The Black Ghost

My favorite memory of streamer fishing is fishing the Black Ghost on the Peaquest with my father back in the 60's and early 70's. This was back when I was young and still could be given advice on how to fish. We were just downstream of what is now the Hatchery Conservation Stretch. I caught a few, but my Dad as usual could do no wrong, catching fish after fish with the Black Ghost. Spin fishermen were walking away mumbling to themselves

He showed me the method of casting quartering downstream, and as the fly straightened out in the current, stripping it in with a short 4"-6" pull on the line. The trout seemed to wait for this retrieve to nail the fly, as it tried to swim upstream away from them. Over the years I got better, but could never equal Dad's magical performance with the Black Ghost.

This streamer although an old pattern, still has something to show us in the way trout and other predators see baitfish. Like newer patterns, its black body immitates the prominent dark back and spine of small minnows, immature trout and other fish that live in most area streams and rivers. This I feel is significant as most of such small prey fish are almost transparent except for the spine, if you take time to analyze such things. Try to catch, study and release these baby fish with a small net as the opportunity arises , when you are on the stream ( more about this in a later issue.)

Researching the Black Ghost, I have found that it has been regarded highly among many. Eric Leiser's Book of Fly Patterns devotes a 3 page pictorial to it as his streamer of choice in the book's demo section. The formula as follows is from Mr. Leiser's Book

Hook: Mustad 9575 #4-12
Thread : Black
Tail: Yellow hackle fibers, gap width
Rib: Flat silver tinsel
Body: Black floss
Throat: Yellow hackle fibers beard style
Wing: 4 White saddle hackles 1/2 shank length past bend
Cheeks: Jungle cock eye
Head: Black

Dedicated to my Dad.T. Ferfecki Sr. 1920-1999