Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Beauty

Trying to work myself up for a more festive season and throwing the crutches out the window, I sat down at the vise and came up with my holiday (I'm getting so Politically Correct in my old age) fly, The Holiday Beauty:

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Famous Grouse Fly

One of my oldest friends, Bill H., sent me a ruffed grouse tail feather sometime ago.  A momento of a long ago hunt, he asked me if I would make a fly out of it.  I've always wanted to tie a fly called "The Famous Grouse" after my blended scotch of choice, and here was the ideal opportunity.  I knew I wanted to make it - from a feather standpoint - exclusively of ruffed grouse feathers.  I have a fairly healthy stash of those, having been a hardcore grouse hunter for many years.  Oh, for those years in the mid-1980's when I hunted 100 days/year over my little string of 3 great english setters!  LOL, oh to be able to  hunt at all last year or this year!  Health problems keep getting in the way.

Anyway,  The Famous Grouse (don't forget to double click on the pics to supersize):

The taill is from any part of the bird that looks good to you (I think I used a back feather), the hackle is an upper tail covert, and the wings are a tail feather.   I would use paired tail feathers in the future, but I need to make the wings on Bill's fly out of just the one I had.

The body material is some stuff I had stashed in a drawer.  It came as a freebie in an order from Scott's Fly Shop on Ebay (not sure that exists anymore).  It strikes me as perfect for this fly; I like the touch of claret that runs through the brown:

I'm pretty happy with this reminds me of a ruffed grouse.  I got pretty up close and personal with them for a few years doing grouse research in grad school:

Man, that was a lifetime or two ago, eh?   Well, it will be fun to find out what this fly does next season.  Looks great for trout, salmon maybe not so much.  Time will tell!