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SalarMan

Traherne's Wonder

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This is an interesting pattern. There are some who believe it was designed by John Popkin-Traherne and others who say it was designed by an up until now unknown as a tribute to Mr. Traherne. Anyone familiar with his flies would suspect the latter was the case here. Traherne's flies are things of beauty and some of the most dramatic fly designs anywhere. A look at Mike Radencich's web site and his catalog of Traherne flies and you will see this pattern is not on the list.

Nevertheless, this was fun to tie and my own attempt at a tribute to the master tyer.

 

DSC_0001 (2).JPG

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Nicely done! I've never tied this one either. I do enjoy the unusual color scheme in the wing. Thanks for sharing!

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3 hours ago, flykid said:

 I do enjoy the unusual color scheme in the wing. Thanks for sharing!

Okay.  I've been biting my tongue, because I truly do not wish to offend anyone.  But flykid's comment has me wondering.

To me, in my eyes, all these classical flies look the same.  Different colors, maybe the stripes on the body are a different material ... but otherwise, the same.  On other threads, with other types of flies, there's been comments like, "Somebody changed the color of the wing and called it their own invention."  So, what makes the color scheme on this one "unusual"?  What is considered "usual" so that this one somehow stands out?

I don't discount the skill level required to tie them ... you who tie them are way above anything I'll ever tie.  But, they all just look alike.  Unless it's red, white and blue, I don't even recognize different color patterns.

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No offense taken mikechell...and I understand your thinking more than you know.

Yes they do look a great deal alike, but remember these were fishing flies 100 to 150 years ago, so what worked was frequently repeated, and on a much simpler level, just like today's Catskill dries, wets and nymphs that still hold their own against the latest and greatest of todays efforts. The various ghillies who worked for and tended the salmon rivers for the wealthy landed gentry in those days were a bit competitive and tried to outdo one another with the combination of ingredients in their flies as did the commercial tyers of the day.

That being said, the estimated couple thousand of us who tie these flies worldwide today are doing our best to keep the tradition of those 19th and early 20th century flies alive and well. Many of the materials today are substitutes since we don't have the British Empire of old making all those wonderful feathers readily available through what was then the millinery trade supplying exotic feathers for women's apparel.

Aside from keeping the tradition alive, it is the challenge of the hunt for materials and the challenge of the tying these complicated and beautiful flies. Just another extension of the great world of fly fishing.

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Thank you for the explanation.  As I stated, I do admire the skill level to marry wings, etc.  Very pretty.

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Well said, @SalarMan, I can't tie those beautiful flies, but I can appreciate them, and your explanation about tradition and the hunt for materials give those flies a greater depth.   

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On 11/26/2021 at 2:07 PM, SalarMan said:

No offense taken mikechell...and I understand your thinking more than you know.

Yes they do look a great deal alike, but remember these were fishing flies 100 to 150 years ago, so what worked was frequently repeated, and on a much simpler level, just like today's Catskill dries, wets and nymphs that still hold their own against the latest and greatest of todays efforts. The various ghillies who worked for and tended the salmon rivers for the wealthy landed gentry in those days were a bit competitive and tried to outdo one another with the combination of ingredients in their flies as did the commercial tyers of the day.

That being said, the estimated couple thousand of us who tie these flies worldwide today are doing our best to keep the tradition of those 19th and early 20th century flies alive and well. Many of the materials today are substitutes since we don't have the British Empire of old making all those wonderful feathers readily available through what was then the millinery trade supplying exotic feathers for women's apparel.

Aside from keeping the tradition alive, it is the challenge of the hunt for materials and the challenge of the tying these complicated and beautiful flies. Just another extension of the great world of fly fishing.

Thanks for the history behind these. I find them incredibly beautiful works of art. As for fishing, I’ve always wondered what are they supposed to emulate? Butterflies, or just something that looks like “food” like some attractor patterns?

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On 11/26/2021 at 1:19 PM, mikechell said:

So, what makes the color scheme on this one "unusual"?  What is considered "usual" so that this one somehow stands out?

Salarman definitely explained it well and I assure you I personally take no offense to the question! I've been looking and learning and tying these flies for 15-16 year now so I think those of us who have seen so many patterns and variations of patterns and takes on patterns probably notice some of these nuances more than people who are new to the style or less involved or interested in it. 

Many do have the same style and many have similar color schemes. One tier's wing may also be constructed differently than another's but it may still be the same pattern using the same feathers which adds a whole other level of difficulty in determining what constitutes a new or different pattern. 

But, to answer the question of what makes this one unusual in my eyes:  First, all the components of the wing are dyed. Often times (absolutely not always) the wing is a mix of dyed feathers and natural feathers which lend more of the browns and tans seen in many flies. Then the colors themselves are not commonly seen together, the bright green, red, white and claret would stick out on a page of classic fly patterns as pretty recognizable. You see a lot of blue, white, yellow, red, black in various combinations. 

It's definitely a whole other world of fly tying that has claimed a great deal of my time and money!

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