Monday, December 7, 2009
Hook: Partridge CS10/1 size 2
Thread: rear half white 8/0 Uni, front half black 8/0 uni
Tip: silver thread
Tag: pale blue silk
Tail: topping and married strands pale yellow, golden orange, pale green swan
Butt: black ostrich
Body: in two halves: rear white silk veiled below with green Lady Amherst neck under guinea under satyr tragopan. Butted with golden pheasant topping wound as hackle and black ostrich, front half as many tiny dark green ring necked pheasant neck feathers as can be tied neatly onto the hook “Chatterer” style, veiled below with green Lady Amherst under junglecock saddle.
Rib: on rear half only; medium oval silver tinsel, two strands opalescent ‘Flashabou’ one each sideof the tinsel, one strand florescent orange # 01 ‘Crystal flash’ behind the tinsel.
Hackle: Golden pheasant crest wound as hackle under Lady Amherst crest wound same, under cobalt blue vulturine guinea wound same.
Wing: Grey peacock pheasant eyes to the tail, under green Lady Amherst pheasant neck under finely speckled guinea
Cheeks: 5 strands each florescent orange #01 and green #19 ‘Flashabou’ fanned out widely.
Topping: Golden pheasant crest
One of the distinguishing features of the boreal zone is the dark forests of larch and spruce represented in this fly by the green of the various components. This forest is occupied by various kinds of wild life, in particular various large owls, caribou, wolves, foxes, voles and mosquitoes. In this composition, the owl is represented in the wing by the large eye-spot of the grey peacock pheasant while the voles which are the prey of so many of the arctic creatures, are seen in the spotting surrounding the eye. The wolf and the fox are seen in the lower veiling as an eye-spot cunningly hidden and a flash of red, which is about all you ever get to see of the red fox usually. Caribou are seen as the fine almost tweed-like speckling in the lower veiling that is similar in colour to the pelage of the woodland caribou. These three are together on this veiling as the caribou is the prey of the wolf, and the fox follows after the wolf picking up the scraps. Both predatory species dominant over the prey, and the feathers are similarly laid over each other. Mosquitoes are suggested by the airiness of the hackles, suggestive of the dangling legs of a flying mosquito.
Over all of this of course is the night sky suggested here with guinea in the shoulder part of the wing. With clear skies the number of stars visible on an arctic night is staggering, and the finely speckled guinea seems an almost perfect mimic. With the aurora borealis in play the sight is breath-taking. Suggested in the colours of the tail, they are more played out in the cheeks and hackles which all suggest a lightness and visible colour change as can be seen watching the northern lights, especially on a frozen winters night when even the air seems to sparkle with moonlight (topping and tail) and fairly snaps with energy as suggested by the crystalflash.
The various features of the boreal zone are also seen represented again more broadly in the various parts of the fly. Water is seen in the blue of the tag, but more so frozen in glittering ice white of the rear half of the body. The dense forests are represented by the densely packed spruce green feathering of the front half of the body. The wing divides into three parts, wildlife (grey peacock eye), forests (Green Lady Amherst) and the night sky (fine speckled black and white guinea). Human impact is represented by the slash of the jungle cock saddle bisecting the green of the boreal forest, yet instead of being intrusive, it is harmonious as the relationship between the native human dwellers of the arctic has been for many thousands of years.
New materials used, Flashabou and Crystal flash.