Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
narcodog
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Re: Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

Post by narcodog » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:03 am

Wifly, your statement rings so true. Lately I have been tying some small BWO's with material I, one most likely would not know about and two wouldn't know how to use the stuff.

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Eperous
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Re: Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

Post by Eperous » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:10 am

wiFlyFisher wrote:Ed, I never thought about it but I would think woodchuck used for the tail would work really well. ...
So do I John...

I've had fly-fishing buddies do okay using an Ausable Wulff during "minor" isonychia hatches on the Esopus, and I attribute that to the dark woodchuck tail which I think the wild trout take for a trailing shuck, or tail of the emerging iso's... :?

Ed

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ewpeper
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Re: Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

Post by ewpeper » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:58 am

I seem to recall a day on the Big Hole when a #18 Royal Wulff was outfishing a carefully tied PMD. Any recollection of that John? :D
Altho, the PMD imitation was absolute hell on the whitefish.

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

wiFlyFisher
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Re: Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

Post by wiFlyFisher » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:32 am

ewpeper wrote:I seem to recall a day on the Big Hole when a #18 Royal Wulff was outfishing a carefully tied PMD. Any recollection of that John? :D
Altho, the PMD imitation was absolute hell on the whitefish.

Eric
I don't remember the pattern we used but I do remember the Big Hole and fish with little mouths that I couldn't hook and two guys laughing a lot. They were funny looking grayling. :) I also remember you demonstrating to us why the river is called the BIG HOLE and the pods of rising fish.

dennis
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Re: Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

Post by dennis » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:18 pm

wiFly,

Great looking fly. I tied up some fan wings last summer and they worked well on my home stream.
As you know, fan wing drys worked well back when cat gut leaders were used as they were stiffer than today's leaders and tippets. If you want to use fan wings use mason hard mono for your leaders and tippets, it works well.

Dennis

troutingintas
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Re: Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

Post by troutingintas » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:06 pm

Schwiebert says it was L.Q. Quackenbush who first conceived the upright hair wing, but his grandson informed me that his name was actually Leonard Charles Quackenbush.

From 'Trout' by Ernest Schwiebert, 1978
"Hair-wing flies had their beginnings on the Henry's Fork of the Snake before the First World War, when Benjamin Winchell and Carter Harrison first concocted them in honor of Alfred Trude, their host at a large ranch in Idaho. The first hair wings subsequently traveled with one of the party, Colonel Lewis Thompson, to the salmon rivers of the Maritime Provinces. These primitive flies were dressed down-wing over the body, and it was not until shortly before the Depression years that hair-wing dry flies evolved. Ralph Corey lived on the Muskegon in Lower Michigan, and his Corey Calftails were down-wing dries that became widely popular after the First World War. Wings tied upright and divided of hair appeared almost simultaneously on the Beaverkill and the Ausable of New York in about 1929.
The hair-wing Royal Coachman dry fly was the creation of L.Q. Quackenbush, one of the early stalwarts of the Beaverkill Trout Club above Lew Beach. Quackenbush liked the fan-wing Royal Coachman, except that it was fragile and floated badly. In 1929 he suggested to Reuben Cross that white hair wings might work better. Cross tied some using upright wings of calftail and tail fibers of natural brown buck. It worked perfectly, and Catskill fishermen soon labeled it the Quack Coachman in honor of its peripatetic inventor.
Lee Wulff also worked out his famous Gray Wulff and White patterns in the Adirondacks in 1929, in a successful effort to find imitations of the big Isonychia duns and Ephemera spinners that would float well on the tumbling Ausable at Wilmington. These Wulffs have proven themselves superb flies, from Maine to California and British Columbia, and spawned a large family of patterns using different bodies and hackles. Wulffs have so completely dominated the upright hair wings that L.Q. Quackenbush and his hair-wing Coachman are almost forgotten, and his innovation is now commonly called the Royal Wulff."

Allan
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Re: Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

Post by Allan » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:22 pm

Actually, you quote Schwiebert, ""Hair-wing flies had their beginnings on the Henry's Fork of the Snake before the First World War, when Benjamin Winchell and Carter Harrison first concocted them in honor of Alfred Trude, their host at a large ranch in Idaho. The first hair wings subsequently traveled with one of the party, Colonel Lewis Thompson, to the salmon rivers of the Maritime Provinces. These primitive flies were dressed down-wing over the body".
Well, I guess he's wrong in his history of the 'hair wing' fly. especially the downwing hairwing. Theodore Gordon's hairwing streamer, specifically any of the many Bumblepuppies he and Herman Christian developed, are generally acknowledged to have been made earlier. Gordon's in the 1880s or 90s.

troutingintas
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Re: Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

Post by troutingintas » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:54 pm

I think Schwiebert is also wrong stating: "Cross tied some using upright wings of calftail ....."

According to The Practical Fly Fisherman by A.J. McClane, 1953, 1977.
"Reub asked his supplier for any part of an animal with stiff, kinky, white hair. All the dealer could find was a half-dozen impala tails, but they were exactly suited to the task. Thus, the Quack Coachman was born, and in my box it rates on a par with the Light Hendrickson in respect to number and size of trout taken during the season. "

Allan
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Re: Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

Post by Allan » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:48 pm

troutingintas,
What you identify is not an inconsistency. Impala = calf.

There are other references that refute Schweibert. In his book Streamcraft, G.P. Holden writes about dry flies with upright hair wings. That book was 1919.

troutingintas
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Re: Quack Coachman or is it a Royal Wulff?

Post by troutingintas » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:09 pm

I assumed A.J. McClane was referring to African Impala which is a bit longer and more translucent than calf tail.

I'd love to see an original Cross Quack or the Dette Quack that mikevalla is referring to on page 32 of 'Founding Flies'.

Put yourself in the mind of Reuben Cross given the task by Leonard Charles Quackenbush of emulating the look of a feather fan-wing by using stiff, kinky, white hair. Would not Cross try to fan the hairs on each wing so as to the mimic the unique look of Mandarin duck or white duck breast feathers used in the 1920's to in dress a fan-wing?
Last edited by troutingintas on Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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