Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Some call them Bottom Dredgers. They are too often over shadowed by the dry fly, but have their place here.
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Eperous
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Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Post by Eperous » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:03 pm

Yesterday while up in Phoenicia tying flies with others, the topic of Ed Sens came up--- one of the tyers mentioned that he knew him. That comment, rekindled an old interest of mine anew.

I first stumbled upon the name Ed Sens in Ernest Schwiebert’s Matching the Hatch in the mid-sixties. Then years later Ray Ovington sang his praises in How to Take Trout on Wet Flies and Nymphs. In fact, Ovington called Sens his mentor and many, if not all, of the nymph patterns in Ovington’s 1952 book are attributed to Sens. For those unfamiliar with Ray Ovington, he penned an outdoor newspaper column, wrote several books on flyfishing, and contributed numerous articles to major outdoor magazines. Plus, he loved my Esopus Creek and often wrote about it, so my interest in Ed Sens grew in leaps and bounds, but alas I could not find anymore about this tyer/fly fisher.

Then when Schwiebert’s Nymphs, Volume II came out, Sens received a couple pages of press. I learned that his family owned a place on the upper Neversink, where he often fished. This rekindled my interest in Sens If you Google Sens' name, one would learn that Gary LaFontaine, Gary Borger, and Rick Hafele all wrote very highly of this Catskill fly tyer/fisher. In fact, they each call Sens an important tyer of nymphs, identifying his Green Caddis Pupa as a forerunner of many modern caddis patterns and an important fly for Rhyacophila.

I got side-tracked with “stuff” today, but this evening managed to knock out one Sens Green Caddis Pupa, a pattern that dates back to the 1940’s.

Sens Green Caddis Pupa, #14 Mustad 37160:
Sens Green Caddis Pupa, #14 Mustad 37160 #1.jpg
Sens Green Caddis Pupa, #14 Mustad 37160 #1.jpg (58.79 KiB) Viewed 4110 times
Sens Green Caddis Pupa, #14 Mustad 37160 #2.jpg
Sens Green Caddis Pupa, #14 Mustad 37160 #2.jpg (61.47 KiB) Viewed 4110 times
A couple questions here, as I’m on a fishing trip. Has anyone ever heard of Ed Sens, and if so, can they add to this? And, how can this Catskill tyer, whose contributions have been acknowledged by some of fly-fishing’s heavy hitters, get lost in the piscatorial annals of time?

By the way, I love that Sens-Neversink connection.

Ed

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Re: Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Post by catskilljohn » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:56 pm

Those hooks are growing on me since thats the second fly in as many days I have seen tyed on them! :D

I dont know anything about Ed Sens, cant recall if I have read anything on him either. The modest and unseen anglers of years ago just fade away so easily, even when their contributions were so important. If you weren't writing for a sporting magazine or rubbing the elbows of ones who do, you just didn't get noticed.

Good looking simple pattern Ed, reminds me of a bunch from Solomon's Caddis book [and probably where Larry's inspiration for them came from too!] CJ
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Re: Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Post by AaronH » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:21 pm

Ed:
My only connection with Ed Sens was from Ovington's book, especially the part where he speaks about how successful that fly was. I did tie some after reading the book. Never had much in the way of success. Also I could never warm up to that hook and like a lot of other flies over the years it just got lost in the sauce. Might be worth a shot with another hook.
Aaron

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Eperous
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Re: Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Post by Eperous » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:26 pm

CJ/Aaron... I picked that hook to tie Sens patterns on... :? the photo in Ovington's book of the Pupa was on a traditional straight shank wet fly/nymph hook... :oops:

And, by the way in Matching the Hatch, Ernest Schwiebert lists this pattern, and the Dark Caddis Pupa, giving Ed Sens credit for both... many years ago I tied the Dark Caddis Pupa and a good friend of mine does quite well fishing it to this day...

Ed

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Re: Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Post by quashnet » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:43 am

I have had Ray Ovington's How to Take Trout on Wet Flies and Nymphs on the bookshelf for at least three decades, possibly longer. I always enjoy reading it, and I like looking at the photos (black-and-white, not color; modest and unassuming). I love the full-page photo of Sens with a great, broad-brimmed hat on his head, standing in Ten Mile Creek with a chunky brown trout in his hand. The fly plate is very nicely photographed, and the mayfly nymphs are slim enough to be great fish-getters. And the photo of a day's catch of brookies includes the Payne rod and Hardy St. George reel with which they were caught. The text is sensible, the "Cycle of the Seasons" concept is a good theme, and overall it makes fly fishing seem interesting, achievable, and fun.

In the introduction Ovington calls Sens "the greatest angler I know." It looks as though Sens is to Ovington as Marryat is to Halford. Perhaps they didn't promote themselves much beyond getting the book published, and with the ever-increasing interest in spinning, a little book like this one could get lost.
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Eperous
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Re: Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Post by Eperous » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:25 am

quashnet wrote: ... In the introduction Ovington calls Sens "the greatest angler I know." It looks as though Sens is to Ovington as Marryat is to Halford. Perhaps they didn't promote themselves much beyond getting the book published, and with the ever-increasing interest in spinning, a little book like this one could get lost.
As an aside, Ray Ovington wrote several books plus wrote an outdoor column for--- I think--- a major NYC newspaper... I forget which one, but could easily find out again by asking Ed Kahil, the son of the late Dick Kahil from the Esopus Creek-Rainbow Lodge days... I mentioned Ovington & BIG ESOPUS CREEK RAINBOWS HERE: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4001&hilit=+kahil% ... nbow+lodge

I was drawn to Ovington's book, the How to Take Trout on Wet Flies and Nymphs--- the Freshet Press version--- most likely due to the fact back in the early 1970's there wasn't much written about nymph fishing and I did--- and still do--- a lot of nymph fishing... after reading that book and how much Ovington wrote about/loved the Esopus Creek ("So, the Esopus has been good to all of us, especially me..." - his quote from the book) I naturally acquired a few of his other books...

Somewhere Sunday while trying to find more about Ed Sens via an Internet serach, one of those authors I mention above placed Ed Sens' nymphs in the same category as Art Flick & Preston Jennings... okay, just one person's opinion, but high praise indeed...

As I mentioned in the first post above, Saturday I got talking to a friend who knew Ed Sens... that minor discussion rekindled a flame within me about this tyer...

CJ, Bud - I'm going to do some research and write an article for a future Guild Newsletter on Ed Sens: fly tyer, flyfisher, a Neversink angler...

Ed

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Re: Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Post by Bud » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:47 am

CJ, Bud - I'm going to do some research and write a future article for the Guild Newsletter on Ed Sens, fly tyer, flyfisher, a Neversink angler...Ed
Great idea. We all will look forward to it.

--Bud
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Eperous
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Re: Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Post by Eperous » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:48 am

Bud wrote:
CJ, Bud - I'm going to do some research and write a future article for the Guild Newsletter on Ed Sens, fly tyer, flyfisher, a Neversink angler...Ed
Great idea. We all will look forward to it.

--Bud
Thanks... ;) My target date is the May issue... :)

Ed

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Re: Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Post by Bud » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:54 am

Ed--

Good timing. Mike Valla tells me that he has an article on Catskill nymphs coming out in the Summer 2013 issue of Fly Tyer. "Sens appears there, along with 9 other patterns," sez Mike.

Keep watching the skies.

--Bud
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. And inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
-- Marx (Groucho)

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Eperous
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Re: Green Caddis Pupa & Ed Sens, a forgotten tyer

Post by Eperous » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:55 am

Bud wrote:Ed--

Good timing. Mike Valla tells me that he has an article on Catskill nymphs coming out in the Summer 2013 issue of Fly Tyer. "Sens appears there, along with 9 other patterns," sez Mike.

Keep watching the skies.

--Bud
Bud... I guess it'll be the June issue of the Gazette... Feb, Apr., Jun??? :? anyway, Ovington's book - How to Take Trout ... has a whole series of "Catskill-Sens' nymphs", but hey, I'm saying too much already... :oops:

Ed

PS - As I understand Mike Valla's article, it's on several tyers who tied Catskill nymphs... I wasn't aware he included a Sens pattern until this AM... should all be interesting, I look forward to that issue of Fly Tyer...

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