Hewitt’s Sparse Long Hackled Quills

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
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cwfly
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:09 pm

Hewitt’s Sparse Long Hackled Quills

Post by cwfly » Sun May 12, 2019 3:06 pm

I elected against posting this in the Hewitt’s Neversink Skater thread since while it is related to Hewitt it is unrelated to his Skater. But the Hewitt Skater thread, and the chance to rest with a new hip had me back in the books reading text by and of Hewitt.
I have found only one reference to Hewitt actually meeting Theodore Gordon. There may very well be others but the one I found is in Francis, Land of Little Rivers (Beaverkill Press, 1999) where he writes, “ And his [Hewitt’s] laboratory was to the same section of the Neversink that Gordon lived next to and fished so often. In fact, before Gordon died, Hewitt and LaBranche used to drive up and fish Clarence Roof’s water and have dinner with Gordon on the way home.” (at 78).
I wondered about Hewitt and whether he knew Gordon from a bit in Hewitt’s Handbook of Fly Fishing (New York, 1933). Hewitt devotes a few pages to the types, patterns and sizes of flies that he recommends should be used. This is done by category, and none are strange. Dry flies winged, hackle flies, wet flies, nymph flies, midge flies (which he will tie to order) and streamers and bucktails.
Lastly he adds a category that I simply have not seen before and suggests that Gordon may have tied it. I wonder if this is another type of fly with a Hewitt-imposed name. Here is the text.

Image

bearbutt
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Hewitt’s Sparse Long Hackled Quills

Post by bearbutt » Sun May 12, 2019 8:15 pm

Charlie--

Congratulations on your new hip! I count myself as the beneficiary of a new hip as of last November--it won't be long before you are rock-hopping again.

This is really a great find--Hewitt's "Sparse Long Hackled Quills"--. I overlooked this entirely, as I have a copy of Hewitt's Handbook--but somehow never noticed the pattern before. In the two Hewitt catalogues I have (1937 and another undated), neither has any mention of the pattern--only the 1937 catalogue, as an addenda, includes Skaters.

What I find interesting about the Gordon-Hewitt connection is the big leap implied by both their association and the pattern. As you note, the Handbook was published in 1933--which is 18 years after Gordon died. I wonder, like you, if this was a pattern Gordon had tied--as few of Hewitt's own flies emphasize sparseness (eg Skaters and Bivisibles are densely hackled). I think the next step is re-reading McDonald to see if Gordon mentions the pattern somewhere.

Many thanks for sharing this--and good luck with the hip!

bb

Bamboo&Brookies
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 4:44 pm

Re: Hewitt’s Sparse Long Hackled Quills

Post by Bamboo&Brookies » Sun May 12, 2019 9:08 pm

Interesting.

Sounds like more of a dry fly spider (that we have discussed on another thread)... but one that you could also fish like a soft hackle.

rjj
Give a man a fly rod, a shotgun and a bird dog and he'll never be worth a d*mn.
-Old New England saying

bearbutt
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Hewitt’s Sparse Long Hackled Quills

Post by bearbutt » Mon May 13, 2019 9:14 am

Bamboo&Brookies wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 9:08 pm


Sounds like more of a dry fly spider (that we have discussed on another thread)... but one that you could also fish like a soft hackle.
Do you mean this thread? https://www.sparsegreymatter.com/viewto ... =2&t=11535

It seems to me this earlier thread is devoted to stiffly hackled spiders, which are somewhat smaller versions of the Neversink Skaters, with both bodies and tails--. The fly Charlie describes seems to me different, less heavily hackled, and Hewitt's own description of the fly is not repeated in his catalogues.

I noticed my links in the earlier thread are all dead--I'll see if I can redo them. (edit: now done)

bb

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