Atlantic Salmon Fly Gallery - 2: Groups & Originals

This page features my multi-fly frames and thematic/interpretive (original) designs.

These multi-fly frames are worth called "projects" as I work on a certain group of flies with meaning and theme. Then I frame them all together. That requires precise calculation and skills, patience, and labor of love! Individual flies have been featured in my other gallery page as traditional and classic patterns( click here ).

Since we use various materials in various colors and tie them onto hooks in various skills and styles, we need to be creative and express something that suits us!! Atlantic salmon flies can be such tools. These ideas don't come so often. But when I do, I want to design well and work with my best!

This project means a lot personally and professionally. Three of "Unnamed Pattern from the 19th Century" introduced by the late Al Cohen (in the book below) have been my fancy. But also they are very challenging. I wouldn't have guessed when I would reach the level to challenge. 
 Then there are stories and coincidences, that are too personal and too long to share here. Flies shown below are dressed with Al's own materials and tools.
For this page, I took a liberty to post pictures with dramatic effects. For untreated pictures, please look the Gallery - 1.
In order of appearances, here's the one for the cover.
Page 88
And Page 91
And this is how I framed and am presenting. I assembled three flies altogether then I attached a memoir and tribute for Al.
Frame 1
 Frame 2

George Mortimer Kelson and his The Salmon Fly are highly regraded among salmon fly enthusiasts. His flies are beautiful and artistic (even those used for actual fishing), dressed with gaudy and exotic materials, and very challenging to accomplish.
There are over 300 patterns listed in the book and portion of them are contained in 8 colored plates. There are many ways and choices to make groups/categories out of over 300 dressings. To me, working on either one of 8 plates sounded like quite a theme. Among them, I believe, Plate 1 contains some of the most gaudy and challenging patterns among all.
Then I assembled materials. All 6 flies are dressed on Gaelic Supreme Harrison-Barleet 5/0 hooks.
Framing was even more challenging. I could have finished much plainer and simpler. Yet, I felt obliged to highlight his immense & prominent book as well. So I randomly chose pages from his book and finished in a scrapbook fashion.

Plate 2 also contains another set of challenging bunch! Thunder & Lightning perhaps might be simpler than the others. Silver Doctor is simpler than Pryce-Tannat's version but that does not mean it's easy. Harlequin comprises one of the most colorful and complicated body components. Then the rest of three: The Lion, John Ferguson, and The Baron are typical of colorful & complicated. It was very challenging and pleasure to work on this group. Plus I ordered an oval cutout mat with the professional framer. I believe these flies deserve proper framing!

To me, Plate 3 is truly a mixed bag of everything. The right side; Benchill, Taite's Fancy, and Wilson are listed with relatively less number of materials = kind of minimalist, so to speak, compared to others also from "Colorful Era" = however each has it's quark. Especially The Wilson required lots of thoughts and interpretations. The Dawson would be the only one that is "ordinarily" busy. Dirty Orange is also busy, perhaps the busiest among patterns finished without topping. Then the last but not the least Durham Ranger is all time favorite for everyone. GMK version is slightly different from TEPT one. 

Dr. T.E. Pryce-Tannatt was the protege of late 19th century authors & dressers who briefly yet surely revived the legacy of gaudy flies in early 20th century. His book "How to Dress Salmon Flies" is another MUST-HAVE among salmon fly enthusiasts. It's very concise and educational, as if I'm taking a freshman class in college.
His book also contains beautiful colored plates, which are quite inspirational and thematic to work on. Question is which one or if I make a combination (Plate 2, 3, and 4 contain 2, 3, and 3 flies respectively). 
Simple yet potentially disastrous choice was Plate 1. Although I have dressed a few of them, or alike, before, do I have enough materials for each unique fly? Then if I do and if I dress them successfully, how could I mount and frame them all together? 
After the satisfying accomplishment with Mr. Kelson's Plate 1, I developed some idea and gave the project a go. I dressed one by one. That was the surest way. I reworked on a few of them. The last two, Jock Scott and Popham, were the most challenging of all. 
I kept framing simple as I have 9 gaudy and unique flies all in one. Yet I made painstaking effort in the back of a single mat for all the schemes and calculations. 
All flies are dressed on Partridge of Redditch Sprite Pryce-Tannatt 4/0

Lid up

I also used the front-opening frame for the first time. That makes preening easy as pie. 

Following the successful dressing and mounting of Plate 1, I worked on Plates 3 & 4. In these two plates, a set of 3 flies are shown in the particular order; the largest one on top and the smallest on the bottom. Although I did not use exactly the same hooks, I did use different hook sizes to follow the order. Individual fly pictures are posted in the other page.

Plate 3
In the book, these flies are dressed in 7/0, 6/0, and 5/0 respectively. Those are giant hooks!! For this set, I used Partridge of Redditch CS 10/3 sizes 3/0, 2/0, and 1/0 (from top to bottom). This arrangement perfectly matches the sizes in the book. Sir Richard seems the least colorful among three but it contains lots of feathers in married wings. Then I'm very satisfied with how Benchill and Childers came out.

Plate 4
In the book, three flies in Plate 4 are said to be dressed on Dee hooks - extra long shank hooks. I did use a Dee hook = Harrison Bartleet Dee 3/0 for Helmsdale Doctor. Rest of two were dressed in Harrison Bartleet 4/0 and Francis Francis 3/0, respectively. These straight shank hooks follow the hook size order quite well. All of these three contain very colorful wings.

Here are the set of two.  I used the identical shadow box and the same methods of mounting. Mat measurements are practically identical as well. I used plastic sticks and special glues to place flies practically permanently.

I'd like to call these "interpretative" & "thematic" rather than original patterns. I'd like to interpret and express "themes" with my artistic senses. What's in your mind? Poem? Song?
I give you ideas about what I mean. Right now the list of I'm pondering is.....
My Sweetheart
Queen of Silver Dollar (Emmylou's version)
Something like that.......... If I come up with something, I will post here.

Estimates of price follow the same as for traditional patterns: more complicated & taking long time = costing more. If you have something in mind, let me know and we will design something.

Salmonfly on The Gardner

(Read the label!!)
(Read as well....)

For my niece.........

My latest and best-crafted design: Ephemerella in valle locus (PMD in Paradise Valley)

This is my way of expressing the most iconic fly-fishing scene and story in Paradise Valley:
PMD hatch at Livingston's spring creeks from late June to early July.
Does this catch Atlantic Salmon? - Maybe!?
Not for your collection? - then use at spring creeks?

Cow Doctor (for my vet teacher)

Stars & Stripes and Purple Hearts - dedicated for Warriors & Quiet Waters ( 

Signor Rossi
In the fall 2015, I replaced my truck. It's actually the same model and the same year as my old F-150. Practically it was nothing new but I was somewhat inspired by its color = burgundy red and silver stripes. I started drawing my idea and put it all together. I never meant it to be a framing quality, rather I knew it will be sun-bathed hung on the rearview mirror. So I used some crude and non-framing quality materials. That aside, I like what I came up with and do believe it represents my truck! Body color and silver stripes are beautifully expressed by the same/similar color of silk and feathers and silver ribbing. Jungle cocks on rear and front, both sides, represent 4 blinkers!
It's something but it's cheap and big..........which reminds me of a wine bottle (below), hence the name! Over all it's me!?

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