This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Roxey’s Red Squirrel Tail streamer.
I was contacted by a customer in early January asking if I would tie a few streamer fly patterns someone in his family had developed many years ago. I like a challenge, so I responded with interest and he provided a couple of images and background about his great cousin whose name was Roxey Roach.
Wilbur Charles Roach (1882 – 1947) was his given name, but he went by the nickname of Rocky during an early boxing career. Later, Rocky morphed into “Roxie”.
He played baseball from 1908 – 1919 with a few years in the major leagues. Roxey played shortstop for the New York Yankees (Highlanders) in 1910 – 11, the Washington Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) in 1912 and the Buffalo Buffeds/Blues in 1915. His career ended as a player/manager for the Kentucky Colonels in Louisville, Kentucky.
For you baseball fanatics, Roxie played in 177 games, with 151 hits in 608 at bats for an overall batting average of .248.
Roxey spent the off-season back home in Pennsylvania where he owned a pool hall and bowling alley.
But his love for hunting and fishing took him to Tawas City, Michigan in 1924 to open a Ford dealership after his baseball career ended. The great depression wasn’t kind to him as he lost his dealership. His last job was working for a gypsum company.
The information provided to me states he had a fish camp on the East Branch of the Au Sable River, helping those who passed by. He was known as a prolific fly tyer and provided flies to many fly fishers without ever selling one.
The two streamer fly patterns I was asked to tie were the Roxey Gray Squirrel Tail and the Roxey Red Squirrel Tail. I was asked to tie 5 of each fly pattern.
Here are the 5 Roxey Red Squirrel Tail streamers I tied.