Our Man In Canada
February 10th, 2003

Great Canadian Flies
Grey Fly

Grey Fly

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

The 1920s were the age of discovery for General Noel Money. After coming to British Columbia in 1913 to fish Campbell river, he became enamoured with Vancouver Island and in particular Qualicum Beach where he settled. He hooked his first steelhead on March 26, 1914, in the Little Qualicum River and on April 21 of that same year he took his "first trout in British Columbia" - a fine 2 1/2 pound cutthroat. However, shortly after settling in Qualicum Beach, World War I took the General away and upon his return he discovered the "large rainbows" of the Ash, Stamp, and Somass rivers. He fished those rivers for the next 20 years, learning more and more about the river system and the timing of the runs, and developed many fly patterns for those large fish.

However, not only was the General enamored with the large rainbows he pursued, he also enjoyed the natural setting and the wildlife as indicated on this October 5 day: "Great day. 5 grand fish - best 9 1/4 pounds. Saw a cougar, a bear, eagles, deer and ravens."

When the fish arrived above Stamp Falls into the area where he had is "shack" was important to the General and over the years he made earlier and earlier trips looking for fish.

On June 13, 1925, he took a 7 1/2 pound trout from the Stamp and noted in his game book that "this is the earliest date I have ever caught a fish above the falls." With the same entry in the remarks' section, he described the fly as having a "grey wool body, orange hackle, mallard wing" and referred to this as his "Grey Fly, No.3" On July 30 of that same year he had another good day with five fish to 8 1/2 pounds and all on his "Grey Fly, No.3."

After 1925, Money didn't record in his game book much about the flies which he caught fish. The Grey Fly is one of his last creations for which he provided dressing details.

Details

Hook:  Number 2/0 to 4.

Tag:  Oval, silver tinsel.

Body:  Grey wool.

Rib:  Oval, silver tinsel.

Throat:  Orange hackle.

Wing:  Bronze mallard.

Originator:  General Noel Money.

Intended Use:  Wet fly for summer steelhead.

Location:  Stamp River.
~ 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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