Fly of the Month – Bekeart’s Special

by Matt O’Neal of Savage Flies: Find him on his YouTube channel at Savage Flies

Merry Christmas!

Bekearts-Special-SteelheadThis special Fly of the Month is tied by our good friend Matt O’Neal of Savage Flies. Most of the information about this fly was sourced by Matt from John Shewey’s “Classic Steelhead Flies” published in 2015.

Jules Francois “Frank” Bekeart came to CA in 1849 in the first wave of the gold rush but quickly decided gold mining wasn’t his thing. He started a gunsmith and gun sales business in the 1850s. His business prospered in San Francisco, and he ultimately turned it over to his youngest son Phil in 1890. (Philip Baldwin Bekeart, 1861-1936)

Phil was a competitive shooter, gaining fame among handgun aficionados for his design of target weapons. He was a highly-respected marksman, and west coast representative of the more well-known Eastern firearms manufacturers. He was also a dedicated fly angler.

He hung out with some of the more notable anglers of the day, including Will and Henry Golcher of Golcher Brothers Sporting Goods. All were members of the San Francisco Fly Casting Club.

Here’s where the background gets a little hazy. All of these men would have known John S. Benn, one of the most notable fly tiers of the day. Some say Benn created this pattern and named it after his friend Phil Bekeart, but the English author A. Courtney Williams credits the fly to Bekeart in his 1932 book “Trout Flies.”

Without more research we may never know for sure who created this pattern. I’ve still got a handful of old books to look through to see if it’s mentioned anywhere. But either way, it’s a nice looking fly.

Recipe:

Hook: #4-10 Salmon Hook
Thread: Black
Tail: Red hackle fibers
Tag: Oval gold tinsel
Butt: Peacock herl
Rib: Gold Mylar tinsel
Body: Red floss
Thorax: Peacock herl
Collar hackle: Red saddle hackle
Wing: Mottled turkey
Cheek: Jungle cock (optional)
Head: Black ostrich herl

Fly of the Month – Hughes All-fur Wet Fly

by Matt O’Neal of Savage Flies: Find him on his YouTube channel at Savage Flies

hughes allfur wet flyDave Hughes didn’t originate the All-Fur Wet Fly, but he did make it a very popular fly among fly fishers. This fly is kind of a mix between a nymph and a wet fly. Hughes is an angler that studied insects, wet flies and read many books. He put all of this to use and taught many wet fly classes and wrote his own books. The wet fly is certainly one of Dave’s go-to style of flies that we all know by now, catch a lot of trout. So watch Matt’s video below to see how to tie this awesome fish catcher, the Hughes All-Fur Wet Fly.

Matt O’Neal of Savage Flies, who has a terrific YouTube channel where he shows how to tie many different flies, including Hughes All-Fur Wet FLy. Be sure to check it out and give him a follow! Watch his video below to see how to tie this interesting dry fly pattern.

Recipe:
Hook: #12-16 standard wet or 1x heavy
Thread: Orange
Tail: Hare’s ear (guard hairs from Hare’s Mask)
Body: Hare’s ear dubbing (underfur with a few guard hairs from Hare’s Mask)
Hackle: Squirrel body fur (in split thread or a dubbing loop)

Tools:
Stonfo Dubbing Loop Clips
Stonfo Thread Splitter

Fly of the Month – Michigan Caddis

by Matt O’Neal of Savage Flies: Find him on his YouTube channel at Savage Flies

This dry fly is the Michigan Caddis. This is not an actual caddis fly pattern. This fly was created to mimic the large Hexagenia mayflies that hatch up in Michigan. Some Michigan fisherman still to this day call these a Michigan Caddis, hence where our Fly of the Month got its name. Below you will find a fly tying video by our friend Matt O’Neal of Savage Flies showing you how to tie this fly. Enjoy!

Matt O’Neal of Savage Flies, who has a terrific YouTube channel where he shows how to tie many different flies, including the Michigan Caddis. Be sure to check it out and give him a follow! Watch his video below to see how to tie this interesting dry fly pattern.

Recipe:
Hook: Size 10 standard dry fly hook
Thread: 140 Denier Black Thread
Tail: Natural Deer Hair
Body: Nature’s Spirit Spinning Deer Hair
Hackle: Grizzly dry fly
Wings: Grizzly Hen

Tools:
Stonfo Hair Packer
Stonfo Razor Holder for Trimming