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There is something about this fly pattern that makes it both fun to tie and very effective to fish. It's another pattern that was developed by Jim Warner to be fished in Lake Winnipesaukee......and yes there is a story behind it.
The fly was created at the request of George and Helen Babb. They were from Alton Bay and as best as I can figure out may have owned a shop that amoung other things sold flies. The story goes that they ask Jim to tie them a Grey Ghost but to modify it by adding three primary colors. The colors were, blue, red and yellow bucktail and as the fly was fished they would mix up a bit which made the pattern highly effective.
Years ago I saw a video of Jim tying a fly and he shared a story about some customer coming in his shop and looking at the board of Grey Ghosts for sale. He went on to say the guy chose the most perfect Grey Ghost, took it out of the package, placed it on the floor and ground the fly into the floor with his foot. Then he held the up the fly and proclaimed "now thats a Grey Ghost". They guy was no more than 20 yards off the dock trolling when he caught a salmon.
The underlying point to this story and the Babbs Ghost is that the more beat up, mixed up a fly looks often contributes to its effectiveness. I also feel the the combination of the three colors of bucktail blend to give off a real smelt like color.
Babbs Ghost Jim Warner Pattern
Hook: 10X Streamer hook in 2, 4 or 6
Tag: Silver mylar
Body: Black floss 4 strands
Rib: Silver mylar #14 12 wraps
Belly: Sparse white bucktail as long as the wing
Wing: First layer--sparse blue bucktail
Second layer--sparse red bucktail
Third layer--sparse yellow bucktail
Topped with 4 blue dun saddle hackles
Shoulder: Silver pheasant
Cheeks: Jungle cock
Tying notes: I've seen the bucktail tied over peacock herl. The fly does out really nice if you tie the black floss in at the head using two strands and then wrap back and then forward doubling it and giving you the four strands.
Happy New Year
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Scott Biron is a fly tyer from New Hampshire.