Kenny Abrames Philosophy [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Kenny Abrames Philosophy

04-03-2001, 08:53 AM
After seeing Nate's superb creations at the casting clave, I went out and bought the book (A Perfect Fish). The application of traditional wet-fly techniques to the saltwater environment and Kenny's philosophy behind fly design have really got me thinking. I am now more determined than ever to take the Spey techniques to the Canal.

Lamentably,I missed the Abrames presentation at the Marlborough show but recall that they had an amazing selection of saddle capes in all the various shades.

Does anyone recall the source of these materials, also some of the bucktail shades I've not seen on the shelves of the local fly shops?

04-03-2001, 09:16 AM

The Salt Water Edge in Newport is the source for the Abrames saddles, and they may have the bucktail colors called for in the patterns. In the "What's New?" area on the side bar of this board, there is an area about the SaltWater Edge fly-tying fair.


04-03-2001, 09:45 AM
Thanks Greg. I'll have to call in there on my way to the RI Early Bird!

04-03-2001, 09:52 AM
I agree - there is a recipe in the archive <!--http--><a href="" target="_blank">HERE</a><!--url--> posted by Bob Pink Jr. for your tying pleasure.

As another person who has tied salmon and steelhead flies like you, I felt the same sense of connection between the Abrames flies and classic ties.

04-03-2001, 03:58 PM
Adrian, I heard Ken is doing an all day presentation in Duxbury on April 21st. I guess the details are at home, I'll post them later tonight.

04-03-2001, 04:26 PM
Hi Jim

Thanks for the heads-up. I did a quick search and came up with Baymen Flyfishing (Capt. Dave Bitters) at:

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Nathan Smith
04-04-2001, 08:40 AM
Kenny really draws alot from wetflies presentations from At. Salmon and Steelhead fishing. THose razel Dazels that you where looking at aren't designed to be striped but drifted as you would a wetfly. I am really excited about using this type of preso and I think it is going to be very effective in strong current areas like the canal or the the bass river. I think Adrian is right that this would be further amplified with the use of a spey. At the clave we where talking about the flies and I said that I would rather have a fly that was half realistic if I could present it to fish for twice as long. I really think this is true. Add this to Kenny thoughts on realism verse impressionism is true. That in these situations it is more important to have a fly that presents an impression of the color and movement of the fish rather then a fly that looks just like the fish. Together these represent a completely different approach to fishing in moving water situations

However if we are talking flats or open water throw all this away. It is completely different. In these situations the rules are different. Controlled movement are very important. Here you created life in the fly by the way you strip it. Jigs flys like clousers rule here.

04-04-2001, 10:27 AM
Good points Nathan. The advantages of the Spey technique are the ability to throw a fly where a normal backcast is impossible owing to high river banks or Joggers on the Canal path. The long rod also asists in extending the duration of the presentation.

I've been thinking about the flats as well but employing a very different approach. I've experienced several situations where bonefish have nailed a "static" fly when other presentations were either ignored or greeted with a rapid departure. Whenever I watch small shrimps or crabs in shallow water, whilst they appear to be static, close inspection shows there's always some very subtle movement in response to the surrounding current. The keys are water movement, which is present on the flats pretty much all the time, and highly mobile materials like arctic fox and marabou.

Now, presentating a static fly on the bottom is a bit tangential to trad. wetfly techniques, but I think the essence of creating an impression of life still applies. I remember watching stripers tailing at North Monomoy a couple of years ago and wishing I had my bonefish flies with me when they completely ignored the king size deceivers I was armed with. At the time I thought they were digging out crabs but subsequently learned that they were picking up sandeels. Reading Ken's book brought that experience back. I've not done enough observation to know what particular feature these stripers were keying in on. Was it movement or scent? If movement, then there's an opportunity.

Any ideas?

The opportunity to present an offering to a tailing fish, fool it and experience the visual take is, for me at least, one of the highest forms of the art, saltwaters answer to dry fly on the chalk streams.

How about it? I can't wait to get back out there!