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Saturday PM with the Lowe Brothers


We’re talking about Brandon & Ben Lowe of Sheet Harbour, NS. Brandon, 12 years old, has become an accomplished fly tyer with three years of tying experience. Ben at 9 years old, has less experience, but with help from his older brother Ben’s catching up fast. They both have what it takes to be great fly tyers: loads of enthusiasm, patience far beyond their years, and a desire to learn. Most of all they like to have fun.  They have a great sense of humor and relate very well to adults, so we all had fun. It was one of the very best fly tying workshops I’ve ever attended, thanks to these lads.


Both boys love the outdoors, hunting, fishing and the good times we have in rural Nova Scotia. Their passion is all too rare these days. Rural family values have become deeply instilled in these boys, and other fly tyers like Bill and Chris Williams of Sheet Harbour and New Glasgow’s Parker Wong have provided valuable help and friendship.  It’s easy to see how they develop friendships wherever they go.


I’d say these brothers are truly an inspiration for today’s youth. This column may be the first to feature them, but I predict you’ll be seeing plenty of good news about these boys in future.


The Lowe brothers plan to enter River Magic’s 2011 Fly Tying Championship, so we decided to tie one of the three official flies required for the contest. Entering is free and this year there is an adult and youth (16 & under) category, each with 5 great prizes including fly rods and reels. Entry deadline is April 29, 2011. See www.rivermagic.ca  for details.


We tied a Blue Cham wet salmon fly in the late Warren Duncan’s unique style. Dunc’s tying always stressed neatness and durability, so we saw how he achieved these attributes. The fly in the photo was tied by Dunc. We also discussed important aspects that contest judges look for, like proportion, neatness, and so on.


Warren Duncan’s Blue Charm


Hook –                       Partridge CS10/1 Bartleet Traditional Salmon hook, or Mustad SL53UBL size 4 - 10

Thread –                    Black GSP, 75 Denier

Tag –                          5 wraps of fine silver oval tinsel, followed by Pumpkin floss with tag pulled over for durability

Tail -                           Two golden pheasant crests

Rib -                            Small oval silver tinsel

Body –                        Black floss

Hackle -                     Hen hackle tied in by tip, folded and wrapped

Wing -                        Grey squirrel tail, clipped to length, dabbed with Dave’s Flexament and tied on immediately in front of the hackle in small bundles for durability

Head -                        Extremely small, made possible because there are no materials under the thread except wing & hook, and because thread is very fine. The black thread is finished with 2-3 coats of Angler’s Corner Wet head cement, making the smallest, neatest and glossiest head imaginable.


Please send comments and suggestions to slim@rivermagic.ca


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