Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tying in the Catskill Style

I fish dry flies most of the time, especially on the small streams. Most of these flies are tied with lots of hackle and are designed to stay floating in faster runs and pockets. These are generic flies and can represent most insects found on these waters.

But there are those times when a stream will produce a hatch of pretty little mayflys. While these hatches are far and few the trout have them in their memory. That's when the Catskill dry fly comes into play. I have been attempting to tie these delicate beautiful flies. Catskill patterns are usually crisp, and are tied to be floated on those smooth slick pools, but I have fished them in most streams in various types of water. Below I have tried to capture the Catskill style.

The fly on the left was tied in the Catskills and purchased from the fly shop above. The fly on the right is my attempt to match the style.


The fly on the left Catskill, and the one on the right is mine.

In this day with ever changing fly patterns and materials, it's nice to tie and fish the old stuff.


CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

31 comments:

  1. Nice job Brk Trt. I haven't tied a catskill dry in a long time, lately I've been using Haystack/comparaduns for dries. To tie in the catskill style you need a good neck with fine hackle so that it can be wrapped many times without creating bulk. If you look closely at your models you may be able to count the wraps. I think they use a slightly larger hackle size then you might normally use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark,
      Thanks.
      I think larger hackle would work better. Some say it's all in the proportions.
      They are enjoyable to tie.

      Delete
  2. Brk Trt, Nice ties. I believe Catskill dry flies are simply the most beautiful and iconic dry fly that exists. An iconic design that will never fade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tenkara ambassador,
      Thanks.
      So very true. What I love is their sparse crisp lines.

      Delete
  3. Excellent ties. Though I virtually have never fished them they are beautiful and deserve a place in any anglers fly box.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Alan!

    Nice tying Alan! A lot of nice trout flies has their origin in the Catskills. A funny thing is that I actually lived in that area in the winter 89-90 so I only could see the beauty of the Catskill Mountains in the winter. In May 1990 I moved to South America where I stayed for 5 years. So I've lived there but never fished any of the wellkown waters. What a pity! Thanks for sharing!

    Friendly greetings,
    Mats Olsson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Jassid Man,
      Thanks.
      A beautiful place, even in winter. I wish you had the chance to fish the waters where dry fly fishing in America started.
      Your a well traveled man. Next you must visit the waters where the Jassid originated.

      Delete
  5. Excellent! I'd say you just about nailed them both and Catskill Style dries look deceptively simple to tie. Well done man!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill,
      Thanks.
      I thought I came close. They can test one's ability at times.

      Delete
  6. Nice job Alan. Now all you need to do is get out and try them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark Kautz,
      Thanks.
      I plan on doing just that, as soon as the weather gives way.

      Delete

  7. Alan
    I can see where both these patterns would work well on a smoother surface using a delicate presentation and lighter tippet. I have used a similar pattern on the tailrace I fish and it has produced even in fast water at times; but my previous is the slower water. You have matched both patterns to perfection. How far do you live from that neat looking fly shop? That place looks like it should serve up a great breakfast along with the fly fishing gear. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell,
      Thanks.
      They engage all that is angling in the classic traditions.
      That fly shop is at the home of Mary Dette in Roscoe NY, very close to the Beaverkill river. The family is a Catskill legend.
      It's about a three hour trip from where I live.

      Delete
  8. lovin' the fly shop porch! complete with waders and boots...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TexWisGirl,
      Thanks.
      It's a charming place.

      Delete
  9. Looks like a fine fly fishing shop- I am looking forward to seeing those flies float.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter Patenaude,
      Thanks.
      Great shop, hope the flies are as well.

      Delete

  10. Great looking flies!! There's a lot of history witht the fly shop and if you get a chance to travel over there visit it's worth it. A beautiful place to fish also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. joe,
      Thanks.
      I've been in the shop and had a wonderful conversation with Mary. She's one special lady.

      Delete
  11. Beautiful stuff. The tradition lives on. Nice flies, fish 'em hard! They'll work Best, Matt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt Grobert,
      Thanks.
      The Catskill dry is a work of art. And it's good to keep those traditional flies going.

      Delete
  12. Alan, Those dogs will hunt. Beautiful flies in their own right. Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nice job on the dry flies! That fly shop looks like an interesting place to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  14. enjoy your blog. am relatively new to fly fishing. and am trying to keep it simple. if you had to recommend the top 5 dry flies, what would you pick? for ct rivers and streams

    thank you

    aidan ct

    ReplyDelete
  15. enjoy your blog. am relatively new to fly fishing. and am trying to keep it simple. if you had to recommend the top 5 dry flies, what would you pick? for ct rivers and streams

    thank you

    aidan ct

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. salmon river anglers,
      Thanks.
      I glad you took the time to comment.
      As you know I fish mostly small streams, but will also fish the larger rivers.
      In Ct. I would not be on any water without these dry flies.
      Ausable Bomber, Elk Hair Caddis, Adams, and Adams Parachute, Usual, Ausable Wulff.

      Delete
  16. Those are great flies. Nice & sparse. Thanks for an interesting post.

    ReplyDelete