Developed in the 1920s for Paul Lake trout, this is one of Bill Nation's most effective
patterns. About the wing on the special, National recommended strips of grey
mottled turkey feather be used and that the angler match the Special's wing mottle
to that of the sedge or dun hatching. Bruce Hutchison in the chapter titled "For
Anglers Only" in his book, The Fraser (1950), paid homage to
Bill Nation and Nation's Special when he wrote:
The Kamloops country was long the undisputed kingdom of Bill Nation. That
extraordinary man, who knew trout better than any other British Columbian and
had spent his life stugying the insect life on which trout feed, chose to call himself
a guide. Careless of fame or money, he would row you around Paul Lake, his
favourite, or any other lake you fancied for a few dollars a day. After an hour's
fishing with him the richest American tycoon was subdued and humble in this
shy man's presence. Beside his life of innocence and content, the perfect
companionship of man and nature, your own life suddenly appeared for the
failure it was. Adn what could you say for your skill when he could cast a fly
and pierce the tail of any fish you pointed out among the autumn salmon horde? . . .
A most glowing tribute indeed. In 1936 Roderick Haig-Browng visited
Paul Lake and Echo Lodge, during his research for the Western
Angler, published in 1939, and in that publication prodived additional
and owner of the Governor's Table Camps of Hartland, New Brunswick. First
testimonials to the effectiveness of Nation's Special. In his chapter on tackle
and in his discussion of fly patterns for interior use, Haig-Brown examined the
Honour Book kept by lodge owner, J. Arthur Schott. Of the 119 large trout
between 3 1/2 to 7 3/4 pounds, 46 were deceived by a Nation's Special.
There were 13 other patterns in the group, the closest rival to Nation's Special
was the Jock Scott. With nine fish, it came in a poor second.
His memorial is the Nation Special, the fly he constructed out of his unequaled
knowledge of insect life and the appetite of the Kamloops trout. No fisherman
can afford to be without Bill's masterpiece. (pp. 324 - 325)
~ Arthur James Lingren
Hook: Number 4 to 8.
Tail: Six strands from a golden pheasant tippet feather.
Body: Rear third of flat silver tinsel; front two thirds of black floss.
Rib: Oval silver tinsel.
Throat: Speckled guinea fowl.
Wing: Mottled grey turkey, enclosing a few strands from a golden pheasant tippet feather.
Sides: Jungle cock.
Originator: Bill Nelson.
Intended Use: Wet fly for rainbow trout.
Location: Paul Lake [Kamloops region, British Columbia, Canada].
Credits: From Fly Patterns of British Columbia, Published by
Frank Amato Publications.