Published Apr 9. 2000 - 16 years ago

Flatwings

One style of streamer that is very effective here in Maine in the smaller casting sizes, is the flatwing streamer. The feature that defines this style, the flat wing, normally consists of a flank feather from some species of duck tied flat on top of the hook, instead of in the classic "upright" manner that the classic New England Streamer patterns specify.

I've had a number of discussions with anglers from various parts of the world online and in person regarding streamers, their effectiveness in their home waters, and favorite local patterns. One style of streamer that is very effective here in Maine in the smaller casting sizes, is the flatwing streamer. The feature that defines this style, the flat wing, normally consists of a flank feather from some species of duck tied flat on top of the hook, instead of in the classic "upright" manner that the classic New England Streamer patterns specify.

Some of the early New England Streamers were termed "Biplane", which are essentially the same tying style, though the wing material normally consisted of standard saddle hackle instead of the duck flank feather. Dr. J. Hubert Sanborn, of Waterville, Maine, created a classic biplane pattern called the "Nine-Three" the wing of which consisted of three medium-green hackles tied flat on top of the hook, over which were two black hackles tied in the upright style. Combining the best of both styles, this time-tested pattern is still used widely today on Maine lakes and ponds, particularly in early spring.

Below are 15 patterns which are popular here in Maine, though are probably little known or used in the rest of the world. The 16th pattern, Ralph's Rascal , was originated by Mr. Ralph Webster, of Monmouth, Maine, and voted as the winner of the prestigious Raske's Rascal Competition at the FF@ Maine Clave '97 Streamer Competition.

Pattern Listing

Blue Smolt

Thread white
Underbody lead wire
Body silver mylar tubing secured with red thread
Tail unravelled mylar tubing
Throat red calftail, full
Wing white bucktail, over which is blue bucktail, over which is a mallar flank feather tied flat

Campbell's Fancy

Thread black
Tail 3 short golden pheasant crests, curving upward
Body flat silver tinsel
Throat 3 short golden pheasant crests, curving downward
Wing bronze mallard flank feather

Canadian Killer

Thread red
Tag flat gold tinsel
Tail small bunch of yellow hackle barbules
BUTT peacock herl
Body red floss
Rib oval gold tinsel
Throat sparse brown hackle, collared, and tied bac
Wing sparse red bucktail, over which a teal flank feather tied flat on top

Eighty-Eight

Thread brown
Body rear 2/3 red wire, front 1/3 green wire. I used red and green floss for the pattern illustrated here.
Wing natural lemon woodduck tied flat on top
Collar soft grizzly hackle tied back.

Flagg's Smelt

Thread white
Tail small bunch of red calftail, or yarn
Body braided silver mylar tubing pressed very flat, and secured in back with red thread.
Throat white bucktail
Wing crystal flash, blue over which is pink,over which is blue,over which are two strands of peacock herl, over which is a mallard flank feather tied flat.
Eyes painted yellow eyes with black pupils

Golden Demon

Thread black
Tail 3 golden pheasant crests curving upwards
Body yellow floss
Rib flat gold tinsel
Wing bronze mallard flank feather tied flat on top
Collar bright orange hackle collared and tied back

Gray Charm (Biplane)

Thread black
Tail red hackle barbules over which yellow hackle barbules
Body rear 1/4 embossed silver tinsel, then 3 wraps of peacock herl, then front 3/4 orange wool or floss.
Rib embossed silver tinsel
Throat sparse blue hackle barbules, over which are sparse red hackle barbules tied beard-style, extending 1/2 body length.
Wing 4 blue dun hackles tied flat on top and curving downward
Cheeks tips of silver pheasant body tied sparsely
Eyes painted yellow with red pupil

Harris Special

Thread black
Tail golden pheasant tippets
Body flat silver tinsel
Wing sparse fine white bucktail, over which is a natural lemon woodduck flank feather tied flat on top
Throat Sparse fine red bucktail, 2/3 length of wing

Incredible Silver Minnow

Thread white
Tail grizzly hackle barbules
Body white floss to build up underbody, then fully wrapped with flat silver tinsel. lead wire is often used to weight this pattern.
Throat long, sparse bunch of red hackle barbules
Wing sparse white bucktail, over which sparse blue calftail, over which mallard flank feather tied flat on top and folded down over sides
HEAD built up with thread and painted silver
Eyes painted black with yellow pupil

Jackass

Thread black
Tail 3-4 short golden pheasant crest feathers, curving upward
Body peacock herl
Throat orange hackle barbules tied beard style, length of body
Wing bronze mallard tied flat on top
Collar 3 turns of coachman brown hackle, tied slightly back

Maynard Marvel

Thread black
Tail red hackle barbules
Body embossed silver tinsel
Wing golden pheasant crest feather, curving downward, over which is sparse light blue calftail, over which a mallard flank tied flat on top.
Throat red hackle barbules tied beard-style

Moby Dick

Thread dark brown
Tail golden pheasant tippets
Body peacock herl
Rib brown hackle, palmered
Wing natural lemon woodduck flank tied flat on top
Comment The pattern shown here was tied by Richard Frank, of Northampton, MA., where the pattern is a local favorite.

Ralph's Rascal

Thread black
Tail red calftail
Underbody red thread
Body pearl mylar tubing, secured in the rear with red thread.
Wing pearl crystal flash, over which an equal bunch of royal blue crystal flash, over which a mallard flank feather, dyed light blue, tied flat on top
Throat yellow hackle barbules tied beard-style
Eyes painted white with a black pupil

Smelt(Biplane)

Thread black
Tail red hackle barbules over which yellow hackle barbules
Tag embossed silver tinsel
Body white wool or floss
Rib embossed silver tinsel
Wing a white hackle over which a blue hackle, over which a gray hackle, over which a white hackle, all tied flat on top and curving downward.
Throat sparse yellow hackle barbules, over which are sparse red hackle barbules tied beard style
Cheeks tips of silver pheasant body feather, sparse
Eyes painted yellow with a red pupil

Teal Strip

Thread black
Body mixture of dark olive sparkle blend and gray squirrel dubbing, dyed dark olive
Wing a dark-barred teal flank feather, over which is a mallard flank feather died olive, both tied flat on top.
Collar soft brown hackle tied back
Comment Originated by Rob Donald of North Jay, Maine.

Woods Special

Thread black
Tag flat silver tinsel
Tail golden pheasant tippets
Body fluorescent orange chenille
Rib flat silver tinsel
Wing wood duck flank
Collar grizzly hackle tied back
Comment Sometimes called the Wood Special, this fly is believed to be originated by a tyer named Joe Sterling. Eric Leiser's "The Book of Fly Patterns", also provides a different dressing then the one listed above. The difference is that in this reference, there is no tag, and a throat of brown hackle is added before jungle cock cheeks, and the grizzly collar.

Tying The Flatwing Style - Step by Step

Comments

How about the Brown Owl?

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