Don Bastian Fly Tying Demo’s Ontario Dates

If you need any more information or registration details on any of the events below, please contact Don via donbastianwetflies.com

Thursday March 12th – Grand River Outfitting and Fly Shop – 6 – 9 pm.

It was 20 years ago that Don helped put the Grand River tailwater on the
map with his article in Fly Fisherman Magazine, September of 1995,
“Ontario’s Grand River” and we thought what better way to celebrate than
to have him demonstrate some of his tried and true caddis patterns that
have performed for him over the years.
Bring your vise and tie along with Don or just sit back and take notes as
this is guaranteed to be an informative tutorial that will greatly improve
your success on the Grand River.

This event is limited to 10 students and is available at a rate of $70.00
/ person + Hst.

The class will feature all of Don’s original caddis patterns: The Hatching
Caddis Adult, Hatching Caddis Pupa, Floating Caddis / Mayfly Emerger,
Floating Caddis Pupa, plus two more proven and deadly caddis larva
patterns. These flies, if you have them in your box, will certify your
readiness for most any caddis hatch / situation you encounter. Just have a
range of sizes and colors.

Visit ontarioflyfishing.ca for more information and to register.

******************

Friday March 13 – First Cast Fly Shop – Guelph – 6 -9:30 pm.

“Caddis and Mayfly Patterns”
Primarily Don’s original patterns.

Goose Quill Nymph and Hare E. Rooster.

The Hare E. Rooster is an excellent steelhead fly.

Both are generic mayfly nymph patterns.

Mayfly duns and spinners using a synthetic material for the abdomen.

We will make a Sulfur spinner and a Hendrickson spinner, both Male and
Female Hendrickson duns.

Split Micro-Fibetts Tails in ten seconds.

An extended-body Mayfly dun / spinner in less than 4 minutes.

My Original Caddis Patterns:

Floating Caddis / Mayfly Emerger
Hatching Caddis Pupa
Floating Caddis Pupa
Hatching Caddis Adult

Beyond this, there will be time for questions, requests, and any impromptu
patterns.

Cost: $79.99

Visit thefirstcast.ca

******************

Saturday March 14 – Fly Tying demo for Niagara Region Flytyers – 11 AM to 4 pm.

St. Catherine’s, some tickets are available from the club at $20.00 each.

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James M. Warner January 8, 1928 – February 12, 2015

Jim was a wonderful kind-hearted man with a quick wit and a hearty laugh. He cherished his family and made his living in the heart of the Lakes Region in Wolfeboro, NH. He spent nearly half a century on the waters and shores in and around Lake Winnipesaukee (the “Winni” for those in the know). Jim ran a busy tackle and outdoors shop called the Sportsman’s Center that later became the Lake’s Region Sports Shop. He was successful because he was an avid hunter and fisherman who identified with locals and visitors alike, but most of all because he knew what time it was when it came to being a sportsman. Hands down his greatest strength was as a fisherman – he fly fished, he spin fished, he bait fished, he trolled, and ice fished. Case and point – into his seventies he was making trips with retired Game Warden Roger Whitcomb to Portsmouth, NH to fly fish for stripers.

Ken Craigue Jr. presenting Jim Warner with a framed set of streamers from the Jim Warner Fly Swap

Ken Craigue Jr. presenting Jim Warner with a framed set of streamers from the Jim Warner Fly Swap

I probably met Jim many times before I got to know him since I lived in Tuftonboro not far from his Winter Harbor home. My dad knew him well and that’s probably why he purchased my Christmas present from him in 1972 – a well-stocked fly tying kit. At ten I loved tying flies and when I landed my first trout on a fly in the spring of 1973 I loved it even more. Until I graduated high school in 1980, I went to his shop every chance I got. I know I must have been a pest, but he never once scolded or put me off. To the contrary, he would look at the flies I had tied and offer suggestions or let me watch him tie at his bench in the back of the shop. I would buy his flies and try to make mine look as good as his. I would dissect them, trying to figure out just how materials were attached and then reconstruct them. I will never forget the winter afternoon that he looked at the bunch of flies I brought in and said, “those look good.” By now I would have been about sixteen and I knew that he was telling me that I was competent as a tyer. I still visited the shop and purchased my materials from him, but my tutelage was complete.

Jim Warner's Redfin Shiner and Blue Magic

Jim Warner’s Redfin Shiner and Blue Magic on an old receipt.

I didn’t see Jim for many years after I went into the Marines out high school, and moved away from the Lakes Region. In the late 90’s however, my son was visiting his grandparents and my father introduced him to Jim. As a result I taught my son the craft Jim impressed upon me. It would be years later that I would visit Jim in Melvin Village, NH, not far from where I grew up and fished. It was during these visits that we would talk about his years as a guide on the Big Lake, his years owning and managing a shop for sportsmen, and the thousands of dozens of flies he tied. Mostly we talked about fishing Lake Winnipesaukee and the streamers he created to imitate baitfish native to the area. He considered the Wolfeboro Bay Special and the Winnipesaukee Smelt his crowning achievements although he has over one hundred original patterns to his credit. Aside from feather wings and his interesting, but deadly ten feather “bottle flies” (a local moniker due to keeping them in cigar tubes), these flies made use of marabou which was an emerging trend at the time. Jim was quick to downplay his role as an innovator by stating that often he just played around with adding readily available materials left over from holiday trimmings. I recognized it as pure genius and the work of a master tyer, not to mention that he was still tying flies well into his 80’s.

Jim Warner Smelt and "Winni" streamers

Jim Warner Smelt and “Winni” streamers

Jim freely shared his knowledge which I found rare. Sure he had some “secret fishing holes,” but even those he shared with enough information that one who was familiar with the lake would have little trouble finding. It was during this time that Jim gave me plates as he called them of his patterns which I treasure almost as much as streamers I’ve collected from periods in his career. I also began to ponder just how many lives Jim had touched – how many boys like me became connected to the art and sport of fly tying and fishing simply because Jim Warner took the time to encourage and share. How many sportsmen and women had fishless days erased because they tied on one of his killer patterns.

A few of the different backing cards Jim warner used for his streamers.

A few of the different backing cards Jim warner used for his streamers.

I find it ironic that Jim passed away on February 12th because it brings to mind words cited at A. Lincoln’s passing: “…[N]ow he belongs to the ages.” While Jim would argue that he was not worthy of inclusion with such a figure, I would say that he is because he left a legacy that will endure through the ages. His works are documented in numerous books and publications and will undoubtedly be reproduced in pursuit of freshwater gamefish in the Lake’s Region and beyond. Jim consistently said he tied flies to catch fish. He was not concerned with perfect proportions or tying convention, but simply the fly’s effectiveness where it counts the most, in a fish’s mouth. As you sit at your vise this winter take just a moment to remember Jim Warner, there are not many like him. He was a humble, gentle giant of a man and master tyer who was always glad to share himself with others. He certainly had a life worth living that he spent sharing and freely giving his time and expertise to anglers worldwide. You will be missed Jim and most fondly remembered.

Jim Warner and a prized blue

Jim Warner and a prized blue – Photo Phillip L. Butterfield

Ken Craigue, Jr – Ken grew up near the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in Melvin Village, NH. As a young boy he fished the big lake and the lakes region. At ten years old, in 1972, Ken discovered fly tying and was immediately hooked.
[visit Ken’s streamer page on Streamers 365]

Jim Warner – A New England Classic – Mike Martinek
Jim Warner’s Streamers 365 flies
Jim Warner Streamer Fly Swap – Kenneth Craigue Jr.
Trolling For Fish In New Hampshire With Master Angler, Jim Warner – Dr. Harold Lyon

Lew Oatman, Carrie Stevens and Jack Gartside on Ebay

It’s been some time since I’ve posted any Ebay items, but there is a nice range of items coming up recently.

First up is a rare Lew Oatman streamer. It is a Bill Edson pattern, the Edson Dark Tiger, one of the most famous of the bucktail streamers. The fly is carded and the glassine is intact.
Lew Oatman – Edson Light Tiger

Another great item is this hard to find Jack Gartside “The Soft Hackle Streamer” booklet and a soft hackle leech.
Jack Gartside – The Soft Hackle Streamer

Jack Gartside - The Soft Hackle Streamer

Jack Gartside – The Soft Hackle Streamer

We’ve seen a number of Bob Bibeau’s streamers tied up by Steve Labrecque for the 2013 project, but it is quite rare to see one come onto the auction block. We are lucky to see his pattern “Rain” on the card for sale.

Bob Bibeau – Rain

Bob Bibeau - Rain

Bob Bibeau – Rain

The Carrie Stevens Day booklets come up for auction on occasion, but they are becoming more and more rare. They are a nice piece of memorabilia to have included in a collection of streamers.
Carrie Stevens Day Booklet

Lastly i found an interesting old Mustad hook. It is in the family of the 1/2 inch longer hook shanks (3665a and 9575), but this is a barbless model I have not seen in the past. It still features a limerick bend, but would give any streamer a unique look.

Mustad 36675 Hooks

Preventing Wing Roll in Traditional Featherwing Streamers – Stanley Wilfred Williams

streamers_wing_3

The traditional method of “stacking the stems” did not work for me right from the start. The wing would have a tendency to roll and make me very frustrated after I had spent an hour getting the chassis (as I call it) ready so I could set the wings. I tried many things even to go as far as building the area on top of the shank with strands of peacock herl, stripped. This would make an oblong shaped head, which made a flatter surface to set my wings but made a weird looking head.

So I had contacted a fellow Rangeley Style enthusiast and asked how he got his wings to set where he wanted them. He said “I don’t glue them, I take the first feather and tie it in at 11 o’clock, take the second hackle feather and tie it in at 10 o’clock, and so on. BING!! A light went off, how am I suppose to put one circle on another circle and get it to stay where I want by wrapping thread (which pulls the materials when securing) around it? Physics will tell you that depending on where you set the circle (stem) on the other circle (hook shank & thread wraps), that depending on which spot you mount your wings (high or low), it will also change where the stem touches the hook shank. That makes for a huge number of variables that for one, I don’t have the time for, and two, creates frustration. Now there are exceptions to the rule. Some people can finish their chassis with the same amount of thread and same taper, everything. That’s not me, but I am pretty consistent.

I soon got to work and came up with this new technique. I hope it helps you improve your tying! I know it did for me.

The glue I use is Elmer’s Craft Bond Rubber Cement. Don Bastian uses it and has tested it in water, plus it dries clear so you can put some between the wings to stiffen it up like Mrs. Carrie G. Steven of Rangeley, Maine.

streamers_wing_1

The traditional way of gluing Rangeley Style Wings, I am not sure if there is a name for it but I call it “stacking the stems”. So when you stack the stems, you only create one point of contact. Ever tried standing one two balls stacked on top of each other? No, because you would probably get hurt before you could even stand up straight. Obviously not very stable.

 

streamers_wing_2

When you hold in place your preassembled wing, wrap your thread and pull to secure. The wing furthest away always rolls clockwise if your looking at the eye of the hook. The same happens to the wing closest, it too rolls clockwise and you end up with tilted wings or a lot of adjusting to hopefully get the wings straight.

 

streamers_wing_3

This is how I glue my wings, #1 is the inside saddle hackle, #2 is the outside saddle hackle, #3 is the shoulder feather, and #4 is jungle cock. When you preassemble your wings like this, it gives you two contact points. Two contact points make for a more stable setting of the wings while securing.

 

streamers_wing_4

To the actual gluing of the feathers. This illustration I used turkey feathers to emphasize the stem of the feather. This wing would set on the near side if you tie right handed. First, lay the inside saddle hackle on you table just like mine. I glue the stripped stem and all the way up the stem to just before where you shoulder will end. Remember, those streamers without shoulders you should pay a little more attention to how much glue and where. Once you have put glue on the inside saddle hackle, just place your outside saddle hackle or #2 feather stem just below the stem of feather #1. Make sure the two stem run parallel, it’s awful hard to straighten them once the glue sets.

 

streamers_wing_5

This shows the glued stem ends that will contour you hook shank & thread wraps.

 

streamers_wing_6

This photo show how to glue the far side wing. Just repeat previous step accept when you set the outside saddle hackle or #2 feather, it is going to go on top of the stem instead of the bottom. When you lay the inside saddle hackle or #1 feather on your table just like the photo. After you glued #1, take your #2feather and place it above the stem of feather #1. Make sure it runs parallel to the stem of inside saddle feather. Seventh Photo Caption: This shows the glued stem ends that will contour you hook shank & thread wraps. This would be for the far side wing.

 

streamers_wing_9

I used a shorter turkey feather for the shoulder in my example to make it easier for you. Now you want to glue your stems of one of your wings and just a little up into the feather to hold the shoulder in line with the #1 and #2 feathers. Once you have glued those area’s, place you shoulder in the little notch that feather #1 and #2 create when you previously glued them. You may have to manipulate it with your fingernail or a tying tool like a bodkin when you have to separate the stems. I know this may sound like more work but it is worth it in the long run and you will eventually get quicker at it.

 

streamers_wing_8

A photo showing where I place my shoulder stems, right where the pen is pointing. This wing is for the near side.

 

streamers_wing_10

Just a photo of what the near side wing would look like to a right handed fly tyer.

 

streamers_wing_11

This is where you place the jungle cock nail. Now if your quick enough you can set you nail right on top before the glue dries from the shoulder. I recommend adding a little more glue right in the same spots as the shoulder, some the stem and some just a smidgeon into the shoulder feather. Not much because you don’t want it to squeeze out the side of the JC nail. Then you got a little mess.

All in all, I hope this new method helps many of you solve the problem I encounter when I started tying Rangeley Style. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. This is the first time doing and instructional so I hope I have made it easy to understand. Thank you for reading my instructional. May god bless everyone and have a wonderful 2015!

Stanley Wilfred Williams
Stan’s Streamers
Howland, Maine

Jack Gartside Darkside

Jack Gartside's Darkside tied by Darren MacEachern

Jack Gartside’s Darkside tied by Darren MacEachern

Hook: Gaelic Supreme Mike Martinek Rangeley streamer hook 8xl, #2
Thread: Black, 6/0
Tag: Silver flat tinsel
Body: Red floss
Ribbing: Silver flat tinsel
Underwing: Five strands of peacock herl white bucktail
Wing: Matched furnace saddle or neck feathers
Cheek: Reddish-brown church window feathers
Eyes: Jungle cock

Notes: I’ve been tying this pattern for a few years now ever since I had discovered the late Jack Gartside’s ringneck pheasant page. The page itself is a wonderful article dedicated to the use of the many feathers you can find on a ringneck pheasant pelt. The Darkside calls for furnace hackle, and while I did have a few pathetic hackles in my inventory, none were worthy of being lashed to a long hook. I took to Ebay to search and found a couple wonderfully patterned Whiting American furnace hackle pelts being sold by fellow streamer addict Ron McKusick (silvermag). These pelts are sort of a two in one with the lower sections full of black hackle and the top consisting of the furnace feathers. The stems are a nice thickness and thinner than most of my other American capes.

I’ve tied the streamer following my convention of streamers, meaning the underwing is tied on top of the hook. So because the peacock and bucktail is labeled as the underwing, I’ve tied it in that position. In my earlier ties of the Darkside, I placed the peacock and bucktail under the hook in what I consider the belly position. I did this mainly because of how the original image looks, with what seems like a clear belly. The original recipe and image are posted below for comparison. Either way, it is a stunning pattern, and I can’t wait to get a few more twisted up.

Original recipe via jackgartside.com

Darkside by Jack Gartside

Darkside by Jack Gartside

Hook: Mustad 9575, 3665A or any 2x or 3x streamer hook: sizes 1 – 4
Thread: Black, 6/0
Tail: None
Body: Red floss or wool
Ribbing: Fine silver tinsel or mylar
Underwing: Four or five strands of peacock herl, under which is tied a slender bunch of fine white bucktail (both to extend beyond the bend of the hook)
Wing: Matched furnace saddle or neck feathers
Cheek: Reddish-brown church window feathers
Eyes: Jungle cock (optional)

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