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|Catskilljon||April 1st, 2014, 10:31 pm|
|Here's another you don't see in the local fly shop bins...Jimmy Deren's 50 Degrees. Owner of the famous Anglers Roost at the Chrysler building in Manhattan, this was at one time a pretty famous pattern. |
Tied with teal pin feathers, or in this case very finely marked teal [I find pin feathers too messy for wings].
|Wbranch||April 2nd, 2014, 1:51 am|
Owner of the famous Anglers Roost at the Chrysler building in Manhattan
When I was a young man, no nore than my mid twenties, I worked second shift in a machine shop. This gave me opportunities to do all sorts of fishing stuff up until around 2:00 p.m. One day I drove over to NYC and somehow found the Chrysler building and took the elevator up to Jimmy Deren's fly shop.
I still remember it quite vividly. It was truly a freaking mess and there was no real order to it as I remember. No nice shelves with the Hardy and other English reels and no rod racks. All I saw was a very small, no bigger than a very small bedroom, shop with Mr. Deren sitting behind the counter and boxes and boxes of stuff stacked near, and around, him.
I could tell he didn't have very much interest in chatting with me but he was cordial if not a bit tight lipped. I did see one little display of very realistic nymphs. They were really works of art! I still have a little golden colored example with the body formed with some type of material that was then likely coated with a setting liquid and a shape was squeezed into the body. It has six perfectly shaped legs that are bent and colored and the thorax is also colored darker than the body. The tails are two yellow died mono fibers. I bought two of those and also two caddis larvae that look exactly like the larvae we all find in the sandy areas of our trout streams that build those stick cases.
I remember fishing one of the caddis larvae flies in the fly fishing only section of Big Flatbrook in northern New Jersey. Because the fly looks exactly like a real larvae I was catching fish after fish and a couple of old guys were looking at me cross eyed and one finally said "Hey kid are you using bait?" I got nervous and took the life like fly off. I've lost all of them except that one mayfly nymph decades ago but I still remember that one visit to the famous Anglers Roost.
BTW I have also gone to the original Abercrombie & Fitch in Manahattan and went up to the 5th floor where they had a gorgeous section of very fine Hardy, Leonard, Pezon et Michel, and other fine cane rods. They had all kinds of Hadry fly reels not just the Lighweight series. Two models were quite interesting one was built on the Lightweight LRH frame but was totally silent and the sales guy told me that many clients didn't like the click as line went out. They must have been effete snobs because to me, and many more like me, there is nothing like the scream of that click and pawl drag as a 18" rainbow is racing down river. The other Hardy was sold in the Princess, LRH, and maybe the Featherweight models. It was a multiplier style but the gearing was, if I remember correctly, just barely 2:1.
My most memorable visit to a NYC fly fishing store was when I went to the Mills store way down in lower Manahattan but that's another story.
John while you know far more about fly dressing than I do I was wondering if the length of your wings and tails isn't significantly more than that of the specifications for winged dry flies as they would of been tied by the Darbess and Dettes. I always thought a rule of thumb for proportions was that the wing and tail were 1.5 times the length of the hook shank, Just wondering.
|Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.|
|Oldredbarn||April 2nd, 2014, 10:44 am|
I remember fishing one of the caddis larvae flies in the fly fishing only section of Big Flatbrook in northern New Jersey. Because the fly looks exactly like a real larvae I was catching fish after fish and a couple of old guys were looking at me cross eyed and one finally said "Hey kid are you using bait?" I got nervous and took the life like fly off.
Somewhere here we were talking about Reuben Cross and your story reminded me of a story he tells at the beginning of a chapter called, "Nymphs"...
"When I hear a nymph discussed I recall a little incident that happened a couple of years ago. As nearly all of the members of the Beaverkill Trout Club can vouch for the authenticity of the episode I shall refrain from mentioning names-which may be better for my health anyway!
A veteran member of the club was casting his flies on a stretch of water below Lew Beach and enjoying the occupation immensely when a would-be angler on the opposite shore called out to him in all seriousness:
"Please, mister, are you using live ones or dead ones?" :)
They must have been effete snobs because to me, and many more like me, there is nothing like the scream of that click and pawl drag as a 18" rainbow is racing down river.
My fishing mentor used to yell at me when he heard my Hardy squeeling, "Spence! Quit showing off and land that fish."
I was floating with a guide friend on the Mainstream of the Au Sable. He knows my friend Biill and I was telling him the above. We had stopped in a nice bend because there was another boat below us and my friend wanted to see what they were up to. As we sat there a nice fish rose in the pool and I cast to it and it took my fly. The Hardy started to talk and I could hear my friend say to me, "Forget what Bill said, play the fish a bit."
I looked downstream around the bend and the three guys in that boat were all looking upstream at me...Showing off. :) The guides gather around the boats in the yard at Gates' Lodge in the morning to drink their coffee, plan the days strategies, and make fun of their yahoo clients...The next morning the guide in that other boat wanted to know how big the fish was I had caught the night before...I just smiled.
Nice story Matt. I have always wondered about that anglers club that used to be in Manhatten where Ernie and others had hung out...I remember reading somewhere that it was above an Irish bar that someone had fire bombed at sometime damaging everything that was there. Do you recall anything like that?
|"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
|Catskilljon||April 2nd, 2014, 11:14 pm|
I remember reading somewhere that it was above an Irish bar that someone had fire bombed at sometime damaging everything that was there. Do you recall anything like that?
Not sure if was the same bombing, but the NY Anglers Club sustained major damage from a bombing of a section in the building next door. Theordore Gordon's fly rod was one of the many irreplaceable things lost in the disaster. CJ
|Catskilljon||April 2nd, 2014, 11:32 pm|
I definitely opt for a longer tail and wings when tying these, but that's just me. I will however dispute the standard 1.5X shank rule with hackle and tailing. I would say 2X would be more correct, at least if your tying them as they were in the "old days". The Dette's hackle gauge is based on 1 hook size over [size 10 hackle for size 12 hook] for hackling dry flies. All the examples of Darbee/Dette flies I have are clearly oversized in the hackling. The best examples I can give you are in McClanes fishing encyclopedia. All the dries were tied by Elsie, and all are at least 2X oversized.
It was tough making size 14 and 16 flies in the 40's, you just didn't have the hackle for them. There were no small flies back then, even Flicks BWO had oversized hackle on a small hook, not because he wanted it that way, its because that was the smallest hackle on a cape!:)
Thanks for the comments guys, CJ
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