söndag 27 december 2009

In between...

Now between a Merry Christmas and the Happy New Year I finally found some spare time to try out some new stuff that I recently came over. Some "White Deer Hair" and some really "White Fur". The Deerhair comes from.. eh well  a Deer and the fur from my mother in law´s cat, a Ragdoll, really cool cat by the way.
I have been searching ffor White Deer Hair for some time as I wanted it for Elsie Darbee´s Coffin Fly, it is needed for the body. Spun Deerhair cut short, makes a really nice lifejacket for a Hook #12.

The really White Fur from the cat was needed for Reuben Cross´s Cross Special, I noticed it in Mike Vallas -Tying Catskill styl dry flies. There was something I just couldn´t resist in that really white body.

I hope you like it... As usually I did :-)

lördag 28 november 2009

Better late than never

I have not spent as much time with my blog lately, sorry, other obligations and some lack of mojo maybe?

Well... Got a parcel of Peccary from my friend Andy Baird a couple of weeks ago. Sat down this week and played with that, really liked the mottled effect it had on a Catskill dry I made with it. I will call it the Peccary Dun until I fin a more sexy name for it. The wings are of Teal, tails also Peccary..
Will be back with some more within a couple of days, just wanted to say hello...

söndag 1 november 2009

British flyfair Auction

Steve who is running the British flyfair has this year´s auction set up to benefit the Potteries flytyingclub. The members of this club are an important link in the chain of staff setting up the world´s greatest flytying show.
Last year going there I didn´t really know about this event, so couldn´t do more than donate a couple of flies, If I remember correctly it gave like 10£. As a pretty competitive guy I wasn´t that satisfied with that contribution.... Well to this year´s event I took out the big artillery. I sent out some E-Mails and together with some friend started up a world vide project, a display frame with flies from the book North country flies by T.E Pritt. Now with only a couple of days left before departure it was finally ready, sort off. One of the participants, Charlie Davidson had his flies missing in action with a little help from the postal office. This issue will be solved in Stoke. I really hope that our efforts will give this fantastic group off people in the Potteries flytying club some funds, maybe even enough to invite me as a guestspeaker :-)

You can see the participants names and flies chosen in the picture. I wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone joining this our little project, myself is honoured by being a part of this bunch of "top notch" tyers.

Hope to see a lot of people laying bid´s on the frame..

söndag 11 oktober 2009

Getting ready...

Only a month left to this year top event, British Flyfair. This means busy times for us participating at flytyers row. Last year I just made some display flies, this year I have promised myself to make some stuff to create a nice atmosphere at my table..
First item, a Catskill collection in a handmade wooden box, box made by Lars Andersson a skilled Swedish craftsman.

The box has 18 Catskill flies in it. From left Royal Coachman Fanwing, March Brown, Quill Gordon, Red Quill, Conover and Ginger Variant. This box is offcourse when the "displayjob" is done possible to buy if anyone will be intrested.
The Royal Coachman Fanwing, one of my favourite flies to tie.

Second.. Some display flies.

Third out.. A Stewart "Three Killing spiders" frame. I have made four of them, will try to sell them to finance my trip.
Well these items and more will help me to make a nice little area for me and my visitors.

lördag 26 september 2009

A story about a fly and it´s originator

The Bradley special

Most dry flies fished in America during the end of 1800´s were mostly imported English patterns dressed to suite English waters. Because of this dry fly fishing wasn´t very common at this time. But in the end of the 1800´s that started to change, one of the pioneers was Theodore Gordon sometimes called “father of American dry fly fishing”. Most fishermen have heard of Mr Gordon, but there was offcourse others. I will with this piece try to tell a little story about a fly and it´s originator.

I first saw the “Bradley Special” in a fly swap I hosted, it was tied by my friend Roy Christie. It didn´t look like much but something with it´s simplicity caught my attention. Offcourse the fact of me never heard of it before also added some spice to the situation. The rumour says that a William A. Chandler, a well known fly fisherman from the banks of Neversink originated this fly. He was a good flytier and tied all his flies himself as the imported ones from England didn´t satisfie him. Chandler had great belief in that the wings was the most important part of the fly and also he added extra fibers to the tail, the common way at this time was two to three fibers but Chandler could use up to six sometimes even eight fibers.

The “Bradley Special” is the result of Chandler and his friend, Beaverkill trout club member William A. Bradley efforts. Chandler and Bradley was experimenting with a dry fly for fast water. They came up with a fly dressed with brownish mallard flank for the wing, rough blue/gray fur from the back of the red squirrel spun in a double strand of red silk. Finally medium red hackle for hackle and tail. Chandler later gave the fly the name after his friend.

In later years Mr Bradley had his “Bradley Special´s” made by the Dette´s. You could really tell that Chandler and Bradley had experimented with this fly as he wanted the fly tied in several different way´s depending on the water, weather conditions etc. The Dette´s did during this time make these special orders for their customers. They had a special card with Bradley´s different dressings for his belowed fly. In Eric Leisers book “the Dettes” you can understand that Mr Bradley was a quite demanding customer, he also made them promise not to sell the fly to any other customer. Winnie said -Quite frankly, he was a real pain in the you know what.

The Dette´s –Eric Leiser
Trout fishing in the Catskills –Ed Van Put

Hook: Model perfect ex Mustad 94840.
Tail: Medium red cape
Body: blue/gray fur from the back of the red squirrel spun in a double strand of red silk.
Wing: Mallard flank tied divided (also tied with Mandarine, Woodduck, Teal and Mallard breast fan wing)
Hackle: Medium red cape

måndag 14 september 2009

The Adams

The British flyfair around the corner. This weekend I started to make plans for what to tie. I decided that The Adams will be one of the flies I will demonstrate. Why? well the thing with me and patterns is that I like  agood story, and this one got one..

The Adams
Hook: Model perfect dry
Thread: Uni 8/0 White
Tails: Brown/Grizzly rooster
Body: Muskrat/Grey fox underbody fur mixed
Wing: Grizzly hackletips hen or rooster (rounded)
Hackle: Brown/Grizzly rooster

The Adams dry fly came to this world through the vise of Leonard Halladay of Mayfield, Michigan about 1922. Halladay designed the fly for his close friend Charles F. Adams of Lorin, Ohio. Judge Charles F. Adams asked his friend Halladay to create a fly that would imitate the insect the discriminating trout were favoring that day. Leonard Halladay and Charles Adams used The Adams with great success on their beloved Boardman River, Michigan.

From the beggining the fly was tied with two strands Golden Pheasant tippet or grizzly hackle fibers as tails and the wings were tied spent. Some people says that the Adams was first tied as a downwing to imitate a caddis. As for most known and belowed patterns there are a lot of different stories and for sure, the Adams has over the years been tied many different ways.

Even though it was originated in Michigan some catskill tyers like Rube Cross, Walt Dette and Harry Darbee early saw The Adam´s advantages and started to tie it comercially. There are still some contemporary catskill tiers that might shiver when the Adams is called a Catskill pattern. The Adams are proborably one of the most sold flies in America and known all over the world, maybe because of that these gentlemen took it to their vises.

A problem with this fly is to find the round hackle tips that requires for wingmaterial. The search for long, stiff hackles has made the hackletips narrover and more pointed then they were in the 1920´s. Walt Dette´s sollution to this problem was to use hackletips from hen birds.

I hope you enjoyed the story... I did.

lördag 29 augusti 2009

Messing with the classics

Tonight i started up tying some flyes for a fishing trip in September. I read that we could stumble on some Baetis Rhodani. So I used one of my favourite patterns, The Quill Gordon. As we are going to a catch and release water I used a barbless hook, Partridge SLD. Chosed a size 14 as the the body length of the Baetis Rhodani are 6-9 mm. the Tail is Coq de leon, really nice material for tailing, long and nicely segmented. For the body I used Golden olive dyed Peacock herl that I recently got from Mr Holding at the http://www.flytyingboutique.com/ . The dyed herl was perfect in colour to what I was searching of. I can really recomend it, don´t forget to soak it first to soften it a little. The wing, well it´s a Catskill tie so offcourse woodduck, divided. The hackle, Grizzly dyed Golden Olive.

Quill Gordon Variant
I am quite pleased of the result and looking forward to try it on the graylings up in Idsjöströmmen.

söndag 23 augusti 2009

The Royster Doyster

A while ago I had my mate Roy Christie as a houseguest. After have seen one of his wonderfully dyed capes I managed to get him to take care of a grizzly cape that I had laying in my tying bag. So now I have had this wonderfully dyed cape lying in my tyingbag for some time, and today I felt It was time to play with it. I decided to do "The Royster Doyster". "The Royster Doyster" is somewhat a little tribute to my dear friend Roy Christie. Roy was my first foreign flytying mate, now after like 2 years, I consider him one of my best and closest friends. Offcourse he needs his very own fly, and offcourse if I´m doing it it has to be something close to my heart, a catskill style fly, not a quillie though, why.. Roy is more of a dubbing bloke so as a tribute to him the fly need some fur.

Here´s the stuff I used:
Hook: Partridge The Dry #14.. (Quality bloke- Quality hook)
Tails: Coq de leonBody: Red fox underfur (Roy´a clever bloke, so is the fox )Wing: Bronze Mallard
Hackle: Roy Christie special dye

söndag 9 augusti 2009

A Tribute to the Dette´s

My strongest obsession in flytying, the Catskill dry flies. In my opinion the Dette´s, Walt, Winnie and Mary are one of the best examples of true genuine Catskill traditions. Their patterns, flies and skills sets the bar skyhigh. After reading Mike Wallas book "Tying Catskill-Style Dry Flies" I also need to mention

the Dette´s as humble, caring and giving people. Not only with their flytying also as human beings. Thank´s Mike for writing this piece I will cherish it and read it many times. Now I only need to look for a copy of Mr Leisers "The Dette´s" also.

My way of saluting this family is by doing a frame with a selection of their own originated patterns and favourite flies and putting them in a frame. And who is better to ask about the flies than Mike Valla, I sent him a mail and asked him about the Dette´s favourite ties. Mike replied with the Delaware Adams, Coffin fly and the Conover. I used Mike´s book for information concerning the patterns and started to tie them.

Delavare Adams
The Delaware Adams was one of Walt Dette´s favourite ties. It is originated by Walt, he developed it from the Adams.

The Conover

The Conover, Winnie Dette´s favourite fly, both tying and fishing. My Conover has some black tips in the hackle, the story says that Winnie didn´t like that. Sorry Winnie, i didn´t find Golden Badger without the black tippets.

Coffin Fly

Last out of the three Dette flies the Coffin Fly. The original calls for Peccary tails, I didn´t have that so I substituted the Peccary with something more scandinavian, moose mane. I really liked tying this fly and I can´t wait until I get a chance to try it on the trout.

The Tribute

I truly enjoyed working with this frame. There is something very special with this family. i really hope that I one day can go to the Catskills and visit their house where they had their flyshop. Mary Dette Clark, Walt and Winnies daughter is still tying her parents patterns in the Catsills today, and her grandson Joe Fox is running the flyhop. Joe also a great Catskill dry fly tyer.

Hope you liked it


tisdag 4 augusti 2009

Quill Spiders

This weekend I played with my favourite material, Quill. The quill i´m refering to is in this case the quills that you get from stripping the fibers of rooster neck feathers. I got the idea to the first one from my favourite fly, the Red quill originated by Catskill tyer Art Flick. A pattern from the 1930´s if I not remember wrong. Another favourite material is the feathers from the Partridge skin, really love those "spotty" feathers. And finally a real "oldie" when comes to material for flytying, Peacock herl. A material usen on fishcatchers for centuries.
So a fly containg all of my favourite materials, this must be the fly that will make my dreams come true. Like many before...

Red Quill & Peacock

Light Quill & Peacock
A killing duo

söndag 26 juli 2009

Stewart Spiders

I found the Practical Angler by W.C Stewart online. As I have heard a lot of nice words regarding the Stewart Black Spider it caught my interest. So I read through the book, the chapter of flytying got my biggest interest of course. I got very fascinated in the writing, the thoughts presented by Mr Stewart, and I got the feeling of that not much has happened the last 150 years.
After reading it I got stuck with his "Three killing Spiders" Black Spider, Red Spider and Dun Spider. I felt I just had to do something to show my respect to these fantastic little bugs. I started with the most famous one of them.
Black Spider
Hackle: Starling
Thread: Brown Pearsall´s silk

The "Spider" more known to the word as the Stewart´s black spider is actually not Mr Stewart´s own pattern He mentions in his book that -the pattern was shown to us by James Baillie and has never been missed in our boxes since. So you could say Mr Baillie showed the fly to Mr Stewart and Mr Stewart showed it to the world.

After this fantastic pattern I continued my quest with giving the Red Spider a chance.

Red Spider
Hackle: Landrail
Thread: Yellow Pearsall´s
And as the third of the three killing spiders, was the Dun Spider. This one got me most confused as Mr Stewart left out the colour of the thread in the book. My first thought was then that it should have the same colour as the hackle, I felt that it made sense in some way. I thought Black spider -the dark one, Red spider - the light coloured one and finally the Dun spider as compromise in between. Well I obviously thought wrong, I thought Dun was grey when it is more gray, yellow creamish. I finally found out that the colour of the thread should be yellow.

Dun Spider
Hackle: Dotterel or Starling, inside wing
Thread: Yellow Pearsall´s

I must say that I got really fascinated of the whole thing with these spiders. Reading the book, making the flies etc. I felt I needed even more of this, I wasn´t quite ready yet.. So I decided to make my very own tribute to W.C Stewart. I made three decent buggers and while doing them I started to think of the layout. Found a nice picture in the beginning of the book, also borrowed the book´s title. And finally I was ready..

Next quest will, of course, be to try these bugs out on the fish.