stab at a Davidson Special

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
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novabass
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stab at a Davidson Special

Post by novabass »

Well, I continue my Catskill Dry Fly tying quest. Here is a stab at a Davidson Special.
Thanks to Catskill John for sending me the dubbing. I started with enough room for a turle knot, but once I snipped my hackle stem, I felt I needed a full head to cover it. So I figured I would go with an Art Flick style head on this one. Critiques welcome.
DavidsonSpecial-800.jpg
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BrownBear
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Re: stab at a Davidson Special

Post by BrownBear »

I like it! It's one of my faves for any hatch of "light" mayflies without regard for species.

Coupla quick things I've learned. The WD tails are soft enough that the pattern settles at the tail, causing it to ride "funny" unless the fish are keying on emergers. In a break from the original, I add 2 or 3 "microfibet" fibers to the tail the same length as the WD. I get a high rider as a result, especially after a fly has been mawed a few times. It's slick, and without a closer look, you never know they're there. Without them, I have trouble with the tail and body sinking completely to produce a "Klinkenhammer" effect, once the fly has caught a fish or two. Good if you want it, but bad if you don't.

On the question of leaving room for a turle knot, I've started tying my hackle "backwards." I tie in the hackle feather where I want the back of the head to be, with the feather pointing forward past they eye. Then I wrap my thread back to the front of the body. I wrap my hackle "backwards" to the front of the body, then counter-wrap my thread forward to the back of the head. Then I only have to use a 2- or 3-turn whip finish and I'm done with a tiny head while preserving the bare shank in front. Neat to me, I don't have to snip the hackle tip. With the thread securing it this way, I just grab the hackle tip and snap it forward toward the eye to break it off.

Traditionalists might ruffle their neck feathers over these two departures from the norm, but they add up to better fishing and easier tying for me.

corvus
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Re: stab at a Davidson Special

Post by corvus »

"Add 2 or 3 "microfibet" fibers to the tail the same length as the WD"

Best tip I've seen ain a long while... Thank you!

And the "back hackle" is good too!

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novabass
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Re: stab at a Davidson Special

Post by novabass »

Thanks BrownBear, I appreciate the reply.
:)
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Where fly tying comes to life!

catskilljohn
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Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: stab at a Davidson Special

Post by catskilljohn »

Lookin good brotha! Love that fly too, one of the patterns losing ground with the passing of time. 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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novabass
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Re: stab at a Davidson Special

Post by novabass »

catskilljohn wrote:Lookin good brotha! Love that fly too, one of the patterns losing ground with the passing of time. CJ
Thanks John, I appreciate it!
Same here, I love this fly. Hopefully we can keep it alive.
FrankenFly <--my website
Where fly tying comes to life!

Allan
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Re: stab at a Davidson Special

Post by Allan »

Nice tie. I've heard of that pattern by name and there's a 1 sentence reference to it that I was able to find (The Beaverkill by VanPut). However, I am not able to find any pattern recipe in any books that I have including those by Darbee, Leiser, Jennings, Bergman, and others. Maybe it's the dubbing(?) but what is the recipe and, other then your use of black thread, how is it any different then the Light Cahill?

tie2fish
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Location: Harford County, Maryland

Re: stab at a Davidson Special

Post by tie2fish »

I saw a reference that said the dubbing was fox fur that had been dyed light green using willow bark, but that may not be accurate.

catskilljohn
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Re: stab at a Davidson Special

Post by catskilljohn »

tie2fish wrote:I saw a reference that said the dubbing was fox fur that had been dyed light green using willow bark, but that may not be accurate.
That's accurate. I did a little story on this in an old Gazette. The dubbing comes out a pale olive, very pale. Think apple caddis with 50% more white blended in. You don't need to dye your own willow bark to replicate it though, believe me! After the running around harvesting bark and figuring out how to get it to seep green I now just blend it using cream fox, BWO olive rabbit and light green rabbit. Twisted on a hook I actually like it better :lol:

Dave Catizone was also very helpful with the body color of this fly, and he is the only guy I found who held one in his hand.

Keep at it Paul, looking good man. CJ
The dressing is here...
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1182
"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"

User avatar
novabass
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:28 pm

Re: stab at a Davidson Special

Post by novabass »

catskilljohn wrote:
tie2fish wrote:I saw a reference that said the dubbing was fox fur that had been dyed light green using willow bark, but that may not be accurate.
That's accurate. I did a little story on this in an old Gazette. The dubbing comes out a pale olive, very pale. Think apple caddis with 50% more white blended in. You don't need to dye your own willow bark to replicate it though, believe me! After the running around harvesting bark and figuring out how to get it to seep green I now just blend it using cream fox, BWO olive rabbit and light green rabbit. Twisted on a hook I actually like it better :lol:

Dave Catizone was also very helpful with the body color of this fly, and he is the only guy I found who held one in his hand.

Keep at it Paul, looking good man. CJ
The dressing is here...
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1182
Yes, that's where I got my recipe, I just took it from John's post on the forum here. I think there might be something about it in Valla's Tying Catskill-Style Dry Flies, but I don't have the book in front of me right now, so I can't remember exactly what it says about it.
Thanks John!
FrankenFly <--my website
Where fly tying comes to life!

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