The top two are Silver & Blue, and the bottom is a Lady Caroline. These were tied in 1983 on my (then) new Bartleet hooks. Not much is said about Bill these days, but personally I think he is a helluva tyer.
Are the 'new' hooks you're referring to the 'Grey Heron' hooks you created - and *when* are those sexy irons going to be available to us unwashed masses? *g*
I agree whole-heartedly about Bill McMillan being a helluva tyer - his are some of the most beautiful and original Steelhead flies *ever* created. I also wish his book could be re-leased and that Bill had more of a public presence.
The only flies of Bill's that I have seen are his own patterns. He shows up in public periodically, usually in support of conservation. I heard him speak at a Wild Steelhead Coalition meeting a year or two ago.
His book can be had if you keep an eye on the used book sites (I like www.abebooks.com).
About the hooks, these were the original Bartleet Hooks I had made in 1982. Partridge never did make the exact hook I gave Allan Bramley,the owner of the old hook Co. My new Blue Heron Spey hooks are perfect examples of the style I wanted 23 years ago. I don't have a photo yet to send of the new design, but will post one soon.
About Bill's skill level, he sure impressed me. Did you ever see his fishing diary,you'll shake your head . That is why Bill had such a large following in flyfishing, much like Syd Glasso had with his flies and it wasn't always pleasant. I have a full series of the early patterns and Im never going to be good enough to duplicate them.