Pattern Borden's Special

GAT

Dumbfounded
#1
The Borden's Special has been mentioned from time to time in recent SRC threads. Borden's Special was created by Bob Borden, founder of Hareline Dubbin. He tied the fly to fish for SRC in the tidewater area of Oregon Coastal rivers. It was meant to give the impression of a shrimp.

As the pattern has been around for decades, many changes have been made by fly tyers. Bob is a friend and once a frequent fishing buddy and he told me that most of the patterns he's seen tied by others are far too sparse with the hackling. He wanted to entice the SRC so he tied the pattern with long, webby, thick hackling to give the impression of a shrimp.

Most folks use calves tail for the wing but Bob originally tied the pattern with Arctic Fox tail fibers.

For what it's worth, this is the pattern tied closer to how Bob originally tied the fly.

IMG_1733.jpg
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#3
Bob uses red and yellow. The only part of the pattern that is pink is the body. I believe the pink and yellow hackles is used in a pattern called The Alsea Special. But I can't find it in any of the pattern books so I think it is a local creation.

Some tyers have included a flash topping and that is something someone decided to add. Oh, I should mention that Bob used either Arctic Fox or white Rabbit for the wing. I tied mine too sparse. He tied his patterns with a fairly thick wing.

As with many patterns, folks change them as per their personal preference. Sparse patterns became popular so the Borden's Special was mutated to that end.

No biggie, I suppose. Both styles are known to work. It's just interesting to see how patterns change over time and can end up much different than the original design.

I don't normally use pink rabbit dubbing for the ones I fish and use pink chenille instead... I prefer wrapping to dubbing. I have found that a normal color of pink works better than the bright, fluorescent, knock-your-socks-off product that is popular these days. Brighter isn't always better.

Your patterns would certainly work in the Alsea and Siletz for SRC... not to mention steelhead. Pink is also popular with the steelhead in the Alsea and Siletz.
 
#4
I think my cell phone camera made the bodies on my flies a lot pinker than they are.
Did some research and came up with the pattern from Les Johnson's book "Fly-Fishing Coastal Cutthroat Trout".
I hope he won't mind me posting it here. Scan 38.jpeg
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#5
Something is odd here. I just checked my old patterns and they are tied with pink and yellow, not red and yellow. I wanted to make sure I got the pattern as per the latest recipe and it indicated red and yellow, not pink and yellow.

For crying out loud. I've been tying too many flies when I can't get the recipe right. The more I think about it, the more I believe the pattern shown above IS the original... tied with long hackles and all.

Bob told me he used Arctic Fox for the wing but his memory probably isn't any better than mine.

Geez... not only have fly tyers mutated the original pattern, I failed to realize that someone changed the color from pink to red for the hackle and tail. ...and I have some I tied long ago using pink!!!

I'm just as bad as everyone else.... I thought the pattern looked a little off when I was tying it... :confused:
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#7
You know, I considered blowing away the first post because the colors are wrong.... talk about a "senior moment"!

Guess it never occurred to me that the recipe in a fairly new pattern book could be wrong but it sure as the devil is! I wonder how many other recipes are wrong?
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#9
The photo of the pattern you posted from Les' book is how Bob tied the original fly... in fact, it looks like a fly Bob tied himself.



Notice the hackle collar is long and thick. It bugs the devil out of Bob when tyers do not properly tie his fly. He says the long hackles are required to accurately tie the pattern. He believes it makes a difference in the effectiveness of the fly.

Of course it is also a good idea to get the colors right :p
 
#10
The photo of the pattern you posted from Les' book is how Bob tied the original fly... in fact, it looks like a fly Bob tied himself.
It is.
Jack


Notice the hackle collar is long and thick. It bugs the devil out of Bob when tyers do not properly tie his fly. He says the long hackles are required to accurately tie the pattern. He believes it makes a difference in the effectiveness of the fly.

Of course it is also a good idea to get the colors right :p
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#11
Gene, the one in this pic looks very similar to the ones I bought at Waters West a few years ago. I lost 'em, though. I'll have to tie some.

John Shewey's book, Northwest Fly Fishing, Trout and Beyond, has examples of the Borden Special and the Alsea Special in the fly illustrations for Searun Cutthroat. There doesn't appear to be that much difference between the two patterns. I'd say they'd be interchangeable and might produce nearly identical results. The searun cutts that hit my flies aren't all that picky, anyway.



The photo of the pattern you posted from Les' book is how Bob tied the original fly... in fact, it looks like a fly Bob tied himself.



Notice the hackle collar is long and thick. It bugs the devil out of Bob when tyers do not properly tie his fly. He says the long hackles are required to accurately tie the pattern. He believes it makes a difference in the effectiveness of the fly.

Of course it is also a good idea to get the colors right :p
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#13
Yeah, I'm sure Bob told me it was originally Arctic Fox for the wing. This was sometime ago. Obviously, you can't go by me... I trusted the recipe book when I tied my pattern last night and it was wrong! However, I may tie up a number of the patterns with red and yellow just for the heck of it. Sometimes errors turn into something that works :p