This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Andy Puyans A.P. Muskrat #2.
André “Andy” Puyans (1935-2005) was born in Garden City, NY and began tying flies at the age of seven.
He moved to San Francisco, CA in 1958 to tie flies for Abercrombie and Fitch and eventually opened his own fly shop, Creative Sports in 1971.
I found the following information which was attributed to the Creative Sports website:
“Andy started fly tying at age seven, and got his first professional fly tying order at age nine. By age twelve he was able to cast a fly and hit a Lucky Strike package at thirty five feet. He spent long hours at the New York Anglers Roost and learned his art from the Darbees, the Dettes, Art Flick, and Ray Bergman.”
As I read about Puyans in Mike Valla’s book The Founding Flies, he mentions how he tweaked flies to improve them. One of them was the well-known Goddard Caddis and Frank Sawyer’s Pheasant Tail Nymph. Valla dedicated a chapter to André Puyans, which is where I found today’s fly.
I’ve heard from my friend Jerry Criss, who knew André and was taught fly tying by him, he was a perfectionist. Jerry tells stories of him taking a razor blade or lighter to his flies because they weren’t good enough!
The A.P. Muskrat #2 nymph is one of several A.P. nymph series he created around 1961. And no, the A.P. stands for All Purpose, not his initials. Three other flies are the A.P. Black Beaver, A.P. Natural Beaver, and A.P. Peacock and Pheasant nymphs.
Puyans was recognized for his fly tying skills by receiving the FFI Buz Buszek Memorial Award in 1977.
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