A while back I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time reading the original 1884 editions of “The fishing gazette”. In 1883/84 George M. Kelson ran a series of text called “On the description of salmon flies, Major Traherne’s Patterns” where he presented (as far as I know) 18 patterns by Major Traherne, but also describes the steps involved in tying a salmon fly.
These text have not been easily available, and when I had a chance to read the 1884 editions I got some pictures and have transcribed the text and added a new “book” to flypattern.org where I will publish the 12 chapters I have from this series.
If you have the first four, or the No.18 of these, then I’m interested to get in touch with you to see if I can get my hands on them!
Both of the variants have the same basic features: body of divided berlin wool, black front-hackle and a topping wing. Kelson calls for Macaw in tail and for horns, but here I use blue swan instead, not as stiff as Macaw, and not quite the color, but for these flies (that go into the fishing box) I wanted to use up some 2nd grade topping and try to tie up some quick and fishable patterns without the need for all the materials called for.
Hook: Partridge M2 #1/0 Thread: Semperfli 18/0 Tag: Gold tinsel and yellow silk Rear hackle: Red, cheeked with kingfisher Body: Black chenille Center hackle: Yellow, cheeked with kingfisher Front hackle: Black and black heron, cheeked with kingfisher
2017 starts out with another Grub: the “Autumn Creeper” from Kelson (1895). The original have red macaw, yellow macaw and vulturine hackle with chatterer cheeks: here I have substituted with standard hackle to get the same colour scheme in the fly.
Hook: Mustad 80500-npbl #1/0 Thread: Semperfli 18/0 Tag: Silver and light blue silk Tail: swan & macaw Rear hackle: Black, cheeked with kingfisher Body: Black chenille with a black hackle in the center, cheeked with kingfisher Front hackle: Black, cheeked with kingfisher
Continuing the grub series, here a pattern from George Kelson “The salmon fly” from 1895. I substituted ibis with swan, powdered blue macaw with blue/yellow macaw and chatterer with kingfisher. The look and feel is the what is important here (plus the fact that I don’t have 6 chatterer feathers around for testing out new patterns). Will try to tie this one up with light blue hackle tips to see how that can work: the kingfisher is not maintaining that clear colour once it is in water, so for fishing purposes it would be good to have something that will last a bit longer.
A pattern that can be tied up with both shorter (and more sparse) hackle and one with longer hackle, depending on the movement you want in the water. A heron hackle in front of either the rear or front hackle could also be something to explore.