Classic Fly Pins For Christmas


I tie old classic fly patterns on decorative hook pins for Christmas. Here are a couple of my favorites. The hat pin hooks are not easy to tie on. There is a lot that you have to work around. Important is to avoid the sharp point of the pin when wrapping thread and materials. Ouch!

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Clouser Minnows and Buck Tail Wing Colors

A selection of Clouser Minnows for Pacific Ocean estuary salmon.

A selection of Clouser Minnows for Pacific Ocean estuary salmon.

Completed Clouser Minnows with chartreuse, red and pink bucktail wings.

Completed Clouser Minnows with chartreuse, red and pink bucktail wings.

November Oregon Black Tail Deer Captures

Capture

Black tail does getting frisky in the mountain morning.

 

Autumn Bronze

A John Shewey original pattern, the Autumn Bronze is a classic-style steelhead Spey fly.

A John Shewey original pattern, the Autumn Bronze is a classic-style steelhead Spey fly.


Here is a classic style steelhead fly for the Fall. A John Shewey original, the pattern features bronze in more than just the name. A key feature is the bronze mallard wing arching across the top. Laying like the shellback to a shrimp or possibly a crawfish, this “wing” helps direct the long, flowing Spey hackles down and to the rear. With “legs” flowing and pulsing with life, it is no wonder that Spey flies like the Autumn Bronze prove irresistible to steelhead and cutthroat trout.

I like to tie my Spey patterns with bronze mallard flank feathers I have gathered myself. The bronze color of the feathers are conspicuous just behind the joint of the wings. Early in the duck hunting season, the bronze mallard feathers are short and not fully developed. As the season progresses the quality of the feathers improves. By January any mallard drake harvested is going to have perhaps 4-5 good feathers per side. When plucked the feathers from each side are matched. I like to store my matched “pairs” of bronze mallard on photo album pages. The plastic of the page securely holds the matched pairs in place ready for selection when tying a fly. An added bonus of the “photo album page” method of storing is that the feathers are held flat against the paper of the page. Bronze mallard feathers have a natural curve. You will readily know this if you have ever tried to set a pair atop a hook. Stored under compression the feathers loose some of the memory of the natural curve. This will make setting a bronze mallard wing on a classic Spey fly a lot faster and neater.

November Rogue Valley Blacktail Buck

The best blacktail buck showed up again this year on the “mountain.” That’s what? Three or four years? Definitely the best buck of this season. This year, he made an early November appearance just at dawn. I was less than 5 or 10 minutes away. I hope he makes it to 2016 when I’ll be waiting.