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 Post subject: Are they the same...
PostPosted: November 30th, 2018, 10:13 pm 
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The West Branch Caddis and Nancy's Prayer are they the same or different. Also what is the wing material. I found a recipe for the WB Caddis tied by Eddie Reif in "Flies For Trout" that calls for Mallard breast feather. Have also heard descriptions and watched a video that used Wood Duck.

Ron

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: November 30th, 2018, 11:14 pm 
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As I recall, likely from reading here... the caddis is hackled and has a mallard breast wing... the Prayer has a dubbed head, and a wood duck breast wing (with the white tip). I think of one as a dry and one as an emergent, I heavily doubt if the wing difference is valuable to to fish?

I do have a hard time sourcing the woodduck breast feathers. Any hunters/suppliers out there?

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 1st, 2018, 7:46 am 
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As I understand it, Tim is spot on. Al is probably the top authority on here of the differences.......I’d bow to his expertise on this matter.

Dave M

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 1st, 2018, 8:45 am 
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As I understand them, both are emerger patterns, with the hackle on the WB Caddis tied wet fly style.

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 1st, 2018, 9:11 am 
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Everyone has it right. Eddie's Caddis is lightly hackled and originally used a mallard chest feather tied downwing. Nancy's Prayer, named for Nancy Pray who owned a store on the West Branch, has no hackle, uses a male wood duck chest feather and the head can be just thread or a little dubbing. Both flies have a dubbed body and through the years we've tied it with various colors and materials.

A little background on the fly. We were staying in a cabin at Nancy's in the late 80's. An older guy name Bill Vieo worked for Nancy doing odd jobs. He also tied flies for Nancy and one was the wood duck Caddis. We tied them as well and immediately had great success with the pattern. I asked Bill and Nancy what the fly was called but they simply called it the caddis. I thought the fly needed a better name and Nancy's Prayer was born. Later after talking with Ken Allen at the Maine Sportsman we learned it was really a variation of the West Branch Caddis.

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 1st, 2018, 9:44 am 
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Nice! Now... the $1mm question from my original response... anyone got a Drake Woodduck this season? I don’t mind buying their flank feathers ($$$$), but those breast feathers are hard to find

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 1st, 2018, 10:03 am 
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TGIF wrote:
Nice! Now... the $1mm question from my original response... anyone got a Drake Woodduck this season? I don’t mind buying their flank feathers ($$$$), but those breast feathers are hard to find


There was a time when we could buy complete Wood Duck skins for fairly cheap. Alvin Theriault used to sell us just the necks for $2-3 each. However about 10 or so years ago the States started to pay attention to the Migratory Bird Act which clearly prohibited the sale of full skins. Suddenly getting a skin from a fly shop became very difficult. It's even illegal for an individual to sell a skin but skins can be given away and individual plucked feathers can be sold. Alvin sells chest feathers by the dozen for a couple of bucks. Of course getting a full skin from a hunter buddy is the best way to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 1st, 2018, 11:08 am 
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Thanks for the clarification. I'll have to see if my niece can get me some mallard. I have a full (minus discrete plucking) wood duck mount, my brother bought at auction for $.50.

Ron

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 1st, 2018, 11:48 pm 
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Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
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TGIF wrote:
Nice! Now... the $1mm question from my original response... anyone got a Drake Woodduck this season? I don’t mind buying their flank feathers ($$$$), but those breast feathers are hard to find


None for me this year, although I did get one last season and have a bag of chest feathers... and flank feathers of course. But the chest feathers I plucked dont have the distinctive white tip, perhaps I plucked from the wrong part of the chest. I would have skinned it but I was in a hurry.

Tim, I'll send you some of what I have, I'm sure they'll fish just fine, but you won't have the proper white tip.

Peter

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2018, 8:47 am 
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The white spots on the chest of this male Woody are the feathers that make a Nancy's Prayer a Nancy's Prayer instead of a West Branch Caddis - at least that's the way I've always understood it.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2018, 9:03 pm 
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Dryfly,
It is the white tipped feather you prefer for the Nancy's isn't it?
And how many feathers do you use for the wing? One, two ...


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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2018, 10:34 pm 
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Mike Holt wrote:
Dryfly,
It is the white tipped feather you prefer for the Nancy's isn't it?
And how many feathers do you use for the wing? One, two ...


Mike. Yes, the flies we first saw years ago had a wood duck feather with the white tip. Now whether or not the white tip is crucial is open to debate. Clearly the white tip suggests the open space between the two caddis wings. However Eddie Reif's West Branch Caddis used mallard w/o a white tip and it seems to have been a popular fly anyway.

Why did Nancy and Bill Vieo choose that feather over others available? Don't know for sure but It might have had something to do with Alvin Theriault, the area warden then, having a complete fly tying supply shop in his basement just 200 yds up the road from Nancy's store and cabin. And given the preference then for WD Flank feathers he had split the necks from the flanks. And as no one was looking for neck feathers then they were dirt cheap.

BTW Bill's flies were tied using muskrat for the dubbing.

As for wing count I always use two if I have a good supply. And thanks to Mike I do.

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2018, 11:07 am 
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dryflie wrote:
Why did Nancy and Bill Vieo choose that feather over others available? Don't know for sure but It might have had something to do with Alvin Theriault, the area warden then, having a complete fly tying supply shop in his basement just 200 yds up the road from Nancy's store and cabin. And given the preference then for WD Flank feathers he had split the necks from the flanks. And as no one was looking for neck feathers then they were dirt cheap.


And that right there is one of the many reasons I enjoy this site. A little bit of history too easily forgotten. Thank you Dryflie.

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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 6th, 2018, 8:09 am 
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Joined: December 11th, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris...
When you guys are done gathering your wood duck feathers make sure you tie me up a dozen. Bruce Eaton tied a mean Nancy's Prayer and I got a dozen from him years ago that I fished often and quite successfully. It was a sad day when I broke off the last one.

I did fish with the famous Chub Master, Don Lynch, on the Mag one early June and watched him catch two beautiful fish - one brookie and one salmon both around 18 inches. Tim and Hunter were hogging the pool and catching some small fish on grey elk hair caddis and Don, ever the gentleman, took a spot above the Clarks Crossing bridge as to not disturb those two guys. He was dead drifting a Nancy's Prayer under the bridge and stripping it back up. I think those two fish came on his first three or four casts and then Don came over to me, handed me a Nancy's Prayer and said, "go try this". It became one of my favorite flies from that point on and again, I was lucky to get a dozen from Bruce some time later.

Ken


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 Post subject: Re: Are they the same...
PostPosted: December 6th, 2018, 8:48 am 
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Joined: October 29th, 2007, 12:00 am
Posts: 422
Location: Vassalboro Me. USA
Dont be afraid to mix them up some
These well chewed N.P 's are survivors of last season. I like to tie a bunch in non traditional style.
"Hy Bred Nancys Prayer" :lol: Z lon shucks ,Harline ice dub bodies in different flavors can really make the day!


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