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Pink Ladies


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#1 overmywaders

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 02:23 AM

The Pink Lady is a classic pattern that has changed little over the years. The originator, George M. La Branche, of New York City, wrote about his fly in The Dry Fly and Fast Water, published in 1914. The dry fly began with an accidental discovery of a similar wet fly:

"I attributed my non-success to the pattern of fly, and it never occurred to me at the time that very few fish were taken at all that day, although many anglers were on the stream. The next morning, when I opened my fly book, I found that a great deal of the red dye used upon the silk body of the fly had come off on the drying pad. The body of the fly was now a beautiful pink. Out of curiosity I wet the fly, and the pink body turned a brilliant red. I thought the thing over, and decided that I had stumbled upon an explanation of the failure of the fly to take the day before. The body of the fly originally was red and was evidently meant to appear so to the trout. When wet, however, it had turned a muddy brown. With most of the colour washed out, the fly turned a darker shade when wet, became really red, and stayed red. I determined that if this was the colour the trout wanted, they should have it, and I soaked a half dozen flies in a tumbler of water, pressing and squeezing every bit of dyestuff out of them that I could. They were all pink-bodied when I had finished with them. Recollections of the following day are still fresh in my mind. The fish seemed frantic to get my fly. I used one as the stretcher, and it was taken almost to the utter exclusion of the other patterns above."

 

Its transition to the dry fly seemed to go well:
"The pink-bodied fly in its present form that is, tied in accordance with

my own practice has upright wings and a tail, and in appearance is not unlike the Red Spinner. It has been dubbed the "Pink Lady” by one of my friends, a name that it seems destined to carry, as it has already appeared by that name

in a tackle dealer's catalogue."

 

Here is La Branche's tie:

Pink Lady 

Wings, Medium starling or duck. 
Body, Pale pink floss ribbed with flat gold tinsel. 
Legs, Ginger or light reddish-brown hackle. 
Tail, Three whisks of same. 

and here is the fly tied in the 1920's by Wm. Mills & Son on a  #6 Long Shank Limerick hook
 
PinkLadies1298cropped_1000px_HDR.jpg

In the photo below you can see the double wing. A Pale Evening Dun is trying to work his way into the shot.
 
PinkLadies8416cropped_1000px_HDR.jpg

A close-up

PinkLadies9892cropped_1000px_HDR.jpg


#2 JoshP

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 02:35 AM

Thanks Reed! Great post and photos. After this and Eides post, I'll have to tie a couple up.

#3 Flynewbrunswick

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 12:10 PM

beautiful job on them wings.



#4 overmywaders

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 02:04 PM

Josh, 

 

I use pink silk floss, not Nylon, in order to get the bright red color when wet. And, of course, the tail is sufficient brown hackle fibers to float the fly.
 

IME, a good fly in #14 and #16 for trout.



#5 JoshP

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 09:43 PM

Reed,


Is the Pink Lady also tied with the pheasant tippets as a tail? I've seen them listed in a pattern before and also looks like what was used in your pics.

#6 overmywaders

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 12:56 AM

Yes, Josh. I have found the golden pheasant tippet mentioned in a number of pattern books. Unfortunately, a few GP tippets can't support a hook. I use reddish-brown hackle fibers, as some others do, or beaver guard hairs.



#7 Mogup

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 05:59 AM

overmywaders thanks for the great post and ties !!!