The Howell

Discussion in 'Patterns' started by Hywel, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bothell, WA, USA.
    It's a well-known fact that some of the most successful (and now classic) PNW Steelhead flies have been 'supersized' or converted wet flies from the East Coast and Great Britain.

    I was browsing the 'rareandunusual' website when I came across a traditional strip-wing wet fly called the 'Howell' - and decided to try my hand at dressing a hair-winged Steelhead variant that retained the 'spirit' of the original pattern.

    http://www.rareandunusual.com/howell.html

    It was a fun experiment, though the two issues that I haven't resolved (yet) are finding a white-tipped hair that replicates the original Turkey, and I've been unsuccessful in finding any kind of history about the original fly.

    If any of you happen to have any information about the origins of the 'Howell' or know of a natural white-tipped jet black hair I'd really appreciate hearing from you!

    Hywel
     
  2. Ron Eagle Elk

    Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,765
    Media:
    340
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Hywel,

    Another "reduced" fly. Looks very good to me. As to history, I can't help you. Have you contacted Don Bastion or Eric Austin? Maybe one of them will have the background on the fly.

    I have a friend who is a furrier. I'll give him a call in the morning and see what he can come up with for a jet black, white tipped hair.

    REE
     
  3. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bothell, WA, USA.
    Hey Ron,

    Thanks for the thumbs-up!

    I actually talked with Mr. Bastion and a few other hard-core historians (including Hans Weilenmann), and they've all have drawn a blank.

    Thanks in advance for talking to your furrier friend, too! The only thing I haven't tried is tip dyeing 'in reverse' - it's just too much hassle, even for a few flies.

    Hywel
     
  4. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,715
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Outer Duvall
    Hywel

    Although it seems like a simple request, surely there is some animal that has white tipped black hair. But I'll be darned if I can find it.
    As an alternative, tip bleaching and reverse tip dying came to mind first but it is a hassle.

    Although not strictly a hair wing, another option would be to use turkey as in the original. Strip the fibers from the shaft, line them up and roll into a bunch. I've done this using all kinds of feathers. Golden Pheasant rump makes a nice red wing, Yellow Golden a nice yellow wing, Guinea makes speckles or spots, partridge and english grouse are nice, etc.

    TC
     
  5. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bothell, WA, USA.
    Hey Tim,

    I really appreciate the tip on bunch tying the Turkey,...I tried it, and it just didn't look 'right'. One of the reasons I'm hell-bent on using hair is because I want lots of movement in the wing, and while the Turkey provided the 'bulk' I wanted, it was a little too stiff for my tastes.

    The tip bleaching is something I haven't thought of, though, and it'd certainly be easier than 'reverse' dying. My stubbornness tells me that there has to be some kind of natural hair that'll meet my needs. (*g*)

    Hywel
     
  6. Be Jofus G

    Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,051
    Media:
    10
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    Washington
    My German Shepherd had black Hair with a white tip on it's neck. The only problem is it was white/black/white so you could only tie 1' to 3/4' wings with it and would have to sort the hair before stacking. A bit unconventional but would give the fly awesome action. I used to fill grocery bags with the stuff every spring. :rofl:

    What about Silvertip Badger or Alaskan Grizzly? You can get the Badger from old shaving brushes. Not sure if the action would be good though.
     
  7. Brian Thomas

    Brian Thomas Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Kamloops B.C
    I`m pretty sure the Howell is one of Ray Bergmans lesser know patterns .
    As well as the Silver Badger already mentioned , some woodchuck hair will give the effect you`re looking for (or a reasonable facsimile:D :confused: ) .
     
  8. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bothell, WA, USA.
    Brian, - or should I call you, "Watson"? (*g*)

    Huzzah!!

    It didn't occur to me that 'the Howell' was one of the patterns featured in "Forgotten Flies". Though, when I asked Don Bastion (who actually dressed many of the Wets in Schmookler's book) if he knew anything about the fly's history he made no mention at all of Ray Bergman - and that kind of oversight is really perplexing considering Don's reputation as a tyer/historian.

    In any event, thanks to your clue, 'the game is afoot'!

    Hywel
     
  9. Brian Thomas

    Brian Thomas Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Kamloops B.C
    I vaguely remembered seeing the Howell here http://www.rareandunusual.com/classic5.html , when I was doing some research for a Ray Bergman swap I was participating in .
    Good luck with your search in finding the right hair .

    Cheers Brian
     
  10. Hywel

    Hywel New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bothell, WA, USA.
    Thanks, Brian!

    BTW - Lovely vise in your avatar.

    Hywel
     
  11. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,989
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Although the colors involved are not, strictly speaking, black and white, you might try hair from a silvertip-phase grizzly bear, or the back hairs of a "grayback" 600-pound alpha male gorilla.

    The non-financial costs of collecting these, however, may make it impractical.
     
  12. Jay Allyn

    Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    852
    Media:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bellingham/Puyallup, WA
    I believe I have seen some squirrel tale that had a white/silver tip and a dark grey/black hair. Not exactly jet black and white but it will give you a close match.
     
  13. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,715
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Outer Duvall
  14. Joel Wood

    Joel Wood ahteef

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    19
    Media:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Marysville, WA
  15. Jay Allyn

    Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    852
    Media:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bellingham/Puyallup, WA
    I thinkt hat the squirrel will be your best bet without doing some tricky dyeing. I like it, looks great!
     
  16. sharpshooter223

    sharpshooter223 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    richland/pullman, wa
    i did something like that with the bloody butcher last year for steelhead (looks similar to the fly you made) except since i use spinning gear for steelhead i had to give it a little extra lead. mostly made of deer hair and i might have used a little saddle hackle. the body was just normal acrylic yarn though.
     

Share This Page