I received some great news yesterday that I've been placed on the Partridge of Redditch Pro Team on the United States side. Honestly, I'm feeling lucky that they selected me for this. Having used Partridge hooks for some time now I really feel they are superior and offer a wide selection that covers everything the fly tyer might look for.
"Out of the mouths of babes", often reveals the truth. Several weeks ago in a beginner fly tying class I was instructing we passed out hooks to tie on. We were tying a small streamer using a Partridge Heritage Streamer Hook. One of the students had arrived with his own tools and a box of materials. He decided to use his own hook which unfortunately ended up breaking when he started tying. His hooks were old and most likely were stuck in a box somewhere to begin to rust and weaken. He said he had dropped the hook we gave him and didn't want to get behind so he used one in his box. Often the fear of getting behind in a beginners class is the number one issue a new tyer faces. We gave him a new hook and the first words out of his mouth was, "wow this hook is way better than what I was using". I enjoy it when the students help reinforce the benefits of the products we use in class.
I love tying on the Partridge Heritage Streamer Hooks and you can see some examples in this blog. However I don't limit myself to only their streamer hooks. I use their wet fly hooks for tandem trolling flies. When I began tying flies back in the 1960s I learned how to tie Catskill Dry Flies and for those I use both Partridge and Sprite hooks. Recently I made a salmon fly plate using Partridge Hooks. A friend of mine is a direct descendant of John Cosseboom who was the originator of the Cosseboom Salmon fly pattern. I did a series of the Cosseboom's for him.
All but one of these fly photos in this blog were tied using Ewing Feathers. They are superior and combined with the Heritage Streamer Hooks they look great and perform well. Someone will ask about the one tandem that uses bucktail instead of feathers for the wing. This is a fly that was effective on Lake Winnipesaukee, this was called the Winni Jock Scott Tandem. The pattern was given to me by an angler who had outstanding results with it. The Partridge Wet Fly Hooks in #4 & #6 work great when tying this.
Article that was recently published by the American Museum of Fly Fishing
I get asked a lot about fall fly patterns. There are a lot of great patterns out there that work in the fall. However as my friend Rick Estes always reminds me..."in the end its up to the fish". For me the fall brook trout like bright streamers. Patterns with orange, yellow, red and yes often blue work. The patterns that work are tied on #2-4 7x hooks. I like the Partridge Heritage Streamer Hooks, they are stout and can handle the beating the spawning fish dish out. I often share with tyers who ask me about the hook size, the larger patterns often catch the largest fish....at least in the fall.
Two effective patterns are the Orange Sunshine and the Allagash Lake. They fit the bill color wise with orange and on the Orange Sunshine I use a bleached grizzly over the orange. The Allagash Lake uses a smokey grizzly. All the feathers come from Ewing Feather Birds. This month Ewing's Grizzly of the Month color is bleached grizzly and I can see myself using this on a number of patterns. Off the subject a bit but recently while I was tying at the American Museum of Fly Fishing a friend was looking for that exact bleached color for some saltwater patterns.
Good luck fishing this fall. I'll post a few more patterns real soon. If you need the recipe just email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
About once a year I sit down and tie up a handful of these flies. Usually I end up with two and the friends I fish with are the beneficiaries of the remainder. This is a true New Hampshire pattern which was originated by Bob Broad. Bob ran the Brown Owl Tackle Shop in Errol, NH. Most of what I have learned about this fly has come through my good friend Rick Estes. I like to tell him that he ties this fly the best and each time I sit down I look at his to get mine just right.
The fly is to be fished in the surface film, imitating a struggling adult stonefly which hatches in late June and July in the Errol area. This hatch occurs right at dark and beyond. It is also seen in the Connecticut River in Pittsburg, NH. My friend Chuck Cosseboom uses these on the Magalloway River with great success. These stones are very large and I often make a few in size 4 and then in size 8.
One of the common mistakes of this fly is to over dress it. This often occurs if you use too much bucktail for the collar. Additionally if you flare the bucktail too much it will end up in a less than desired result. I tie my bucktail in on top of the last 3 wraps of the oval gold tinsel and then I touch the tread with varnish and lock the fibers in. As the varnish sets I pinch the bucktail to get it to lie more parallel to the hook.
Over the years I've looked for the right color grizzly hackle for the fly and recently I found it in a Ewing Feather Birds Brown Grizzly Hen. Years ago I remember standing on the dock of my grandfathers camp just below Bragg Bay on the Androscoggin River in Errol. Just at dusk (and if you could handle the black flies) we would see trout take these stones floating in the surface film. It's one of the essential NH patterns.....never go north without it.
Hook: Partridge 4-7x (you can tie these up to a size 4 but 6 and 8 are the most common)
THREAD: BROWN (6/0 DANVILLE #47)
BODY: Oval gold tinsel,
Collar: Sparse yellow buck tail from the brown side of the tail near the rump end, extend the
tips slightly beyond the bend of the hook
Wing: Teal flank feather, tent style to slightly beyond the bend of the hook, (roll the teal in your fingers before tying it in)
Hackle: Soft brownish grizzly, originally wrapped like a collar and trimmed on top.
Head: Brown thread
Patriotic Flies. Four Carrie Stevens patterns, Casablanca, America, Victory and General MacArthur. Mike Martinek’s Fourth of July. Tied on a Regal Vise with Ewing Streamer Feathers on Partridge Heritage Streamer Hooks and topped off with Solarez Bone Dry. Enjoy the holiday.
Thanks to everyone who attended the Spring Salmon Fishing Presentation. Everyone should be all set to add a few new flies to their fly boxes or get started trolling in NH for the first time. Wide group in the audience some first timers and some season veterans. Thanks to Mark Beauchesne and NH Fish and Game for organizing this. Lots of new patterns were shared in the presentation. Thanks to Ewing Feather Birds, Solarez, Regal Vise and Partridge Hooks. All the information I left for people on the American Fly Fishing Museum was scooped up too. Adventure series talks at NHFG are always great and you can get loads of information by attending.
The Marlborough Fly Fishing Show is a little over a month away and it is always a great event. https://flyfishingshow.com/marlborough-ma/ I'm excited to be a part of a great group of featured tyers who will be presenting at the show. Great friends and tyers like Tim Flagler and Joe Cordeiro to name a few will be presenting as well. If your attending the show please consider stopping by my table and or watching my presentation. I'll be demonstrating some streamers that are not too difficult to tie and have been highly effective throughout New England.
Featured Fly Tiers:Friday
11:30 Alan Caolo – Tying the Versatile and Deadly Diablo Crab
1:00 Ed Engle – Tying Tricos
2:30 Tim Flagler – Tips, Techniques & Tools to Make Fly Tying Easier
4:00 Gary Borger – Universal Nymph Designs
10:00 Scott Biron-The Versatile New England Streamer
11:30 Alan Caolo – The Timeless Deceiver
1:00 Ed Engle – Tying Blue-winged Olives
2:30 Joe Cordeiro- Techniques for Tying the Flatwing Fly
4:00 Bob Clouser – Clouser Crippled Diver
10:30 Joe Cordeiro – Techniques for Tying the Flatwing Fly
11:45 Bob Clouser – Ostrich Added to Old Effective Patterns
1:00 Gary Borger – Unusual and Unique Hackling Techniques
2:15 Ed Engle – Tying Midges and Other Tiny Flies
Presentations subject to changes and additions.
Once again I will be offering a number of fly tying classes this year through NH Fish & Game. Follow the information posted on this website under Classes. These all fill up quickly and as of today we have classes through this year posted. Look for both Intermediate and Beginner classes for 2019 soon.
I'm prepping for the American Fly Fishing Museum's on 8-11-18 in Manchester VT. If you are in the area please stop by and say hello. I'll have these fly plates and more on my table. The first plate is an educational breakdown of how to tie a Babbs Ghost Streamer. Always easier seeing the steps like that than just trying to explain it to people when they ask. The second plate is of some great Ora Smith fly patterns. The last image is of the Governor Aiken Fly, its the VT State Fly.
Each year I look forward to my week at Camp Barry on the grounds of the Berlin Fish Hatchery and each year the week shoots by so fast. In a short period of time we teach the campers so much about fishing, both fly and bait, knots, fish identification, fish handling and much much more. Every camper learns to tie flies and then uses their fly to fish with, often catching their first fish while fly fishing. Its quite a neat thing to hear "today was a great day, I caught my first fish fly fishing on a fly I tied this morning". Our days are long and its not unusual to be tying flies at 5am because we ran out of ones that were working the previous day.
This year we were fishing one of the local ponds and we had a light cahill fly hatch followed about 60 minutes later by a dark dun fly hatch. We used that entire sequence to educated the campers that were fly fishing with us at the time. That night ended with all the instructors in head lamps while fishing on the pond.
Two days are spent fishing the Androscoggin River below the Pontook Dam catching this year dozens of rainbows and browns. For me the time on the Androscoggin allows me to relive many days of my youth fishing with my grandfather who owed one of the first camps on the base of Braggs Bay. I feel lucky to share what knowledge I have with the campers about fishing that river.
Camp wrapped up last Friday and we already have started planing for next year. Areas we can improve, experiences we can expand on as we once again prepare for 2019 Fish Week as a Let's Go Fishing Volunteer for NH Fish and Game.
The photo below is a classic, the camper missed a strike from a brown trout when he looked at the camera (you can see my reaction). It became a teachable moment and he did not miss the next strike.