Tying 6 Classic Fly Patterns From Illustrations

Words and images from Partridge Ambassador Fred Klein

Partridge of Redditch Ambassador Fred Klein explores six classic fly patterns from Charles F. Orvis’s  historic Fishing with the Fly.

The Silver Doctor, Kennedy, Harlequin, Mitchell, Inver Green and Blue Doctor, tied on a Partridge Arlington and Hutchinson Blind Eye #3
Silver Doctor     Kennedy   Harlequin     Mitchell    Inver Green     Blue Doctor

Tying the Classic Flies

Resurrecting Painted Flies

The Art of the fly has been presented in literature through oil paintings for many hundereds of years. They leap off the pages adorned in bright silk, shiny tinsel and feathers in all the colours of the rainbow.

The Harlequin tied on a Partridge Arlington & Hutchinson Blind Eye #3

The Photographed Fly

The photographed fly would not appear in low resolution until well after World War II, which leaves the classical anglers fly to be interpreted through the brush of artists. The endless volumes written in the British Isles as well as American works over the centuries documented and explained fly dressings throughout the ages. A glance into the gly wallets of our angling foregathers would reveal hackles and wet flies imitating the natural insect world and the irresistable attractor wet fly tied on larg hooks of ancient bends to be cast on the swing.

Charles Orvis and his daughter Mary Orvis Marbury published the first major works of literature on the American fly, and hired a book illustrator out of New York for the arduous task. Painting plates with over 420 flies popular in the late 1800’s, many of which remain common patterns to this day.

A page from Fishing with the Fly depticting various salmon flies in their finished state.

Classic Fly Patterns from Plate B 1892

An example of the first plate of salmon flies from Mary Orvis Marbury’s monumental work, taken from oil paintings.

The Silver Doctor

The Silver Doctor


The Mitchell


The Harlequin


The Kennedy


The Inver Green

The Blue Doctor

The Blue Doctor

The Finished Page, Ready for Display

The charms of fly-fishing have been sung in song and story from time
immemorial by the poetically giften devotees of the gentle art.

The fly-fisher is a lover of Nature, pure and simple, and has a true and just
appreciation of her poetic side, though he may lack the artist’s skill to
limn her beauties, or the poet’s genius to describe them.

Fly-fishing is, indeed, the poetry of angling.

Dr. James Henshall 1880


Fred Klein

Partridge of Redditch Ambassador

Fred is a fly-fishing historian, author and speaker. Professional fly tyer and fisher of early traditional flies and tackle.

"My journey in the pursuit of trout with the fly began over 40 years ago with a new fly rod and instructions to cast and drift a fly. What a gift it was. The woods and waters of Pennsylvania, the Appalachian Mountains and beyond have brought a life of admiration for the wildernessm forestsm wildlife and a thirst for what lies beyond the next bend in the stream and over the mountain".

Every day I find myself involved in fly fishing, trapping and hunting.
My endeavor is to pass on the techniques of traditional fly angling and dressings to the generations to come.
For tutorials, articles, video and classic fly galleries visit:

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