Victory – Carrie Stevens Streamer Pattern

Rounding out the quartet of patriotic streamer patterns created by Carrie Stevens during World War II is the Victory. The other three patterns are the America, Casablanca, and General MacArthur. All four have heads banded in red, white, and blue. The Victory is the only pattern among the four with a floss body, the other three have tinsel bodies. These patterns exemplify Carrie Stevens’s business acumen and entrepreneurial talent. Besides creating fly patterns that fed the egos of many of her husband’s guiding clientele, she created patterns that caught fish too. By the mid-1930’s, 49 percent of the patterns recorded in the Upper Dam House record book – which required a weight of at least three pounds for entry, were Stevens streamer flies.

Victory - size

Victory – size #2 – 8x long Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style streamer hook. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.


Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red hackle fibers

Ribbing: Flat silver tinsel

Body: Red floss

Underbelly: White bucktail

Throat: Red hackle fibers

Wing: Two light blue hackles flanked on each side by one gray hackle

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Three equal bands of red, white, and blue thread

To view or purchase Don Bastian’s Collector’s Edition Set of Carrie Stevens Patriotic patterns visit:

General MacArthur – Carrie Stevens Streamer Pattern

The General MacArthur streamer was the most popular fly out of the four patriotic patterns Carrie Stevens created during World War II. The other three are the Casablanca, America, and Victory. The General MacArthur also proved to be an effective fishing fly, as revealed in a report of a 1942 fishing trip with H. G. Tapply, Editor of Hunting and Fishing magazine, and his wife. She caught ten landlocked salmon on the pattern in just two hours, while he managed to take only one fish on his favorite Dark Tiger.

General MacArthur -

General MacArthur – size #1 – 8x long Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style streamer hook. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

General MacArthur

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red, white, and blue hackle fibers in that order

Body: Flat silver tinsel

Throat: Red, white, and blue hackle fibers in that sequence

Wing: Two white hackles flanked on each side by one blue hackle, flanked on each side by one grizzly hackle

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Three equal bands of red, white, and blue thread in that order

To view Don Bastian’s Patriotic Patterns – Carrie Stevens Collector’s Edition Set, visit:

Casablanca – Carrie Stevens Streamer Pattern

The Casablanca was one of four patriotic patterns that Carrie Stevens created during World War II to help generate support for the war effort. The film Casablanca probably provided the inspiration for Carrie to create this pattern. The other three flies are the America, General MacArthur, and Victory.

Casablanca -

Casablanca -#2 – 8x long, Gaelic Supreme Martinek/ Stevens Rangeley Style streamer hook. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.


Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red hackle fibers

Body: Flat gold tinsel

Underbelly: White bucktail

Throat: Red hackle fibers

Wing: Four white hackles flanked on each side by one slightly shorter dark violet hackle – I used claret, it’s close enough to dark violet to me. The sample in the Hilyard Carrie Stevens book appears to have outer wings of nearly black.

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Three equal bands of red, white, and blue in that sequence

The Casablanca is one of just a handful of patterns where Carrie used gold tinsel on the body. The others are the Will Ketch, P.L.B. No. 1, P.L.B. No. 2, Orange Miller, and the Davis Special. The P.L.B. No. 2 in the Hilyard book lists “flat silver tinsel” for the body, but my eyes surely tell me the body I’m looking at on that fly tied by Leslie Hilyard is flat gold tinsel. I have corrected the recipe to the material that is actually on the fly, rather than the differing written component. That makes the most sense to me.

America – Carrie Stevens Streamer Pattern

I just finished tying eleven different Carrie Stevens streamer patterns for some of my orders. I decided to photograph them, carded, and then post them here with the recipes. A few of these flies have already been posted here, but my intent with this series is to simply post the fly and recipe, and maybe a few notes. They will be placed in my topic, Carrie Stevens Pattern Dictionary. Anytime you want to visit this category, you can select it under the “Category” list, or type in Carrie Stevens Pattern Dictionary in the search tab. I hope to expand this list as a reference source for interested fly tiers.

The America was one of four patriotic patterns that Carrie created during World War II to generate support for the war effort. The other three patterns are the General MacArthur, Casablanca, and Victory. All have heads finished with bands of red, white, and blue thread.

Here is the America:


America – size #1 – 8x long. Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style streamer hook. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.


Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: White hackle fibers

Body: Flat silver tinsel

Throat: White hackle fibers

Wing: Two white hackles flanked on each side by one red hackle, flanked on each side by one blue hackle

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Equal bands of red, white, and blue in that sequence

To view or purchase Don Bastian’s Carrie Stevens Collector’s Edition Patriotic Set no. 3, visit:

Carrie Stevens Collector’s Edition Set No. 3

The third installment in my Carrie Stevens Collector’s Edition Sets of her streamer patterns just went live for sale this afternoon on This is the “General MacArthur” Set, officially known as Set No. 3.

The America and General MacArthur, two of the four patterns mounted as shown in the Collector’s Edition Display Box.

Casablanca and Victory

To view more photos of the flies, packaging, and for additional information on this set of Carrie Stevens patterns that I am offering for sale, please click here:

Presently, I have several more sets being developed. These sets are composed of Carrie Stevens streamer patterns, tied by me, grouped together in themed, custom Collector’s Edition Boxed Sets. Set No. 4 will feature the patterns Carrie Stevens created for the Rapid River section of the Rangeley Lakes Region: The Lakewood, Rapid River, Larry, and Larry’s Special.

Carrie Stevens created the Lakewood and named it after Lakewood Camps; the Larry and Larry’s Special were named in honor of former Lakewood Camps owner Larry Parsons, who operated the camps from 1942 until 1975. And of course, the Rapid River.

Thank you all for your support of my blog efforts! Happy Fourth of July!

General MacArthur

The General MacArthur streamer, was originated by Carrie G. Stevens of Upper Dam, Maine, during the early 1940’s. The posting of this streamer completes the “Patriotic Quartet” of four streamer patterns that she originated during World War II as her way to help support the war effort. General Douglas MacArthur, for whom this pattern is named, was the highest-ranking army general during World War II.

Carrie Stevens almost without argument can be credited with the distinction of being the first fly tier to create commemorative fly patterns. Even though many fly tiers in history created fly patterns and named them for their fishing friends, Carrie Stevens is almost certainly the first fly tier, the first woman fly tier, to elevate the commemorative streamer fly to the status it has acquired today. By the time she originated the General MacAuthur, she was already well-known in fly tying and fishing circles, thanks to the creation and popularity of her Gray Ghost.

General MacArthur – carded

General MacArthur – carded, a diagonal view. The hook is a size #1 – 8x long, Gaelic Supreme Martinek  Stevens Rangeley Streamer style.

General MacArthur

Hook: Any long shank streamer hook, tier’s discretion

Thread: I use white Danville color #1 – 3/0 monocord for the body work on the larger hook sizes of these streamers. *

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red, white, and blue hackle fibers, tied separately in sequence

Body: Flat silver tinsel

Throat: Red, white, and blue hackle fibers, tied separately in sequence

Wing: Two white hackles flanked on each side by one blue hackle flanked on each side by one natural grizzly hackle

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Red, white, and blue thread, the blue on this example is Danville’s discontinued 3/0 dark blue monocord. **

* Carrie Stevens used white buttonhole thread for her body work, as evidenced in the research of her tying methods by Austin S. Hogan, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was also the first curator of the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont.

** These thread colors are Danville #56 Red, #1 white, and blue, color number unknown. Both Danville blue threads; 3/0 monocord, and a medium blue that I luckily possess are no longer on their Nylon 6/0 color list. They list only a fluorescent blue, #507, but that is not the shade I have.

Carrie Stevens General MacArthur streamer; tied and photographed by Don Bastian. Size #1 – 8x long.

The four patriotic streamers are being offered for sale on just in time for America’s favorite patriotic holiday, the Fourth of July. God Bless America!


The Casablanca is one of the four patriotic themed streamers created by Mrs. Carrie G. Stevens, of Upper Dam, Maine, during World War II, and the third streamer of the four in this set that I have posted here. The other three streamers in the series are the America, General MacArthur, and Victory.

Casablanca – carded. The hook is a Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style Streamer, size #1 – 8x long.

Casablanca – carded, a different view.

Casablanca – a Carrie Stevens pattern, tied and photographed by Don Bastian


Hook: Long shank streamer hook, tiers choice

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red hackle Fibers

Body: Flat gold tinsel

Belly: White bucktail

Throat: Red hackle fibers

Wing: Four white hackles flanked on each side by a slightly shorter dark violet hackle

Head: Three bands of red, white and blue

I used claret-dyed hackles for the dark violet called for in the recipe; essentially the same color. Photographs of an original Casablanca tied by Carrie Stevens in the book Forgotten Flies, 2000, show the dark violet hackles appearing almost black. The gold tinsel body on the Casablanca represents the least-used tinsel by far on her flies. The preponderance of silver tinsel in her flies indicates that Carrie Stevens harbored a decided preference for it, although there may have been an economic reason for that, considering she started tying flies in the late 1920’s and continued through the Great Depression.

July 3, 2012: I couldn’t resist adding the following material as an edit. This morning I posted this photo of the Casablanca in my Carrie Stevens Streamers Photo Album on The Streamer List site administrator and fellow streamer enthusiast, Chris Del Plato, posted this comment:

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.” Which immediately made me start laughing. Then I replied to Chris with this follow up comment:

“Chris, thanks for your spontaneously appropriate comment! From the classic movie genera, that’s got to be one of the most iconic lines, in one of the most iconic scenes, spoken by one of America’s most iconic actors, to one of America’s most iconic actresses. (Back when there were actors and actresses).”

“Ah, the good old days…”

And I made that up as I went along, having seen Casablanca only twice, without doing any on-line research beforehand. And as Americans go in general, I’ve seen far fewer rather than more movies in my lifetime. Honest. You can count on that.

All this then, made me decide to add the exchange between Chris and I to this post on the streamer pattern. Then I started to speculate if there could be a connection between the Carrie Stevens streamer fly Casablanca, the patriotic effort of World War II; which we know she was interested in both as an American and as a businesswoman, and the movie of the same name. Casablanca was released in 1942. This possibility is not and will likely never be confirmed, but here is some information I found, quoting the written film material on Casablanca, from Wikipedia:

“Although it was an A-list film, with established stars and first-rate writers—Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, and Howard Koch, received credit for the screenplay—no one involved with its production expected Casablanca to be anything out of the ordinary; it was just one of hundreds of pictures produced by Hollywood every year. The film was a solid, if unspectacular, success in its initial run, rushed into release to take advantage of the publicity from the Allied invasion of North Africa, a few weeks earlier. Despite a changing assortment of screenwriters frantically adapting an unstaged play and barely keeping ahead of production, and Bogart attempting his first romantic lead role, Casablanca won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Its characters, dialogue, and music have become iconic, and the film has grown in popularity to the point that it now consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films of all time.”

I conclude with these words: Personally, from the evidence we do know, Carrie Stevens was not only a fly tier, but she was a business woman and a skilled, entrepreneurial self-promoter who possessed an uncanny marketing acumen. Considering her numerous creations of streamer patterns named after her fly tying customers and her husband’s guide business clients, in conjunction with the other three patterns in her patriotic series, the America, General MacArthur, and Victory, I believe the two are related. By more than coincidence. I think it’s a safe assumption that Carrie’s creativity and business-sense merged when she conceived and named the Casablanca streamer fly.

This study of historical information and the individuality and creativity of an iconic fly tier, fly designer, and businesswoman, in this case provides fascinating information to add another chapter to the rest of the story.


I am adding another of the four patriotic streamer flies originated by Carrie Stevens during World War II. They are the America, Casablanca, General MacArthur, and Victory. This is the America.

The America streamer pattern, designed by Mrs. Carrie G. Stevens of Maine, as part of a series of four patterns she created during World War II as her way of generating support for the war effort. This hook is a Gaelic Supreme, English-made size #1 – 8x long Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.


Hook: Any brand of long shank streamer hook will do.

Thread: White Danville 3/0 Monocord. When 3/0 monocord is used it should be specified as such, since Danville also makes a size B monocord

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: White hackle fibers

Body: Flat silver tinsel

Throat: White hackle fibers

Wing: Two white hackles flanked on each side by one red hackle, flanked on each side by one blue hackle

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Red, white, and blue – Danville Flymaster 6/0 #56 red, #1 White, and blue 3/0 monocord, which is a discontinued color.

The head cement I am presently using is Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails. It takes 5 – 6 coats to eliminate the thread tracks. It’s nice and clear and smooth. I have some Grif’s Thick that I might try, but that head cement is no longer manufactured. I am using these cements because Wapsi Gloss Coat, which I initially loved for its quick-building, smooth,shiny finish, with no bubbles. It turned out to be a disappointment because it gets blotchy and gray after a couple months, even when I used the proper Wapsi Gloss Coat Thinner, after having the problem initially when I used lacquer thinner. The Gloss Coat did not improve its performance even when I used the correct thinner. Any cement or adhesive made specifically for fly tying that does not meet my standards will not have a place on my tying bench. However, I still use the gloss coat if I am finishing it with black Pro-Lak or other colors of head lacquer.

Classic streamer devotees prefer to replicate these flies on heritage style hooks such as Mustad 3665A, 94720, and 7957 return-loop eye hooks, or on classic replications such as the Gaelic Supreme hooks. The Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style hooks are actually made using an antique hook provided to Grahame Maisey of Belvoirdale / Gaelic Supreme by noted streamer authority, Michael Martinek, Jr. of Massachusetts, a good many years ago. The manufacturer in England certified that the hook Mike provided was a pre-War vintage Allcock, made by his father who worked for Allcock, and was a non-cataloged long-shank hook that Carrie Stevens special-ordered from Allcock.

Below is a photo of a carded America.

The America streamer, carded on traditional packaging card I had made about eight or nine years ago.

And another, a horizontal image:

The America streamer, a Carrie Stevens pattern, tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

I have a few hundred of these cards yet, though the phone number is no longer mine; I just figure that will change when I have new ones made.

Carrie Stevens Streamer Pattern Assortment

These photos of fifteen different Carrie Stevens streamer patterns that I tied in March was initially posted in my Cabin Weekend Fly Tying Session dated March 11th. I am posting them separately here with only the patterns identified for inclusion in my developing Carrie Stevens Pattern Dictionary. Eventually the recipes will be posted with photos of the individual patterns as I continue working on this portion of my blog.

An assortment of Carrie Stevens streamer patterns, tied and photographed by Don Bastian. Left column: G. Donald Bartlett, Gray Lady, Rapid River, Don’s Special. Middle column: Lakewood, Larry’s Special, Don’s Delight, Larry. Right column: Lady Miller, Jenny Lind, Merry Widow.

Carrie Stevens streamer patterns. This represents her entire patriotic series of four patterns that she created during World War II.
Upper right – two of the Casablanca; center left – two Victory; upper right – three of the General MacArthur, and across the bottom, four of the America. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Hooks are all Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style streamers, sizes range from #1 – 8x long to #4 – 6x long.





Carrie Stevens Streamers – Cementing Wings

I have been tying flies for 48 years, but I have only been cementing the wings on Carrie Stevens streamer patterns for about nine months. Even so I still think that I have some advice to offer, based on the combination of my extensive fly tying career and my limited application of cementing about 250 pairs of streamer wings since last June.

Last summer one afternoon I was tying some Carrie Stevens streamer patterns and ran into particular difficulty setting the finished wings on one fly. The pattern in question was my first effort at tying the Big Ben, and is the actual fly in the photo below, a Stevens pattern named after Benjamin Pearson of Byfield, Massachusetts. In fact this photo, posted some months ago in the summer on my blog, features four Carrie Stevens patterns:

Gray Ghost, Merry Widow, Big Ben, America

When I got to tying the Big Ben that day, the wing components just would not settle into place as they should and normally would. I was using the same technique that I had used for 47 years, which in this case, meant tying in the wing feathers all at once; then one shoulder, then the other shoulder, then one cheek at a time. On this fly my usual method was failing me. The completed wing just was not cooperating. A fellow fly tier then suggested I try cementing the components together, and of course I balked. “I never did it that way before,” I said. But I finally gave in and decided I had nothing to lose. I built both sides of the wing in the manner that Carrie Stevens did; cementing the hackles to each other, then cementing the shoulder to the wings, and finally the jungle cock cheek to the shoulder. To my amazement I discovered that when I placed both completed wing assemblies in place on the hook at the head of the fly, they wound on with ease, and it looked perfect. I learned something new that day about tying flies. For a number of years now, I have learned that it is both surprising, and not surprising at all to learn something new in fly tying. Author, fly tier, and angler Poul Jorgenson once said, “Fly tying is a school from which no one ever graduates.”

The Big Ben in this picture is the first streamer fly I ever tied with cemented wings. This set of flies in the photo above is unique in that it is one-of-a-kind collection; three of the flies are tied using my former manner of wing assembly with separately tied-in components, and the Big Ben has the previously assembled, completely cemented wing. The flies in this boxed set are also different because the bands on the heads are all painted on, not made with the tying thread using my specialized technique that I developed a couple months after I began the use the application of banded heads on Carrie Stevens patterns (After not doing banding the heads on Stevens patterns since the late 1980’s). There are a couple other posts here about that topic.They can be found by clicking on the tags at the end of this post. When I got home and continued tying Carrie Stevens patterns, I began to use the “new” cementing technique in earnest. More of this involved making the completed wing assemblies, which I discovered that I liked that process itself very much, kind of like model-building I suppose. I have literally cemented every wing on all the streamers I have tied since then, all Carrie Stevens patterns so far, well over one hundred-fifty individual flies in more than fifty of her different patterns.

When I was once asked  what cement I was using, I indicated that I was relying on Elmer’s rubber cement. Basically because that was the only cement I had on hand that was suitable. I would have used Flexament but my bottle was pretty much set up into the consistency of molasses in the middle of a Mooselucmaguntic winter, and I had no thinner. Since E. Hille – The Angler’s Supply House in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, since 1936 closed last March, and the nearest fly shop is now a 44-mile round trip, I looked for a substitute. The tier I was discussing this with had never heard of the use of Elmer’s rubber cement for streamer wings, and our discussion on this cement centered on whether it would hold up, if the bond would last, how strong it was, and was it waterproof, etc. So rather than defend the unknown I decided to put Elmer’s rubber cement to the test. I know that other tiers out there use a variety of cements for cementing streamer wings. Angler’s Corner cement, Sally Hansen, Flexament, etc. I’ve even heard of a tier who used contact cement, but I would hesitate on that because contact cement doesn’t like to have the cemented components moved once “contact” is made, hence its name. Perhaps I got lucky because I really like the job that Elmer’s rubber cement does. Maybe I am being a tad stubborn, but I am very satisfied with the results I am presently achieving and have no desire to experiment. The old adage, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ comes to mind. And I’ve stated that before. The Elmer’s cement allows repositioning and slight adjustment of the pieces as they are assembled to permit precise alignment of the feather stems. The photo below is of a completed wing for the Stevens pattern, the Jitterbug, with an inner wing of green, then orange, and a shorter pink hackle on the outside. It’s an underwater photo; the wing is shown resting in a bowl of water where it had been for thirty-six hours prior to this shot.

Jitterbug Wing, cemented with Elmer’s rubber cement. This is an underwater photo. The wing assembly was soaked in this bowl of water for 36 hours.

The next thing I did was to remove the wing from the water and give it the “shake test.” For this, I grabbed the wing by the tip of the inside of the three feathers in this pattern and started shaking my wrist. I shook it hard, counting to one-hundred. I shook it so hard my wrist got sore. Then I laid it aside and did something less strenuous. About five minutes later I returned to the scene and, using my left hand, gave this wing the shake test again. Another hundred, hard, arm-numbing shakes. And I’m right-handed so my left arm got more sore and sooner. I had enough and walked away. But I vowed to return. When I made my third visit, I employed another hundred active right-hand wrist shakes, and while a bit shaken from the ordeal, the wing remained intact. The photo below is the Jitterbug wing after a 36-hour soaking and three-hundred hard shakes of my wrists.

Still wet, the intact Jitterbug wing after 36 hours in water and 300 hard shakes of my wrist to test the bonding strength and practicality of Elmer’s rubber cement.

Close-up of the Jitterbug wing. The only effect my test had was a slight splitting of the jungle cock nail.

When I cement the wings for Rangeley Style streamers, I generally apply the cement up the shaft of all the feathers used about the same distance as the length of the jungle cock nail feather. Usually this is about half to five-eighths of an inch. On larger trolling size hooks I’ll cement up to 3/4 of an inch. This technique and the Elmer’s rubber cement work very well.

I really enjoy preparing and cementing the wings for streamer flies; that process in itself is a fun part of the creativity of fly tying.

The text below was added this morning, March 6th, as an edit, thinking this information may be of added benefit to other fly tiers. This follows a comment on the post by Marc Fauvet of The Limp Cobra:

As I noted in the article, my personal experience with cementing streamer wings, a technique pioneered by Carrie Stevens of Maine in the late ’20′s or early 1930′s, was that I knew about it but never had the need or interest to try it. Once I tried it, I fell in love with it. I like the assembly portion of the fly construction, but the main reason I like cementing the wings ahead of time is that it makes setting streamer wings a piece of cake. For me at least. I always position and hold the wings in place, and then make 3 – 4 very tight, at-maximum tension, initial thread wraps. These are made right at the base of the stems and at the every rear edge of the head of the fly. At which point I release my left hand grasp of the wing and check it out. Most of the time it is perfect or nearly so, and if off, it’s only by a few degrees of angular tilt, sometimes vertically, but mostly any misalignment is horizontal along the shank of the hook. A little thumbnail tweak of the butt ends of the stems provides adjustment of the wings, whereupon correction of wing position and attitude, subsequent, strategically-placed tight wraps then permit me to trim any remaining butt ends of feather stems, if necessary. I also prefer to make the heads of Carrie Stevens patterns that I tie a bit elongated as she did, feeling that to accurately replicate another fly tier’s work one should mimic the original style.

I have an idea for my next fly tying demonstration, and that is to incorporate wing-setting into my efforts and make that aspect – setting wings on both wet flies and streamers, a tying-demo priority…for the benefit of viewers and students.

Here is another add-on edit with a bit more info on selecting hackles:

When it comes to selecting streamer feathers, I use whatever is suitable – both neck and saddles. I am fortunate to have a supply of rooster capes bought up to 20 years ago, before genetic engineering of chickens altered the desirable shapes of what streamer tiers look for. Even Carrie Stevens had some degree of inconsistency in the feather tips of the wings on her flies; this can be seen by study of photographs of her originals. With presently available sources, the shape of the tips of feathers varies from bird to bird and pack to pack of strung saddle and neck hackle. Some packages / different manufacturers of strung saddle provide some good streamer feathers, others not. All I can say is visit fly shops and / or buy multiple packs on line of strung saddle hackle, not every feather in a pack will be suitable streamer material, but you’ll get some useable stuff that way. It’s a good idea to also tie bass poppers, deceivers, and woolly buggers where the non-streamer feathers can be used. One could also sell or give these feathers away to friends or fly tying kid’s programs that can use them.