For those who love small streams, wild trout, and life...in their simplest form
Thursday, September 25, 2014
The other "Black Ghost"
Well its not really another Black Ghost, but a variation. The Black Ghost was originated by Herb Welch of Oquossoc Maine back in 1927. It was tied with a featherwing, and was a pattern that has gained prominence world wide for its ability to take game fish. Its early years saw many landlocked salmon and trophy brook trout taken with it. It soon began working its magic on brown, and rainbow trout as well as Atlantic salmon and bass. There have been anglers who have tied these extra long and used them in the salt water for striped bass.
This is a variation of that Herb Welch classic. It's the Black Ghost Marabou. This fly uses the same materials as the featherwing version only the wing material is marabou. Marabou is that soft downy feather from a turkey. It's probably best know for its use in the wooly bugger. I'm not sure who created the Black Ghost Marabou, but I can say that the first fly tyer to use marabou in this fashion was A.W. Ballou of Litchfield Maine. He created a marabou streamer to represent a smelt, in 1921. The fly was known as the Ballou Special.
I tied these Black Ghost Marabou streamers using the materials pictured in the first photo. I tie them in size 10, 8, and 6. In the water these flies come alive, their marabou wings move ever so seductively bringing vicious strikes.
While the pattern does not require eyes, some tyers will paint an eye or some will use Jungle Cock. The fly below I tied with a Jungle Cock feather, and photographed it wet to show the working profile.
Any serious streamer angler will have the Black Ghost Marabou in their box.