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The Fishing Gazette – Major Traherne’s patterns

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 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!

The book is listed on under “The fishing gazette: On the description of salmon flies” and the first pattern published today is “No. 5. Tippetiwitchet

Variegated Sun Fly

There are two variants of The Variegated Sun Fly registered on one by Kelson and one by Pryce-Tannatt

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.

Tied on Partridge M2 #1/0


Autumn Creeper Grub – Kelson

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.

Black Creeper Grub

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.