Calling All Fly Tying Historians... - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question Calling All Fly Tying Historians...

I'm doing some research on the history of sculpin patterns. There's plenty out there on the Muddler, of course. I'm having a harder time locating the origins of the wool head and rabbit strip wing/tail style. The earliest rendition I can find is Mike Kinney's Steelhead Woolhead...But I wonder, was there a predecessor? If so, who tied it and when? What was it called? Or is this a case of several originators acting independently coming up with the same thing at around the same time?

If Kinney was the first - or even the first to make the style well or widely known - when did he originate the Steelhead Woolhead? The first time I saw the pattern was in H. Kent Helvie's book "Steelhead Fly Tying Guide" (1994), so I know it probably goes back to at least the 1980's.

Any info is greatly appreciated!

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 07:33 PM
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Don Gapen (Gappen?) designed and tied the original muddler I believe. I'm looking forward to hearing more on this one.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 02:56 PM
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Muddler history

I have just been looking at a publication from Winter 1983 where Dan Gapen explains how his father Don came up with the muddler pattern. In the article he states that his father came up with the pattern over 45 years ago . That is 45 years back from 1983 making it at least 80 years old . It was his copy of the "cockatush" minnow (sculpin). He fished it in the Nipigon intending to catch trophy brook trout .
Mine is a photocopy of the article giving "Trout " as the only clue to the publication .
The article is a good read and left me with a tear in my eye as I remembered the many hours I spent fishing with my father and using the flies he invented.
If anyone can shed any light on the magazine it would be nice to share.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 04:59 AM
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well it's not winter 1983 fly tyer... but you made me look.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 10:21 AM
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I suggest you contact Dave Whitlock - he has a website. Contact -*Dave & Emily Whitlock
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