This fly has been famous for taking steelhead and many other
species of western trout, particularly on the Eel and Klamath
rivers. The variation shown was tied by C. Jim Pray.
The origin of this well known West Coast fly was the invention
of John S. Benn, and Irish fly tier. He was born in Malta,
County Cork, Ireland in 1838, moved to San Francisco about 1855,
where he died in 1907.
The original patterns were from feathers of the game bird whose
name the fly bears. A steelhead fly, it was dressed with a black
head, dark claret wool body, yellow throat palmer tied with claret,
yellow tail, and a gray mallard wing.
Another of his patterns was the Martha, named after his favorite
daughter, a constant companion.
The Soule is also his pattern, name after Henry H. Soule, the
outdoor writer and author of Canoe and Camp Cookery,
1885, and Hints and Points for Sportsmen, 1889, both issued
under his pseudonym "Seneca."
as tied by C. Jim Pray
Information from Fly Patterns and Their Origins by Harold
Hinsdill Smedley, and Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing by
Joseph D. Bates, Jr., published by Stackpole
Tag: Flat silver tinsel.
Tail: An Amherst pheasant crest feather, very long.
(A small bunch of claret or scarlet hackle fibers may be substituted.
Yellow is used on some variations).
Body: Of claret wool, fairly thin, palmered with claret
hackle, medium thich and fairly long. (This fly usually is dressed
on a heavy number 1 hook, very short).
Throat: A yellow hackle tied on as a collar, moderately
heavily dressed and as long as the palmered claret hackle.
Wing: A small bunch of grey fox tail hair, very long,
extending beyond the tail.
Cheek: Jungle cock, dressed high and rather long.