Monday, January 14, 2013

Mystery Fly Identified

Fran Betters original "Picket Finn"
Well the mystery fly has been identified. After searching the net and asking a few anglers and fly tyers I was able to nail it down. The answer came from someone who was very close to Fran, it was Jan Betters, his wife.

I sent an email to her along with a photo and she responded quickly. She told me it was one of Frans favorites. Well I guess I should tell you the name. It's called a "Picket Finn"

Mark tied up a few similar to it and we tried them out Saturday.. The second cast I made a brook trout hit and was on. Although I lost him it was a good start. In that same pool I hooked 2 more, and in a stretch of riffles I hooked another. The fly works. The only problem was the bead may have been a bit to heavy, and working the fly was difficult in the small stream.
Marks BH Variation


I sat at the bench with the materials shown here and tied up a few variants of my own. Different body dubbings, wing materials, and some with hackle. The flies are not weighted and should ride in the stream a little better.


My variations of the Picket Finn

I'll give these a workout soon and let you know how they worked.


CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

39 comments:

  1. Holy cow dude! There couldn't have been a more appropriate name. LoL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Swamp Yankee,
      Thanks.
      Not only was Fran a great tyer, he was also a great name picker.

      Delete
  2. Those are nice, I like the non bead head version. Great brookie photo on your page header too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lester Kish,
      Thanks.
      That BH has a stream picked out. The wet should work well in others.

      Delete
  3. Those are some buggy looking flies for sure , it could easily pass for a caddis or a mayfly either one. That orange thread head really stands out and gives the fish a focal point on the fly , I like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HighPlainsFlyFisher,
      Thanks.
      Edible bugs, ready to eat. The orang head was a mark of many of Fran's patterns.

      Delete
  4. Very nice variation Alan ! I'm sure we'll have fun tinkering with it a bit !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark,
      Thanks.
      I'm sure we will. I have a run on the Farmy where that BH of yours will be tested in a few months.
      Stay tuned.

      Delete
  5. Awesome looking bug, sweet and juicy caddis. What prompted you to find out the history? Also I agree with Lester, Love that Brookie header pic! Make mine an 8 X 10.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fly Waters Edge,
      Thanks.
      That it is. I am a great admirer of Fran Betters. He never seemed to get the credit he deserved for putting the angler into fish. His fly patterns are awesome.
      As far as the photo, email me.

      Delete
  6. I was interested in your previous post and did some searching on my own. I came across a fly that looked similar but not quite the same as the one you had pictured. It was tied by Fran and called a "picket finn". I thought it might be the same but wasn't sure. Thanks for the answer. BTW...very nice tie. I like the one without the BH.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kiwi,
      Thanks.
      I know of your fondness for Frans patterns, and I share them with you.

      Delete
  7. That is a great pattern. Betters was an amazing innovator. Who would think to put a hair wing on a nymph? Brilliant stuff. Beautiful ties, Alan.

    Fran's Pattern: http://ausablewulff.com/flyofmonthapril.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve Zakur,
      Thanks.
      There's something to be said about having to much time on your hands, and he put it to use. To think that "Ray Bergman" used the fly says volumes.
      Thanks for the link.

      Delete
  8. Alan
    Wow, was I way off on the name of this fly. I agree the wet version would work much better where you and Mark fish. Amazing how a name seems to suit a fly and the "Picket Fin" works well for this pattern. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell,
      Thanks.
      Both versions will have a place in my box. I have a tailwater where that BH will be tested.
      I agree the name surely fits.

      Delete
  9. I guess it's back to the vise again. Your variations look great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RKM,
      Thanks.
      I knew that was going to happen. Careful of the elbow strain.

      Delete
  10. Gonna tie some tonight. Fran gave it a great name. I'm sure he's up there with a smile on his face because we're talking about one his creations. Nice job researching this one Alan.
    A.T.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apache Trout,
      Thanks.
      I figured you would, can I guess where they'll be used.
      I'm sure he's doing that.

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. its almost like a underwater stimulator, definitely looks worthy of a place in the box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Col,
      Thanks.
      There's lots of whistles and bells on this pattern.

      Delete
  13. Being a huge Pickett Pinn fan I'm going to try and tie up some of these variants. Unbelievably, my fly boxes have zero Pickett Pinns in them now, guess I'll have to do something about that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill,
      Thanks.
      I to love the "Pin", try some of the variants.
      We must fill those boxes..."Spring" is coming.

      Delete
  14. Very cool to learn about the fly. I'm excited to tie it up and try it out! I love how Better's flies so often used that orangish color for the body and the flo orange thread. Almost as much of a trademark of a Better's pattern as the red thread line on a Stevensesque streamers head!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Will,
    Thanks.
    Two distinctive marks from two very distinctive fly tyers.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey Alan,
    Just wanted to let you know that I tied up some of the Picket Finns. I was able to get my hands on some orange dyed peacock and used that instead of orange dubbing for body section. Came out real nice!
    I also did a variation in honor of Fran Betters & Harry Murray that I call the "Ausable-Rapidan Pin".
    I put up pic and recipe on my blog.
    Check it out, I think you'll like it.
    Time to test 'em out! :)
    A.T.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apache Trout,
      Thanks.
      I checked your blog, great tribute.
      That fly should work well.

      Delete
  17. Replies
    1. penbayman,
      Thanks.
      I should be posting one soon.

      Delete
  18. Have to test some of those in the Farmy using the Bead Head!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TROUT1,
      Thanks.
      We are on the same page Pete.

      Delete
  19. Nice looking flies- I bet you are looking forward to drowning them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter Patenaude,
      Thanks.
      I did just that yesterday, report coming soon.

      Delete
  20. Love the orange head. Love your blog. Keep catching and showing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim Yaussy Albright,
      Thanks.
      That orange focal point seems to work.

      Delete
  21. Those look a lot like a lafontaine sparkle pupa! great fly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robert William Abdu,
      Thanks.
      They sure have some similarities.

      Delete