Words + Photos By: Josh Thelin
We are back! This marks the first in-person Maine Bar Fly in two years. It was great to get back to one of our favorite events that we do here at All Points. We saw lots of familiar and new faces and had a great time tying some classic freshwater patterns.
The two flies that we covered for the night were the Black Ghost and Gartside Soft Hackle Streamer. Both very productive here in Maine for trout and landlocked salmon. By tying the marabou version of the Black Ghost, we were able to use similar materials to achieve two very different flies by simply adjusting techniques.
It was pretty clear that the hot beer for the night was Fore River's "Fore Five Six" pale ale. I saw a lot of pints of those at the tables. Speaking to Flynn Wilsea who is an employee at Fore River (and a future Maine Bar Fly instructor!) he said it has been their most popular beer recently.
The Black Ghost was the first pattern that we tied and I took some time at the beginning to go over a little bit of its history. I brought in some images from books which had great old photos of Herb's flies. Deeply rooted in Maine fly fishing, the Black Ghost came from the western mountains on Mooselookmeguntic Lake here in Maine, and including others of Herb Welch's patterns, changed the way featherwing streamers were tied and fished for trout and salmon. His influence was wide spread including with Carrie Stevens and her well known Gray Ghost.
We finished out the night tying the Gartside Soft Hackle Streamer. This is another one of my favorite streamers. It has certainly influenced me with my trout and salmon streamer tying. Most of the patterns that I tie for myself or clients are based around this fly. Jack Gartside had many patterns under his belt including ones for saltwater. Although more of a modern influence, you can see many of his ideas in new patterns today.