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WbranchJanuary 19th, 2015, 9:26 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2676
Tony wrote;

I have always held the opinion that the only time bronze mallard or wood duck represent an accurate wing color is for imitating March Brown and Grey Fox.

Does anybody on this forum still tie on classic Catskill dry flies to actively feeding, large trout in slow pools on heavily fished waters? Is it your first choice?

If so, why?
If not, why?


I agree 100% although my preferred fly is a compara-dun #10

You know I don't fish any traditionally styled and tied Catskill flies to rising trout. Actually out of the thousands of dry flies I currently have in my boxes I have less than a dozen woodduck or bronze mallard divided wing dry flies. Seriously why in the world would a Red Quill or Hendrickson be tied with upright divided wood duck wings when the natural has dark dun wings????
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
CrepuscularJanuary 20th, 2015, 9:57 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Does anybody on this forum still tie on classic Catskill dry flies to actively feeding, large trout in slow pools on heavily fished waters?


yes

If so, why?

because the trout eat them

Is it your first choice?

sometimes, if that's what's attached to my tippet. And it depends on where I am and what my mood is.

Although you didn't ask...Do I think there are other flies that better emulate the natural? yes.


WbranchJanuary 20th, 2015, 10:38 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2676
Although you didn't ask...Do I think there are other flies that better emulate the natural? yes.


Agree 100%.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MiltRPowellJanuary 20th, 2015, 5:26 pm
Posts: 106huh,catskill fly, on my heavy hit spots on my stream that can be fished hard buy the wal-mart fishing nuts, I tell buy the lines, beer bottes,worm boxes,lure packages, and the what evers that something like man was here..,

The trash they discard& I pack out. I float them a pink lady hand tied by a old fellow from Hudson ,n.y. that's long gone now, for he passed away to better fishing water ,I'm sure. HE ADDRESS , this fly a take of the Catskill, & for picky trout, well it filled the bill, & made my day when others have said,,,,,
what you gonna catch with that... M.R.P.
flyfishingthecreekM.R.P.
CatskilljonJanuary 20th, 2015, 10:59 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
I float them a pink lady hand tied by a old fellow from Hudson ,n.y. that's long gone now, for he passed away to better fishing water ,I'm sure. HE ADDRESS , this fly a take of the Catskill, & for picky trout, well it filled the bill, & made my day when others have said,,,,,
what you gonna catch with that... M.R.P.


Nice. There is something to be said of the "old" flies, and as time goes by they sometimes can be "most killing" [in the words of Theodore Gordon!] simply because the fish don't see much of them.

The Pink Lady...that's a treasure! I myself have floated one on the Upper Willow at the same place George LaBranche did near a hundred years ago, the place he conceived and first cast that fly in its dry form.

Long live the Catskill style. CJ
CrepuscularJanuary 21st, 2015, 7:05 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920


Long live the Catskill style. CJ


Well CJ, so far it's holding up pretty well against the test of time. And with people like you tying those patterns as beautifully as you do, something tells me it'll stick around for a while. To me it doesn't get much better than seeing a stout brown trout coming up out of the boulders at the head of the Lower Mountain Pool to intercept a hackled March Brown bouncing along through the turbulent water.

Eric
BoulderWorkJanuary 21st, 2015, 8:54 am
Posts: 29Catskilljon,

Beautiful ties! Thank you for sharing these jewels.
MiltRPowellJanuary 21st, 2015, 1:13 pm
Posts: 106CJ. thanks for your comment, That's a treasure! I don't listen to the comment's of your nut's tieing that fly on, cause plainly we are all nut's so ta speak to walk ,miles in just for that one trout that no one ever sees, caught & let go to think what just happened to me. Someday I hope to fish a copy of the first Pink Lady ever made, mine is a gray winged take off, with wide gold tinsel, nice fly. M.R.P. P.S. If I could only have 6 flies to fish, Pink Lady would be one. I know, CRAZY!!! M.R.P.
flyfishingthecreekM.R.P.
MartinlfJanuary 21st, 2015, 6:33 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3084
A few summers ago I watched a guy catch several nice trout on the West Branch of the Delaware near Deposit. Nobody else there was hooking up. We chatted a bit and he showed me his fly. A Catskill olive. He said the bugs were getting up on their toes and that fly gave the best look to the fish. It sure made me think hard, as it went against much of what I'd heard about what flies worked best on the D. Also, re CJ's comment, it probably didn't hurt that those fish likely hadn't seen a lot of that style among all the comparaduns, parachutes, etc. that had drifted over them.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MiltRPowellJanuary 21st, 2015, 9:37 pm
Posts: 106Huh,Dear Sir,
so the fact that the Pink Lady has stood the test of time has no play in the state of game, of reading ones stream, what hatch is coming on or just got done. Or is none at all. Ah, is what it is, I first fished this fly,
after 40 years of fishing the same stream, in which I have seen man & mother nature do it's best to take the life out of it forever. Brookies are gone, been 20-25 years now. But the browns hang on. Stocked, heavy, but some natives still there,even others say not. There are still some us locals that know better.Plus there was the ol'man from Hudson, that done his fair share of fishing way before me, I listened to, found out he was wise,& I am grateful for alot of our talks. I know I wasn't the first to fish the Pink on our stream, & with a 40 year old son & a grand-son, I won't be the last to pass the pink.
flyfishingthecreekM.R.P.
CatskilljonJanuary 21st, 2015, 11:23 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Mr Powell sir,

This one is for you my friend.

< />

CJ
MiltRPowellJanuary 22nd, 2015, 1:35 am
Posts: 106Really nice, the one I fish is like yours,but has brown. tail, maybe shorter, and the fly, really does not have the clean lines as yours does. I think ya may know what I mean. But that older fly guy got me started in ol'school flies, and it inprinted in me to try-um & just keep it simple & go for it,& have fun with it, as he did his whole life. See I got into fly fishing late in life. Fished forever, tryed & stopped fly many times. Now that's all I fish,Me,Rod,Simple style reels,& DT5/4,oh loaded down vest, extra spool,back-up reel. I love it, great guys I have meet, & we are all nuts, sorry we just are. Nice, it's all good, keep it simple....M.R.P.
flyfishingthecreekM.R.P.
Kschaefer3January 29th, 2015, 10:29 am
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
I have been meaning to comment on this thread for quite some time. I have enjoyed going back and staring at the flies posted here.

CJ - Absolutely gorgeous flies! I don't know that I've ever seen lines that clean on a dry before. What is the ribbing material on the march browns?

Eric - Beautifully tied fly as well! Is that dun hackle?

A question for both, or anyone else. Is spade hackle the much larger feathers nearest the skin on a cape? I was searching for good tailing material on my half capes, but wasn't able to find barbules long enough and stiff enough to look like either Eric's of CJ's flies (probably user error).

I am very interested in learning how to tie a proper Catskill dry. I likely wouldn't fish them all the time, but I can think of a few situations. It would also be a nice fly to show off if I ever learn to tie them like these.!:)
OldredbarnJanuary 29th, 2015, 10:45 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Kyle,

"Spade" hackle has become harder to find with the hybrid birds...In some cases it has been bred away. On older necks it was along the sides of the neck...If you were looking at the neck they were usually along the edges that were the widest part of the neck...There is the part with the smallest feathers near the birds head, and then it buldges out around the middle of the neck and thats where they are...Along the sides...

Alternatives...Micro-fibbits, or Coq-de-leon feathers...You can get small packs for tailing and don't have to buy a whole neck.

Spence

The tailing material on John's Catskill fly just above is golden pheasant crest.
"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
Kschaefer3January 29th, 2015, 11:07 am
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
I use microfibbets often. I kind of like the idea of tying with natural materials on flies such as these. I did notice Charlie Collins sells pack of spade hackle for $5 a piece. He states it's enough to tail 3-5 capes worth of dries. I am considering ordering a grizzly cape from him, at which time I may order some spade hackle.

Golden pheasant crest, eh? I've never seen that in a fly shop. I may need to get the 12 gauge out...
OldredbarnJanuary 29th, 2015, 5:14 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Golden pheasant crest, eh? I've never seen that in a fly shop. I may need to get the 12 gauge out...


Some claim that these were used as the original tail on the Adams.

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
WbranchJanuary 29th, 2015, 5:15 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2676
Kyle,

"Golden pheasant crest" Golden pheasant crest may be used in this fly dressing but by no means should it be considered ideal dry fly tailing material. It is super soft and flexible and does not have the properties of good tailing material. Another natural tailing material is called Coq de Leon. It is quite pricey.

Here is a link; http://featheremporium.com/Fly-Tying-Feathers/coq-de-leon.html

When I run out of spade hackles on my necks (there really aren't that many on a neck) I just select a high quality hackle that I might use for a #10 dry fly and strip off all the fluff and any webby barbules until I get to barbules that are stiff. A #10 hackle will easily provide hackle barbules long enough for #14 and smaller flies. I only use microfibbets on spinners and Catskill style variants. If you are hard pressed you can also use some deer or elk hair for tailing. I use moose mane for the tails on my green and brown drake duns.

I'll send you an email with pictures of other tail material.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
CatskilljonJanuary 29th, 2015, 6:09 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Spence gave a very accurate description of Spade hackle and where to find it, and he is right, the "new" necks don't have it, at least not anything like it used to be. A few of us almost had Charlie convinced to raise some spade hackle birds but its just not worth his time and effort.

I also am a big promoter of using the "right" materials when tying Catskill flies. Nothing wrong with fibbets for tailing as they are easy to find and do a bang up job of supporting weight, but for true Catskill ties I feel like tying them as they were is best.

Charlies spade packs are great, and a terrific value. If your buying them strictly for tailing there is quite a bit of sorting and grading required but there are feathers in there with long and stiff enough barbs suitable for replicating Hewitts Skaters to exacting dimensions. Lots of fluff and sub grade feathers for other flies there also.

I have found that Charlies grizzly spade is soft, as are many of the old necks I have. The best thing I have found for grizzly are the old Metz capes. Not quite as stiff as all the others, but plenty suitable for flies up to size 10. Fortunately, when tying the Adams you are mixing fibers of brown in with the grizzly so they still stand tall.

I will post a photo tonight of some genuine Darbee capes and the unbelievable spade they have, along with a Metz for comparison. CJ

OldredbarnJanuary 29th, 2015, 6:48 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
The best thing I have found for grizzly are the old Metz capes.


CJ,

I have a few old Metz necks in "Honey" Dun/Sandy Dun...I horde the spade hackle on those, last of the mohicans, for my sulpher comparaduns etc.

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
CatskilljonJanuary 29th, 2015, 11:03 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Here is a shot of the spade hackle on one of Harry Darbee's dun rooster capes.

< />

The barbs on some of these hackles are almost 1 inch long, and can tail a Catskill dry up to a number 8 hook. I am satisfied however using Collins spade as it is easier to find than a Darbee cape is.

Some may be aware that Harry dried his capes on newspapers, and when they stuck to the skin he simply left them there. CJ
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