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Old 10-30-2012, 03:26 PM
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Default Perhaps The Most Well Known Streamer of All Time;

It has been years since I tied a Gray Ghost. I looked through my feathers - silks - and tinsels found that I had everything except a hook. I did have hooks but all were too small for the hackles I have so I picked up some Daiichi 2370 loop Eye hooks in size 2 yesterday. The original pattern recipe calls for 4 olive gray saddle hackles as the winging and I have some that fit the bill but they are good size hackles and I couldn't see pealing them down to fit a #4 or 6 hook. I've been sitting on these hackles for the better part of 30 years and don't have a clue where I will find any more like them.

For many years I made all my feather wing streamers on the venerable Mustad 3665-A hook which has a turned down eye, they were the standard for these flies when I learned to make them. In the early 90's Orvis began selling an open loop hook having a strait eye and I thought they would allow the flies to swim more naturally in use. I believe I was correct with that assumption and once I began utilizing the Orvis slip knot for attaching the flies to leaders they swam even better. So when I went for hooks I went for loops.

I guess I tied this to see if I still had the old feather wing knack, in the end I think it'll work just fine

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's what I used:

Hook: Daiichi 2370 #2 7X long shank
Tag: Small flat silver tinsel
Body: Lt. Orange silk
Throat: 5 strands of Peacock herl with sparse buck tail under, finished with a gold pheasant crest under all
Wing: A gold pheasant crest as long as the throat crest as under-wing, 4 gray olive saddle hackles
Shoulders: Body feather from a silver pheasant skin
Jungle cock nails as eyes
Head: Black

It was good to tie a fly

Ard
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Perhaps The Most Well Known Streamer of All Time;

For your feather needs, take a peek here: Fly Tying: Natural Feathers & Hackle at BEARSDEN.COM
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Perhaps The Most Well Known Streamer of All Time;

Great looking fly Ard.

Little known fact, the Gray Ghost also has a white hackle throat. Not many pattern listings include it, but Don Bastian recently posted about it on his blog.
Virtually all iterations of the Gray Ghost are missing this throat, which coincidently is found also on the White Ghost, the only difference between the two flies being the color of the wing.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Perhaps The Most Well Known Streamer of All Time;

I am a fan of the Ghost series of flies, and throat or not () I think you did it justice! The chance I tie one of these some point soon due to this inspiration? Pretty high. The chance I fish one of these this steelhead season rather than an ugly amalgamation of hooks, hook-free shanks, rabbit fur, estaz, guinea and other things? A bit less. But who knows, maybe when this last push of water calms a bit, I'll tie one on!
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Perhaps The Most Well Known Streamer of All Time;

When Ard said "I've been sitting on these hackles for the better part of 30 years and don't have a clue where I will find any more like them.", I thought I would look around and see if I could find some. So far no luck. I did come a cross a site while looking that I got a laugh out of. In the fly tying section, the guy who does the photos for the web site seems to be slacking. There are a whole bunch of 'No Photo Available". But go and look at his legging materials photo.
Fly Tying Materials & Feathers-Hook & Hackle
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Perhaps The Most Well Known Streamer of All Time;

I was just testing the vise to be sure it still would hold a hook It's good to get positive comments on a tie and I don't want to start a debate but....... I've never heard of the white hackle throat, not to say that the woman never made any but I've never used it. I relied on Joesph Bates for the recipe and although deceased, he actually knew Mrs. Stevens. It was for him she tied up the Colonel Bates feather wing so I was trusting the old Colonel to get it right
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Perhaps The Most Well Known Streamer of All Time;

Beautiful tie.

You gonna fish it?
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Perhaps The Most Well Known Streamer of All Time;

I believe the fly stuck in this char is a gray Ghost, and this one too.....

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

They all catch a fish sooner or later, some more than others Some of the prettiest flies I ever made caught some of the prettiest fish I ever saw.

Ard
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Perhaps The Most Well Known Streamer of All Time;

Ard

The white hackle throat is just a recent discovery. I believe there are only one or two written references to it in publications (Bates isnt one of them). If you're interested in further reading, you can check this blog post by Don Bastian.
I'm sure (obviously by your fish with the GG suck in their lips) that the white hackle throat is not deciding factor for fish to take them. I merely mentioned it as a bit of an aside to the pattern. Whats also funny is that Hilyard book on Carrie Stevens also doesnt list the throat, but the photos of the GG in the book have the throat- i have the book and just checked!
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: Perhaps The Most Well Known Streamer of All Time;

OK, now that you had a chance to look at the legging materials photo, can you tell me who's legs those are? I do and as soon as someone says everyone who didn't will say "Doh! I knew that!".
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