Dale Greenley Steelhead Flies
I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with a friend and old school fly tyer recently. Dale Greenley tied commercially for Orvis and others back in the 1970s and has fished for salmon, steelhead, sea-run cutthroat, and resident trout in a lot of places. The Umpqua might be pretty close to what he would name as his home water.
Dale has seen fly patterns slip in and out of popularity. He tied and fished with Joe Howell on the North Umpqua before it was discovered by the unwashed masses. Frank and Jeanne Moore pretty much consider Dale family.
Dale and I remember buying our materials from Herter’s. India capes. Nymo thread on 8-ounce cones. Wood clothes pins for bobbins. Mustad 94840s. And more.
Anyway, Dale and I sat at Frank and Jeanne’s kitchen table at 5 AM and tied flies. I tied my Last Shadow getting ready for a fly tying event I was preparing for. We sipped really bad coffee made palatable with a lot of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate. While I used my Petitjean magic tool, stinger hooks, and fancy new grizzly Krystal flashes, Dale tied his elegant traditional steelhead flies on Eagle Claw 1197-Bs.
Dale, in his usual modest fashion, praised my creations while we chatted, and dabbled with some of my favorite dubbing blends. As I toiled away, Dale crafted steelhead flies that are much unchanged from the once and always dependable flies he has fished on the North for close to fifty years. Frank, too, fishes these flies today, knowing that they are still effective, after all these years.
I wanted to share a photo of a few of the winter steelhead flies Dale tied last week. They are a present day reminder that the good stuff never goes out of style.