Claret Gnat: (variation)

Wets, the subtle art form where masters are few and far between.
mikevalla
Posts: 1744
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:16 pm
Location: 1 hr north of the Catskills

Claret Gnat: (variation)

Post by mikevalla »

Yet another trout fly with so many variations..

>In general, he haunts the big waters. In the whole Catskill area the Esopus is the main favorite of rainbow fishermen; this has been true for many years even as far back as the 90’s and long before the construction of Ashokan Reservoir”—Larry Koller, Taking Larger Trout. <

When Larry Koller mentioned the “90’s” he was talking about the 1890’s. Catskill fly angler Ray Smith “was” the Esopus in his era spanning the 1930’s to 1970’s. The Claret Gnat was on his “hot list”, allegedly for use in Isonychia emergences on that stream. There are a couple of versions of the fly. Ray Bergman and Elsie Darbee preferred claret chenille. Smith liked claret floss. Smith liked black hackle; Bergman and Darbee liked claret. Here’s a combination of both.

Image
Follow me on Twitter

User avatar
Mike Norwood
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:37 pm
Location: Arkansas
Contact:

Re: Claret Gnat: (variation)

Post by Mike Norwood »

Great looking fly, Mike. I've never been a fan of chenille. Wool just looks nicer to me.
I do like the fuller look of this one, however. And certainly like the variation with the
tail. Beautiful.



Mike

User avatar
Eperous
Posts: 5168
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:20 pm
Location: Catskills

Re: Claret Gnat: (variation)

Post by Eperous »

Very, very nice... :D And it was a favorite of Smith and many old time Esopus Creek wet fly fishers when Iso's were about... As you noted, Ray tied his with floss...

Very nice indeed... ;)

Ed

catskilljohn
Posts: 4318
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: Claret Gnat: (variation)

Post by catskilljohn »

Here's one thats close, tyed by Jim Deren...

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"

Fontinalis
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 2:17 pm

Re: Claret Gnat: (variation)

Post by Fontinalis »

First let me say that both flies are really nice. Now a question to Mike or CJ. Ed was gracious enough to send Fly Patterns by Ray Smith. THe pattern there calls for a gold tip (Interpreted as tag) or red floss. Now I am just learning about Ray smith, and I have to ask which fly is correct? Or does the pattern that I received from Ed seem more on. I really wish I know more about this man. The Patterns that I have from Ray Smith are really cool and I can not wait until I have a little free time this weekend to sit down in my room and make a few of these patterns come to life.

Sincerely
Andy Brasko

catskilljohn
Posts: 4318
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:03 am
Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: Claret Gnat: (variation)

Post by catskilljohn »

The few reference dressings I have for this fly dont call for a tag. Tags and tips on wet flies usually simulate eggs, or in the case of tinsel, a little attention getting flash. Its anyones guess why Mr Smith added a tag to his version, and personally I love tags so I am all for it, but a red tag on a wet hook would turn very dark, and Iso eggs are greenish-brown, soooo maybe thats what he had in mind?

Variations, love e'm! 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"

redietz
Posts: 1146
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:23 am
Location: Central MD

Re: Claret Gnat: (variation)

Post by redietz »

catskilljohn wrote: Tags and tips on wet flies usually simulate eggs, or in the case of tinsel, a little attention getting flash.
They also help keep floss from slipping off the rear of the hook. Since, according to Mike, Ray Smith preferred floss, it may have been that simple.
Bob

mikevalla
Posts: 1744
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:16 pm
Location: 1 hr north of the Catskills

Re: Claret Gnat: (variation)

Post by mikevalla »

Re: Claret Gnat: (variation)
by Fontinalis » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:25 pm

First let me say that both flies are really nice. Now a question to Mike or CJ. Ed was gracious enough to send Fly Patterns by Ray Smith. THe pattern there calls for a gold tip (Interpreted as tag) or red floss. Now I am just learning about Ray smith, and I have to ask which fly is correct? Or does the pattern that I received from Ed seem more on. I really wish I know more about this man.
Ok, let me say this: As I tried to point out in my Tying Catskill Style Dry Flies tiers changed things from time to time. A tier who crafted something in the 1930's may have tweaked it in the 1950's, and changed materials all together in the early 1970's. Walt Dette had at least 3 versions of his Coffin Fly. And so it is with wet flies. In other words, a Smith fly from the 50's may look different from a Smith fly from the early 70's. There are variations even within the practice a particular tier

Sometimes, we take a "pattern" ourselves--and change things a bit, to suit our tastes. But then, you can get into all the quotes I used fom Rube Cross and Gordon how that practice sometimes screws things up.. Nothing is absolute, nothing is truly "correct". Bumble Puppy, anyone?....take your pick...

In my opinion, there were no "cookie-cutter" flies---only in artists' imaginations. And in my humble opinion, that concept of "cookie cutters" has also mislead tiers. It's the great myth. As I've said here before (and others have concurred) I have yet to find an authentic "Bergman tied" wet fly that looks anything like what his artist chose to portray. And I've seen many--from private collections, private clubs's collections, museums, etc etc. I'm sure he varied his own, too.

In my wets book, I tried to tie the flies in a variety of styles that reflects the myriad ways of many old-school guys. To not have done so would have ignored influencial tiers like William Blades. Some used slender wings, some wide. Some wings were shoulder set and low, some elevated 20-30 degrees. Some had 2 winds of tag, some had only one--or 3 or 4. Some used none, even on flies like the Leadwing. There is no standard, and my fear is, well....

Some wings were longer, some used wings that were shorter. Many used a bit longer shank hook. (in all of the felt-leafed fly books those old guys opened for me on the river banks, decades ago, no fly was a "cookie cutter"--

And so it is with "tags"-- :) Nothing is "correct and absolute".

I realized just now that tomorrow, Christmas, marks for me the 43rd year of tying trout flies--that's when I received the Noll kit and book. My first fly tied, I believe, was the Yellow Sally...or Black Prince. In all of those years, nothing of what I've witnessed in patterns was "absolute"
Follow me on Twitter

ted patlen
Posts: 2021
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:03 am

Re: Claret Gnat: (variation)

Post by ted patlen »

catskilljohn wrote:Here's one thats close, tyed by Jim Deren...

Image

CJ

if that fly is from that high quality magazine from 40 or so yeas ago...then yes it was derens....

claret/burgundy variations have been around forever...

to add a bit to mikes last post about things that aren't carved in stone...i have a theory, and it was recently acknowlegded but Judy Darbee Vinceguerra Smith.

when commercial tyers sat down and tied thousdands of flies for other people they had to have quality control...so what did they do with the "rejects"? they fished them themselves...would you tye flies for yourself after tying thousands of flies??????? judy told me that is exactly what her parents did...SSSOOOOO, the flies we see from our cherished peers , from their fly boxes, were most likely the worst ones of their pickings...you can also take into consideration that if they had 5 flies of a certain pattern to use, all rejects, then they'd use the best of those first leaving the worst...

with my recent probing into the streamers i have found the same identical traits that ike refers to about tweaking of flies...so many of the patterns are basically the same with minor differences yarn in stead of hackle, floss instead of wool, ribbing or no ribbing...down the line...it is very obvious that the fish don't care, as we very well know...maketing at it's finest!

yo

mikevalla
Posts: 1744
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:16 pm
Location: 1 hr north of the Catskills

Re: Claret Gnat: (variation)

Post by mikevalla »

Ted,

Rejects...yes. Most of my Winnie flies were rejects. I used to smile like a butcher's dog waiting for a couple....tongue out..

Ted, scan McClane's Encyclo. Look at Elsie's wets. Not cookie cutter at all...some variations..

-M
Follow me on Twitter

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest