The Cains River Streamers
New Brunswick’s Cains River is generally regarded as a
fall salmon stream, best in September-October. Generally flowing northeast through heavy forests, the Cains River joins the Southwest Miramichi River at the community of Howard.
A series of flies known as the Cains River streamers is credited
to Mr. Fred N. Peet, “a famous amateur distance fly casting champion and angler of Chicago, Illinois “.
Joseph D. Bates, Jr., in his 1950 book Streamer Fly
Tying and Fishing, Stackpole, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, goes on to say, “While it is true that Mr. Peet originated
several of these patterns, it also is true that he did not design all of them and that their rather individual style of dressing
was in use several years before Mr. Peet tied the first of the series for use in New Brunswick`s Cains River in 1924. It is
also true that other patterns have been developed in Cains River style by other anglers and have been included in the set.
The book “contains dressings of twenty-one of the most
Also, a website at http://www.rareandunusual.com has, in its Fly Pattern Dictionary, a section on the series with great color photos and specs of the
flies tied by author Paul Ptalis. I highly recommend the aforementioned website to anyone interested in salmon flies.
All of the Cains River flies have similar characteristics. All
have wide barred wood duck tails. All have double-wound medium flat tinsel bodies. Wings usually are of four hackles, the
middle two being of a different color than the two on the outside. All have jungle cock cheeks.
“Shoulder hackles are added last, tied on as a collar over the butt of the wing and the
jungle cock. The hackles are of moderate width, fairly heavily dressed, and usually are of two different colors; most often
not mixed. The second color is wound toward the head after the first color has been tied down. “
“On all Cains River streamers all wing hackles are of the same length. When a two-color collar
is called for, the rear color should be twice as heavily dressed as the forward color. Two or three turns of tinsel should
be taken around the bend of the hook below where the tail is tied in. The heads are varnished black. “
“Originally tied for taking Atlantic salmon, the
Cains River series also is good for trout (including steelhead), bass, and many other species of fish.“
These famous and beautiful patterns are regarded by many anglers
and fly dressers as being collectors` items. Those who like to experiment might try a few of these patterns this fall, or
get ideas for new creations. Here`s one that I intend to give a swish this fall.
9671 size 2.
Tag: 2-3 turns of medium flat
Tail: Two wide sections of a barred wood duck feather
Body: Medium flat silver tinsel
Wing: Four grey Plymouth Rock saddle hackles
Cheeks: Jungle cock
Collar: Several turns of an orange saddle hackle
by C. Jim Pray
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