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New England Streamers
First published before January 1st 2001 - More than 14 years ago
Carrie Stevens' Streamer Patterns
Raske's New England Streamers
By Bob Skehan
No page featuring New England Streamers would be complete without a portion dedicated to Carrie G. Stevens, of Madison, Maine. Mrs. Stevens is the originator or the Grey Ghost, one of the most well-known and effective New England Streamer patterns to have been tied, and still a popular choice as a trolling and casting streamer today.
The story behind the origination of the Grey Ghost is well known. Carrie, the wife of Maine Guide Wallace Stevens, took a break from her camp chores and tied a streamer which would resemble a small baitfish. She tied a bunch of white bucktail under the hook, and two olive-grey saddle hackles on top of the hook, then took her creation to the Upper Dam pool, where she promptly hooked a 6 lb, 13 oz brook trout. She entered this fish into a contest which was being held by Field And Stream, winning second prize, and receiving a flood or orders for her new pattern. She found herself in the flytying business.
The Grey Ghost evolved a bit from the simple pattern which she caught the prize-winning brookie on, and she continued to create other patterns...some of which caught fish, others of which caught fishermen! Her commercial pattern trademark was a head that featured a band of a contrasting color thread. Black heads typically featured a red band, while red heads featured a black band. She also tied her streamers in a unique way for the time, by attaching the wings on the side of the hook shank, instead of the top as most streamer wings were/are attached. This became known as the "Rangeley Style".
The patterns featured below were not all tied in the true Rangeley Style devised by Stevens, as this style of tying obscures the body of the streamer. I've taken the liberty to move the wings up a bit so that at least a portion of the body can be seen in the images.