The "Cinberg"

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
catskilljohn
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

The "Cinberg"

Post by catskilljohn »

The story I have that goes along with this fly is much too long to write here, but to be sure, it was a 3 year search that involved an old man with a magazine, Rob [bamboo&brookies] and Phil Chase. In a nutshell, the old man was a friend of mine that fished the Cats. in the 30's and he gave me a Sports Afield from 1979 that had a story on the Comeback of the Delaware that he thought I would be interested in.

The story written by Phil and Larry Madison gave a smidgen of info on a fly described as "a caddis spider made with wood duck feathers" that was originated on the Neversink and used by Doc Cinberg.

I tried for a few years to find any info on this fly, tried to imagine what a spider with wood duck feathers would look like, but came up with nothing.

Then one day Rob called me and was telling me about Phil, they were fishing together and Phil told him some great stories about the Neversink, which is Robs stomping grounds, and in the conversation something clicked, the magazine, the Neversink, wood duck! It was an epiphany, and my life was complete, at least for that day!

I got an email from Rob that Phil sent him describing the tying of the fly, its a little different, and that adds to its charm. I have been keeping this a secret but Rob gave me the OK to let the cat out of the bag so patterns like this dont get lost forever.

Anyway, I hope I did it justice, out of respect for Doc and Phil.

Image

Image

Tail, brown spade hackle fibers [Phil likes to add some WD fibers in the tail, the original did not have them]
Body, tan fox fur
Hackle, brown or dark ginger fronted with wood duck. The WD is not wound like the hackle, it is tyed on first with the tips pointing forward, the rest
of the fly is tyed, tail, body and hackle, then after tying off the hackle the wood duck is pulled back, the thread wound through to the eye, and the wood duck gets worked back with a thread dam in front of it, forcing it back towards the hackle.

CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

Bamboo&Brookies
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 4:44 pm

Re: The "Cinberg"

Post by Bamboo&Brookies »

CJ,

Great stuff... I showed Phil Chase one of the Cinbergs that you tied last year... he was impressed, saying it was an exact replica of the flies Dr. Cinberg tied back in the day.

Phil claims that fly never gets a refusal. It is a definite beauty in my eyes, and like you say, it appears to be a mix between a Catskill dry, a spider and a Flick-style variant.

Dr. Bernard Cinberg (1905-1979) was a physician who worked in Manhattan in the '30s through '70s and more importantly for us he was a conservationist who helped bring back the Neversink River from near death.

When Doc Cinberg fished the river below the dam in the '60s and '70s, New York City was extremely stingy about releasing cold water from Neversink Reservoir. So stingy that the general release during fishing seasons was around 15 cfs, which practically turned the river into a boneyard. To give you an idea of how pitiful that is, it's roughly the flow rate of the Willow around the DeBruce area during low summer conditions.

Not only was the flow rate extremely low, but towns and industries along the river's course were discharging sewage directly into the river.

So you can imagine what a putrid mess the Neversink was back then.

Doc Cinberg was associated with an advocacy organization called Catskill Waters, which worked to conserve and protect our rivers. Cinberg and the group kept pressure on New York City to increase flows from Neversink Reservoir to improve downstream conditions for trout.

In addition, Cinberg and Chase tracked down the pollution sources and through various efforts helped persuade towns and businesses to clean up their wastewater.

In short, Doc Cinberg, Phil Chase and a few other conservationists helped bring the river back to life and made it a viable trout fishery once again.

Remember, this is Teddy Gordon's stream... the natal stream of Catskill dry fly fishing... so these guys helped turn sewage back into holy water.

Rob
Last edited by Bamboo&Brookies on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Give a man a fly rod, a shotgun and a bird dog and he'll never be worth a d*mn.
-Old New England saying

Ronbo
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:45 pm
Location: Milltown NJ / Walton NY / Beaverkill

Re: The "Cinberg"

Post by Ronbo »

Great story and history as well as a great tie.
You'll have to show us how to tie this baby at flyfest.
quite a nice fly. :D

Bamboo&Brookies
Posts: 739
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 4:44 pm

Re: The "Cinberg"

Post by Bamboo&Brookies »

ps -- for a little more history, Doc Cinberg fished with Ed Hewitt back in the day ('30s-40s) on the Neversink at the old Big Bend Club, much of which is now under about 50-150 feet of water since the reservoir flooded it in the mid-'50s.

Anyway, Doc Cinberg used to dry-fly fish the pocket water of the lower Neversink with a very short line... just the leader and a few feet of fly line, according to Phil. He apparently didn't believe in long casts.

Phil says Cinberg would wade upstream, making 15-foot casts into the pockets with his 9-foot Leonard fitted with an old Hardy St. George. He would hold a high rod tip to keep the leader from dragging. He worked fast... if he didn't raise a fish in two or three casts it was on to the next pocket. (Come to think of it, I fish that way too!)

I love his mantra -- 'You gotta stand on their tails!'


pps -- Phil also says Hewitt was a pretty sly and thrifty old coot who was extremely protective of the big bruiser trout he stocked at Big Bend. So on Fridays during the spring and summer -- just before his guests would arrive to fish the club for the weekend -- Hewitt would take big portions of ground meat out to the river and practically hand feed his 'pet' fish so they would be full and wouldn't be inclined to take the flies that his 'sports' would cast in futility all weekend long.
Give a man a fly rod, a shotgun and a bird dog and he'll never be worth a d*mn.
-Old New England saying

upstatetrout
Posts: 475
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:23 pm
Location: bath,roscoe,ny

Re: The "Cinberg"

Post by upstatetrout »

A beautiful rendition of a non traditional, traditional.

Tom

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Eperous
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Location: Catskills

Re: The "Cinberg"

Post by Eperous »

CJ & Rob - great stuff... absolutely great stuff...

Somewhere I have a Cinberg that Phil Chase gave me a long time ago using the exact same line Rob did about, "never got a refusal". My memory is a tad foggy on this point, but I believe that day Phil was fishing the upper Neversink - West Branch, Frost Valley waters as my guest - the day he gave me one of those flies. I also believe Doc Cinberg was a member of the Frost Valley Fly Fishing Club, way back when before his death. I've been a member up there since 1973, and do not recall Doc Cinberg from there, but do remember him from Catskill Waters which Phil Chase was very active in.

One thing, if I can find the fly Phil gave me, I recall the hackle collar being a bit more wispy and longer -- but cold be wrong on that. I'll have to look. Every now and again I fish one of these things up at Frost Valley, but must not be doing it right as I get my share of refusals.

Great stuff, fond memories... thanks...

Ed
Last edited by Eperous on Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Niklas Dahlin
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Re: The "Cinberg"

Post by Niklas Dahlin »

Cool one.. never seen anything like it. Nice tie as usual mate..
Flyfishing is more than just catching fish.
http://www.mulhonken.blogspot.com

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Eperous
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Location: Catskills

Re: The "Cinberg"

Post by Eperous »

CJ - I have not tied this pattern in years, and even not sure that I have the original fly Phil Chase gave me as I tossed it in my fly box at the time, but I do want to follow-up on this pattern with Phil. I recall the body just a tad more pinkish - and when I tied these a few years ago I did not have access to real wood duck then, but used dyed mallard. As I mentioned above, I remember the wood duck being very wispy - almost like a soft hackle wet fly - BUT, that might have been the only fly Phil Chase had at the time. I even asked him if the pattern was a wet, or a dry and he told dry but the wood duck barbs simulated life/movement.

Here's what I have, and it could be all wrong,

Image

Bamboo&Brookies
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 4:44 pm

Re: The "Cinberg"

Post by Bamboo&Brookies »

Here's one that Phil tied a couple years ago. It's a bit shaggy -- Like Ed says, the woodduck is a bit longer and a little more wispy than on the one CJ tied (trouble with CJ is all his flies are too perfect!)

I do know that this fly was designed as a dry, and Phil said it could be tied with two dry fly hackles to better hold up the woodduck.

I was going over some emails from Phil and he did say Doc Cinberg used to fish up at Frost Valley in the 60s and 70s.

I have a photo of Doc, I'll have to try to scan it and post it one of these evenings.

Rob

Image
Give a man a fly rod, a shotgun and a bird dog and he'll never be worth a d*mn.
-Old New England saying

catskilljohn
Posts: 4313
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: The "Cinberg"

Post by catskilljohn »

Ed, those flys you tyed certainly have that Cinberg look. I love a fly with a speckled collar ;)

Rob, I forgot I had those photos of Phil's fly you sent me!

Here is another from the back...

Image

We have to bend Phils ear some more about this pattern, and maybe beg one from him too ;)

Ed, Tom, Joe, Mike, if you guys know of any dressings that came from the Catskills that have fallen out of vogue, bring e'm on man, this stuff is why guys come here! CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

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