The Blacker Compendium came about when I met Bob Frandsen on a fly tying forum. When he started posting salmon flies based on those described by William Blacker in his book The Art Of Fly Making, which was published in 1855, my friend Chuck Vestal decided the flies should be recorded and shared. Bob’s wife, Lorraine, took individual and group photos of Bob’s flies and I made the book.
We added tying instructions based on how Bob interprets Blacker’s style, comments on hooks used today and those used by Blacker, copies of original Art Of Fly Making pages, and all of the flies and recipes as Bob tied them, along with each fly recipe as described by Blacker in his own words.
Click here to see a few flies and an page from Blacker’s original book. Take note: these flies will work for all kinds of fish - I’ve hooked trout and steelhead on them - and are challenging and beautiful to tie.