I'm headed up to Maine for some R&R and some Striper fishing. This year, I thought I'd tie up some Striper patterns to take with me; see if I can get a fish to bite on one of my ties.
I looked around, talked to some people and came up with the name Kenny Abrames. He fishes Stripers in and around the Rhode Island area; along with a crew of fishing buddies, including Ray Bondorew. Kenny's written a couple of books; "Striper Moon" and "A Perfect Fish, Illusions in Fly Tying". Ray also has a few books out, including one called "Stripers and Streamers".
One of the interesting things about Kenny's flies is that he ties a lot of what he calls "Flatwings"; flies where the feather is tied in on the horizontal plane, not vertical like I'm use to on winged wets and salmon flies.
I liked one of the things that he said about flatwing ties. When you hold a feather up, its easy to see that it wants to move side to side; not necessarily up and down. Similarly, when a baitfish move through the water, the motion of the body is side-to-side, not up and down (unless it's a mammal masquerading as a fish). The only way that you can get a feather to move side to side, is to tie it in on the flat; horizontal; perpendicular to the hook.
It took me some getting used to, but I liked the effect in the end.
Here are some flatwing ties; taken from Kenny's "A Perfect Fish....." book. If you see anything that you like, I can supply some more details and maybe a step-by-step.
This is a single flatwing pattern, called the "Morning Glory":
This is a double flatwing pattern (two feathers tied in on the flat), called the "Henry T". If you look at the bucktail collar on this fly, you'll see that it's made up of 7 different shades of bucktail. One of the other things that Kenny does is to mix colors in order to get closer to the actual colors of some of the predominant baitfish.
And here a quadruple flatwing (four feather tied in flat), called the "Eel Punt":
Getting away from the flatwings, here's a bucktail streamer named after his friend Ray Bondorew, it's called, appropriately, "Ray's Fly":
Getting further away, here's my version of an old shrimp pattern, called the "General Practitioner":
In some areas, there's such a thing as a Clam Worm hatch. I'm not sure if they have them in Maine, but here's one; just in case (it rivals the Green Weenie in terms of ease of tying):
And last, but by no means least, it's always hard for me to move completely away from a bugger-style tie; they just plain work; for almost all species and for a lot of the time. I call this one the "Pink Squid"; which is what a big saltwater bugger-based pattern is supposed to be imitating.
Getting back to the flatwing patterns, I'm really interested to see how they perform. I plan on fishing a standard hairwing, like a Lefty's Deceiver on the point and a flatwing on a dropper. That should give me a pretty good comparison.
I'll post some pics; if I land any fish!