The dry flies of John Atherton

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
wiFlyFisher
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Re: The dry flies of John Atherton

Post by wiFlyFisher »

Quashnet, very nice... I am jealous. Even a beautiful small brookie sounds like wonderful fun right now with our C&R season not until March and tomorrows high temp. suppose to be around zero!! Thanks for posting.

CJ, if you keep tying those beautiful Atherton patterns you will get Beadhead Withdrawal Syndrome (BWS). :lol: :lol:

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Eperous
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Re: The dry flies of John Atherton

Post by Eperous »

catskilljohn wrote:Variant number two: Tups Variant

Atherton states that the hackle color for this fly is "a very unusual color and seldom encountered". I would agree, a pale dun with brassy highlights and faint markings of grizzly would be unusual!

He suggested pale cree, which is what I used here, or a mixture of tan or buff and very light grizzly. Body, short segment of bright yellow silk with tups dubbing in front. Tyed on a #16 94840, Atherton used them in #14's and #16's.

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CJ
CJ... really a dandy looking dry fly...

Ed

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dazwah
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Re: The dry flies of John Atherton

Post by dazwah »

love them, going to tie a few up. Where is the best place to get the wood duck feathers for the wings?

Beaverkill
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Re: The dry flies of John Atherton

Post by Beaverkill »

CJ...I enjoyed your article on Atherton in the Guild newsletter..... I always thought Caucci's Spectrumized Dubbing was somehow based on Atherton's dubbing... I DO Not know and cant remember if he ever gave him credit or if it was just coincidence.. Am I completely off here?

BTW...Excellent ties!
Dan Ansbach

Allan
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Re: The dry flies of John Atherton

Post by Allan »

Beaverkill,

I don't recall if Caucci gave credit to Atherton but maybe there's something in the book, Fly Tyer's Color Chart by Caucci & Nastassi. I can tell you about his dubbing in that I prepared a lot of it. The dubbing was all rabbit with 4 primary colors: white, sort of an aqua blue, red, and yellow. These colors were mixed in various formulas to get the spectrumized dubbing for all the patterns, be they mayflies or caddis'. The formulas differed by the stage of the insect as well.

I have no idea from what animal(s) Atherton created his dubbings. However, 'spectrumized' type dubbing, like the TUPS, predates him.

Allan

catskilljohn
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Re: The dry flies of John Atherton

Post by catskilljohn »

Just to add a little to Allan's post [he tyed for Caucci, so he knows better than I] the color of red he used is actually pink. If you look at the test sheet that prints from a color printer, those are the colors Caucci based his dubbing on.

I dont recall Atherton being mentioned in Caucci's book, and as stated by Allan, rabbit was the only type of dubbing they used. Atherton took a much more artistic approach, Caucci a practical one.

Good to hear from you Dan, looking forward to the Dette/Shannon event! 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"

Allan
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Re: The dry flies of John Atherton

Post by Allan »

As CJ mentioned, the 'red' used in Caucci's dubbing was a reddish/pink or pinkish/red. I really wasn't sure how to describe it so I just went with 'red'. Being even more specific, the 'yellow' was a very bright shade, like the sun. For the most part guard hairs were left in, unless I was preparing a batch for myself. Then I took out most as I cut the fur from the skin.

Years ago another tyer looked into the history of the original 'TUPS' dubbing. He went so far as to find the actual species of sheep. He and I spoke and corresponded about this and he sent me the recipe as well as a good sample. That dubbing is certainly 'spectrumized' and is fantastic. Heck, even Theo Gordon praised it in several 'letters' or 'notes' he wrote which appear in The Complete Fly Fisherman.

Allan

catskilljohn
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Re: The dry flies of John Atherton

Post by catskilljohn »

A picture of the Caucci/Nastasi Spectramized dubbing in its unmixed state, and some packs of the pre-mixed fur...


Image

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"

Allan
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Re: The dry flies of John Atherton

Post by Allan »

Hey CJ,

:D Thanks for the photos of the C/N furs. If you can, try dyeing seals fur those primary colors and 'blend' some spectrumized dubbing for your great salmon flies.

Allan

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ewpeper
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Re: The dry flies of John Atherton

Post by ewpeper »

More still . . . FWIW . . . Al and Bob's Spectrumized system was/is based generally on the four-color printing process (with which Bob was familiar as a graphic artist), and their colors were taken from the ink colors used in that process. In printing, the red is "magenta," the blue is "cyan." Yellow is just plain ole "yellow." The white is actually a replacement for the black used in printing, and the technical reason for this escapes me but is thoroughly explained in the Color Guide.

As we see daily in printed work, virtually any color can be reproduced using the proper balance of just those four basic colors; thus, the premise for the Spectrumized system. Allan would know better than I, having done both the mixing and the tying, but I spent a lotta time with Al and Bob and Al's son, Blair, messing with the furs and discussing the process from a technical standpoint as I, too, was in the book and printing business at that time. Properly applied, it's an interesting and effective way to get accurate colors. In the final analysis, however, I concluded it was just a bit too fussy for me.

Eric
A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
Al McClane in his Introduction to The Practical Fly Fisherman . . . often erroneously attributed to Arnold Gingrich

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