Where Did Wille Gunn Come From [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Where Did Wille Gunn Come From

12-07-2002, 09:53 PM
Garry Dog, It is also known by other names Minister's Golden or Yellow Dog.

Invented by John Wright, the son of the famous James Wright of Sprounston,
This pattern is reputed to have been born in a tackle shop where a visiting minister or preist was asked for some hair from his accompanying Golden Retriever’s tail. This was used to form part of the wing of a fly being tied in the premises. Nowadays a substitute of yellow bucktail or similar hair is used for this part of the wing. The name of the dog was supposedly Garry hence the name Garry dog. Others say it was the ministers name hence Garry’s dog.
One of Scotland's most popular flies, the Garry dog is rated in all rivers but particularly those that carry a dark peat strain.

If the Garry Dog pattern fly came from a Dog,
Where did the Wille Gunne come from?????


12-07-2002, 10:20 PM
I'll 'hush up' and let Malcom go with this one.

Willie Gunn
12-08-2002, 06:09 AM
The Willie Gunn Story,
Rob Wilson of Brora, who owned and ran the tackle shop at Brora tied some tube flies and laid them on the counter in front of Willie Gunn a local gillie. Willie chose the one that now bears his name.

I have met Rob Wilson whilst fishing the Brora he is a grand old man though now his health is now failing. Willie Gunn sadly died in 1996.


12-08-2002, 09:15 AM

Whats the story on the Lady Caroline pattern, one of my favorites?


Willie Gunn
12-08-2002, 10:30 AM
Described as a rather drab fly useful in low water. Sorry

The Lady Caroline spey fly is a traditional Atlantic Salmon fly whose roots appear to be more or less veiled in mystery. Its name derives from Lady Caroline Gordon-Lennox, who was the daughter of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon at Gordon Castle, Banffshire County, Bellie Fochabers Parish, Scotland.

Just up the road from where I live.


12-08-2002, 11:55 AM

Thanks for the information, I looked in one of my fly books which indicated the origins of the Lady Caroline pattern were unknown. So now we have the advantage of your local scottish knowledge on this fly.


12-10-2002, 01:23 PM
If anyone's interested, you can see the article and pattern picture done by Tom Duncan (pastortd) on FAOL in Archives of old flies.

Willie Gunn
12-10-2002, 01:35 PM
Can you give us a link, or be more specific. It sounds interesting

12-10-2002, 01:55 PM
Mal, check your emailbox.

12-10-2002, 02:44 PM
According to John Shewey in his book Spey Flies and Dee Flies, the Lady Caroline originanated from Geordie Shanks, who was the local gillie at Gordon castle serving three generations of the family. The rest of the history is as Malcolm stated.


12-10-2002, 02:55 PM
How do we know what the truth is ?

I will stick with the UK fly fishers on this one.

12-17-2002, 10:12 PM
A GUIDE TO SALMON FLIES by John Buckland & Arthur Oglesby, {ISBN 1 85223 246 3], published by Crowood Press in 1990, Malcom hit it on the nose.
According to the same source, the Willie Gunn is named aftyer the head keeper on the Sutherland estate.
IMHO, the history of these flies & their style is a big part of why they're so much fun to fish.
It may just be an affectation or snobbishness, but I don't own a beadhead fly, or a woolybugger.
If the fish won't hit a real fly, then i'll jst have to come back tomorrow:hehe:

12-17-2002, 10:16 PM

Thanks for the second confirmation, I can also say I don't fish with wooly buggers, nor san juan worms, but not the same for bead heads. ;).

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