The Fly Tying Thread

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Gabriel
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:03 am

beagle_fan wrote:
Now I need to start compiling materials... hate to buy a kit with a ton of stuff I'll not use, but I'm having a hard time wading through all the vocabulary and such.
As for starting materials, you can't go wrong with a few basic. Here are the materials I would start with:

a few different colors of dubbing. Soft dubbing is good for dries. Works well for caddis larvae in various colors.
pheasant tails. These are vital. I can get lots of pheasant tails if you guys want them. I will send them out if you guys want any. Just let me know.
turkey tail feathers. I can also get these for free from birds we take hunting. Not as often as pheasants though.
a few different colors of uni-thread

Do you fish nymphs or dries? My favorite patterns for nymphs are bead head hare's ears and bead head pheasant tails. I also like to tie caddis larvae both with and without a bead head. Don't discount a good yarn egg pattern either; they will absolutely slay any stocked trout and work pretty well for native brook trout / wild browns as well depending where you are. For dries, most everything I tie is on a parachute. The trout absolutely love parachute style dries. My other dries I usually buy if I need them.

The most important thing is to decide what kind of flies you want to tie, then get the materials from there. I don't have a bunch of fancy equipment, but I tie flies that take fish. I tie what I like and what I know the trout I target like. I love to talk flies, and if you guys are interested we can even get a fly swap started. Those are a ton of fun! Anyway...
beagle_fan thanks for chiming in! I live in the middle of IL, so no trout in the area. I'm generally catching largemouth, smallmouth, and rock bass; bluegill/sunnies; and small/medium carp. I have also managed to catch a few striped bass in one spot and on warm days I'll target the big carp, but so far no success.

Almost all my flies have been tied by a certain member of this forum so far, typically nymphs and streamers with a few caddis flies for catching bluegill and carp on a summer evening. I've also been dabbling with some terrestrials this fall.

So to start off I would love to learn to tie a decent clauser minnow, pheasant tail nymph, wooly bugger, and caddis fly. Obviously the sky is the limit after that. I have been setting feathers aside for a while. I have a lot of pheasant tails from my own hunting, chicken feathers from our chickens, some peacock tail feathers from a farm we used to do business with and a half dozen rabbit pelts in the freezer that I need to get around to finishing... so... I've started gathering but have a ways to go.
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:07 am

FredS wrote:I tie a lot of Clouser Minnow type flies for crappie, bass and other sunfish. Really, any fish that eats other fish will eat a Clouser Minnow. Walmart has cheap "All Purpose"hooks in packs of 20 for a buck or two. Size 6 & 8 are good choices. If I'm fishing in fast or deep water I use lead eyes made for flies, but most of the time I use "bead-chain" eyes because they're so cheap. You can buy a lifetime supply (in silver and gold) at Home Depot in the lighting department by the ceiling fan repair parts. Or pick up a hand full of free key chains from the National Guard at next years fair. I salvage copper wire from every piece of electronic equipment that dies around my house. I broke up some old electric toothbrushes and found really nice spools of fine wire. Stripping different gauges of stranded wire also works. Fly tying wire doesn't cost that much but I feel good scrounging materials. One of my dogs is a sheader and I use and old coffee grinder to turn her hair in to dubbing. Dryer lint can be used in a pinch too.
Good stuff. I'm a scavenger as well (mrs gabriel might use more descriptive terms), I think any tinkerer is.

Dog hair for dubbing? does it hold together?
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:38 am

OK, I ask this out of pure ignorance: What exactly is dubbing? I'm seeing "rabbit dubbing" synthetic dubbing, and FredS' dog hair dubbing, among others. I'd just assumed it was a mass of fluffy, interlocking fibers; like wool. If any fluffy fur or such will work, I'll finish those rabbit pelts and have a ton of downy fur to play with. Now it's not died, obviously, they're wild cottontails, but...

Am I missing something important here?
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by FredS » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:32 am

Dubbing is the fiber material used to make the flies look shaggy, or "buggy" as fly tiers like to say. A mix of long and short fibers make the fly look alive because it 'pulses' as it moves through the water and the longer fibers sort of imitate leg movements. You can use pretty much any fiber to make dubbing - yarn, dog hair, rabbit hair, carpet scraps, embroidery floss, whatever. The trick is to get enough long fibers mixed in with short fibers so that you can get it to stay on your tying thread. You hold the thread and twist a little bit of dubbing on it (they call it a dubbing noodle). Long fibers don't stick as well, but short fibers don't look 'buggy' so you need a mix. A little bit of saliva on your finger tips help the dubbing stay on the thread when you twist it. You can also rub your finger on your nose to get a little wax that helps the dubbing stay on. I have a hard time getting some synthetic dubbing (bright, flashy colors) to stay on the thread so keep an old tube of bowstring wax on the tying bench to give the thread extra stickiness if needed.

One of the top nymphs ever is called a Gold Ribbed Hares Ear (GRHE) and was originally tied entirely with fibers from a hares mask (the face and ear skin of a rabbit) and a piece of gold wire or tinsel for the rib. You can buy a hares mask cheaper than you can buy the materials to tan one. You use the long guard hairs for the tail of the fly and the shorter, fluffy under fur with a few guard hairs mixed in to spin on your thread as dubbing to make the body. Add a few pheasant or turkey feather fibers to form the wing case if you want and you have a nice, traditional fly that'll catch just about any fish in the water. I sometimes use a bit of flashy material (thin strips of that clear iridescent Easter basket grass or Christmas ribbon works well) for the wing case.

GRHE
Image

The beginning of this video describes making your own dubbing. The second half shows how to make a dubbing loop. I've always thought dubbing loops or ropes were more trouble than they're worth so I just twist the dubbing on the thread and wrap it on the hook.
[BBvideo 560,340]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhTbFOmbA-8[/BBvideo]
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by FredS » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:33 am

Hit some local antique shops over the weekend. One guy sells a bunch of lures and fishing stuff, mostly old junk for decoration, but I found a bag of feathers buried in the corner for $15. The same guy has some unsmoked Kaywoodies for $12. I almost bought a Yello Bole but it's on the small side.
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"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Tatanka » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:19 pm

FredS wrote:Hit some local antique shops over the weekend. One guy sells a bunch of lures and fishing stuff, mostly old junk for decoration, but I found a bag of feathers buried in the corner for $15. The same guy has some unsmoked Kaywoodies for $12. I almost bought a Yello Bole but it's on the small side.
Image

I've thought about looking for pipes in Antique shops, but have not as yet. Finding the feathers for only $15 was a good find ! Congratulations!
Did you do a jig? :bacon:
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:51 pm

So we went to Peoria last weekend for a wedding and I managed to get the kids excited about a possible stop at Bass Pro Shops while we were there. :) Unfortunately it was later than I hoped by the time we made it there and there was a lot of time for sorting stuff out. I must admit to getting completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of nearly identical looking merchandise and walked out empty handed.

Now I'm on re-making my lost shopping carts on the sites that FredS posted.

Speaking of, I'm following the FlyFishFood site on instagram and they have putting out some crazy cool stuff. Unnecessarily gimmicky, but cool nonetheless.
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:03 pm

UncleBob wrote:
Gabriel wrote:This thread is getting some legs. I love it. Hopefully the office will calm down sometime tomorrow and I can get back to CPS...
You deserve your own emoticon:
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I like it
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Tatanka » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:47 pm

The young man who married a granddaughter in Montana, started making flies. I had a box full of some of about everything needed, including the vise. It cost $25 to ship it to him. He's delighted! Warms those "cockles" of me heart! :) :)
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Dlibbon » Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:40 pm

I'm trying to put a plan together for what to tie in order to be ready for that first spring trip to the mountains. It's raised an interesting question in my head. If you had to fish only one fly box for the rest of your life, so say 10 to 12 patterns in varied sizes. What's in your box? Let's narrow it at least to just freshwater.

Here's mine...
1. Woolly Bugger 10, 8, 6
2. Sneeky Pete (or another popper) 8
3. Cone Head Leech 8, 10
4. San Jaun worm 10,14
5. Black Ant 14, 16, 18
6. Prince Nymph 18,16,14
7. Zebra Nymph 22,20,18,16
8 Hare's Ear Nymph 20,18,16,14
9. Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail 16,14,12
10 Sparkle Dun 20,18,16,14
11. Parachute Adams 22,20,18,16,14
12. Elk Hair Caddis 14,16,18

What would be in your box?

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by FredS » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:01 pm

Twisted up some #18 Ray Charles' today. They're supposed to represent sowbugs, but I use these small ones as scuds on our local tailwaters.
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by FredS » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:13 pm

My 10 flies (in no particular order):

1. Gold Ribbed Hares Ear
2. Bead Head Gold Ribbed Hares Ear
3. Pheasant Tail Nymph
4. Zebra Midge (black, red)
5. WD40
6. Royal Wulff
7. Ausable Wulff
8. Elk Hair Caddis
9. Orange Asher
10. Clouser Minnow
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

"I'd like to put a hook in that puppet and swing it through a bunch of salmon!" - durangopipe

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:46 pm

Alrighty. Bit the bullet and ordered tools and supplies today. I should have a set of Dr. Slick tools this week and a shipment of various supplies from flyfishfood.com next Monday or so.
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by FredS » Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:44 pm

My number one, most important fly tying advice is to HIDE YOUR SCISSORS.
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

"I'd like to put a hook in that puppet and swing it through a bunch of salmon!" - durangopipe

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Gabriel
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:22 pm

Gabriel wrote:Alrighty. Bit the bullet and ordered tools and supplies today. I should have a set of Dr. Slick tools this week and a shipment of various supplies from flyfishfood.com next Monday or so.
:chili:

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Jocose » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:36 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Gabriel wrote:Alrighty. Bit the bullet and ordered tools and supplies today. I should have a set of Dr. Slick tools this week and a shipment of various supplies from flyfishfood.com next Monday or so.
:chili:

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So cool, can't wait to see the finished product.
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Gabriel
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:19 pm

It's an ugly son of a gun, but here's the first one:

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by JimVH » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:01 am

Gabriel wrote:It's an ugly son of a gun, but here's the first one:

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I'll bet it catches fish!

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:56 pm

Now that I have more or less successfully tied two black woolly buggers, I am an expert in the field and have been plied with constant requests from my daughter to teach her how its done. We took the occasion of this wet snowy Saturday to spend an hour or so playing around and getting a good feel for the different materials. Good times.

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Dlibbon » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:38 pm

Gabriel wrote:Now that I have more or less successfully tied two black woolly buggers, I am an expert in the field and have been plied with constant requests from my daughter to teach her how its done. We took the occasion of this wet snowy Saturday to spend an hour or so playing around and getting a good feel for the different materials. Good times.

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As a father of two young daughters this is really a sweet pic. Well done Gabriel.


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