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Tie the Perfect Adams

Dette’s Delaware Adams

The First Family of Catskill Fly Tiers—Walt, Winnie, and today, Mary Dette—has tied flies for both anglers and collectors for decades. Those of us fortunate enough to have acquired some original Dette patterns have never known for sure which of the three tiers made the flies; that was the way they wanted it. It was kind of a “share the wealth” attitude. One of the most popular flies in their repertoire is the Delaware Adams. The “Del” is almost stately and elegant in appearance. The addition of an olive dubbed body, wrapped with a grizzly hackle, sets this version apart from the original.

DELAWARE ADAMS

Hook: Tiemco TMC100, sizes 16 to 10.
Thread: Black 8/0 (70 denier).
Wings: Grizzly hen neck feathers.
Tail: Brown and grizzly hackle fibers.
Body: Olive Superfine or a similar dry fly dubbing.
Rib: Fine gold wire.
Body hackle: Grizzly rooster neck feather.
Hackle: Brown and grizzly rooster neck feathers

Tying the Delaware Adams

Making the Female Adams

Variations of the Adams appeared on the angling scene in the 1930s. The wings on the early Adams were tied over the front of the hook, and the tail was a few golden pheasant tippet fibers. Eventually, upright divided wings were added and the tippet tail was replaced with mixed brown and grizzly hackle fibers. Leonard Hallady made the first Female Adams, but little else is known about the fly. It was tied to represent an egg-laying aquatic insect that often has a pronounced bright egg sac. The egg sac and fully spent wings made it a popular variation. I have used the Female Adams as a mayfly spinner, but I opt to use a rusty brown body more indicative of the color of most mayfly spinners. I also trim the hackle on the bottom so the fly floats flush in the surface film.

FEMALE ADAMS

Hook: Tiemco TMC100, sizes 16 to 12.
Thread: Black 8/0 (70 denier).
Tail: Brown and grizzly hackle fibers.
Egg sac: Yellow Superfine or a similar dry fly dubbing.
Body: Gray Superfine or a similar dry fly dubbing.
Wings: Grizzly hen neck feathers.
Hackle: Brown and grizzly rooster neck feathers

Tying the Female Adams

 


Dennis Potter hails from Michigan, where he spends a great deal of time at his home on the storied Au Sable River. Dennis is a pattern designer, author, and instructor. To learn more about his flies and other activities, check out his website, www.riverhouseflyco.com.

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