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Re: Yorkshire Spider (John Shaner's Collection)

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:37 pm
by Greenwell
I got the following from Rob Smith this morning. Rob's knowledge of just this one pattern and the research he put into it's history is exactly why anyone with an interest in North Country flies will want a copy of his upcoming book!

Hi John,

This is going to be a LONG EMAIL hope you are sitting comfortably! If you want to share it on the forum please feel free.

The new photo posted on the forum is the Winged Deul Cruik, this pattern has several names and guises though all are based around the same dressing. There are two easily identifiable versions, the hackled version and the winged version. (Hope you are with me so far)

The name Duel Cruik continually gets changed or adapted as the pattern flows down through the centuries. Examples of this are the No.5 March Brown (Swarbrick), Dule Crook or March Brown (Pickard Family 1794 &1820), Hackle Deul Cruik & Winged Deul Cruik (Thackray 1820s), Hackle & Winged Deul Cruik (Wells 1842), No 6 March Brown or Deulcruik Winged & No.6a Hackled Deulcruik (Pawson 1848), March Brown No.4 (Pritt 1885) No.5 the Hackled Duil Cruik (Bradley 1890) March Brown (Sagar 1890), No.5 March Brown or Drake (Lister 1898) and of course the Devil Crook of which you mentioned. The earliest known recording of this pattern is Great Brown Deel Crook (W.Lister 1712). Some flydressers dropped the use of two coloured silks when tying this pattern, I have seen a few examples of the pattern dressed by the same hand without the yellow silk, has he just forgotten to put the yellow silk in, and continued dressing the fly? I don’t know.

The Deul Cruik or whatever we choose to call it is in many regards the “Holy Grail” of the North Country patterns. (Here comes the long part!)

As you know I went through numerous drafts and variations of my book before I sought the advice of a few knowledgeable friends (O. Edwards and the like) Just before I was about to submit the draft I received a phone call from a friend who had read through it and remarked that I had not mentioned William Lister’s diary of the early 1700s! Of course, I had never heard of William Lister, as he was unknown until his diary was sold at auction in 2001 for a very large sum of money. It took me nearly two years to track down the new owner of Lister’s diary and gain access to the fly patterns contained within. At first I was sent a spreadsheet of the diary contents, which I then started to cross reference against known later publications, Pritt, Kirkbride and so forth. Later I was sent the actual diary itself, though nothing spectacular to look at, you nevertheless instinctively see and feel the age of it. You just know this diary has been taken about rivers and stuffed into pockets, it even had a hook and some horse hair stuck to one of its pages! This thing had a soul!

The language of the diary was pretty hard to comprehend but several things started to stand out, amongst them was Lister’s Great Brown Deel Crook. I had seen variations of this name and dressing before, and sure enough it started to pop up all over the place in various guises. Unbeknown to me, the Lister diary had also been researched before by L Magee, however for some unknown reason Magee abruptly stopped his research. I couldn’t understand why as he must have found the same corresponding matches that I had found. I then started to research the author of the diary and found him in Wharfedale, it then dawned on me that Magee stopped his research as he knew that the contents of the diary would destroy his own earlier publication and in effect his life’s work.

One thing became clear as I struggled to read the diary, and that was he was clearly fishing a Dales river. He is fishing his flies as teams and as his season progresses he starts to fish later and later into the evening and remarks that the river is low and showing its bones. Conversely, he does not fish what we would call the best month of the season (September). Why? Because he is a farmer and bringing in his harvest or driving his sheep back off the moors to lower pastures. The various patterns and the colloquial names of his materials also show him to be a Yorkshireman.

As I continued my research into Lister I found he was related to later famous fly-tyers and manuscript authors, he was also geographically at the centre of the whole movement! There are several of his dressing that flow down through later North Country published and unpublished works, the Deel Crook being the most obvious one.

Though it is probably impossible to prove, my guess is that some of Lister’s patterns are of a much earlier origin and possibly pre-date Dame Julianna. People more learned than me, will obviously baulk at such a suggestion, but it is just a nagging feeling I have.

Re: Yorkshire Spider (John Shaner's Collection)

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:24 pm
by Smuggler
Holy... yea, I'm gonna have to get this book. What detail!

Re: Yorkshire Spider (John Shaner's Collection)

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:37 pm

Fascinating reading about William Lister and the Duel Cruik! Please keep us posted on the results of your "nagging feeling"!
Watching and listening,


Re: Yorkshire Spider (John Shaner's Collection)

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:29 am
by Jim Slattery
Awesome thread.....

Re: Yorkshire Spider (John Shaner's Collection)

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:09 am
by narcodog
This type of information is what made this site back in the day.

Re: Yorkshire Spider (John Shaner's Collection)

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:17 pm
by letumgo
Check this one out!


Re: Yorkshire Spider (John Shaner's Collection)

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:54 pm
by Greenwell
The Dark Watchet, a real classic North Country Spider and my personal favorite. This the screen-saver on my laptop........

Re: Yorkshire Spider (John Shaner's Collection)

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:19 pm
by Smuggler
Wow, this is just a masterful fly.

The sparsely dubbed body is awesome. What is the red in amongst the hackle fibers?

Re: Yorkshire Spider (John Shaner's Collection)

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:41 am
by Old Hat
Very cool John. thanks so much for sharing that info on the Duel Cruik. When I saw the initial photo I thought of "the Devil Crook". Then I saw the name Duel Cruik and was immediately drawn in. I have been tying and fishing the version of the Devil Crook that I came across for about 3 years now and absolutely love it. It is one of the few patterns that I know uses partridge for the wing and hackle. MAkes for a relatively easy tie. I learned the pattern with grey or dun thread and that is what I use. Usually well waxed. What a great read this thread is!

I'm pretty sure I have posted this but this is the version that have been fishing.
image.jpg (57.87 KiB) Viewed 5313 times

Re: Yorkshire Spider (John Shaner's Collection)

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:40 am
by tjd
That is a very nice looking pattern, Carl. I'll bet it fishes well in a variety of applications.