America

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.

America

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.

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Carrie Stevens Collector’s Edition – Set No. 2

Carrie Stevens Collector's Set No. 2 - The "Charles E. Wheeler" Set, featuring the three patterns designed by Carrie Stevens and named for her friend and fly tying mentor, Charles E. Wheeler, of Stratford, Connecticut.

This is the second set in an expanding series of Carrie Stevens Collector’s Edition streamer patterns that I am offering for interested collectors. This Set is now available for purchase on my merchandise page at: http://www.myflies.com/Carrie-Stevens-Streamer-Patterns-Collectors-Edition-Set-No-2-P690.aspx

All orders placed at MyFlies.com for my merchandise are processed and shipped by me personally, so your order will receive my personal attention. Any additional requests may be included by adding a note to the order form at MyFlies.com.

This Set No. 2 features the three patterns named after a Stevens family friend, Charles E. “Shang” Wheeler. Each set comes with a letter of provenance listing the patterns, written on 24 lb., 25% cotton, Fine Granite watermarked paper, and is signed by me and numbered with a number 2 pencil.

The top photo illustrates the interior packaging. These sets come in a very nice white enameled gift box with a raised interior display panel. The inside is customized by me as shown, with gray card stock cemented to the panel, using acid-free cement, and then the streamer mounting cards are cemented as well. The flies are wired to the cards in the same manner that Carrie Stevens wired her flies to her packaging cards, at the hook eye and bend. Each set is consecutively numbered; I am pleased that Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are sold, interestingly enough to a decoy collector in Ohio. The reason for that is that Shang Wheeler was very well known as a decoy carver. He won the amateur division of the International Decoy Makers Contest, held at the National Sportsmen Show in New York City, for twelve years in a row. Mr. Wheeler is still highly-respected among the fans and devotees of waterfowl decoy carvers.

Don Bastian's Carrie Stevens Collector's Edition Set No. 2 Top Exterior Carton Label

Charles E. Wheeler Streamer, size #1 - 6x long.

These flies are all dressed on Gaelic Supreme Rangeley Style Streamer hooks, hand-made in England, and designed after hooks that were custom-ordered from Allcock in the 1930’s and 1940’s by Carrie Stevens. Check this link to Gaelic Supreme Streamer Hooks:  http://www.belvoirdale.com/Hooks.html

Charles E. Wheeler streamer - head, shoulder, & cheek macro. I like this fly because of the compound shoulder of teal and red duck breast feather, though I used Whiting American Hen Cape dyed red.

Shang's Favorite, size #1 - 6x long

Shang's Favorite - head, shoulder, & cheek macro

Shang's Special - head, shoulder, & cheek macro

Now I have to tell a story; if you look at this recent post: https://donbastianwetflies.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/fly-tying-weekends/ you will see the information that I tied these flies, 2 dozen in all; eight of each of these three Charles Wheeler streamer patterns at my cabin last weekend. I was with some of my best friends; we relaxed, hung out, tended the fire, enjoyed some libations (a balanced liquid diet of selected beers, Chianti and Chablis wines, and a little Jack, conveniently having at our disposal some beverages from the three liquid food groups: beer, wine, liquor. (Thanks to Sharon Butterfield, owner of MyFlies.com for that beneficial description). And we ate good food that we prepared ourselves. And yes, we tied some flies, all four of us.

The Shang’s Special as you see, according to Carrie Stevens’ original recipe, which I have followed, has a red head with a black band. Somehow I neglected to notice that fact while tying eight of them, even though I have tied this pattern previously, though never as many at one time as I did last weekend. Perhaps it was Jack’s fault. Nevertheless, when I started to take these photographs yesterday, I checked the Carrie Stevens…book for the recipes to type with the initial post, and suddenly realized I had messed up. Big time. I dressed the heads black with a red band. What to do? Well, after some thought, I took the first fly, placed it in my vise, and using my super-sharp mini-sized Swiss Army knife, I carefully sliced the head on one side, then peeled off the rest. I then re-wrapped it with red Danville Flymaster 6/0 and finished it with a narrow band of black, same manufacturer. It worked pretty well, so I was at it for an hour or so, repeating the process to repair the heads on all eight flies so that they would be correct. After all, these streamers are being specified by me in the promotional information as tied to “exacting specifications following the original recipes,” and it just wouldn’t do to have the heads wrong. Three coats of clear head cement later, and they were transformed.

Shang's Special, size #1 - 6x long

This is fun!