North Country Angling: The Flies of Director Joe Stickney | Fishing


When the Executive Director of Fish and Game and the Chief Law Enforcement Officer were in North Country Angler, a discussion erupted over the concern of the Director and Supervisor Steals. To be honest, it had been a long time since I had even thought about these two very effective models for trout and salmon.

I decided to go to the library and get acquainted with these models again. The Warden’s Worry was one of my first Bucktail streamers that I fished and strapped on. Dick Surette presented this fly to me.

“Use a drop line and drag the fly to the bottom of Ledge Pond,” he said. “You will do well there. “

Looking back in Surette’s book, “Trout and Salmon Fly Index,” The Warden’s Worry was developed by Warden Supervisor Joseph Stickney in 1930. Stickney came up with the color combination to mimic the large nymphs that crawl along the bottom. ponds in the north of the country. It was a Surette favorite when fishing for trout and salmon once the waters warmed up and the fish moved into shallower waters.

The book does not mention the supervisor fly.

Return to the shelf at the serpentine flies bible. Colonel Joe Bates’ “Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing” is the undisputed source for all things old school streamers. Colonel Bates has fished with many fly makers in his book. Joe Stickney was one of those fishermen.

The Supervisor was the first fly streamer created by Stickney. He was trying to imitate smelt, brook trout’s favorite forage fish. The manager did not tie his own flies. Living in Saco, Maine, he would travel to Portland, Maine, and sit with one of the fly tyers at Percy’s Flies. There he would create and make changes. In 1924, the Supervisor was born.

The original supervisor had no peacock herl trim. Stickney added this later and the effectiveness of the fly increased exponentially. He liked to dress the fly lightly to give it a tight silhouette, but was very particular about having “shoulders” that would move the water.

The supervisor remains a must for all the anglers who crisscross our largest lakes during the “out of the ice”.

Stickney has developed a third fly that seems to have vanished from the fisherman’s consciousness. The Lady Doctor Bucktail was a fly that Stickney created in honor of his wife. She was a doctor in the city of Saco.

That had to be what led to a complicated and beautiful fly. The Lady Doctor Bucktail, surprisingly, did not have a bucktail. The wing was made of polar bear hair with black bear hair on it. Excellent choices because these hairs are translucent and are very swimmers in moving water.

The tail consists of two yellow hackles. The label is in gold foil. The end of the red thread. The body exudes elegance. Yellow thread ribbed with oval gold garlands and garlands then ribbed with a yellow hackle. Once at the head of the fly, the rest of the hackle is rolled up then tied like a throat.

With the bear hairs attached, the wing is topped with two jungle rooster feathers tied side by side half the length of the wing. A red breast feather shoulder, I use golden pheasant, is the last step. The fly is magnificent, as I’m sure Doctor Stickney was.

Tie up a few of those forgotten flies. They are fun to tie and are sure to put a smile on your face when you hook a trout to this beauty in the spring.

Polar bear hair is no longer available to fly tanners. We use Hareline Ice Fur as an acceptable substitute.

Steve Angers, originally from the Conway area, is the author of the book “Fly Fishing New Hampshire’s Secret Waters” and operates the North Country Angler.

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