If there is any pattern that exhibits all the qualities necessary to be called a modern saltwater classic, Mike Martinek’s “Pickpocket” is it. Inspired by classic & traditional freshwater streamer patterns, it brings to the salt a beautiful heritage. This was good fun to tie and I can’t wait to fish it this spring. Thank you Mike Martinek!
Imagine my delight in sharing with my friends a sand eel pattern developed in the 1930′s by salt water fly anglers here in New England that has somehow been neglected and forgotten until now…
“…there have recently appeared an increased number of salt water flies that have definitely proved their worth… an imitation sand eel, with it’s quill head, polar hair and feathers came mighty close to looking like the real article – it fooled the fish anyway.”
“A Handbook of Salt Water Fishing” O. H. P. Rodman 
Here’s my take on “Ollie’s Sand Eel”
tail: polar bear hair flanked by olive saddle hackles
body: quill over wool
eyes: painted black over gold
The late Ollie Rodman was a wonderful writer and an enthusiastic salt water fly fisherman in the 1930′s and 40′s here in New England. In that he doesn’t give credit for this pattern we can’t say for sure that he developed it; but it certainly deserves to bear his name in appreciation for his sharing it with us. Lets resurrect this forgotten pattern in 2014; and when you hook up, tip your hat to Ollie!
R. B. Streamer
In his 1932 book “Just Fishing”, author Ray Bergman shares a pattern with readers that he developed specifically for bass, but subsequently became a go-to pattern for shallow lake trout in the spring.
The R. B. Streamer is tied with polar bear and yellow wing, silver tinsel body and red cheeks. The hook, a double, insures the fly will sink well. It was available commercially exclusively through the Percy Tackle Co. Of Portland Maine. Developed in 1925, the pattern is included in Joe Bates 1966 “Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing” where a short red hackle fiber throat is added “as tied by the originator”. No mention is made in Bates book of the original double hook. Bates informs us that Bergman himself calls it “one of the early ones”. A great pattern I look forward to fishing in 2014.
Who says soft hackles have to be “buggy”?
Like the earlier “Shrymph” pattern I posted, the “Tabby Cat” is a small SW pattern designed for light tackle SW panfishing; schoolie stripers, scup, white perch, harbor pollock… what have you got! Don’t be afraid to bring a six weight to the salt!
These are tied on Mustad 79666 nickle plated keel hooks, sz. 4.
Gray Fox Variant, sz. 12.
It’s originator, Art Flick, often said:
“If I had one fly to fish, it would be the Gray Fox Variant.”
This simple classic has been good to me.
Sz. 8 Mustad 3366 F.
Back to basics!
A Moisic sz. 1, for a spring yet to come!
A John Alden Knight bass pattern.
The original calls for the wing to be four hackles, tied on the flat, top, bottom, left and right. This is tied in a traditional style.