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.

Victory

This Carrie Stevens pattern was originally included in another post I wrote last August; https://donbastianwetflies.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/carrie-stevens-streamer-patterns/

This Victory is more recently tied, and I am experimenting with a different type of set up for the photos, placing the fly upright rather than flat against a background. This allows me to play with depth-of-field, which can place more emphasis on the fly. This fly is another addition to my Carrie Stevens Pattern Dictionary. Below is the Victory:

Victory – Carrie Stevens pattern, tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

The Victory

Thread: White Danville 3/0 monocord for the body.

Carrie Stevens used white buttonhole thread for her body work. I discovered that while visiting the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont on June 13, 2012. Part of the present display, A Graceful Rise, a tribute to women in fly tying and fishing, included photos of Austin Hogan’s notes and drawings that he painstakingly made in the early 1960’s of Carrie’s fly tying methods. I also recently learned from Mike Martinek that Austin actually deconstructed some of Carrie’s streamers to validate his work. Later on Mike became friends with Austin, and together the two of them also deconstructed some of Carrie’s patterns. He told me they had a few with hook points broken off, or were missing a cheek, etc. The use of the buttonhole thread is just one of the discoveries I made there. I know I am going to keep everyone in suspense, but I’m will reveal this information at a later date, after I’ve had time to study it more thoroughly.

Hook: This pattern is dressed on a Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style Streamer Hook. Any long shank streamer hook may be used.

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red hackle fibers, about equal to hook gape

Rib: Flat silver tinsel

Body: Red floss

Belly: White bucktail

Throat: Red

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

Cheeks: Jungle cock

Head: Red, white, and blue, in that order back to front. I use Danville Flymaster 6/0 #47 red, #1 White, and Blue 3/0 monocord, which since it is not listed on the Danville Chenille Company web site, I assume is discontinued. I also have a couple spools of Danville Blue Flymaster 6/0 that is not their #507 flourescent blue. That must also be a discontinued color.

Victory – mounted, carded. I have loved this traditional style streamer and bucktail carded packaging ever since I saw it the first time thirty years ago. Nowadays we use plastic sleeves. Before that there was cellophane, and before that, in the days when Carrie Stevens, Herb Welch, Gardiner Percy of Percy Tackle Company, Bill Edson, Chief Needabah, and other Maine and New England fly tiers sold their streamers, the favored material in use was a wax paper-like substance called glassine.

There is just something classic about the look of carded streamers and bucktails.