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Thread: THE WHITE MILLER - Old Flies - October 5, 2009

  1. #1
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    Default THE WHITE MILLER - Old Flies - October 5, 2009

    THE WHITE MILLER

    "I was quite surprised not to find this one in the archives. When I think of the wet flies of my youth, of the 1960s, I think of this fly almost immediately along with the Parmachene Belle. It was popular then, it was popular in the 1920s, and it was popular in the late 1800s. It's popular now in certain circles. I think this one has been with us in this country from the very beginning." - Eric Austin

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    Another beautiful fly from Eric's vise and research on the history of the fly that is amazing. Thanks so much for that.

    I'm somewhat intrigued by a small resurgence of old flies that are showing up in people's fly boxes. Nice to see these elegant flies being cast over the waters again.

    REE
    Happiness is wading boots that never have a chance to dry out.

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up

    Wouldn't you consider the White Miller a "Kissing Cousin" to Art Flick's Cream Variant?
    To me, this is a real classic from the 50s.

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    Hi,

    Beautiful fly. You can include me as one who keeps these in his box for use. The White Miller is popular for trout here in Nova Scotia. I've always tied it with white hackle fibres for the tail, but I like the red. I've used it with success in New Zealand as well.

    - Jeff

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    Question White Miller...

    So this is a wet fly?

    It looks like a dry fly without floating hackle... I wonder what it would do as a floater...?

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    Not to hi jack, but years ago many flies were tied in both a wet and a dry version, the difference primarily being in the hackle (as you've noticed) although the tailing material is often stiffer as well (cock hackle fibres rather than a quill or hen fibre tail). A White Miller dry can be very useful.

    - Jeff

  7. #7
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    Cool Nice article and fly!

    I most always have a few tied both wet and dry in my boxes. Like it mentioned in the article it does match nicely the Leukon hatch on a summer/autumn eve. I had one on one eve when the white millers were coming off and as it was too dark to really see, didn't know what hit my fly and took me into the backing. I had caught a couple 14 inch or so trout so assumed it was their big daddy! Turns out it was a huge Pike Minnow in that 5 lb range. What a strike and fight!
    Last edited by Chuck S; 10-06-2009 at 08:55 PM. Reason: mistake
    Good Fishing,

    Chuck S (der Aulte Jaeger)

    "I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved"

    http://fishing-folks.blogspot.com/

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    When I had first started tying flies a little over a year ago, I got tired of woolly buggers and San Juan Worms real quick. I wanted to tie something else. I did a few Partridge and Herl and moved to Prince Nymphs. While searching for fly patterns, I came across Eric's site. I was taken by the beauty of the flies and wanted to tie them.

    I set to it. However, I was having problems finding materials. Sportsman's Warehouse had some stuff but not what I needed and I didn't want to order online and didn't know what to order anyway. I dropped Eric an email and he directed me to Charlie Craven's shop.

    To shorten a long story, I sent Eric pictures of my attempts at the old flies and he gave me solid critique on them. Before Eric ever held one of my flies, I showed a few to Charlie and he suggested a couple of simple things that have made a huge difference for me. Some of the others at Charlie's shop have been a huge help in knowing what materials to use for what. In short, these guys have taught me more in a year than I would have stumbled across in ten if I had not run into them. I can't even begin to belive my good fortune in running into not just one of this caliber tier, but two?

    The White Miller is one of the first I tried. My first White Miller had plenty wrong with it. The hackle is way too long, the angle on the tail is all wrong, and the rib is wrapped the wrong direction. The head and wings are not too bad, though. Here it is anyway. Tied back in June.



    From that weak start, things have improved a bit. Here is another pattern Eric encouraged me on. The Captain. This was tied in early August.



    My flies are still a long way from perfect, but I am pleased with the progress I have made with my tying. They wouldn't be where they are without the White Miller.
    Kevin


    Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some person ever reads.

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    On the wall in a picture frame is an old set of 16 flies on a fishing graphics imprinted blue carboard backing under some yellowing heavy cellophane. it's listed as a No. 9 set of dry flies. The fly in the top right hand corner is a white miller as in the article. Seems back in the 60's there were a few of these in another similar assortment, & after trying everything else, tied on a white miller for smallmouth fishing. From then on in the late summer it was the ONLY fly to have ! Jumping a couple of decades forward, this fly has now become more like a white wulff: with a white calf tail tail, assorted white dubbing body, white calf body hair wings & a badger hackle. It's about the only fly during the "snowstorm hatch" that has produced bass on every cast; and we would refer to it as a white miller because that was the not so scientific name of the hatch on the rivers. Fantastic fly for fishing then, but out done by it's newer version now. The White Miller is in the upper right hand corner below the newer dry.White Miller Flies 002.jpg
    Last edited by saltydancindave; 10-09-2009 at 11:54 PM. Reason: add picture

  10. #10
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    Default White Miller Dry

    First off, Kevin Proctor's advancement in tying the old wets has been nothing short of astounding. That's a great Captain.

    I made a big mistake in not doing a White Miller dry fly as part of the article, and will try to rectify that in the near future. I used to use it a lot, and just forgot.

    I'd like to thank saltydancindave for the post of the fly set, really great stuff.

    Ray, the White Miller predates Art Flick's fly by 200 years at least. But yeah, the dry version is certainly similar in a lot of ways, and was tied with pretty long hackle as I remember the flies we had up in the North Country, like the Variants.

    Glad to know there are still some guys fishing the White Miller, in any form!

    Eric

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