Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Black and Blae

This version is dressed with black tying thread and a blue rib to emphasize the attributes of the fly’s name. It substitutes black plastic canvas yarn for dog's fur. The blue thread rib is taken from a spool and not teased or stripped from "some fair damsel's gown.". 




Blue 6/0 thread

Muskrat without the guard hairs and black plastic canvas yarn

Snipe covert

Robert L. Smith includes fly list taken from Thomas Charleton’s poem The Art of Fishing (1819) in his The North Country Fly: The Soft Hackle Tradition (2015). Smith notes that Charleton's poem "offers further evidence of the ubiquitous use of the soft-hackled fly in the northern counties of England during the late 19th century." A rather unique fornat for an angling text, Charleton's poem draws on an earlier precedent that Smith locates in Thomas Scott'smid eighteenth-century poem The Anglers and "entwined the locally used fly patterns of Northumberland into his lengthy poem on the joys of angling in northern rivers."

Charleton recommends fishing the Black and Blae when "March comes in." The dressing is 

Dubb’d with the fur of black dog’s skin,
And water rat’s blae down;
For wings snipe hackles far excel,
Blue silk its rib can mimic well,
From some fair damsel’s gown.


  1. Hi, Neil. I have been away from the blogging scene for a bit, but, wanted to let you know I am back and have included your link on my Blogroll. Would you consider sharing mine with your list.

    I am really interested in tying the last couple of patterns you featured here for use on my local waters.

    1. Thanks for including me, Mel - you'll see your blog listed on my roll, as well. If you tie the ones you've seen here, let me know how they do for you.