This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Vint Johnson’s Red Squirrel Tail Streamer.

Red Squirrel Streamer |

This is another fly my friend Jim Fisher pulled out of his collection while I visited with him earlier this year.

Vint Johnson operated The Tackle Shop in West Yellowstone, MT in the early 1930’s. He was a fly tier, mentor and guide. The Red Squirrel Tail Streamer, also known as Vint’s Special, became a popular fly in the area.

Jim Danskin purchased The Tackle Shop from Vint in 1961. Vint had been his fly fishing mentor. I’ve read where Jim was known for his friendly full service shop, guide service, and fly pattern, the Danskin Trude. A quick Google search came up empty for the Danskin Trude. Perhaps you have seen this fly?

In my copy of Trout published in 1946 by Ray Bergman, he writes about fishing the Madison River:

At the time we were there this stretch of water was not very productive to dry flies but wets and streamers were excellent. The fish didn’t give a darn for any of the patterns in my box but were particularly attracted to a Royal Coachman streamer of fairly large size – about a No. 4. Don Martinez of California tied the ones I used. He didn’t think much of them as fish getters himself but finally he had to admit that they did take fish, especially when Vint Johnson and Scotty Chapman of West Yellowstone both proved they did, even when other patterns failed.

Trout by Ray Bergman – page 130

I really don’t fish streamer fly patterns very often because I enjoy dry fly fishing so much. On occasion, I’ll toss one for Bull Trout in my home waters, the Metolius River. If I don’t see dry fly action during our Montana fly fishing road trips I might tie one on to fish the Big Hole. There are some seriously large trout in that river that hit streamers.

I’m changing my sign-off these days due to the coronovirus…

Stay home…stay safe!

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