Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sawtooth (Ray Bergman)

John Veniard opens the chapter on hairwing wetflies for trout, thus: “The use of hair instead of feathers for wings has become increasingly popular for use in fast streams, especially on the west coast of America, mainly because it has more “life” when wet.

I may have been mistaken thinking that only one (Cahill) of the twenty hairwing trout flies (wet) listed in the 1973 Veniard’s Fly Dressers’ Guide is a simulator type. When I glanced at the recipe I noticed it called for jungle cock cheeks, so I dismissed the Sawtooth as a cross-over seatrout, steelhead or salmon pattern, which is what most of the hairwings listed by Veniard as suitable & popular for trouting are. Also, the Sawtooth is the only pattern of the twenty listed that is not tied with cock hackle, but rather, it is tied with guinea hen hackle. A soft hackle. There is no picture of the Sawtooth in Veniard's, so another look at the recipe & I envisioned the fly, & I suspect Bergman fished this one as a salmonfly or October caddis, or for both. And I don’t think the jungle cock cheeks would hurt the pattern in either case. If it is true that Bergman tied this to simulate specific insects, then this is an innovative pattern from an era when there were only a handful of imitative hairwing designs tied specifically for trout. And the first recorded pattern, that I've found, which implements a soft hackle. Though Bergman probably tied it bearded, I couldn’t resist tying it in-the-round.   

Sawtooth (Ray Bergman)

Hook: #8 TMC 200R

Thread: Black UNI 8/0

Tail: Guinea hen

Rib: Oval gold tinsel

Body: Orange chenille

Wing: Pine squirrel tail

Hackle: Guinea hen

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