The Guide’s Special Streamer Tutorial

Words and images by Partridge ambassador Scott Biron

PRO-Team member Scott Biron provides us with a tutorial for tying the Guide’s Special Streamer.

The Guide's Special Streamer, tied by PRO-Team member, Scott Biron
The Guide’s Special Streamer, tied by Scott Biron.

This fly is one of those simple patterns that has an interesting history and has produced for years.  The following history is a combination of what I have read and have been told by individuals who have a connection to Jim Warner and Lake Winnipesaukee.

Jim Warner use to tie and sell many of these Guide’s Specials.  He was given the pattern by a very popular local guide on the lake Glenn Morrill of Alton, NH.  The color combination of this fly when wet and the materials blend together closely imitate the coloring of a smelt.  One other pattern the Babbs Ghost has similar colors in it.  Jim created the Babbs Ghost and today it is still very effective. 

Little is known about who created the Guides Special, which is consistent with how many of these fly patterns got passed down from angler to angler.  I’ve personally used this pattern with success and tied it for anglers fishing in New England all reporting back that they caught fish with it.

Guide’s Special Recipe:

Hook:Partridge Heritage Streamer Hook #2-6 (7X or 9X)
Body:Double wrapped flat silver tinsel.
Belly:Long blue bucktail.
Wing:Long red bucktail with four slim Ewing yellow saddle hackles over bt.

The Guide’s Special Streamer Tutorial


Step one:

Lay down a solid base of thread.


Step two:

Tie in the flat silver tinsel in the front and coat the thread base with head cement.


Step Three:

Wrap the tinsel to the rear of the fly covering all of the thread base using edge wraps. Then wrap the tinsel forward and tie it off.


Step Four:

Allign the tips of the blue bucktail before tying it in. Once aligned tie it in under the Shank. Use three moderatley tight wraps then increase the tension as you wrap the ends in towards the eye. This is done to minimise the flaring of the bucktail.


Step Five:

Align the tips of the red bucktail before tying it in and repeat the same process to tie it in to the top of the shank. At this point I will add some thinned out head cement to ensure the ends are securely in place.


Step Six:

Choose four slim yellow saddles, here I am using Ewing Saddles. Measure these and size them all the same length. I put a small amount of Tear Mender on the stem just above the tie in spot and then place the second feather on it making sure the feather tips are aligned. The Tear Mender will make a solid waterproof wing. This is done for each pair of feathers.


Step Seven:

Wax your thread and then tie the wing in on top of the red bucktail. Make sure the wing is centered on the shank of the hook and that the tips are all even. Once you are satisfied you can trim the waste stems off.

8 take 2 1

Step Eight:

Build a nice tapered head and whip finish the fly twice. I always put several coats of head cement on these streamers. The first two soak into the thread and make these flies cery durable.

Scott A Biron

Scott Biron cut his teeth learning to tie flies and fly fish back in the 1960s in the North County of New Hampshire. He has fished many of the streams North of Route 26 in NH and his beloved Androscoggin River. Scott is an active fly tying instructor for NH Fish & Game and is popular tying and instructing in national, international and regional shows. He was awarded a 2017 NH Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant and studied fly tying including Traditional New England Streamer patterns and progressed to Classic Salmon Flies. Since then he has become a Master Artist in the Traditional Arts Program. He had an apprentice working under him during 2021.
Scott has a strong interest in historical NH fly tyers and their lost patterns and has published, researched, instructed as well as demonstrated many of these lost NH fly patterns. He enjoys instructing individuals of all ages in the art of fly tying and is known for including the history of these tyers and their flies in his instruction. Scott is considered an expert on large group instruction and offers dozens of classes year round. Each year he is an volunteer instructor at NH Fish & Game's Camp Barry's Fish Camp where he instructs over 50 campers in fly tying and fly fishing. Scott is a member of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild, an Ambassador for the American Museum of Fly Fishing.  He is a regular contributor to the Fly Dressers Guild Journal and the NH Wildlife Journal.  Scott is on the Partridge of Redditch, Sprite Hooks, Cortland, Riversmith and Ewing Feather Birds Pro Teams.  He is on the Ambassador Pro Team for HMH Vises. Ewing has come out with a signature series line of feathers under Scott’s name.

New London, New Hampshire USA

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