Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August Brown; or, August Dun




Silk buttonhole twist – Coats & Clark’s lemon 223, size D

Tan tying thread dubbed with hare’s mask

Red grouse shoulder

In Two Centuries of Soft-Hackled Flies (2004), Sylvester Nemes includes some of the flies Francis M. Walbran listed in his column “Monthly Notes on North-Country Trout Flies” in The Fishing Gazette. For August 15, 1885, Walbran listed the August Brown first: “Body: Light brown silk, dubbed sparingly with hare’s face, and ribbed with yellow silk, dressed hacklewise with grouse’s feather.”

In Fly Fishing: The North Country Tradition (1994), Leslie Magee notes that the August Brown hatch is an autumn corollary to the springtime March Brown and that its name is interchangeable with the August Dun or Drake, the Autumn Dun, Cinnamon Fly (which hatches alongside a Cinnamon Sedge), and the Whirling Blue Dun. He includes Sylvester Lister's 's manuscript, which gives a September dressing, the "Cinnamon or August Drake," which he dressed with a "feather from under landrail's wing. Head, peacock's herl, body, orange with gold tinsel or covered with herl from cock pheasant's tail feather," noting that the fly is "very abundant on some Yorkshire rivers." 

Harfield Edmonds and Norman Lee included a winged August Dun in Brook and River Trouting (1916) which they recommend through the “last week in July, August and September." E. M. Tod also has a winged dressing in Wet Fly Fishing Treated Methodically (1903) for fishing in September. A winged August Brown, No. 47, is  in John Jackson’s Practical Fly-Fisher (1854), as well, a fly that he regards “equally as good in its season as the March Brown, which it very much resembles, though lightered coloured and smaller.”

In his Fly-Fisher’s Entomology (1836), Alfred Ronalds lists a winged and a hackled dressing for the August Dun No. 38:

“BODY.  Brown floss silk ribbed with yellow silk thread.
TAIL.  Two rabbit’s whiskers.
WINGS.  Feather of a brown hen’s wing.
LEGS.  Plain red hackled stained brown.

It is made buzz with a grouse hackle wound upon the above body.”