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My grandfather had one of the first fishing camps at the base of Braggs Bay on the Androscoggin River in Errol. I was lucky to learn to fly fishing on that river. My relatives always created abuzz around the camp when it came to fly fishing. My father tells stories of former game warden Harry Hurlbert who sold the land to build the camp to my grandfather and how he was a regular visitor on the front porch sharing many stories.
I was visiting Ellis Hatch some time ago and talking NH fly tyers and old flies. He showed me some old patterns and one called the Deer Wing Alder fly. Each of the patterns he showed me had a name listing the originator of the fly, except the Deer Wing Alder. The pattern immediately looked familiar to me from my youth but I could not remember where I had seen it. I reached out to former game warden and now expert guide at Owls Roost Outfitters, Rick Estes. Rick and I have shared many stories about NH flies and their tyers. Through our correspondence we uncovered that Paul Maruca was the originator. Paul had a fly tying area in the Errol general store. My grandfather had frequented the store and realizing my interest in fly tying allowed me the opportunity to see this fly tied on one of our visits. I remember my Uncle Mike tying this pattern and using it around the Alder hatch. Eventually the pattern became a family favorite fished in small sizes 12-16 to imitate adult caddis and in larger sizes 10-12 for the Alder hatch.
Deer Wing Alder
Tail: Brown hackle fibers, I use about 8 fibers of stiff tailing fibers and I get them from Collins Hackle Farm in NY
Body: Peacock herl wound over head cement, I use 3-4
Wing: Natural deer hair, I use comparadun hair because it does not flair too much when tied in.
Hackle: Brown, to to the size of the hook and two turns should be enough.
Tying notes: I teach this fly in a lot of my fly tying classes. One of the keys to this fly is to not overdress it by using too much deer hair for the wing or too many turns of the hackle.
Scott Biron is a fly tyer from New Hampshire.