The Supervisor


This is the Supervisor streamer. This is another example of an old Maine streamer that is not only famous but continues to fish well. Originated by Maine Game Warden Supervisor Joe Stickney in 1925, this smelt imitation is colored a bit differently than other Maine streamers. And that’s the reason you should have this streamer in your wallet. The waters you fish in vary from location to location and that changes the way light is refracted and thus how the color looks to the predator. Chartreuse is a good example. I’ve never seen a chartreuse baitfish, but it works well. When this color is a few feet deep in the right colored water it comes close to the green sheen seen on some baitfish. There are times when a different color scheme seems to be what it takes to get a strike, not to mention that it pays to use a fly that the fish haven’t seen a several times already that morning.

When tying this fly notice that the tail is wool, tied short. This is a slender baitfish imitation; resist the temptation to tie in a big bunch of red fur. Use only a small bunch of white bucktail for the under wing, if you use too much it will bulk up the fly and change the action. The blue wing feather is a light blue called appropriately enough, “supervisor blue”. The green cheek feather should be about 1/3 the length of the wing. I find it is a lot easier to position this feather if I put a small drop of cement at the juncture point, just behind the thread wraps. You can maneuver it into position with your fingers and the cement will dry it into place. Five strands of peacock herl topping is a traditional way of imitating the iridescent green of a baitfish back and nothing does it better. The topping should extend to the end of the wing. The Jungle Cock eye is optional and expensive, I include it because it is traditional and I believe eyes work. You can leave it off, use a substitute or paint eyes on the head.

Recipe for The Supervisor

Thread — Black
Hook – 8X streamer, size 4-8
Tail – Red wool, short
Body—Silver Mylar
Ribbing –Silver
Throat –White hackle fibers
Wing—Blue saddle over small bunch of white bucktail
Cheek—Green saddle, 1/3 length of wing
Topping—Peacock herl
Eyes- Jungle Cock

If you are inclined, you can tie a bucktail version of this fly, it wouldn’t be the first time that has been done. Keep the color scheme in mind and remember that less is more on this fly.

That’s the Supervisor streamer. This is an old fly, very well respected and like some others I’ve written about, you don’t see a lot of them. That’s a shame because this streamer will catch fish. If Joe Stickney’s name seems familiar, it’s because he is also the originator of the Warden’s Worry. You could do a lot worse than to have both of these famous Maine streamers tucked away in your trolling box.

About PuckerbrushFlies

Fly fishing father
This entry was posted in Fly patterns and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Supervisor

  1. Dave Hopkins says:

    Reading an article you posted on the Woods Special. You mentioned Joe Sterling told a story in American Fly Tyer magazine about developing this fly. I will explain why I would love to have a copy of that article if you would be so kind.

    I have a passion for tying flies and fishing. I have a buddy who started MACS Trading Post in Houlton. He had bought out Brown’s Trading Post when he started. Brown’s had bought out Joe’s Tackle Shop when Joe died. I have several blanks (single and tandem hooks that have the bodies and tags/tails tied) ready for Joe’s Smelts and Woods Specials. I just need to add the wings, hackle etc. I believe they are leftover from production runs from Joe Sterling. I would like to make a shadow box with that article and a couple Woods Specials. Any chance you could copy the article and send it to me?

    • Hi, I still have that magazine article and would be happy to send you a copy. I moved a week ago and everything is in boxes so please be patient and when it surfaces I’ll contact you and send it along.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s