Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Manna From Heaven...Well Traverse City actually...



OldredbarnOctober 23rd, 2013, 9:45 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
I don't want to embarrass my friend Tim Neal, but he has sent me another Care Paket.

Earlier this year I received a small brown thread box with several flies in it...All variations of Robert's Drake. For those who aren't aware of this fly it was created by a Clarence Roberts from Grayling. He was a conservation officer, a river guide, and a fly tyer, and lived a block or so from a youngster named Tim Neal.

Tim and a friend named Jerry are the two "keepers of the flame" in terms of our historic flies from the Au Sable River/Grayling area. Ernie Borchers being one of the other famous tiers from there...Among others.

Today I got another small brown box and a wonderful note with some history and a step-by-step description on how to tie this fly as Mr. Roberts tied it. That would be nice enough, but Tim included 5 flies in various stages of being tied to literally show me what the fly should look like as it progresses. Each step.

Incredible!

In the first box he sent me was a size 18 olive tied to the Robert's Drake pattern...This box has a size 20!!! Now he's just showing off! :)

I know you are not a public guy Tim, but I wanted to thank you...Now if my Drake box isn't full next spring with fishable flies...It will be my fault and I should drown at Black Bend, or in the Whirlpool hole! ;)

I love that wider gap on that hook you use on this fly!

Thank you sir!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
CrepuscularOctober 23rd, 2013, 9:55 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
I'll have to try and give those a shot for next spring.
LastchanceOctober 23rd, 2013, 10:21 pm
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Spence, Is it a parachute drake fly of which you speak? Here's a video and SBS

http://on.aol.com/video/how-to-make-the-roberts-yellow-drake-fishing-fly-part-1-2-276851743

http://www.flyanglersonline.com/flytying/fotw2/060407fotw.php
PaulRobertsOctober 23rd, 2013, 11:08 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Photos??
TNEALOctober 24th, 2013, 8:18 am
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
The fly shown in the flyanglers online photos has the tail too sparse and and insufficient clump of deer hair at the bend. This fly was designed to imitate emergers; the combo of pheasant tail and flared deer hair make a very appealing trailing shuck. Don't limit the effectiveness of this great fly by tying it improperly.


Tight lines,

Tim
Feathers5October 24th, 2013, 8:52 am
Posts: 287TNEAL

I wasn't trying to offend anyone. I thought I was being helpful. I would certainly appreciate a Step-By-Step and a tied fly so I can tie it correctly. I may see Spence in the new year and I'd like to sell him a few.

Bruce
EntomanOctober 26th, 2013, 2:48 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Mr. Roberts must have been quite a man. Too few of them left... Is this one properly tied? Are the tails too sparse or long?
http://www.mynorth.com/My-North/April-2009/Icons-of-the-Fly-Vest-Roberts-Drake/

This fly was designed to imitate emergers; the combo of pheasant tail and flared deer hair make a very appealing trailing shuck.

Interesting, Tim. Makes a lot of sense. Out here there is a style that sounds very similar in effect to what you are describing. The difference is it's a shellback. Tied parachute or comparadun style, it's used for big drakes. With a down wing it has proved useful for stones and our big caddis. Never thought about trying smaller sizes. Sounds like I should. Have you tried yearling elk for the small sulfurs? Also sounds like if I ever make it back there, I'd be well served with a box full of Roberts and Borchers running the full gamut of sizes. Heck, maybe even out here. Fits with my preference for flies that the fish aren't seeing all the time.

This begs a question, Spence. Why do you carry so many fly boxes?:)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
OldredbarnOctober 26th, 2013, 4:43 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
This begs a question, Spence. Why do you carry so many fly boxes?:)


You figure this one out Kurt, you win a prize! :) I'm still trying to impliment a plan that Gonzo was nice enough to offer up in an attemp to spare the back...I'm going to get there I promise!

Sometimes this match the hatch thing can be carried a bit too far, especially if you are fond of tying...My guide friend Jimmy is always barking from the back of the boat, "Hey Spence. When you going to tie on and toss those "experimental" flies you've been carrying around for the last decade?!" I always tell him, "Those are situational flies waiting for a situation." ;)

I hope that brings a smile to your face Kurt...I know Tim's shaking his head at this point and probably mumbling under his breath, "This boy is incorrigible! He's fished the Au Sable enough to get over this...Something should of rubbed off from fishing for so long with them Grayling boys!"

I will admit that I remember my mentor telling me at the start to tie the flies you fish and don't get carried away...Easier said than done.

I know that I put this post under the "fly tying" section, but I really didn't mean this as a discussion of the good old Robert's Drake, but a gesture, in public, of thanks for the thoughtfulness of Tim's tutoring.

I have mentioned it before that I first ran in to Tim's flies in 1991. I was standing inside Caid's store in Lovell's near the North Branch of the Au Sable with my curmudgeon of a friend who has fished this river since a pre-teen. I can count on less than one hand the times I've ever heard him say anything nice about someone else's flies. He had one of Tim's in his hand and was examining it closely and said, "Spence. These are some nicely tied flies." He then proceded to tell me about the ones that were the old traditional Au Sable flies...Borcher's, Robert's Drake, Harris Special, etc.

Caid's used to have this cool old wooden box on the counter with a sliding glass door. The top was cut at an angle so you could look in and all the cubby-holes were filled with flies. There was a tiny sign next to it that said, "Flies tied by Tim Neal"...That was it.

I know I over romantize, and the grump calls me Mr. Lore, but if these memories aren't tucked away somewhere, the early mornings hunting with my grandfather in the 60's, the crisp early mornings standing knee deep in a stream filled with anticipation, the squeeky noise from an old wooden hardware floor where grandpa purchased my hunting license and a box of .410 shells for me, the bark of our beagle as she first entered the woods,and staring in to a display case filled with wonderful flies, well...I just don't know then, what the hell we are doing here, or what any of this is actually worth. I'm invested in this life and these recollections simply because they mean eveything to me.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
TNEALOctober 27th, 2013
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
From that angle, the fly in the photo appears to be one Clarence would have approved of. I haven't use yearling elk; the "Grayling boys" (at least the old-timers among us) seem to be stuck on deer hair. The Roberts Drake can be done as a style or series of flies. Vary the size along with shade of deer hair and thread color, tie them down to #20, and imitate the vast majority of emerging mayflies.


Tight lines, Tim
EntomanOctober 27th, 2013, 12:34 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Thanks, Tim.

We are brothers of the same school, Spence...













"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
TNEALOctober 27th, 2013, 9:48 am
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
I forgot to mention varying the hackle color as well....
Jcamp43November 26th, 2013, 8:04 pm
Florida & Michigan

Posts: 2
Tim,
This is a most interesting discussion and all well written. My wife and I have been going to the AuSable for several years and staying in Gates Lodge. Both of us fell in love with the area. While I was out fishing this past year, my wife was house shopping. In short, we purchased a house on the river near the whirlpool and can hardly wait to get back up there for more extended visits. Tim, I would very much like to meet you and some of the "Grayling Boys".

Although I have been tying flies far longer than I would like to admit, my skill is no where close to you're. It would be an honor to meet you.

J. Campbell

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Three Trouble Makers at the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo the past weekend
In the Photography Board by Oldredbarn
3Mar 11, 2014
by TNEAL
This is for Tim Neal (TNEAL) from Trico Thread.
In General Discussion by Oldredbarn
0
Re: Borcher's Drake
In Female Leptophlebia Mayfly Dun by Oldredbarn
3May 13, 2010
by TNEAL
Re: Favorite Pattern for Isonychia
In General Discussion by Adirman
11Jun 16, 2016
by Jmd123
Re: Info on Chris Helm
In the Photography Board by Oldredbarn
2Nov 29, 2014
by Martinlf
Re: Opening Day 2011 Grayling MI
In Fishing Reports by Oldredbarn
1May 12, 2011
by Flyman85
Re: Deer hair daddy long legs dry fly
In Fly Tying by Coha
1Jul 31, 2020
by Martinlf
Re: Denali
(2 more)

In the Photography Board by Wbranch
8May 1, 2014
by Wbranch
Re: Featherless Recipes that Work?
In Fly Tying by FisherOfMen
14Jan 10, 2012
by Wbranch
Re: Eastern Green Drake
In Female Ephemera guttulata Mayfly Dun by Wbranch
4Jan 28, 2010
by RleeP
Most Recent Posts
Yea...
In the Mayfly Species Ephoron leukon by Imaxfli
Re: Fall ISO's - Au Sable
In General Discussion by Brian314 (Partsman replied)
Tippet for Doug
In Gear Talk by Martinlf
Re: TMC 518 size 32 hooks
In Fly Tying by Dbarr15 (Martinlf replied)
Re: some fish taken on a modern streamer
In Fishing Reports by Partsman (Jmd123 replied)