Comments on Pete Williams:
After receiving a copy of Mike Martinek's "Streamer Fly Patterns for Trolling and Casting - Vol. II", this fly immediately caught my eye. The combination of the claret wings, copper body and mallard shoulders just jumped off the page, screaming "tie me!" In the initial copies of the book, the rib material was omitted from the pattern recipe. Mike initially remembered it as being doubled copper wire (which is how it appears on my fly), though later he corrected himself stating it was silver oval tinsel. The fly is named after a late fishing, tying and
climbing friend of Mike. I first fished this streamer on the Connetquot
River, where it performed as good as it looks. Claret is a color that
appears in many of the older patterns, but seems to be seldom used
today. Perhaps our fly fishing forefathers knew something we don't. I
think this streamer, as well as a few more claret patterns, will find a
place in my fly box.
Comments on The Raven:
I've always liked the writings of Edgar Allen Poe, and with another
Halloween season upon us, I thought a streamer representing one of his
works would be a good seasonal addition to the 'Rangeley Swap'. After
thumbing through my unabridged E.A.P. book and re-reading the classic
words "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary..."
, I settled on "The Raven".
I did almost name the fly 'Nevermore', though using a preponderance of
feathers in its construction dictated my calling it "The Raven".
Obviously, the fly would need to have a dark and ominous look befitting
its namesake. The components of the fly were taken from different parts
of the poem. "And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple
curtain" is where the purple floss body came from. "Then this ebony bird
beguiling ." and "Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul
hath spoken!" gave the fly it's dark black wing hackle, shoulder and
rear-throat. I added a touch of color (purple & red bucktail) for the
belly, front-throat and the red/orange golden pheasant body feather
behind the shoulder for a gill effect. The other components (silver
rib/tag, peacock herl & golden pheasant crest underwing, jungle cock eye)
were a nod toward the traditional Rangeley dressings.
"The Raven" was tied in the usual Carrie Stevens fashion and using some
of Mike Martinek's techniques, which I feel give the wing/shoulder
assemblies more structure and support. Please bear in mind that as of
this writing the pattern is yet unproven as a 'fishing fly'. I'll put
it through its paces on the stream this spring. I hope you enjoy
looking at it, and even tying it - if you dare! " Quoth the Raven,
'Nevermore' ! "