Published Jul 23. 2017 - 2 years ago
Updated or edited Jul 23. 2017

Alaska Mary Ann

The Alaska Mary Ann is a bucktail (or polar bear) fly that has a storied past and multiple origin stories. The pattern is said to have originated from a lure used by the Kobuk Hook which was made from a sliver of ivory with a minnow body shape. A copper nail was driven into the tail end and bent into a hook shape. Polar hear hair was lashed to the head and an eye made of whale bone was added. The final accouterment was a piece of red taken from the mouth of a guillemot bird. Mr. Dufresne observed the fishermen catch rainbow trout, cutthroats, Dolly Varden sheefish, pike, grayling, and salmon. He left the river with a few lures and when they were lost, he sat down at the vise to replicate the lure design using more commercially available modern materials.

The name of the fly came about when Mr. Dufresne and an angler friend were fishing on a South-eastern Alaska river. A friendly rivalry developed and while each angler had the Dufresne designed streamer on the line, Mr. Dufresne found himself being handily out fished. The friend announced “Man, this catches ’em all; the whole Mary Ann of ’em.” and with that assertion, the fly was christened.

Alaska Mary Annfly pattern recipe

Hook: Mustad 9575 #2-10
Thread: Black 8/0
Tail: Red hen hackle fibers
Body: White wool or floss
Rib: Flat silver tinsel
Wing: White bucktail
Eyes: Jungle cock nail
Head: Black


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Camera: Nikon CoolPix P510
Vise: Griffen Montana Mongoose

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