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By Bob Petti

 
"The proper coloring of the lure is determined by viewing the object which it is desired to simulate through a prism and coloring the lure in exactly the same manner as it appears through the prism."


The above quote was taken from a Patent Number 2,188,753 which was assigned to Mr. Preston Jennings of Brooklyn, New York in January of 1940*. It offers a clear and consice description of what he was attempting with many of his designs, both streamers, nymphs, and wet flies. While his flies may not be "in vogue" in the 21st Century, his ideas should not be tossed aside as outdated. Mr. Jennings was one of those rare individuals who saw things differently than most folks. It would certainly be in our best interested to learn more about his work and his thoughts on color separation when we design our own flies. To learn more about Mr. Jennings, there is an excellent chapter in the recent Schmookler and Sils book Forgotten Flies.

I first learned of Mr. Jennings' flies from the reference source for most streamer information, Col. Bates' Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing. The 1995 edition features a plate of authentic Iris streamers tied by the originator and photographed brilliantly by Mr. Michael Radencich. The bright colors of the Iris #1 caught my eye immediately. With the publication of the Schmookler and Sils book, it became apparent that there was more than enough material for Raske's band of streamer flingers to pay homage to this pioneer of fly design.

Bob Petti
October 2000

* This information was supplied by the American Museum of Fly Fishing, courtesy of Lindsey Grandison.

Murky Iris
Tied by Bryant Freeman

Hook:
Partridge CS-17 Ken Baker
Tag:
Oval Gold Tinsel
Tail:
Golden Pheasant Crest, Dyed Red
Body:
Flat Gold Tinsel
Rib:
Oval Gold Tinsel
Wing:
From bottom to top - pink swan, orange swan, four strands of peacock herl, green swan, hyacinth macaq, on each side a red cock hackle
Hackle:
Orange
Sides:
Badger Hackle
Cheek:
Jungle Cock
Head:
Black fore and red thread aft

 

Lord Iris
Tied by Bob Petti

Hook:
Daiichi 2340
Tail:
Married strips of swan, red over blue over yellow.
Body:
Flat Gold Tinsel
Rib:
Oval Gold Tinsel
Hackle:
Yellow
Wing:
Furnace Hackles
Sides:
Married strips of swan, red over blue over yellow
Cheek:
Jungle Cock
Head:
Black

 

 

Iris #4
Tied by Chris Del Plato

Hook:
Partridge CS-17 Ken Baker
Tag:
Flat Gold Tinsel
Body:
Dark Red Floss
Rib:
Flat Gold Tinsel
Wing:
Polar bear or bucktail - blue over brown.
Cheek:
Jungle Cock
Head:
Black fore and red thread aft

Silhouette Minnow, Light
Tied by R. Emmett Johnson

Hook:
Gaelic Supreme Mike Martinek
Tag:
Flat Silver Tinsel
Tail:
Black Cock Hackle
Body:
Black Floss
Rib:
Flat Silver Tinsel
Wing:
Four White Cock Hackle
Hackle:
Grizzly Cock Hackle
Cheek:
Jungle Cock
Head:
Black red fore and red thread aft

 

Iris #3
Tied by R. Emmett Johnson

Hook:
Up-eye Salmon Hook
Tag:
Oval Gold Tinsel
Body:
Flat Gold Tinsel
Rib:
Oval Gold Tinsel
Wing:
Top to bottom - Dark Blue Bucktail or Polar Bear, Medium Green, Red
Cheek:
Jungle Cock
Head:
Black red fore and red thread aft

 

Iris #2
Tied by R. Emmett Johnson

Hook:
Up-eye Salmon Hook
Tag:
Oval Silver Tinsel
Body:
Flat Silver Tinsel
Rib:
Oval Silver Tinsel
Wing:
Top to Bottom - Blue Bucktail or Polar Bear, Light Green, Orange, Red.
Cheek:
Jungle Cock
Head:
Black red fore and red thread aft

 

Lady Iris Streamer
Tied by Lindsey Grandison

Hook:
Mustad 94720
Tag:
Oval Silver Tinsel
Tail:
Golden Pheasant Tippet and Lady Amherst Crest
Body:
Flat Silver Tinsel
Rib:
Oval Silver Tinsel
Wing:
Bottom to Top - Red Swan, Yellow Swan, Green Swan, Blue Swan, Four strands of Peacock Herl, a Yellow Cock Hackle on each side
Hackle:
Yellow
Sides:
Badger Hackle
Cheek:
Jungle Cock
Head:
Black fore and red thread aft

 

Unidentified
Tied by Robb Nicewonger

Hook:
Gaelic Supreme Mike Martinek
Tag:
Oval Silver Tinsel
Body:
Flat Silver Tinsel
Rib:
Oval Silver Tinsel
Wing:
Light Purple Bucktail underwing, Two Medium Blue Cock Hackles
Hackle:
Light Purple Cock hackle
Sides:
Badger Hackle
Head:
Black

 

Silhou

Iris #1
Tied by Bob Skehan

Hook:
Mustad 9575, size 6
Body:
Medium flat silver tinsel
Ribbing:
Very fine oval silver tinsel
Wing:
A very small bunch of red polar bear hair, over which is a very small bunch of yellow polar bear hair, over which is a very small bunch of pale green polar bear hair, with a very small bunch of light blue polar bear hair over this. (bucktail may be substituted for the polar bear hair, if desired)
Head:
Black, with painted red band at rear
Cheeks:
Jungle cock

Silhouette Minnow, Dark
Tied by Darren Bua

Hook:
Mustad 94720
Tag:
Oval Silver Tinsel
Tail:
Yellow Golden Pheasant Flank Fibers
Body:
Flat Silver Tinsel
Rib:
Oval Silver Tinsel
Wing:
Four Black Cock Hackles
Hackle:
Blue Cock Hackle
Cheek:
Jungle Cock
Head:
Black

 



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