The Martin is a nice colorful pattern that uses Gray or Bronze Mallard for the wing. There are many wet fly patterns that use a matched & married wing for the tail which the Martin has. This fly is also in Ray Bergman’s book Trout, it is on plate no. 5 and the recipe is on page 437. I like to include this information (when I can) in case anyone wants to look at the original fly and recipe to compare it to what or how it is tied today. Often recipes for fly patterns that were written over a hundred years ago will call for a material that is unavailable today. As well, the fly can develop over time to be tied in a different manner than originally designed which in many case has simply improved the pattern. As mentioned, the Martin utilized either Bronze Mallard or Gray Mallard flank for the wing. I chose Bronze Mallard as I have done a number of videos using and discussing the Gray Mallard. I chose to tie the Martin on a larger hook for a couple of reasons. First, I plan on swinging this fly for local Smallmouth Bass this season. Our local water get a significant algae bloom in them through the summer. If the water is low and it has not rained in a while visibility is only a couple of feet. Otherwise, often the visibility is only a foot and I think the Martin will do well in this “cloudy” water. As well I think the colors will work well in our waters. The second reason, is I wanted to use goose quill for the tail rather than duck. On a larger size hook, even a size 8, I would have not gotten many tails out of duck quills. Goose quills would have still worked on a smaller hook but they allowed me to also move to a larger hook. I could also use a larger Mylar tinsel with a size 6 hook. Thus, I could use the #14 Danville Mylar tinsel for both the tip and the ribbing. The Martin is a fun fly to tie. It does take a few more minutes to tie as matching up the yellow and black goose quill for the tail takes some time. Plus, you will go through the Bronze Mallard fairly quickly as you can only get about three nice wings out of each pair of feathers. Keep that in mind when you determine how many Martins you want to tie. One thing I wanted to point out about the recipe and the painting of the Martin on Plate No. 5, the painting seems to show the tail with Black over the Yellow instead of the other way around. The recipe simply states that the Yellow and Black “alternate”. I tied this one based on one that Don Bastian tied for Hatches Magazine about ten years ago. You can still find the pattern on the Wayback Machine, just follow this link. I mention this because I did not find any other information on the Martin when doing some research. If anyone knows anything about this fly I would be interested in learning it’s history as well as the question of the tail; is it black over yellow or yellow over black? – Enjoy.
|Danville 6/0, Black & White
|Danville Mylar Tinsel, Gold, #14
|Goose Quill, Yellow over Black
|Danville Mylar Tinsel, Gold, #14
|Danville 4-Strand Rayon Floss, Yellow
|Bronze Mallard Flank or Gray Mallard Flank
Links above are to affiliate products mentioned in this post. If you purchase any of these products through the affiliate link it helps Dressed Irons. Thanks in advance!
If you would like to purchase some Martin wet flies there are a number for sale (while supplies last).
If you haven’t yet, sign up for the Dressed Irons newsletter to stay up to date well as receiving more details about what’s happening. The sign up form is on the right of this page!
As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!
Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.