Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Cave Declared Disaster Area!

Over the past several weeks I've been tying what came out to be 66 different atlantic salmon hairwing wet flies, spring streamers and shrimp for a friend's next book, to be published by Stackpole in 2016 (if memory serves, which it often does not).   Materials junkie that I am, I think I only had to buy one or two tinsels and a couple of flosses I didn't already have on hand to complete the collection.  It was great fun pouring over the books I have, and scouring the internet for appropriate patterns.  I even got the chance to email back and forth a couple times with Charlie Krom (always a treat) about questions I had on a couple of his flies.

Never known as much of a neat freak, the cave really took a beating...materials and books everywhere...not to mention flies!

Thought you might get a giggle out of the carnage:

Finally got around to organizing the flies in alpha order.  Caught several mistakes in numbering and found that I either lost or didn't tie #28 - a Grizzly King.  Back to the vise.  Sigh.

A few pics of the finished collection (click on the pic to see larger version):

A few close-ups:

John Olin

Logie converted to hairwing:

Dick's Demon:

Night Hawk converted to hairwing:

Golden Eagle:

Royal Smelt:

For the purposes of the book, I had to compile a list of the dressings for all 66 flies.  That was a task.    I started with flies I knew and had proven themselves to me.  Then I went on to flies my friends like, finally filling out the collection with flies that had heavy history or just plain ol' were pretty.  Here's a key to the flies, just by name, in case you see one that piques your interest:

1. Arthur Taylor Special    2. Atherton Squirrel Tail    3. Big Intervale Blue   4. Black Bear Green Butt   5. Black Bomber   6. Black Coltrin   7. Black Dose conversion   8. Black Ghost.
9. Blue Charm   10. Bondatti's Killer   11. Bonnie Belle   12. Cains Copper   13. Celtic Beauty
14. Claret Killer   15. Colburn Special   16. Copper Killer   17 Cosseboom (Miramichi)
18. Cosseboom Special   19. Crosfield   20. Deere Fly   21. Deer Lake Special   22. Dick's Demon
23. Emerald Queen   24. Fulkro   25. Garry Dog   26. Glitter Bear   27. Green Picasse
28. Grizzly King   29. Icy Blue   30. John Olin   31. Jones' Special   32. Laxa Blue
33. Little Red Wing   34. Logie conversion   35. Miramichi Special   36. Munroe Killer
37. Night Hawk conversion   38. Picture Province   39. Pompier   40. Rat (Blue)
41. Rat (Green)   42. Rat (Rusty)   43. Rat (Silver)   44. Red Abbey   45. Roger's Fancy
46.  Rutledge   47. Same Thing Murray   48. Silver Down East   49. Undertaker   50. Warden Watcher

51.  Ally's Shrimp   52. Cascade   53. CB Shrimp   54. Flamethrower   55. Life on Mars
56.  Sneaky

57.  Blue Smelt   58.  Deep Green Beauty hairwing   59. Golden Eagle   60.  Ice Runner
61. Magog Smelt  62. Miramichi Special   63. Renous Special   64. Rose of New England
65.  Royal Smelt   66. Tanner's Blue Smelt

Well, it was a lot of work but, in the end, very rewarding.  I suppose the next thing on the agenda is to clean the Cave...sometime soon.


  1. Replies
    1. I consider that high praise coming from you, Rafal, thanks!

  2. I would suggest that before you start anything further you hydrate, and remain hydrated throughout the process.

    The flies are beautiful, I wish I had the perseverance to complete such a project.

    One note, the Bondatti Killer is named for George Schlotter's Father in Law, Camillo (Miller) Bondatti. Somewhere we had a picture of the Angler's Nook of him with a very nice salmon he took on the Miramichi.

    1. Thanks, Rich! Bondatti was fishing with Keith Fulsher and Charlie Krom when they came up with the pattern.

  3. Beautiful ties, Gary!
    I don't understand your problem with "The Cave". If I could get my stuff that organized, I'd be happy (well, maybe clean up the floor a bit - get a pathway cleared).
    And now I know why JC necks are so expensive - you have them all!

    1. Lol about the JC necks, Jim....I do seem to have a few of them laying around. Clean-up underway (well, at least the pathway you mention).
      Thanks for the kind words about the flies!

  4. Gary I thought my shop was messy!! But after I finish bulk tying a pattern I return the supplies to their rightful bins.
    I bet you use a lot of camphor to protect your supplies as well. I hate the smell but I hate larter bugs worse. Nothing worse than opening a drawer and seeing all my "A" capes eaten by the little vermin
    A nice batch of flies but I didn't see a orange butt Cuming special (my most productive pattern)--LOL---
    Brian C

  5. Brian, I can't believe I forgot the Cuming Special! Mega apologies!! I'll get one in there, email me the pattern again!