Our Man In Canada
March 25th, 2002

Great Canadian Flies
American Coachman

American Coachman

By Arthur James Lingren
From Fly Patterns of British Columbia, Published by Frank Amato Publications. We appreciate use permission.

In an article title Tidewater Trout: Part 2, which appeared in the July 1968 issue of Western Fish & Game magazine, Jim Kilburn mentioned that for sea-run cutthroat beach fishing his "first choice is the American Coachman streamer" and that this "streamer has a lemon-yellow wool body ribbed with silver, a white polar bear wing, a tail of either red polar-hair or red wool, and a full brown hackle."

In my response to my inquiry about the fly's origin, Kilburn wrote back saying that he "first came across the pattern in a sporting goods store in Courtenay in the late 1950s." "It was labeled 'California Coachmen,' but because it bore no resemblance to that particular pattern," Kilburn renamed it. The California Coachman was developed by a San Franciscan, Mr. J.W. Fricke, in the first quarter of this century [1900] and was originally called the Yellow Royal Coachman and, according to A. Courtney Williams in his book Trout Flies (1932), was exact in detail to the Royal Coachman "but with a yellow silk body" (page 123). The only resemblance between Kilburn's Courtenay-found pattern, which he named the American Coachman, and the California Coachman is its white wing, yellow in the body and brown hackle.


Hook:  Number 6.

Tail:  A slender strip of red swan.

Body:  Lemon-yellow wool.

Rib:  Flat, silver tinsel - three turns.

Collar:  Brown hen hackle.

Wing:  White bucktail.

Originator:  Jim Kilburn.

Intended Use:  Wet fly for sea-run cutthroat trout.

Location:  Beaches and estuaries.
~ Arthur James Lingren

Credits: From Fly Patterns of British Columbia by Arthur James Lingren. We thank Frank Amato Publications, Inc. for use permission!

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