Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Logie

Remember to click on the photos if you want to see the larger version.

Have you ever become fascinated by a single fly?  Unaccountably, I have.  I first encountered it while reading Jack Russell's Jill and I and the Salmon (Little, Brown and Co., 1950) several years ago.

In the chapter entitled "The Bright Spirits", Russell describes some of the more interesting sports that came to his camp on the Miramichi over the years.  One of those bright spirits was John E. Hutton, and here is the paragraph that started my interest in the Logie:

Illuminating book?  Must have!  Time to hit the used book sellers on the internet, and so we have it...Trout and Salmon Fishing by John E. Hutton (Little, Brown and Co., 1949).

Why, there's even a Logie on the cover!

This photo, on page 191 of the book, kind of sealed the deal between the Logie and I:

Here's Hutton's comment on low-water flies:  "For present-day use I rely on two flies only - the Logie and the Blue Charm.  If the fish will not take these one might as well give it up, although one tries other patterns in desperation."   He followed that comment up with the pattern he used for the Logie:

      Tip - Silver wire
      Tail -  G.P. Crest
      Body - Claret floss silk
      Ribs - Silver
      Hackle - Light Blue
      Wing - Under yellow hen wing, mallard, over
      Cheeks - Jungle Cock

I checked in with my go-to reference for flies, Jos. D. Bates, Jr. and Pamela Bates Richards Fishing Atlantic Salmon; the Flies and the Patterns (Stackpole Books, 1996)They commented that "There are several somewhat similar dressings for this famous pattern.  One of the earliest (1895) is from Kelson. Their pattern for the fly matched, conceptually, with Hutton's, so I tied my first one up:

Checking in my meager library, I found that "Jock Scott", in his Greased Line Fishing for Salmon (Seeley Service and Co., London; I have the fifth edition) agreed with that pattern.

And there's that pesky claret-bodied Logie on the cover of that book, too!

 But I have to hark back to another set of comments the Bates' made about the Logie: "Pryce-Tannatt's dressing is essentially the same (as Kelson's) except for the body.  The first two-fifths of the body is pale primrose (light yellow) floss; the remainder is ruby red floss.  His dressing does not call for jungle cock cheeks."    WAIT!  WHAT??  Pryce-Tannatt completely changed the body on the fly, yet continued to call it the Logie.  I'm trying to imagine how I'd feel if someone changed the body on my Celtic Beauty (bright yellow floss) to a two-color body that didn't even contain the original yellow!

So off we go to Pryce-Tannatt land:

And sure enough, he's gone and changed the body from my favorite color (claret) to the yellow/red combination, which can also be found in these tomes.

Can't fight City Hall, so I tied up a yellow-red Logie:

Fortunately for we that hold the color claret near and dear, Eric Leiser, in his The Book of Fly Patterns (Alfred A. Knopf, 1987) as well as John Buckland and Arthur Oglesby in their A Guide to Salmon Flies (The Crowood Press, 1990), the Logie is listed as having a body of yellow floss to the rear, and CLARET floss to the front.  The two books differ slightly on the proportions of each, but not so much that a person would get upset.  So it was time to tie yet another variation of the Logie:

Interestingly (to me, anyway) in his Trout and Salmon Flies of Scotland, Stan Headley notes that the Logie is "A Dee pattern devised by W. Brown, it is sometimes varied by the use of claret instead of red in the body..."   To my way of thinking, the Logie is sometimes varied by the use of red instead of claret in the body!

Headley goes on to note (as did the Bates' in Fishing Atlantic Salmon) that the Logie is easily adapted to a hairwing fly.  I did this one for Mike Valla's book, Tying and Fishing Bucktails and Other Hairwings; Atlantic Salmon to Steelhead Flies (Stackpole Books, 2016):

I was going to do a step-by-step section on tying the Logie for this post, but then I stumbled upon Michael Radencich's elegant Logie step-by-step in his Twenty Salmon Flies; Tying Techniques for Mastering the Classic Patterns (Stackpole Books, 2009) and decided anyone reading this post would be far better off finding that "how to" than anything I could produce.  He really can tie a fly and his photography is in a class by itself.

My good friend Brian Cuming, up in New Brunswick sent me a couple Logies a year or so ago, one for my little collection, and one to fish.  They are big and beautiful:

Speaking of collections, a fellow name of John Maticko, who I've been getting to know these past few months via email and a forum or two, has a serious classic salmon fly collection, and a great many Logies in all their forms, including a couple I've never seen nor heard of before.  John inherited the collection from his dad, who was an outfitter in Iceland (LOL, why did MY father have to be an accountant?!)  With his kind permission, I will now completely saturate my readers with Logieness.

First, and this style of fly was completely new to me when John sent me the photos of it,  are "monoplane" Logies from Hardy, likely in the '40's and '50's.  When I first saw it, I thought it was just a rather outlandish Dee-style Logie.

And then there's the "Norsk Lure" Logie:

And a sampling of other Logie's in John's collection:

I'm deeply appreciative of John's permission to use his photos.  You can view much more of his collection here:   A sample of what you'll find there:

And yes, I will be fishing the Logie this summer, especially if we get those dreaded low-water conditions!