the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont, reinforce all that I have described here.

Don’t forget, you can click on the pic, enlarge it, and be better able to view the cement residue. Remember, Carrie Stevens was a milliner by trade, so when she started tying flies in 1920 when she was already in her forties, it was only natural for her to apply what she learned in her trade to her new profession of fly tying.

The other thing that is noteworthy; you can also see the slight up-angle of the wing, the stems are not in perfect parallel alignment with the shank of the hook, as I’ve seen some tiers do, but are at a slight angle above the horizontal line of the hook shank. I mean to me, if you’re gonna tie Carrie Stevens patterns then I think they ought to be done as she did…that is, if you know the facts and have the ability to tie the fly in “true Rangeley Style.”

Thanks to my friend, Lance Allaire of Maine, for sending these pics to me.

Vintage Stuff

A friend of mine, and one of my blog followers, and occasional commenters, Alec Stansell, of Massachusetts, posted this picture on his facebook page. I liked it and decided to share it with my readers. It is some carded streamers and a bottle of head cement from the Percy Tackle Company, of Portland, Maine. Percy Tackle Co. was started by Gardner Percy, I believe, back in the 1920’s.

The flies are a Mickey Finn (left), unknown (center) – I have put in a message to Alec to identify it, and a Gray Ghost. The head cement is pretty cool too. Wonder how it would work?

Old collectible items from the Percy Tackle Company, of Portland, Maine.

Old collectible items from the Percy Tackle Company, of Portland, Maine. The flies are attached to the card with a staple over the hook bend. This was the most common method of attaching streamers and bucktails to cards.

Don’t forget, you can click on the picture, and it will enlarge for a bigger image. If you have a new touch-screen laptop like I do (still getting used to it), then you can also make the pic bigger just by moving your fingers…either way works.

Alec just messaged me, this pic was on eBay. He bought the items, but has not yet received them. He offered to take macro pics of the items when he gets them, and we’ll get the name for that unknown pattern. He thinks it’s called “Commando.” Which is interesting because I do not know of a fly with that name…course, sometimes I just don’t know… 😉