flyangler

25 Year Old Ken Abrames/Saltwater Edge Flatwings

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Today while working around the house, I listened to two Seven Stripes Fishing podcasts. The first was recorded last month with Peter Jenkins of The Saltwater Edge discussing albies and stripers. The second was from this May with Joe Cordiero discussing flat wings and his relationship with Ken Abrames going back many years. That reminded me that I have a box of Abrames' patterns stored away so I decided to pull them out to check their condition. 

 

From 1994 to 2004 we owned a house on Cos Cob Harbor in Greenwich, CT. In the mid-1990s I was a fledgling fly angler with more ambition than time or talent. But I had dreams of becoming a salty fly angler so I started reading books on striper fishing, one of which was Ken Abrames' "Striper Moon". I was mesmerized by the prose, the theories on light and color, the techniques and the flies. I did not tye and had no expectations of doing so anytime soon but I needed had to have some of those flies. 

 

I am not sure how but I ended up speaking with Kenney on the phone, maybe at The Saltwater Edge. I told him my ambitions and asked that he set me up with a good selection of his flies. He did and when I received them, after studying them, I put them in a Plano storage box and there they have been for more or less 25 years. The flies moved to each of our four homes owned during that period and were always stored under air conditioning. They were never used though one of the Striper Moons has a bit of leader tied on it so I may have rigged that up at one point but I don't recall actually fishing it. It does look like it was ever wet. They went unused because I just never got into the estruary striper game and they were too "classy" to use when bluefish were around. 

 

Anyway, below you see my collection of 25 year old Abrames' flatwings. While I have no way of proving it, given the feathers used and their uniqueness back then, some of the bigger patterns may have been tied by Kenney himself or someone tying with him. The smaller flies were more conventional and could have been tied by any of the shops tyers.

 

For flies tied around the time my eldest son was born in 1995, these flies are in remarkable condition with all of the feathers intact, no signs of rot and appearing to be perfectly fishable. Most are still in their original plastic sleeves with the names written by Ken SW Edge. 

 

At this point with my living and fishing in Florida, I cannot figure out if there is a use case for them here. Will snook or jacks take these in the ocean surf?

 

What technique would work since this is not estuary fishing where the current flows do most of the work? 

 

Should I consider selling these? Is there any value beyond the current cost of similar? 

 

Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

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Edited by flyangler

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Lovely - best would be to carefully photograph w/some details, hook size, length, etc.

Hey & is the Katydid, a big & a little version ???

 

Thanks for posting ...

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2 hours ago, frazerp said:

Lovely - best would be to carefully photograph w/some details, hook size, length, etc.

Hey & is the Katydid, a big & a little version ???

 

Thanks for posting ...

Two Katydids. One is 15” fully stretched and the other is 12”. 

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Hahah I’ll trade ya any assortment of flies to catch those Florida fish like snook and Jacks for even one of those beautiful flat wings in the labeled sleeve. 

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I'd get in touch with Joe Cordiero with these photos.He could help with the I.D. As I recall Kenny was not a fan of stainless hooks.Most were tied on Eagle Claw 253s.I'll have to look in my stash of his RLS hackles and some paperwork from waaaay back when Todd Murphy was working with Kenny at the old Bears Den show at the National Guard Armory.Also,have notes from 2 all day  tying classes we had with Ken at the old Fishing The Cape shop in E. Harwich.

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1 hour ago, theshadow said:

I'd get in touch with Joe Cordiero with these photos.He could help with the I.D. As I recall Kenny was not a fan of stainless hooks.Most were tied on Eagle Claw 253s.I'll have to look in my stash of his RLS hackles and some paperwork from waaaay back when Todd Murphy was working with Kenny at the old Bears Den show at the National Guard Armory.Also,have notes from 2 all day  tying classes we had with Ken at the old Fishing The Cape shop in E. Harwich.

Joe discusses some about those early days on the 7 Stripes podcast

 

https://sevenstripesfishing.com/2020/05/20/joe-cordeiro-talks-flatwings-podcast/

Edited by flyangler

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1 hour ago, theshadow said:

I'd get in touch with Joe Cordiero with these photos.He could help with the I.D. As I recall Kenny was not a fan of stainless hooks.Most were tied on Eagle Claw 253s.I'll have to look in my stash of his RLS hackles and some paperwork from waaaay back when Todd Murphy was working with Kenny at the old Bears Den show at the National Guard Armory.Also,have notes from 2 all day  tying classes we had with Ken at the old Fishing The Cape shop in E. Harwich.

I sent an email to Joe at flat-wing.com 

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I just looked at the price of one flat wing at Joe's site, the Flat Mack which is 4-6" long and $23, geez! I recall these being pricey but whoa! Granted, this is a complex pattern with over ten feathers but have the prices of the feathers and hackles gone up that much in recent years? 

 

These flies are such works of art and tying skill is seems almost crazy to fish them for lesser species than stripers or if blues are about. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, flyangler said:

I just looked at the price of one flat wing at Joe's site, the Flat Mack which is 4-6" long and $23, geez! I recall these being pricey but whoa! Granted, this is a complex pattern with over ten feathers but have the prices of the feathers and hackles gone up that much in recent years? 

 

These flies are such works of art and tying skill is seems almost crazy to fish them for lesser species than stripers or if blues are about. 

 

 

 

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Labor !   Even if he could whip up 2 of these per hour that's less than $46 per hour once you figure in materials.   Sounds like a lot but I wouldn't do it for any cheaper.

 

HT

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1 min ago, HillTop said:

 

Labor !   Even if he could whip up 2 of these per hour that's less than $46 per hour once you figure in materials.   Sounds like a lot but I wouldn't do it for any cheaper.

 

HT

The website says 11 feathers and 45 minutes each so I get your point. They are made to order, subject to rare material availability. 
 

The podcast is interesting as he discusses sourcing proper flat wing feathers. 

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Snook are hard on flies, and not picky. White or chartreuse seaducer with some estaz will do the trick most of the time. I wouldn't waste a flatwing on them. Jacks are not picky, either, although apparently they like yellow. 

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4 hours ago, Sngl2th said:

Snook are hard on flies, and not picky. White or chartreuse seaducer with some estaz will do the trick most of the time. I wouldn't waste a flatwing on them. Jacks are not picky, either, although apparently they like yellow. 

Yes and more or less yes. Both will take an Eat Me in the right size for the bait. And the Super Hair holds up very well to the abrasive mouths involved. 
 

 

 

Edited by flyangler

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Posted (edited) · Report post

18 hours ago, flyangler said:

The website says 11 feathers and 45 minutes each so I get your point. They are made to order, subject to rare material availability. 
 

The podcast is interesting as he discusses sourcing proper flat wing feathers. 

Yep, and I've watched Joe tie on multiple occasions.   He just doesn't throw these together to get them done.   He takes his time and demonstrates a lot of pride in his work.   He's good at his craft and they are very well tied.

 

HT

 

Edited by HillTop

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Tying those fly's is the only time i've counter hairs  lol

 

had one that i made up that would crush fish here, I called it creamsicle (because it reminded me of those colored pops)

 

pale Orange, over pink, over yellow, over white

Edited by Sandflee

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