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Mornin’ Coffee: Like Mike

September 16, 2009

– I know the photo quality sucks, but with no real camera to my avail I had to use the only camera I had, my cellphone.

What your looking at (or squinting at depending on your age) is a classic streamer pattern commonly known as the Dr. Burke. Some of you may recognize this fly as the one Mr. Mike Martinek Jr. tied for me at the 2009 L.L.Bean Spring Fishing Expo.

For months now it has been sitting bright-eyed and bushy tailed on my computer desk/fly tying bench just beckoning for me to try, and fail. A relatively simple pattern, my hangup was more intimidation that it was inadequate skill. I was simply afraid that my attempt would suck. Alas, I grew some balls and sat down at the vice last night for the first time since mid-summer. Besides realizing that I’m completely out of head cement, I also realized that while I am still a mere novice when it comes to tying flies, I do possess a certain respectable level of skill. Go figure right?

Dr. Burke

Initially I was almost completely satisfied with the fly I had tied, until I examined in more closely in the photograph. It seems that while doing my best to mimic Mike’s pattern, I ignored one critical aspect; Scale. Mike’s version is tied on a much larger hook, yet I managed to build a fly that was almost identical in size. After some quick questions to a few locals, and a little head scratching, I decided that the best way to fix the streamer was to chop the overly long wing at an angle. PRESTO!

Improved Dr. Burke

Improved Dr. Burke

The shortened up version of the fly in my opinion looks 100% better than the original. In the future it is likely that i’ll just man up and use appropriate wing lengths, but at the same time I really like the effect that the angle chopped wing has on the streamer. The tail is also a tad bit long for this particular size, but I like the way it looks so I’m keeping it as is.

Any thoughts, critiques, or criticisms are more than welcome. After all, this is a learning process for me, and I am far from a genius when it comes to tying classic streamer patterns.

Tight Lines,


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