Major Traherne is recognized as one of the most innovative fly tiers of all time. Major Traherne held a number of records for salmon catches in the late 1800's after fishing some of the best rivers in Ireland, Scotland, and Norway. In 1864 he caught 165 fish in fifteen days on the Namsen River in Norway, a record that still stands today and is said will never be broken.
In 1883, at the World Exhibition in London, Major Traherne won the title of best tier with an exhibit of 18 of his Salmon fly patterns. These 18 flies became the beginning of a series of articles written by George M. Kelson in the Fishing Gazette.
There are two major aspects of Major Traherne's fly patterns: First, his used only natural colored feathers and second he displayed whole feather wings in almost all of his dressings. Many of his creative dressings were the result of using leftover feathers from bird skins, where the materials for standard patterns had been used leaving them not sutable for the most of the standard patterns of the day.
Patterns like the Chatterer reveals the use of the small Blue Chatterer feathers from the head of the bird that is a leftover after the skin is plucked clean. On the lapwing the large blue Enameled Trush feather are also leftovers after standard patterns have taken the bulk of the feathers from the skin. Most feathers left are either too small or too large for traditional dressings. Major Traherne created new patterns by using these feathers instead of tying with the more traditional feathers from the skins of exoctic birds.
The use of Golden Pheasant crests as a wing material tells us that the flies were larger in size than the standard patterns of the day.
Editors Note: A beautiful poster was created using the complete collection of Major Traherne's flies tied by Denmark tier Kim Rasmussen. Bellow are a few of the flies Kim tied for the poster. Kim owns and operates the Salmon Fly shop in Denmark. Check it out you won't be dissapointed.