by Matt O'Neal of Savage Flies: Find him on his YouTube channel at Savage Flies
We’ve talked about Wayne “Buz” Buszek on this channel before. Buz is from Visalia, California. We’ve mentioned his signature pattern, the Western Coachman, created in 1934. As well as his Kings River Caddis created sometime in the 1950s.
The pattern I’m talking about today is actually the precursor to his Western Coachman and it's called the Old Grey Mare.
Now there’s not much history to be found on this pattern. I did see one reference that this was a Buz Buszek pattern. But in Mike Valla’s book, Founding Flies, he only mentions that someone showed Buz an Old Grey Mare, and he used it for inspiration for his Western Coachman. But either way, we do know that he tied it and sold it in his shop as far back as the 1940s.
It is a cool looking pattern, and like the Western Coachman, it is truly a wet fly, but with a deer hair wing so it’s not going to be a fast sinker. In fact, it’s probably what we’d call a semi dry fly today. Meaning…after a couple of false casts, it’ll dry off and float for a second or two, and then slowly sink.
One advantage worth noting on a fly like this, is that you can fish it as a dry or a wet on the same cast. Even as a wet fly it will still be visible for a lot of your drift with this white wing.
This isn’t a difficult pattern to tie, but it’s pretty cool looking and certainly a fun one to tie.
Old Grey Mare Wet Fly Pattern Recipe
Hook: #8-12 wet fly
Tail: Red hackle fibers
Butt: Green chenille
Body: Red floss
Hackle: Brown hen
Wing: White deer body hair