The Royal Coachman

Fred Klein Author, Fly tyer and fisher of early traditional flies. Fly fishing historian, author and speaker.

A Fly Endeared

With a new fly rod and fly box at the inquisitive age of ten, I learned to cast wet flies for brook trout in our Pennsylvania woodland stream. My life long relationship began with a beautiful fly adorned with green flash, bright white wings and a scarlet sash…

lets go back a hundred years to the beginnings of the Royal Coachman.


The story of the first Royal Coachman began with a fishing trip to the North Woods. The year was 1878 when a fly fisherman engaged New York City professional fly dresser John Haley to tie some Coachman flies and to “make them extra strong”,  to prevent the unraveling of the peacock herl body, and wood duck for the tail- thus the beginning of America’s favorite fly.  A few evenings later in a circle of fishermen, a discussion arose to coin the handsome fly with a name. L.C. Orvis, the brother of Charles Orvis said “ Oh that is easy enough, call it a Royal Coachman it is so finely dressed!”

Royalty was in it’s orgins, this fly which was derived from a previous favorite in America, the Coachman. A British fly originated by fisherman Tom Bosworth, also a coach driver for King George IV, Henry IV and Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

The Eggie Special

Guest Blogger: Paul Beel, Frankenfly

Eggie Bugby
Eggie Bugby

The Eggie Special is a classic Michigan dry fly that was designed by a Grayling, Michigan fly fishing legend, Eggie Bugby. This fly is known throughout the area, but intricate details have been difficult to solidify. Until now.

I noticed one day last year that fly fisherman and former guide, Robert Woodland, posted a photo of the Eggie Special tied by the late Bob Smock, another legendary fly tyer from Grayling. I thought this might be a correct version, but it wasn’t.

Continue reading → The Eggie Special

Fly Swaps and the Green Butt Skunk

IMG_20150121_082323 resizeGuest Blogger: Eunan Hedron, Classic Fly Tyer, Eunan Blogs @ Addicted to Vise

Customizing your flies – this is where dyeing feathers becomes useful!

For me, fly swaps have been a great way to get new patterns to fish, and also to try my hand at tying patterns I normally wouldn’t tie, while adding a little personal twist to certain patterns by tweaking the materials. I do try to retain the overall essence of the fly that it is still recognizable as a certain pattern.

Continue reading → Fly Swaps and the Green Butt Skunk