Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bully Yellow - Bully Red

Another beauty on the Hamill's. 

 Both of these colours were used. Note the old price!

 Bob's explanation.

Dying details.

One of N.Z.'s favourites the Red Bully - Hamill's Killer.

Back in the 80's I met Robert Bragg, an English gentleman with a wealth of knowledge of fly fishing and fly tying. He created iconic N.Z. flies like Bragg's Dragon and Bragg's Blue Bottle Blowfly. These are all featured in Keith Draper's Trout Flies of N.Z.  He would often drop by the fishing store I was working in as a youngster.  We spoke about the Hamill's Killer and he penned the history for me, which I would like to share. I was lucky enough to visit his home and tackle collection which unfortunately went under the hammer after he passed away. His draws of flies that he had collected from all over the world were amazing and his fishing room was adorned with cane rods, framed lures and old reels. I can still remember the smell of the old canvas rod bags and old tackle.

Here is a little snippet about "Bob" that I found online.

Bob Bragg emigrated from England in 1939 after working for many years in fishing tackle and hook-making, and gun-smithing firms, including Cogswell and Harrison's of Piccadilly, and Ogden-Smith's of nearby St James Street - where he once met the great G.E.M. Skues, who wasn't at all impressed with the shop's nymphs. Tisdall's of Christchurch , brought Bob to New Zealand . He worked in the tackle trade in Christchruch for the next 36 years. Over this time he conducted considerable research and recorded much information about trout and salmon angling, especially fly tying and the study of the trout's food. Bob's book if beautifully illustrated with photographs of framed sample selections of various fly patterns. Many of these are dated enabling the keen fly tyer to reproduce early New Zealand patterns.

Here is a transcript of the description he gave me.

Bully Yellow - Red   ( Later named Hamill's Killer early 60's)
First batch forwarded to - 
Marlborough Sports Ltd 3.12.1951
& W.Y.M. Pakes & Son Rotorua
According to reports this pattern tied with a yellow body is one of the best when fish are feeding on Dragon fly larvae .
Dye (as Dragon Larvae)
Base Veniard Lemon yellow
follow with Veniard Brown olive.
Two pairs of partridge dyed, tyed on top of hook.
Best hook Capt Hamilton  size 8

There is no mention of the golden pheasant tippets, but these were commonly tied into the Hamill's near the tail.

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