When I was in graduate school at Rutgers a long time ago, my favorite fishing spot was the Ken Lockwood Gorge in High Bridge, New Jersey. People talk a lot of smack about the Garden State, making fun of the industrial corridor that you see from the Turnpike, but there are many beautiful areas to be found, especially to the west. When you’re in the gorge, the peaceful landscape and gorgeous, freestone South Branch of the Raritan River make it hard to believe that you’re just an hour from New York City. And there are some dandy trout to be caught, as well. I have a very fond memory of landing a fat, 16-inch brook trout on a Kaufmann’s Stone in the gorge on Opening Day 1993. At the time, it was the largest brookie I had ever caught.
The gorge is named for Kenneth Lockwood (d. 1948), who wrote the “Out in the Open” a column on fish and game in the Newark Evening News for many years. He was a tireless conservationist, and according to his obituary in the New York Times:
He was a former president of the Fish and Game Conservation League, a trustee of the New Jersey Audubon Society, former national director of the Izaak Walton League of America and was twice elected to the presidency of the Rod and Gun Editors Association of Metropolitan New York. . . .Another of his posts was that of advisory board member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
In this great video from Tightline Productions, Tim Flagler demonstrates how he ties a handsome, sparse bucktail streamer named for Lockwood. As usual, Flagler’s lesson is full of great tricks, and I especially dig the way he cords and uncords the thread to get very different effects on the fly’s body. This looks like a great fall pattern that will work for a variety of species.
Ken Lockwood Streamer
Hook: 6X-long streamer hook (here a Lightning Strike ST5), size 10.
Thread #1/body: Red, 6/0 or 140-denier.
Rib: Silver Mylar tinsel, extra small or small.
Thread #2: Black, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Wing: Black bucktail.
Throat: White or light gray saddle hackle.
Head: Tying thread.
Adhesive: head cement.
5 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie the Ken Lockwood Streamer”
The Ken Lockwood Bucktail, was still widely tied and sold in the Catskill shops as far back as I can remember. My dad and I regularly fished the fly in the late 1960’s on many New York State streams; it was his favorite.
I’m not trying to plug anything here, but in a new book that I completed and submitted (but in process) titled “Tying and Fishing Bucktails, and other hairwings, steelhead flies to Atlantic salmon flies” there’s an old photo of my dad, from 1958, with a nice catch of browns he took on the Ken Lockwood Bucktail on Oriskany Creek. There’s also a great example of the pattern, largely introduced by Rube Cross’s classic book “Tying American Trout Lures (1936), featured in his Bucktails chapter. Readers might also be interested to read about a few other oldie but goodie Bucktails.
Like many Bucktails, and all trout flies, there’s variations here and there. The original described by Cross was tied with white hair from a whitetail deer tail. I’m sure Phil’s example will also take fish. And thank you, Phil, for reminding readers of the fly.
And one other tidbit (and not in anyway trying to take away anything from Phil’s beautifully tied fly). The Ken Lockwood Bucktail belly was tied with the white deer hair extending all the way to the rear, well beyond the hook bend and equal to the length of the dorsal black deer hair. Cross’s book has sketches of how the Bucktails were tied, including the Ken Lockwood.
Thank you again, Phil, for such a nice story
Would that I were such a lovely tier. . .All credit for the fly and the video go to Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions. Thanks for the history, Mike!
Thanks for the clarification on the original Ken Lockwood pattern. This derivation was shown to me by the late Chally Bates who would tie them for Shannon’s Fly and Tackle shop in Califon, NJ. Chally was a member of the Catskill Fly Tiers Guild, knew the Gorge like the back of his hand and was just an all around great guy who was happy to share what he knew. He tied a number of patterns like this that were kind of stripped down, guide style, versions of the originals.
Again, thanks for the information on the original pattern. Looking forward to your new book.
quite close to a doc spratley.