The Butcher, the Baker and The Candlestick
Maker are three wonderfully named salmon
flies from the 19th century. The Butcher is
by far the most famous of the three, having
an incarnation as a wet fly as well, one that
is still used today. Because of its importance,
it will get its own treatment next week, and
I hope to have both versions to show. It is a
fly well-deserving of its own article.
Another fly, The Parson, is sometimes associated
with this group as well. This is due in large part
to the old rhyme which goes as follows:
"Butchers and Bakers, Wheelwrights and Watchmakers,
The Baker was created by the Mr. Jewhurst, of
Tunbridge, Kent, England, and was staunchly
advocated by a man named Moon, our butcher. He
was a fine fisherman, and the Butcher was originally
called the Moon fly. When Blacker began selling the
fly later, he called it the Butcher, the name
evoking both the trade of its promoter, and the
killing nature of the fly. Mr. Jewhurst also
created the Baker. This fly was recommended by
Francis Francis for the Welsh river Dovey. I've
shown his version here, but there are variations
by Kelson and others, which was typical for these
A Clark smooth and Parson 'to boot,'
Whose orthodox views filled his church-pews,
Though he took a day off to fish or to shoot."
The Candlestick Maker came a bit later and was
credited to Mr. Holbrow. A much more sparsely
tied fly, it was unusual in that it was popular
on most rivers, not just one or two as so many
flies were. Francis Francis liked it for the
twilight hours, and found it to be "a fly to
light the salmon to bed with." He writes, "I
dressed one as a whim, several years since,
and sent it to a friend, who reported favorably
of it to me; since then it has done useful service."
He goes on to say, "At dusk this fly will often
show the salmon the way upstairs, when others will fail."
Here is the recipe for the Baker, from Francis Francis:
Tag: Gold twist and lightish blue floss.
Tail: A topping.
Butt: Black ostrich herl.
Body: Three turns of golden-coloured floss,
dark orange, light blue, and red pig's wool or seal.
Ribs: Broadish gold tinsel.
Hackle: Medium red-claret hackle.
Shoulder: Gallina, with light blue hackle over it.
Wings: Underwing, two tippet feather. Sprigs
of golden pheasant tail, bustard, peacock wing, red,
bright green, and blue and yellow sprigs of swan over.
Horns: Blue macaw.
Here is the recipe for the Candlestick Maker from Francis Francis:
Tail: Scarlet ibis and wood duck.
~ Eric Austin
Body: For the lower half, black silk:
the upper, black pig's wool, very bush towards
the shoulders, and picked out at the breast.
(Kelson used seal).
Ribs: Broad silver tinsel.
Hackle: A golden-olive hackle.
Shoulder: A claret hackle.
Wings: Five or six toppings with double
jungle cock on either side.
Credits: Classic Salmon Flies by Mikael Frodin,
Favorite Flies and Their Histories by Mary