I recently found out that YouTube has a section on my channel (and others) called ‘Community’. Maybe it has always been there and I just did not notice it; which is very possible. However, upon it’s discovery I posted a photo of the Bouncer that I did a few weeks ago to just see how the system works and to see if it is something I might utilize moving forward. To my surprise I received a comment from someone within an hour or so. In going back and forth he mentioned he likes the wet flies and would like to see me tie a White Miller. I have tied other White Miller flies before, mostly dry fly patterns for the White Miller hatch but never the wet fly version. So, the White Miller wet fly is this weeks fly because of this request and because as I researched the fly discovered some very interesting history on this very (very) old pattern. The version that I tied for the video is from Ray Bergman’s Trout; page 449 on plate #9. I mention this because the recipe does not have a tail on it. A quick search of the Internet and you will see many versions that do have a tail. As I did more research into the fly I discovered that most of the older recipes did not. The fly is mentioned in Mary Orvis Marbury’s book Favorite Flies and their Histories in two different places as well as being mentioned many more times as a favorite fly by the various anglers that submitted flies to her. On page 365 it is mentioned as “the White Miller, copied after the familiar moth, had been in use nearly ever since the time when anglers first learned to cast the delusive fly”. The version on plate EE (#214) also does not have a tail but the tag is orange floss instead of tinsel. This lead me to look up the White Miller in Paul Schmookler & Ingrid V. Sils’ book Forgotten Flies. Sure enough, the version tied by Don Bastian in the section on Bergman flies as well as the versions tied by Paul Rossman in the section on Mary Orvis Marbury do not have tales. The Bergman version has a silver tinsel tag (as in the video) but the Marbury version has a Orange floss as the tag. One has what looks like a Red thread head and the other has a Red Wool head; Red Wool is even listed in the recipe for the second version. No surprise really, for a fly that has been around “nearly ever since the time when anglers first learned to cast the delusive fly” there are bound to be a few different variations.
I wanted to tie the one from Bergman’s Trout just because it represented the simplest and most basic variation. Plus, I am able to explain a second technique for applying the tag and rib on wet lies that do not have tails. I mentioned another way in the video on the Barrington last week. The rest of the fly is pretty straight forward. I did tie this on a size 4 Mustad 339 and because of this I used Goose Quill for the wing insead of duck. This is talked about and explained in the video. As mentioned above, when searching on the White Miller I an across a number of versions that has some sort of tail applied. I did tie a few using some red Goose Shoulder and included a discussion of this in the video. I also mentioned a few variations that might be worth exploring if you decide to tie some White Millers for yourself. – Enjoy
|Danville 6/0, Black and White
|Danville Silver/Gold Mylar Tinsel, #14
|Danville Silver/Gold Mylar Tinsel, #14
|Danville 4-Strand Rayon Floss, White
|Goose Quill, White
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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.