Research help

David Roberts
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Research help

Post by David Roberts »

I am starting a class on classic Eastern Streamers, and I always like to give students some history of patterns, and tying style. Can anybody tell me who is credited with tying the first of this style of patterns?
David

ted patlen
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Re: Research help

Post by ted patlen »

ARGUABLY...... the bumble puppy is the first in the catskill region...or the scripture bucktail....both where used since the 1880's BUT streamers and bucktails or combinations of materials called "bucktail-streamers" were used for years before these in the states in other parts of the world. yes Joe Bates wrote that the streamer-bucktail that we know today si credited to Theodore Gordon but.....


each region, maine, massachusetts, new york canada had streamer-bucktail lets call them baitfish imitations surface at the same time. discussions asking who was the first to make a specific combination will bring fist fights at some locations!!!

even the accredited authors cannot be sure because of the communications back then... different people came up with similar concoctions at the same time in different locals. and every year new "evidence " surfaces because search methods are becoming easier (google books and word searches for example)

do you have specific flies you wish to tye? classic eastern streamers can cover a large area. when many of my friends and myself discuss these type flies we always talk about, oatman, stevens, bergman, flick, needdabeh, kukenon (spelling?), jennings, cross, stickey to name but a few....

some will help you out, i would but will not be with this computer for a few days. but i'll try .
where do you live and will you be at the someset show?

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gt05254
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Re: Research help

Post by gt05254 »

I would invite you to read my old friend and fly fishing historian Paul Schullery's take on the subject: http://midcurrent.com/history/a-dreadful-scourge/

Gary

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Eperous
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Re: Research help

Post by Eperous »

Interesting topic, of which I know little, and will only "muddy the waters" with the following...

In Preston Jennings' 1935 classic and pioneering angling work on the identification and imitation of trout stream insects titled A Book of Trout Flies, he wrote the following with regards to BUCKTAILS and the Esopus Creek-Shandaken Tunnel:

"Just when these flies were first used is difficult to say, but the Bucktail has come into prominence in the Catskills since the Esopus has been kept in an almost constant roily state, by the introduction of the clay-laden water from the Schoharie; in fact, the first one of these flies to come to the attention of the writer was called the Esopus Bucktail. In any case the Bucktail and the Streamer are both successful in cloudy and roily water."

Ed Van Put, in his fine book Trout Fishing in the Catskills, reiterates this--- based upon Jennings' writings... So to the extent you include bucktails with streamers...

So how's that for literally mudding the waters on this topic, of which I know little... :oops:

Ed

BrownBear
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Re: Research help

Post by BrownBear »

Haven't had a chance to open my copy and check, but what does Bates have to say about it? Not claiming he's the ultimate authority, rather he's been my constant source of streamer patterns since I started tying.

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gt05254
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Re: Research help

Post by gt05254 »

Quoting Paul's last paragraph:

“Invention” is a fragile concept in fly fishing. Hardly any idea is completely new. The bigger question to ask about all the supposed inventors of the streamer might be, which ones had the greatest reach among subsequent generations of anglers? It’s one thing to invent something, but it might be a more important thing to refine an old invention so successfully that the world notices.

I agree. I am always bemused by claims of paternity in the fly realm.
Gary

BrownBear
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Re: Research help

Post by BrownBear »

gt05254 wrote:Quoting Paul's last paragraph:

“Invention” is a fragile concept in fly fishing. Hardly any idea is completely new.
Gary
I'm sadly reminded of a local idiot with opposing views.

I tied and shared a simple caddis larva, one that had been producing in a period when others were striking out. I call this guy an "idiot" because he earned the title. In public view he called me out for giving away his SECRET pattern and assaulted my genetics in general. It did little good to point out that the pattern had been developed by another local tyer in 1967 and sold in shops ever since, and that examples existed in boxes of almost everyone who had fished the river in recent decades.

I was still The Thief. So be it. It gets lots of laughs among folks I care about, even as I notice the idiot is having trouble finding fishing partners these days.

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Squaretail
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Re: Research help

Post by Squaretail »

This is definately a topic about as clear as spring run-off but I'll chip in on the subject quickly.
If your version of Eastern streamers is the Maine featherwing streamer most people envision Herb Welch from the Rangeley region claimed to have invented the style (mostly for ego and marketing purposes I believe) on converted salmon and bluefish hooks although much earlier in the Grand Lake stream area the "Roosters Regret" streamer which was a non-descript guide fly of just some brown or white hackle lashed to a hook probably was the first.
"A man may go fishing his entire life without realizing it is not necessarily the fish that he is after" - Thoreau

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gt05254
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Re: Research help

Post by gt05254 »

Here's what Paul reported what George Herter had to say about Welch:

In the 1971 edition of his Professional Fly Tying, Spinning and Tackle Making Manual and Manufacturer’s Guide, Herter was in fine form on the subject of streamers: “Many years ago outdoor fishing writers, who fish mostly with a typewriter, had run out of their usual fakery so they wrote up a bunch of streamers” that Herter said were good only for decorating women’s hats. Discussing L.L. Bean’s Bean Special Streamer, Herter said, “Everyone in Maine tried his best to get his name on any kind of streamer simply for publicity and this is just such an example — a real dog.”

As for the popular Maine guide Herb Welch, Herter claimed that “Welch widely and loudly stated that he even invented the streamer fly in 1901. This of course, was not even close to being true and he knew it. As early as 1833 Dr. Beaumont was catching lake trout on streamer flies from Mackinac Island, Michigan. He in turn did not claim to have invented them but learned how to use streamers made of feathers from the Michigan and Wisconsin trappers who had been using them for well over a century. The trappers in turn, learned how to use streamers from the Indians.”

Whatever we may think about Herter’s factual errors (the famous Dr. William Beaumont was at Mackinac Island from 1820 to 1825) and his wholesale bashing of well-respected historic fishermen, in this little diatribe he did describe one of the most plausible sources of inspiration for fly tiers — Native Americans routinely attached feathers and hair to hooks and other devices.

This is almost as much fun as discussing T. Gordon's alleged paternity re: dry fly fishing in the U.S. :mrgreen:

Gary

David Roberts
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Re: Research help

Post by David Roberts »

Thank guys, that is pretty much what I had read in all I had, but got some great info. I will always be on the search for more on history.
Now is there a place where we can share our fly tying rooms and desk, are portable ( show tying kits). I think that would be fun unless you have already don that. ( it will also make me clean up mine)
David

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