Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Converting a Featherwing Streamer to a Hairwing Salmon Fly

Last month, I was extremely pleased to find that my Deep Green Beauty featherwing streamer, tied along the lines of a classic New England streamer, is an effective fly.  As I noted in an earlier post, Miramichi atlantic salmon really liked it as they were heading back out to sea in early May.  Ever the adventurer, at least as far as fly tying goes, I've been wondering if the makings of a new summer/fall hairwing salmon fly are lurking in the colors and materials of the Beauty.

The classic New England lines of the Deep Green Beauty (click on the pics to fill your screen with fly!):

The essential colors of the fly are that lovely deep green, the burgundy of the underwing, and the bright yellow of the body.  I've certainly seen the deep green and the bright yellow in Miramichi salmon flies, but the burgundy...not so much.  And just as there is a definate format to what I'm calling the New England-style streamer (thank you Carrie Stevens, Herb Welch,, there is a fairly definate overall format to atlantic salmon hairwing flies, tails and butts and such notwithstanding.

So I've set out to create a new salmon fly... all the while recognizing that there is likely nothing new under the salmon fly sun.  Kind of a Don Quixote sort of a situation, but what the heck.  Having said all that, here's my first iteration of the fly.  It bears no name.  Won't get one unless it hooks a few fish.  But I already know the name.  Not telling.  But here's the fly:

Come July, we'll see how she flies.  Or swims, I suppose.

ADDENDUM:  Today I dyed up some legal polar bear in the same dye batch that I used for the streamer's saddle feathers and used that for the wing in place of the squirrel tail.  I like it better.  Head still needs one more coat of Cellire:

A full complement, sizes 4 through 10, regular and low water:



  1. Nice job on the flies. It'll get a pull.

  2. Gary, you are a great tier! Glad I found your blog! You got a new follower