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From August 22 - 28, 2011 - No Tax on Dr. Slick tools!

In 1989, I founded the DR. SLICK Company with the sole purpose

of creating the highest quality fishing and fly-tying tools available.

– Ken High, M.D.

The DR.SLICK Company is one of the leading suppliers of high quality stainless steel tools (scissors, clamps and pliers) and accessories (nippers, retractors, files and fly tying tools) to the fly fishing and general fishing industry. Kenneth A High, M.D founded the wholesale -based company in 1989. As a fisherman and fly-tyer, Dr. High was wholly unimpressed with the quality of the tools on the market for fly tying and fishing applications. As a surgeon, Dr. High was used to working with top quality tools designed to perform specific tasks with great precision.

In 1988, Dr. High used his knowledge of surgical suite tools and instruments to design and create dozens of high quality tools and instruments specifically tailored to the needs of the fly fishing and general fishing market. Today, the company is renowned for its innovations and quality standards. Using their own facilities and some of the finest boutique manufacturers in the world, DR.SLICK products are produced with top quality stainless steel on the finest German and American machinery available to ensure quality durability and consistency. Every item Dr. SLICK produces is backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

– Ken High, M.D.

Yellow Eagle
Grey Eagle

Fly Like an Eagle – Part 1


I’ve been a student of fly tying for nearly 40 years, with no graduation yet in sight. But I have learned that flies, or at least anglers’ taste in flies, have changed a lot in that time.


However, sometimes a look backward shows that a new fly design is really a very old idea. An example is the marabou salmon fly featured in last week’s column about fall salmon fishing. I’ve no doubt that recent creations like the Grape, Slime, or the brash Cardinelle are effective when fished slow and deep in very cold water, but you’ll not see one on my line.


Why? My studies have instilled in me a traditional view of salmon flies. I know what I like. These flies are far from traditional. I couldn’t fish them with confidence, and I believe confidence and success go hand-in-hand.


However, a series of flies originating in Scotland in the mid-1800s, the eagle patterns, may share similar characteristics. Maybe there actually is a bit of tradition in the new marabou flies after all, if only by chance.


This is from Bob Veverka`s Spey Flies and How to Tie Them, Stackpole, 2004, Mechanicsburg, PA.


“The eagle patterns are a small group of flies set apart from other flies because of eagle feather body hackles. The hackles were taken from the shin of the bird, had a marabou-like texture, and were used in their natural color or dyed yellow. Eagle patterns were used early or late in the season when the water was cold or slightly off-color.”


“The patterns were similar to Dee patterns; they were dressed on large hooks, the bodies were mohair or seal fur, and the wings were strips put on in the Dee fashion. Some later patterns had wings similar to full-dressed flies with married sections and tails and toppings of golden pheasant crests.”


“Contemporary fly tyers that want to tie eagle patterns can use hooks made by Partridge in size 2/0 or larger. For body hackles, use large marabou plumes, but look for hackles that have a fine stem. Hackles can be stripped on one side for a less bulky fly. A good modern substitute for the body hackle is mottled turkey marabou in its natural color. The colors and shades of the natural hackles range from off-white gray, tan, and brown, and many speckling or splashes that add to their appearance and are almost identical to the original material.”


“Wings can be tied with turkey quills or other large quills such as Argus pheasant, peacock wing quills, and bustard quills. Heads on the original flies were tied with black thread.”


“The first eagles were tied by Mr. Brown of Aberdeen, as per Francis Francis in the 1867 A Book on Angling”.


If I were to try a marabou fly for fall salmon, I`d certainly like mine to have the character and traditional style of these eagle flies, so I tied one.


I like it. I`ll be proud to fish it. I`ll fish it confidently.


Maybe you will too!


Grey Eagle


Tag:        Silver tinsel

Tail:        Golden pheasant crest and the tip of a golden pheasant's breast feather

Body:    Light orange, deep orange, scarlet, and pale blue seal's fur (or equivalent) in equal sections                           dressed thin but well picked out

Rib:       Flat silver tinsel and silver twist

Hackle:  An eagle's hackle (one side stripped) from third turn of tinsel. Since eagles are highly protected and cannot be used, an alternative material such as turkey marabou is highly recommended.

Throat:   Widgeon  (substitutes are mallard, teal or gadwall flank – ed.)

Wing:     Light mottled grey turkey tail strips, set flat.


Source:   T.E. Pryce-Tannatt (1914) How to Dress Salmon Flies. London: Adam and Charles Black..


Please send comments and suggestions to slim@rivermagic.ca


Please stay on the line …