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The History of the Adams

December 7, 2018 By: Marshall Cutchin

“We’re talking about the Adams fly, arguably the most popular dry fly that’s ever been developed. It’s been tied literally millions of times over the course of its life in many different versions. I’m going to show you three versions today the most popular of those many versions that are out there.

But the first one of course we should talk about is the original.  Originally this fly was was tied by a gentleman by the name of Leonard Halladay. Leonard lived in a little community south of Traverse City called Mayfield [Michigan], and he tied this fly for a friend of his by the name of Charles Adams, who would come and fish with him on the Mayfield pond.  And so Mr. Halladay developed this fly for Charles Adams and he named the fly after him.

The fly is kind of indicative of the times: the tail feather was of golden pheasant tippet, the body was of muskrat fur that was dubbed on the thread with a little bit of wax, the wings tied up right and spent a little bit–those were the tips of Plymouth Rock rooster neck hackles. And then the hackle of the fly itself was a blend Rhode Island red, or we would call it today coachman Brown, and with another hackle which was the grizzly or the Plymouth Rock to complete the fly.”