This fly represents the Grasshopper-like
Katydid, and is one of a small number of wet
flies that were actually tied to directly
imitate something in nature. The origin of
this fly is taken from Favorite Flies
and Their Histories by Mary Orvis
Marbury, and includes a delightful poem by
Oliver Wendell Holmes:
"The Katydid is of the order Orthoptera; the
imitation shown in the plate is one first
made by C.F. Orvis some eight or nine years
ago, receiving the name chiefly on account
of the color, and as a reminder of "grasshopper
time." Every one who listens to the summer
chant of this companion of the fairies has a
pleasant thought for the tiny green Katydid.
Oliver Wendell Holmes has expressed this feeling,
that is almost universal, in his own gentle,
kindly way, in the following verses, which
we venture to quote from his book of poems,
because they were in our mind when we borrowed
the pale green feathers from the parrot and
bound them to a hook."
I love to hear thine earnest voice,
Wherever thou art hid,
Thou testy little dogmatist,
Thou pretty Katydid!
Thou mindest me of gentlefolks,-
Old gentlefolks are they,-
Thou say'st an undisputed thing
In such a solemn way.
"O tell me where did Katy live,and what did Katy do?
And was she very fair and young,
And yet so wicked, too?
Pray tell me, sweetest Katydid,What did poor Katy do?
"Ah no! the living oak shall crash,That stood for ages still,
The rock shall rend its mossy base
And thunder down the hill,
Before the little Katydid
Shall add one word, to tell
The mystic story of the maid
Whose name she knows so well.
"Peace to the ever-murmuring race!And when the latest one
Shall fold in death her feeble wings
Beneath the autumn sun,
Then shall she raise her fainting voice,
And lift her drooping lid,
And then the child of future years,
Shall hear what Katy did."
The Katydid Recipe:
Hook: Standard wet fly.
Tip: Gold tinsel.
Tail: Green dyed mallard or parrot.
Body: Green floss.
Wing: Green parrot or dyed mallard quill.
Credits: Text from Favorite Flies and
Their Histories by Mary Orvis Marbury.
Flies tied by Eric Austin. Color photo by James Birkholm.