This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Don Martinez Golden Quail.
Don Martinez (around 1903 – 1955), was born in Washington, Connecticut. His fly tying was influenced by fishing the Catskill area of New York. Martinez moved to Chicago where he was in the real estate business for a short time before moving on to San Diego and Los Angeles. While in Chicago, he travelled to Michigan to fish their rivers. It’s there he was influenced be the Adams dry fly.
In 1932 – 34, he spent summers in West Yellowstone, MT where he opened a tackle shop, which eventually ended up as Bud Lilly’s fly shop. Each winter, he returned to California and the Los Angeles area.
I also read Martinez moved to the Jackson Hole, WY area after his time in West Yellowstone, MT around World War II. During the same time, his flies could be found at Bob Carmichael’s Moose, WY fly shop.
One of his popular nymph fly patterns is the Martinez Black Nymph which was sold in Buz Buszek’s Visalia, CA fly shop.
The image above is from my friend Wayne Luallen who sent me several images of flies attributed to Buz, either from the shop or found in his fly boxes.
The link below is for Mike Valla’s book The Founding Flies where he dedicates chapter 34 to Don Martinez.
Valla quotes George Grant that Martinez was a “western dry fly master” and brought his knowledge of dry flies to Montana. Waters of the West were much different than the Catskills and he adapted patterns to float on the rougher waters.
Mustad 94840, #12-14
Golden pheasant tip
Grayish white quail breast feather
Rear, gold tinsel; front, one wrap orange chenille
Enjoy…go fish, stay safe!