Wow! They Really Printed was an Editorial In Fly Tyer Magazine.

Is the Catskill Dry Fly Dead?

By Mike Hogue

The most recent issue of Fly Tyer magazine contains an article which basically asks is the Catskill Dry Fly Dead? After reading the story I have a few useful observations. Like most things made and designed by man, Catskill flies were designed to be used in a certain place during a certain period of time. Many designs reflect the technology, the tools, the materials and the designer's choices whenever something is created whether it is a car, computer or a fly.

Let's take a look at the Light Cahill. In the places which these were fished, the rivers are largely Freestone, which required a fly to be dressed heavily in order for it to float well. This fly solved several problems and it acted to define a series of other flies. If you look at the actual patterns, the original was more sparsely dressed ( than flies by today's standards ) and it had fine long tails and narrow wings. Today most often you see this fly with fat wings, stumpy tails and a ton of dubbing to make the fly appear fatter, shorter and over dressed. In other words things evolve and change over time.

Whereas, flies such as the Compara dun were created for totally different kinds of water reflecting a need to have fly which behaved very differently under completely different circumstances. Fishing the flat water of the Delaware is very different than the Beaverkill which Steenrod fished when he created the fly. In the early days of the river there were many small dams and lots of deep pools with lots of broken water, today the river is much more open, is wider and has a different character than it did. So while one pattern may have been effective, the place also changed requiring the tyers to change.

Morgan also talks about bin sales of fly shops. Trying to compare bins sales of flies at stores makes little or no sense, since hatches, sizes, colors and water conditions usually dictate the sorts of flies which are sold and used in a location or region. Much like me using a giant Michigan hex fly in the middle of our sulphur hatch it is almost impossible to compare the Catskill dry flies to AK Best's hackled flies. About all these flies really have in common is that they are used for trout fishing and they are tied on a hook.

I think what we should do is look instead at the context of where, when, how something is used. Consider this: One really hot fly out west last season was called the DOA Royal Wulff. It basically is a royal with a soft poly wing which isn't divided, the wing is doubled over and the rear half is clipped short, creating an emerger wing. The tail is antron. So what we are doing here is updating a classic by using contemporary materials.

Is the Catskill dry dead? Hell no! I caught 10-15 fish during a recent hatch in 3 hour period using one of these antique gems. I tried more "modern" flies and the fish didn't take any of them. Using the same sort of logic as Mr. Lyle these must have been really old fish, right?


Great Fly Tying Class: " Tying Fishing Flies for Fall Salmon and Steelhead". It is generally acknowledged that salmon fishing starts at the end of August and Labor Day Weekend. Okay, it is muggy and still air conditioner time but it is TIME to start tying some flies for fall fishing! If you plan to fish the Salmon River or Fall Creek, don't miss this!

We will teach you how to tie sparkle eggs, Estaz flies, nymphs for salmon and steelhead and arctic fox flies. These are killer flies which will put fish in your baskets! This is for tyers of any skill level, $25 for both lessons. Class size limited. All materials provided, students need to have their own tools. Class dates: 8/20 and 8/27 from 7-9 pm. Contact via email or call me for more info.

Instructor: Mike Hogue, 607-347-4946, class held at Badger Creek Fly Tying, 622 W. Dryden Rd, Freeville, NY 13068.


Shadow box deal. Flies from the first Catskill Fly Tyer's Guild Rendezvous have been put together in a shadow box made by Ted Patlin. The box and frame are very nice. Only 200 tickets will be sold at $5 each. Contact Judy DV Smith at: for more info. The tickets will be sold at several fishing shows this fall and winter, drawing will be at the winter Fly Fishing Show in Summerset, NJ.


Plan on attending the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum's Annual Angler's Summerfest. Over 40 dealers will have a booth ( including me) . Great bargains, lots of cool stuff. I usually find lots of old books at the show for a great price. Come early before I clean out all the good stuff. I will have some nice waders, jackets and vests for sale. August 30 at the CFFCM, Old Rt 17, Livingston Manor, NY. Contact Paul Dahlie at for more info.


Specials: Coq -De Leon Sale!

Wow this is the good stuff. Save 25%! Whiting Farms Coq de Leon is great stuff. Use it for tailing, wings, compara duns, spinners, streamers, endless number of uses. Stock up now at great prices.

Silver Grade saddles: WOW! These were $20, NOW $15.00. Use these for tails, wings or streamer hackle, gold badger dyed . Choose from olive or dun.

Bronze Grade Saddles: These were $9 each now $7.50 each. WOW!. Choose from medium or dark Pardo.

Tailing Packs: Same thing except in small packs. Unique Variant or Med Pardo. These were $7.50 each. NOW $5.75.

Silver Hen Capes. Very cool speckled soft hackle hens. Marbled with sort of a badger look, Choose from Brown or Silver. These were $16, NOW $12.00 each. WOW!


Marabou Sale:

I have a ton of this stuff. Marabou shorts, useful for wings, woollies or lots of stuff. WAS $2.50 a pack. Now get 3 packs for $2.50. I have 6 colors to choose from. My choice of colors. ( hint my colors are great.....chart, orange, black, white, olive, wooduck, red. ) You will like this stuff. Get 6 colors for $5! What a deal.


Red Pheasants/ Tragopan. Temminick's Tragonpans. Red with Rust and brown mix. #1 with head, tail and wings. Tail makes cool muddlers. Irish open Tyer , Tim Trixler makes the Badger Creek Salmon fly using these Tragopans. Limited supply. Very Nice $50

Just in: Hen ringneck pheasants. Brown, tan and cream, Head-wings, body ( no tail) $2: $5. Very nice. Ton of feathers.

We stock colored wire and Pearsall's Silk Flosses too! Email me for more info on colors, and sizes.


Genetic CDC:

For the past 2 years I have been selling premium select genetic CDC. This has by far been one of my best selling products. I have taken this to at least 10 shows in about 5 states and I have gotten literally cleaned out at every single show I have gone to! My biggest problem has been getting a consistent supply of this wonderful material.

I have located a new supplier so I should not have any trouble keeping this on hand. These feathers are coming from genetically produced farm raised birds. Typically, the current material which we most often see now is coming from wild birds. Since these birds are farm raised and the feathers are harvested with the meat, these feathers are more consistent, the feathers are larger and of a higher quality. Like the differences between import dry fly necks and genetic necks, this material is of a very high quality.

Several important and widely known US and European tyers already work with this CDC so I think you can believe me when I tell you this is a very exciting material that has already been widely received. This material will become more available on a wider scale but you won't see it at these prices! Remember I introduced this first!

Colors: There are 5 all natural colors ( no dye, with natural oils ). These contain no dyes, no oils are added and material is 100% natural. Colors: White, Natural Light Dun, Natural Dark Gray Dun, Pale Brown, Medium Brown.

The Select CDC is 5 cm long and comes in all the above colors: $3.50

The CDC puffs ( which are about twice as long as the standard puffs) come in the above colors and are $3.50 a pack.

My favorite Goose CDC is available again too. Lots of "type 1" CDC, mixed sizes, big pack. White or dun, $1.75


As usual if you want to be deleted from this list for any reason, let me

know. Hope you enjoyed this! Contact: Mike Hogue, Badger Creek Fly

Tying, 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 13068. 607-347-4946. Email:, Web Site:\

See you soon! Mike





For more Info Contact:

Mike Hogue / Badger Creek Fly Tying / 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 1306