Carrie Stevens Dedication Fly- The Black Pearl

This is my new streamer dedicated to Carrie Stevens, creator of the Rangeley style streamer. It was created using alot of common elements found in her custom fly designs. Many of her designs incorporated a flat tinsel tag and rib, over a floss body. I refer to this as a C.S. “common”.  For example, this fly has a common body in pink with gold…..meaning the body is pink floss with a flat gold tinsel tag and rib. She often tied a belly of 4-6 peacock herl with white bucktail tied in underneath.

I selected colors from fashions typical of her era, classic gray, black, and golden yellow since Carrie was a milliner. The shoulder is guinea fowl, commonly used in millinery pieces and representative of her “pearls”. The floss body is pastel pink as Carrie was said to have a sweet and kind demeanor.

The golden pheasant crest throat and topping were a material used in her most famous fly of all, the Gray Ghost.

My next post will include the recipe and a really easy tip for managing that unruly golden pheasant crest!


L.L.Bean 100th Anniversary Streamer

L.L.Bean 100th Anniversary Streamer

Here is a close-up of the L.L.Bean streamer, framed and presented to L.L.Bean on March 17th at the L.L.Bean Spring Fishing Weekend. It will be featured on the cover of Fly Tyer magazine’s summer issue which will also feature an article I’ve written about my custom designs, including photos.
I’d also like to mention a HUGE thanks to David Klausmeyer for the beautiful photo and unwaivering support.

L.L.Bean 100th Anniversary Streamer Presentation

L.L.Bean 100th Anniversary Streamer Presentation

On March 17th I had the privilege of presenting Bill Gorman (L.L.Bean’s great-grandson) with a very special custom-designed streamer to commemorate L.L.Bean’s 100th Anniversary. It was a challenge to express 100 years of L.L.Bean heritage on ONE fly! I carefully selected materials from Maine animals including moose, bear, deer, pheasant and duck…….. and incorporated several custom-dyed materials as well. It is a beautiful trout imitation with 5 pairs of wings! L.L.Bean provided several photos from their archives for me to include in the finished frame. I made a brief statement thanking staff for all of their encouragement and support and of course, congratulated L.L.Bean for 100 years of success!
Maine is my home state and I live about 20 minutes from the flagship store. I started tying on a Thompson AA vise that I bought at a yard sale. I learned my basic skills at the L.L.Bean Friday night clinics at the Hunt/Fish Lodge from the great staff that work there.
I would really like to thank all of the people that showed up to support me that weekend including my family, my Facebook friends, customers, and folks I’ve met at shows this season. It was really crazy but none of you went unnoticed….thanks!

22nd L.L.Bean Spring Fishing Weekend

What an exciting season this is turning out to be for me! Some of you already know that I will be at the vise and presenting my ties at L.L.Bean on March 17th and 18th.

At 2:00 on Saturday I will be presenting the 100th Anniversary L.L.Bean Streamer in the Mezzanine of the Hunting and Fishing Store. It’s an honor and privilege to have created this beautiful, classic Maine streamer using materials from some of Maine’s most iconic animals. This Rangeley style streamer has custom dyed hackles and bucktail, as well as moose, bear, pheasant, and duck. The frame will be on display after 2 on Sat. and throughout the show.

Here is a link to the events for the weekend. Hope to see you all there!

Gator Clips

Gator Clips

While I was at the Fly Fishing Show at Marlborough and Somerset this year several people asked me about my “gator clips”. As you can see in the pic they come in pretty handy when heads are drying and also for display. It’s easy to hand the fly over for viewing, it can be seen from all sides easily, and MUCH easier than passing over a size 20 for someone to get a look at. You can buy these already set in little weighted blocks but I prefer to make my own. You can buy the clips at the hardware store, but from experience I can tell you this…..if you can’t find them few folks will know them as “alligator clips”, which is what they actually are called. You’ll have better luck asking for “roach clips” (yeah, I know that’s funny) as everyone seems to know what that means. You can glue them onto dowels or stiff wire but you really need a stand with holes in it to keep them seperated. You’ll love having these on the tying bench too for hanging onto materials in between ties.

This is a pic of a Mickey Doodle streamer (in the works) and a few of my “double wing” fan wings all on my handy gator clips. Taken by Peter Frailey at the Marlborough show.

What’s Bugging You?????

It’s always a tiers nightmare when you discover something living in your tying materials. Mites and little “friends” that move in without notice until they’ve practically taken over. It’s hard to resist those free goose quills, grouse feathers, deer hair patches and bucktails that friends bestow upon me when the season is right. Being that I am a typical Yankee, and enjoy the thriftiness of locally harvested materials, I’ve learned to take a few precautions to protect my valued “collection”.

Years ago a friend gave me a little tip to treat a few houseplants that had the same issue……unwanted guests. It was a no-brainer for me to use this same tip when I acquired by first donation of “spare parts”. I have used this trick successfully MANY times and haven’t had any trouble with it affecting my materials in any way. Please read ALL THE WAY THROUGH BEFORE YOU BEGIN……..

Take a large trash bag….those large, heavy black ones work great…..and toss your tying materials in.

Don’t be shy. Hackle, bucktails, full skins, quills…..any of it.

It’s best to do the next part outside if you can.

Gather up a little of the top so you have about a 12″ or so opening.

Take an aerosol can of bug spray…..I prefer Raid…….spray some into the bag. Don’t spray so much that the materials get wet with it, just enough to make the air inside smelly.

Quickly tie the bag up and let it sit overnight.

By the next day anything in there will be “terminated”. Even though there may be a residual odor at first, believe me, after a few days you won’t even know it was “Raided”.

You can use this same trick for travel bags, boxes, fly wallets…..anything that will fit in the trash bag. Make sure that you treat whatever contained your materials to begin with before you re-introduce them.

Lefty Kreh at the L.L.Bean Spring Fishing Expo

Lefty Kreh at the L.L.Bean Spring Fishing Expo

Two seasons ago I had the privilege of meeting the great flyfishing icon Lefty Kreh at the Expo at L.L.Bean. He was so gracious about chatting with me and sharing his knowledge of casting. He got me tied up in a few knots …..and stories….that’s Lefty for ya! He signed a book for me….something about a “shy” girl, and he doesn’t know it, but we’ve been pals ever since!
As a newcomer to this industry I find him so incredibly inspiring. He continues on….. not only sharing what he’s discovered over the years, but learning, adapting, growing, rethinking, revisiting, reinventing. We could all stand to learn not only from his experiences but from his willingness to continue to be “in the game”, to be open to sharing with all of us, those of us that he has so ably and kindly built that bridge for. So today, I thank you, Mr. Kreh….not just for myself but for all of the others that you’ve given your time and consideration to. I’ll see you at the Expo.