I recently started to notice some beautifully tied flies posted by Son Tao. After seeing a friend from Indianapolis post that he was fishing with Tao, I was surprised to learn he was here in Indiana. I contacted him and below you can read a little about him. He has also been touched by Project Healing Waters, which is a fantastic organization that help vets. In a very short time, you can see by the photos, that Son has skills! Check out his work below!
From Son Tao:
“I’m 44 years old and currently live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I grew up in Pennsylvania but have bounced around for the past 16 years since I am active duty Army. My current rank is Master Sergeant.
I’ve been tying for 14 months now. I was first introduced to tying by a Korean War vet as a way to deal with post traumatic stress. I’ve been deployed 5 times and have seen some unimaginable horrors around the world. After dealing with numerous surgeries and the horrors of war, I was in a dark place. Fly tying provided me with an avenue to escape those memories. It relaxes my mind and focuses my attention in a positive way.
Other than that, I thoroughly enjoy tying classic patterns. I’m a history nerd and find the story behind Flies as interesting as fly fishing itself. So when I got started, I naturally was drawn to Catskill style dry flies.”
Ricky Bassett tied up this beautiful Bradley Special. This was an old dry fly pattern tied by the Dettes of Roscoe, New York. The fly shop, Dettes Trout Flies, is still there and ran by their grandson, Joe Fox. I think the body of this fly is especially interesting.
According to the book, The Founding Flies, “In the late 1930s, William Bradley, an early member of the Beaverkill Trout Club, requested that the Dettes custom tie this fly.”
Ricky is a skilled fly tier that continues to practice the Catskill dry fly style of tying. He did a great job on this one!
Bradley Special Size 14
Tail: red brown spade hackle, rooster
Body: sparse amount of red fox squirrel spun between two strands of red silk.
Hackle: Red brown rooster
Bob Jacklin has always been one of my favorite fly tyers. He purchased the fly shop that Pat Barnes owned and started back in the 1950s in West Yellowstone, Montana. Today, Bob still owns and runs Jacklin’s Fly Shop. I was lucky enough to meet and talk with Bob at the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo 2 years ago. So this gives me a chance to post the photo of him and I as well! Anyway, check out Bob Jacklin tying the classic Muddler Minnow.
This classic pattern was pulled as a sample from “Bob Jacklin: Classic Flies and Their Stories”. Available for purchase here: https://goo.gl/7oaYLx . In that HD Downloadable collection Bob discusses the history of 6 classic patterns as well as demonstrating how to tie these famous patterns using available materials.
Find more about Bob at http://jacklinsflyshop.com/
I wanted to post a fly from my old buddy, Tom Deschaine’s website MichiganDryFlies.net. Tom passed away about a year ago, but he did a lot of work trying to track down information and recipes from old Michigan dry fly patterns. He is one of the major sources I’ve used when tying some of the Michigan Classics I tie.
This particular fly is Duffing’s Night Caddis designed by Harry (Henry) Duffing of Baldwin, Michigan back in the 50s. It always struck me as a very beautiful pattern and could stand up with the rest of the patterns available in the 1950s. Tom recommended to Flexament the wings to make them more durable. The wings may also be tied upright and divided. The egg sack in the back could be tied in either gray or yellow.
All Tom found out about Mr. Duffing is that he owned a barber shop in Baldwin, Michigan and was an amateur tier who specialized in heavily hackled flies. I would say for an amateur tier, he sure designed a beauty here!
This fly was created to be fished at night for the Hexagenia hatch. It is recommended to use dry fly powder floatant or liquid floatant to keep old flies like this afloat.
Recipe is as follows:
Hook: Mustad #79580 Size: 6-8 4XL Thread: Black or Brown, 6/0 Tail: Two Pheasant Tail Fibers, tied in a “vee”. Body: Gray Wool Yarn Rib: Gold Tinsel and Palmered Brown Hackle. Wing: Gray Mallard Wing Segments, tied upright & divided. Hackle: Brown
The Classic Green Drake has been a popular Green Drake imitation for many years. The Classic Green Drake is tied in the classic dry fly fashion. Olive Grizzly hackle imitates the natural color variations of the Green Drake Mayfly. A must have pattern for any angler traveling to the West!
Classic Green Drake Recipe:
Hook: #08-12 Tiemco 100
Thread: Olive UNI 6/0
Tail: Moose Body Hair
Body: Olive Superfine Dubbing
Ribbing: Tan UniFlexx
Wings: Gray Deer Hair
Hackle: Grizzly Olive Whiting Rooster Cape