Bill Shuck sent me a couple more patterns, so I thought it would make a good follow-up post to yesterday’s. I’ll let Bill take it from here.
The first is another Hidy-style flymph, this one a soft-hackle take on an old English dry fly pattern known as the “Tups Indispensable”. There are references in the literature to a truly offbeat combination of materials used for the original dubbing, but according to the recipe published by Overfield, those used by Pete Hidy were quite mundane: pink and yellow wool mixed with a small pinch of hare’s cheek fur. These components were arranged in the spun body (with Pearsall’s Gossamer #3 primrose silk thread) so that the amount of pink increased along with the taper, culminating in a nearly red thorax. This configuration is supported by examination of actual flies tied by Pete Hidy contained in the collection inherited by his son Lance.
(per T. Donald Overfield’s “Famous Flies and their Originators”)
Hook: Long shank mayfly, Sizes #13, #14, or #15 (Pete Hidy’s favorite was an up-eye version made by Veniard; I think this one is a Size #14 Mustad 94842)
Thread: Pearsalls’ Gossamer silk #3, primrose
Hackle: Medium honey dun hen
Tail: Honey dun hen whisks
Rib: Fine gold wire
Body: Blend of pink and yellow wool with pinch of hare’s cheek fur, spun in primrose silk on a Clark block
The second fly was a byproduct of a project I worked on a while back with Don Bastian on the fanciful wet flies of Mary Orvis Marbury. This made-up pattern combines two types of feathers from a Jungle Cock fowl serving as a wing on top of a silk floss body, a barred wood duck tail, a Greenwell-type hackle collar and a red Berlin wool head covering the snelled connection to a real silk gut leader. This type of connection was pretty much standard operating procedure in the days before eyed hooks were widely available. Although they may look unrealistic to today’s anglers, such gaudy wet flies were widely used by American anglers in the 19th Century for pursuing both trout and bass.
Hook: Mustad 3399, Size #4 with eye cut off
Thread: Uni-Thread 6/0, white
Snelled leader: #4 Silk Fishing Gut (4 lb test), approximately 6” long with Perfection loop on end
Tail: Barred wood duck flank slips
Rib: Braided silver tinsel, medium
Body: Alec Jackson premium silk floss, red
Wing: Jungle Cock flank feathers with J.C. nails overlaid
Hackle collar: Greenwell (light furnace) hen hackle
Head: Red Berlin wool