Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Anything fly tying...
Ed Pirie
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:25 pm

Re: Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Post by Ed Pirie » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:46 pm

Hi,

I've got a woodchuck pelt here (came from around me in central/eastern Vermont) and the pelt I have looks like it would be a good source of the guard hairs used in Fran's Ausable Stonefly. I remember when I got the woodchuck pelt, I was hoping it would be more reddish as our woodchucks look more reddish to me in the spring and then they seem to lose the reddish cast to their fur as the summer wears on. My days of harvesting a woodchuck are over so I'll stay on the lookout for one that is more reddish - just looks more fishy to me. Thanks for sharing Fran's Ausable Stonefly - looks like a great trout fly - I'll have to try to tie some.

Take care,
Ed Pirie
West Topsham, Vermont

tie2fish
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:39 pm
Location: Harford County, Maryland

Re: Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Post by tie2fish » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:05 am

Here's a researched possibility ...

http://smallstreamreflections.blogspot.com/

bearbutt
Posts: 484
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Post by bearbutt » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:04 am

Tie--

Thanks for the link. Do you know who the writer is? BrkTrt? It feels odd he would develop a blog post based on our thread here without linking the thread.

I am not convinced, as the writer says, that the stonefly mystery is "solved": none of the flies shown reflects the proportions or coloration of the fly Tom Conway originally posted. Also, the writer used very different materials not cited in our thread, yet claims we cited them--like rusty orange opossum and grizzly hackle (to my eyes I see a dirty yellow dubbing and coachman brown hackle in the Tom Conway example).

To me the jury's still out.

bb

Bamboo&Brookies
Posts: 732
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 4:44 pm

Re: Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Post by Bamboo&Brookies » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:01 am

One more thought about the wing material -- woodchuck is not hollow so it does not flair much. Deer body hair and elk body flair.

The wing on the fly in the photo isn't flaired much (say, like a stimulator's wing would be with deer or elk body).

ps -- like CJ and others have alluded to, Fran most likely varied a pattern depending on what material was at hand. Looks like gray squirrel tail might also work in a pinch, although it might not be as stiff as woodchuck guard hair.
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: 484
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Post by bearbutt » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:49 am

Bamboo&Brookies wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:01 am
One more thought about the wing material -- woodchuck is not hollow so it does not flair much. Deer body hair and elk body flair.
......
Looks like gray squirrel tail might also work in a pinch, although it might not be as stiff as woodchuck guard hair.


That's true about how deer and elk hair will tend to flair. However, you can mitigate this by using a larger diameter thread, make 4 or 5 soft turns around it, add some cement, then slowly pull down on the thread. Let it sit a minute or two while the cement takes hold. Then add a few more wraps. The hair will stay in place and won't flair.

I tried the squirrel tail solution this summer, using a fox squirrel--which is a great color match. Like you say, it is a bit soft--doesn't float so well--the fly sits low in the surface film. It looks good, it caught fish, but it's in the 'close but no cigar' category for me.

bb

Brk Trt
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:23 pm

Re: Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Post by Brk Trt » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:23 pm

bearbutt wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:04 am
Tie--

Thanks for the link. Do you know who the writer is? BrkTrt? It feels odd he would develop a blog post based on our thread here without linking the thread.

I am not convinced, as the writer says, that the stonefly mystery is "solved": none of the flies shown reflects the proportions or coloration of the fly Tom Conway originally posted. Also, the writer used very different materials not cited in our thread, yet claims we cited them--like rusty orange opossum and grizzly hackle (to my eyes I see a dirty yellow dubbing and coachman brown hackle in the Tom Conway example).

To me the jury's still out.

bb
Answer given.

Brk Trt

User avatar
Eperous
Posts: 5016
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:20 pm
Location: Catskills

Re: Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Post by Eperous » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:24 am

Brk Trt wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:23 pm
bearbutt wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:04 am
Tie--

Thanks for the link. Do you know who the writer is? BrkTrt? It feels odd he would develop a blog post based on our thread here without linking the thread.

I am not convinced, as the writer says, that the stonefly mystery is "solved": none of the flies shown reflects the proportions or coloration of the fly Tom Conway originally posted. Also, the writer used very different materials not cited in our thread, yet claims we cited them--like rusty orange opossum and grizzly hackle (to my eyes I see a dirty yellow dubbing and coachman brown hackle in the Tom Conway example).

To me the jury's still out.

bb
Answer given.

Brk Trt
;)

bearbutt
Posts: 484
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Post by bearbutt » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:57 am

Tim D. and I have been exchanging notes through the dark back channels of the internet, and Tim sent me some coastal deer hair and a pair of Stones he tied with it. With Tim’s permission, here are the flies:

Image

And here’s some of the hair:

Image

The hair is really special to me—the density, the shading, the toning. I have not seen ANY coastal deer hair quite like this before. Years ago I asked Chris Helm to find me some ‘thick’ coastal deer, and he said the stuff did not exist—that by definition, coastal deer hair was finer and lighter than any other whitetail hair. But Tim’s stuff, from a NC deer he shot in the 1980s, is stunning—it’s hard to convey just how it registers to the touch of fingers in a photograph.

Likewise, his ties: they have a balanced sparseness that I like a lot. Fran tended to overdress his flies, and if you fished the pocket water below the dam in Wilmington, you’d overdress your flies too. The dubbing here is spot on for the stones I have seen in this area, and Tom Conway’s sample: dirty yellow.

Thank you, Tim!

I’ll be experimenting with Tim’s deer sometime soon, I hope—it’s just that work is getting in the way of tying, let alone fishing. ☹

bb
Last edited by bearbutt on Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

bear-kodak
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:32 pm
Location: Shamokin, Pa.

Re: Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Post by bear-kodak » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:10 pm

Mantis wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:52 pm
More than a year and a half ago I got a call from Jan Betters (now living in Florida). She was putting together a book of Fran's patterns, many, she said that had never been published. She sent me a rough bunch of pages of recipes, some pics and I talked buddy Dave Brandt into doing it. Dave got Dan Thomas to split up the 50 patterns and although it took them a year to get it done and down to her, they finally did it. I'll have to ask Dave and Danny if either remembers anything like this Stonefly pattern shown here.
I had glanced thru some of the pages quickly just enough to know I wouldn't be doing it. Other than a couple dozen Klinkhamers a year, I rarely tie fishing flies. Dave only turns on his computer to delete hundreds of emails every couple weeks as he never looks at emails. If I have something I want him to see I send it to his wife, Barb.

Who knows if it will ever get published, but if Dave still has a copy (he must have copied it to give Danny, then at least I could see if this pattern was included. Fran was hand writing notes for his autobiography and had asked me to write the foreword for it, which I did, but he never put it together. I have asked Jan several times to mail me his notes and I would write it for her..didn't want anything for it...just as a favor for an old friend. If I hear anything, or can find out anything, I will let everyome know. As ever, Bob



Hello Bob : Do you think there will ever be any movement to publish this book.
Sure would be nice to get a copy....Jim

Mantis
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:43 pm

Re: Fran's Ausable Stonefly

Post by Mantis » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:31 pm

I'll check with Jan. She is in Florida now. When her dad passed he left her the house. Raising bees for the honey.

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