For those who love small streams, wild trout, and life...in their simplest form
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Fran Betters "Ausable Caddis"
Just some thoughts and ramblings about a man who I regard as one of the best fly innovators and tyers to have graced us. His fly patterns are some of the most simplistic and effective I've ever tied and fished. He could tie any complicated pattern, from delicate Catskill dry fly patterns to salmon flies to nymphs and classic wet flies, but his calling was to tie flies that catch fish.
Fran Betters was the author of several books, some of which I have. He also was a builder of fly rods, and had his own design fly tying vise. In one of his books he has several of his poems, another quality of the man. Fran had a deep love for the Ausable River and the Adirondack region of New York, and this can be seen in his writings. I know that my small stream angling owes much to this man, for his fly patterns dominate my fly box.
Some of Fran's great patterns can be tied with these few materials. Not a lot of money be spent here, and the tying is not difficult and can be accomplished with a little practice. In one of his books Fran said if I were to pick two materials that were most valuable to the fly tyer they would be the deer and the woodchuck. I would like to add a couple more. That would be opossum and orange thread.
These are two caddis patterns I've tied using the materials above. Hook, opossum dubbing, deer hair, and thread. If you take and vary the color dubbing, and deer hair color the insects you can duplicate are many. These flies also float well, and the body sits low in the water enabling the fish to see a good profile.