“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.

“The Wet-Fly Corner”-Thunder

I am always searching for new wet-fly patterns. While looking through Bergman’s Trout, I came across a pattern that intrigued me from the start. When I first I saw this pattern, on plate 8 of Trout, I thought to myself, “What a wonderful pattern to bring to life in my vise, then give it a try a fishing!” When I looked at the actual pattern recipe and saw the materials listed and colors called for, though, I thought to myself, “Who in their right mind came up with this color scheme—and why?” The fly I am speaking of is called the Thunder.

Catskill Fly Tyers Guild Meeting: December 17, 2016

The December 17, 2016 monthly meeting of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild will be held at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center, Old Route 17, Livingston Manor NY at 1 pm.   Charles Coronato will be tying the Dark Cahill Dry fly. Bring your tools and material and tie along!  Hook: Standard dry fly number 12-18 Thread:…

“Dry-Fly Hackle: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been” by John Merola

My odyssey through the land of dry-fly hackle started around 1970. I had become a member of the Southern New York Sportsmen’s Association and entered their essay contest for youth members. I guess I was a better writer back then, since I found myself headed to Camp DeBruce Environmental Education Camp in the Catskills on…

Arts of the Angler: November 5th and 6th, 2016 in Danbury Connecticut

Every year the Catskill Fly Fishing center and museum host the”Arts of the Angler” show in Danbury Connecticut, at the Ethan Allen hotel.

It’s always an excellent show with two full days of presentations, different fine arts and handmade items for sale, along with two rooms packed with experienced fly Tyers, and this year was no exception.