Friday, April 27, 2018

"John Storey"

In a post I did on April 22nd titled "A Rambling" With An Old Pattern...I received a comment from John "The Two Terriers" on an old pattern he had fished. Unfortunately he was unable to tell us much about it, having lost the last fly he had in his possession. He was able to recall the name of the fly and shared it with me. The flies name was "John Storey"...

Another reader and contributor to SSR's "Bill Shuck"...an awesome fly tyer and historian of old patterns. Bill took the time to research the "John Stroey" and sent me the information on the fly.

Initially all I found were references to the dry fly version, including a video of Davie McPhail tying it and several advertisements for places you can buy it, along with numerous photos of the strange design that has the wing sloping out over the eye of the hook. Supposedly the original version was a wet fly designed by John Storey in the early 20th century, while the dry version was the handiwork of John Storey’s grandson in about 1935. A couple of the articles mentioned that the original wet version had the wing sloping back over the body, but I had no luck finding a likeness of this design until I came across a reference to a book by the name of Trout and Salmon Flies of Wales (Moc Morgan, originally published by Merlin Unwin Books in Shropshire, U.K.) There I found the recipe on page 89 and a painted likeness of the wet version in the upper right of Plate 26 on page 103.

The "John Storey" wet fly tied by Bill Shuck.


The "John Storey" dry fly tied by Bill Shuck.

Thanks to both John, and Bill for their input...That's why I believe we have the greatest readers in the world.





29 comments:

  1. Alan, great history! Enjoyed it a lot. The wet version is basically a Leadwing Coachman wet with a Mallard flank wing substituted. I would have to say, I prefer Mr. Storey's version.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ralph Long
      Thanks
      Ralph it is much the same as the Leadwing Coachman.
      The dry is a bit tricky to tie, at least for me.

      Delete
  2. As they would say when I lived in PA "Tis a gift to be simple". I usually tie similar patterns with a very short gold tag, at the rear.

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    Replies
    1. John Dornik
      Thanks
      John oh how I love simple things. The gold tag would highlight this fly nicely.

      Delete
  3. Great story (pun somewhat intended). Those look like seriously fishy flies. Can't wait to tie one up and try it!

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    Replies
    1. George S
      Thanks
      George both pattern styles wet or dry are sure to work well especially on small streams.

      Delete
  4. Nice post, good stuff! And I second your comment's about Bill. I've featured his flies on my blog as well.

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    Replies
    1. Matthew Grobert
      Thanks
      Matt he's an awesome fly tyer and his knowledge of fly patterns is quite deep.

      Delete
  5. Hi Alan,
    Great Article on an old UK pattern. It isn't a pattern I have used personally but some of the 'old boys' in my club have it on their leaders regularly. I have vague recollections of the pattern appearing in a UK fishing magazine (possibly Trout & Salmon?) some years ago where it was referred to as being fished on the rivers around the North Yorkshire Moors (near to where Two Terriers made reference to it). They used it to suggest terrestrials that where being blown onto the river.
    Alistair

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous
      Thanks
      Alistair I love these old patterns and they continue to take there share of fish.
      The fly does look like a land based insect, similar to the Coch Y Bondu.

      Delete
  6. Beautiful ties by Bill Shuck. Simple, but I bet so effective. Well done.

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    Replies
    1. Parachute Adams
      Thanks
      Bill is a wonderful tyer. He's a treasure as far as soft-hackles go.

      Delete
  7. Alan,

    Lovely work. Those which I had had slightly shorter body but they do work well and it was the Rye, Seph, Swale and Yorkshire Esk where I fished the pattern. I look forward to seeing and reading how it fishes for you. All the best, John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Two Terriers
      Thanks
      John I tied up a couple and fished them yesterday. I liked the results. Mine don't seem to look like Bill's but they worked....keep trying here in CT.

      Delete
  8. Thanks for another great post, Alan. And thanks to Bill Shuck for the gorgeous ties. I love fishing and tying these older patterns; knowing the history of the patterns you're fishing is half the fun. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. mike
      Thanks
      Mike I agree. Tying and fishing a bit of history makes for an above average outing. I find for the most part our modern trout love these old timers.

      Delete
  9. Alan, Arthur Storey was the keeper on the River Rye not far from where I live John Storey allis a keeper on the Rye. The John Storey fly is in common use by me and many of the local anglers . The advance wing has always seemed suggestive of the LDO and it is thought of an early season dry pattern. Much as the modern day "Jingler patterns have gained popularity.

    Andy




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Becks and Brown Trout North Yorkshire
      Thanks
      Andy do you fish the dry fly as a land based insect, perhaps a beetle?
      It's good to have you fellows from the UK add your knowledge of these old patterns.
      Alistair sent me some links on the John Storey.

      Delete
    2. I think the reason the pattern is so popular is that it resembles everything and nothing, the advance wing makes it a good olive imitator and the hero body works as a general terrestrial or beetle pattern. There is another local pattern called an erics beetle named after another famous North Country angler Eric Horsfall Turner . Who lived in Scarborough ( my home town ) and was actually a member of the club I am now chairman of. That pattern is never out of my box and can be fished wet, dry or damp...

      Delete
    3. Andy I thank you for the insight of this fly. I've used it twice now and have had good success.

      Delete
  10. Alan
    Nice History lesson!! I love that soft hackle/wet fly!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TROUT1
      Thanks
      Pete these old flies really intrigue me. they did not have nearly the quality of materials as we have now, but what great flies they produced.

      Delete
  11. https://www.fish4flies.com/Dry/Winged/John-Storey
    you probably saw this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous
      Thanks
      Yes sir I did, but thanks for posting it here so others can read it.

      Delete
  12. Alan,
    You are spot on with your assessment of our dear friend Bill Shuck! His immense knowledge of the subject and his brilliant tying style combine to form one heck of a package! And, he is so very willing to share what he knows! If anyone reading this reply has the opportunity to meet with Bill, please do so! He is a true and humble friend and so talented both on the water and at the vice!
    Doug

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    Replies
    1. Dougsden
      Thanks
      Doug in the short time I've known of Bill he has given so much to me.
      There are times when few words can say volumes.

      Delete
  13. Please note that Dougsden is not only my twin brother, but also a candidate to receive my tying materials when I'm gone. ;=)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. William Shuck
      Thanks
      Bill I knew there was something behind Doug's endorsement.
      Your information is top notch as is your ability at the vise.

      Delete