Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

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daringduffer
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Re: Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

Post by daringduffer » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:06 am

Old Hat wrote:Here are a couple Killer Bugs tied by Frank Sawyer's daughter, I believe John said. Notice, there is no wire at the front or ribbing like you see a lot when this pattern is tied.
Did you notice what colour the copper wire had; was it dark or light?

Some people claim that it is the "interaction" between the colour of the copper wire and the wet greyish wool that is the secret behind the bug more than the exact shade of (Chadwick) wool. How it is fished being of greatest importance of course. Giving it the right movement at the right moment is most important to success according to Nick Sawyer (grandson of Frank). He also states that although designed to represent a Gammarus it can do double duty as a caddis pupa.

dd

Edit. On the photo the colour of that copper wire seems lighter than the than of the wire he used for his Pheasant Tail.
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Ruard
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Re: Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

Post by Ruard » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:18 am

Hi dd,

the color of the copper was brass, perhaps like a goldbead more yellow than red.


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Old Hat
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Re: Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

Post by Old Hat » Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:06 am

Yeah, as Ruard said, it was light colored, but not quite gold to my eye. It could have been a bit tarnished with age as well, I don't know. Definitely not dark or red.
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daringduffer
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Re: Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

Post by daringduffer » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:32 am

Thank you, Ruard and Carl.

When you have yarn with the right shade(s) the use of bright copper wire makes sense. The darker copper wire has about the same hue as the synthetics in Chadwick 477. I think it is worth experimenting with. I also think that the Sawyers used the wire they had at hand, sourcing it from old radios. I have never seen Pheasant tail nymphs tied by Sawyers with bright copper wire. Did you notice any such flies in this collection?

dd
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Old Hat
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Re: Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

Post by Old Hat » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:50 pm

dd,

Here is a picture of the bowtie buzzer and grey goose. My picture of the pheasant tailed nymphs did not turn out. All the wire looked to be the same in each fly though. As you can see the wire is not dark neither is it really light colored. Simply your standard copper wire color I would say.

On another note, I was a bit surprised by how short the tails were. Not what you normally see.
sawerbowtiebuzzer.jpg
sawerbowtiebuzzer.jpg (217.41 KiB) Viewed 2764 times
Sawyergreygoose.jpg
Sawyergreygoose.jpg (115.46 KiB) Viewed 2759 times
I hate it when I think I'm buying organic vegetables, and when I get home I discover they are just regular donuts.
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daringduffer
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Re: Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

Post by daringduffer » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:46 pm

Carl,

Thank you for the pictures. Nice to see original flies. Coppery copper wire. I've seen a few of his (or her) nymphs tied with that, just like your photos. The PT nymphs I saw were tied using darker wire though. Maybe on purpose, maybe not.

dd
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Re: Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

Post by Old Hat » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:55 pm

To be honest, I read somewhere, one of Sawyer's books, him stating that the color was not all that important. In fact he didn't put a lot of weight to the wire color, although he had his preferences, which like most of us, evolved through time. I believe he did go through a time where a more deep red was preferred for the Killer Bug.
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Kelly L.
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Re: Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

Post by Kelly L. » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:43 pm

Thank you for the photos. I get a kick out of looking at old flies like that. :D
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Ron Eagle Elk
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Re: Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

Post by Ron Eagle Elk » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:21 pm

Had a chance to meet and chat with John yesterday at Jim Slattery's Campfire Lodge Resort. Interesting conversation to say the least.
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Re: Visiting John Shaner (Fly Tying Historian)

Post by MIflyguy » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:00 pm

I realize this is an older post. Regardless, thanks for sharing the info and the pictures. I met John at a seminar he did at the Northwest Fly Fishing Expo at Warren, Michigan, in March of 2018. Though he would not remember me, he is the reason I am here and fishing soft hackled flies.
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