I searched online for “supervisor, bucktail, streamer” the other day and the search results listed Don Bastian near the top – no surprise there. The first link was to a page I’ve mentioned before that deals with finding good streamer hackle. If you tie streamers I highly recommend following this link to Don’s site to read that article. There were other links to pages by Don but I’d seen them also.
Lower on the list of search results I found www.Puckerbrushflies.com. Never having visited the site I decided to take a look. To my delight it turns out Hugh Kelly, who I first met at the fly shop, has taken it upon himself to share some well known and some not so well known patterns with fellow fly tiers.
Sure enough, there was a reference to the Supervisor and Hugh was encouraging people to tie a few as bucktails just for a change of pace. But what really caught my eye was the top fly on the page – the Gravel Gertie.
William (Bill) Covey of Farmington came up with the pattern and his wife came up with the name. Paul Flagg, a fishing friend of Covey’s, was kind enough to give me two originals tied by Bill himself – they are the ones you see in the pictures. Paul gave me the flies and the story behind the name. A name picked from a casual comment by Bill’s wife.
Apparently Bill was tying and when his wife passed by the tying table she remarked, “that fly looks like Gravel Gertie’s legs” – which will mean nothing to you if you aren’t a Dick Tracy fan. But you can take my word for it Gravel Gertie wore stockings with black and white stripes. And so was borne the name.
I occasionally see a picture of the pattern and 8 out of 10 of the pictures show the black and white bands as spirals. An easy mistake to make since most patterns describe the body as “alternating black and white chenille.”
However, if someone wants to tie a “real and true” Gravel Gertie they will build the body with bands. Here’s a video that shows how you can weave a banded body on a streamer. (body weave starts at 1:30 – the full recipe is at the end of the video)