Free fly tying courses with Guild member Hank Rope will begin February 18th, 2017

The Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection and the Phoenicia Fish and Game Club will sponsor a series of free fly-tying classes beginning on February 18, 2017 at 10:00 am.
The first class will be held at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoenicia library, Main Street in Phoenicia on February 18.

The three additional classes, will be at Phoenicia Fish and Game on Route 28 in Mt. Tremper.

Preregistration is a must. Call or e-mail Hank Rope at: tyeflys@hvc.rr.com (845) 254-5904.

“Up on the Esopus”with Ed Ostapczuk – Bucktails: A Catskill Tradition

In Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing, Joseph D. Bates, Jr., perhaps the definitive authority on streamers and bucktails, defined the bucktail as “a fly possessing a predominately haired wing, whose shape and intended action are to represent a baitfish.” Bates went on to write: “A hair wing fly of this type is called a bucktail regardless of the kind of hair used.” This definition was given the stamp of approval by A. J. McClane in both McClane’s Standard Fishing Encyclopedia, his angling Bible, and The Practical Fly Fisherman. However, McClane did suggest that the name is derived from the use of hair from the tail of a deer for the wing. Regardless of the hair used to tie a bucktail, who can argue with this? Not me!

Bates also wrote that “the origin of both the streamer and the bucktail is lost in the dim history of the past.” But then he quickly adds, “It is certain that the American Indians used similar flies in the first half of the nineteenth century.” Further, he suggests that the origin of modern long-shanked flies can be traced back to the Catskills. In Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing, Bates devotes a fair amount of ink to the Bumblepuppy, which he notes was originally tied as a bucktail and streamer as early as 1880 by Theodore Gordon and later by Herm Christian, perhaps Gordon’s only fly-tying understudy.

CJ’s flies caddis flies the other trout food

“I never paid much attention to caddisflies in my fledgling years of fishing and tying flies. All my efforts were focused on mayflies, Art Flick’s Streamside Guide, and tying with wood duck flank feathers.

I was aware of caddises, even saw them often enough while fishing, but never considered them a viable source of trout food.

All this changed one afternoon when I was heading back to Pennsylvania after a morning in the Catskills opening up our summer house.

CJ’s Flies- “The Davidson Special”

“The Davidson Special” Photo, fly and article by “Catskill John” Bonasera “I have always loved flies with “Special” in their name. It seems they get that title from actually being special. During a meeting on-stream with an angler he didn’t know, Theodore Gordon plucked a mayfly from the nearby bushes, tied an imitation, and gave…