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Allagash Al

January 18, 2010

– Howdy Folks!

This weekend I chose to step away from my computer to shake off some cobwebs after my first week of student teaching. While exciting, it has become clear that these next 14 weeks will be a test not only of my intelligence but of my patience and maturity. Because of this I chose to limit my technological activities and get back to the basics for a few days. Luckily for all of you, the basics included a productive and personally rewarding evening of fly tying.

"The Allagash Al" as tied by Benjamin Rioux

Classic streamers are a big part of my fly fishing focus and are usually the most productive patterns I can carry during a day on the water. Unfortunately for myself they tend to be extremely difficult to tie, especially for a novice with a $20 vise. Regardless, I finally found it in me to build up some courage to try tying a pattern that has been in the back of my mind for some time now; The Allagash Al.

I really wish I had some lengthy and exciting explanation for why I chose to tie this streamer, but I would be lying if I said it was for any reason other than a simple attraction to the name. Growing up hunting and fishing in and around the Allagash in northern Maine has helped shaped me into the sportsmen I am today. While I plan on traveling around the world fly rod in hand some day, the Allagash will always stay number 1 in my heart. Far past picturesque scenery and abundant wildlife, something in the atmosphere always seems to put my mind at ease when I venture out on it’s remote ponds to cast for native brook trout.

Surprisingly enough, carefully crafting the Allagash Al brought me similar comfort. While it may not be perfect, I am extremely proud of my finished product. This is classic streamer number 1 for me, but it certainly will not be the last. As long as I can keep a level head while building wing assemblies I can say with confidence that I will gradually improve at crafting these large streamers. Now, just a half dozen more and I should be ready for the Spring salmon run!

"The Allagash Al" as tied by Benjamin Rioux

A big thanks goes out to Bob Petti and the Global Fly Fisher crew for providing the inspiration and visual representation for this pattern. The article “Stewart and Leeman’s Lost Flies” has long been one of my favorites, and I hope to some day tie every streamer on that list. While I will probably never get my hands on a copy of their famous book “Trolling Flies for Trout and Salmon” I am exited to have such a comprehensive reference for these all but forgotten classic patterns. Below is the materials list as it appears in the GFF article. Enjoy!


Thread: Black
Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
Rib: Oval Silver Tinsel
Wing: Red Bucktail over which is four ginger colored Furnace hackles
Throat: Short Red Marabou, beard style
Cheek: Jungle Cock

Tight lines!


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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Paul permalink
    February 8, 2010 4:56 pm

    Ben, you might try searching your library network for the Stewart & Leeman book. I found it at the Andover, MA library and have it at home now. Try this site to start:

    Good luck!

    BTW, nice fly.

  2. streamertyer permalink
    January 21, 2010 12:18 pm

    Nice article Ben, and the streamer is lookin’ good!

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