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Parmachene Belle



'The Parmachene Belle', originated by by Henry P. Wells - one of the most famous wet flies ever. Behind the scenes in my Instagram stories | Wells was born in Providence, R.I., served in the Army 1863-65, 13th N.Y. Artillery; and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1869. He later became a Attorney in New York City, and was a well known author of fly fishing books and articles in the mid-to-late 1800s. ⠀⠀

The 'Parma bell', by his own admission, is "his own child." This fly, "born" about 1878, was named after Parmacheene Lake, in the Pine Tree State, Maine, favorite fishing locale of Mr. Wells when fishing for ouananiche [land-locked salmon]. The lake was name after Parmacheene, son of the Indian chief Metalluk. It is belived that the fly represents an trout fin. I once heard that in Newfoundland, they would cut a fin off of a caught Brookie, and midge it to a hook to use as bait for more Trout. Sounds like cannibalism i know, but that was what they did, and it worked. That is a long standing story about catching trout. Two flies imitate this failry well, the Parmachene Belle is one, and the Trout Fin is another. , They both use a fairly common formula to many trout flies, proven later by experiment, known only from experience before. The relationship of colour. Ask any old salt Brook Trout fisherman what wet flies work in the Maritimes, and he will likely tell you something with red or yellow in it, or both. In the 1950 book "The Life Story Of A Fish", by Brian Curtis, he mentions experiments done with Trout and Bass that prove what the old anglers already knew. They like red and yellow in their bait colours over anything else. The Parmachene Belle brings the two colours together with a bit of flash, and a dash of white, and has proven to be a goto fly for the early summer seatrout runs, as well as a sturdy stillwater fly.⠀⠀

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