Most people enjoy
making something with their hands. We use wood, clay, thread, fabric, yarn, paint, foodstuffs and many other materials to
produce artistic and practical items. Such Items become valuable memorabilia, like “This sweater was made for my mother
by my grandmother”, or “Our family’s rocking chair has rocked 7 generations of babies”, as I was told
by an English lady last summer.
tying is another example, a satisfying and rewarding hobby for many of us. The hobby is growing, following the rapid growth
of fly fishing around the globe. Most flies are tied to fish with, but for some, there is no greater joy in fly tying than
to lose ourselves in the past for a day or so – tying an artistic classic Atlantic Salmon fly.
Recently Bob MacDonald of Mulgrave and I took such
a day to each tie a Green Highlander, a highly praised wet salmon fly from the latter part of the 19th century.
This dressing is adapted from the pattern presented in Dr. T. E. Pryce-Tannatt’s book “How to Dress Salmon Flies”
(1914). The photo shows my Green Highlander, still in the vice, almost completed. The fly is on display at River Magic
A topping (golden pheasant crest) and barred summer duck (wood duck)
Black ostrich herl
First quarter, golden yellow floss, remainder bright green seal fur (or floss silk)
Oval silver tinsel
grass-green cock’s hackle (palmered over the green part of the body)
A lemon cock’s hackle (we preferred a soft hen hackle)
Golden pheasant tippets as an underwing, married sections of yellow, orange and green swan, florican, peacock wing
and golden pheasant tail; outside of this, married sections of teal flank and barred summer duck; narrow sections of brown
mallard over and a topping.
Blue & Yellow macaw