The Fly Tying Thread

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by durangopipe » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:16 pm

A few options other than paired quill wings...

Image

Single feather tied in flat over the back (flies on left - General Practitioners, orange and black)
Hair wings -flies on right, top to bottom, deer tail, dyed deer tail, orange and black dyed kip tail



Image

Left to right - marabou, Flashabou, red squirrel tail




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Rabbit strip - tied full (for cold water, heavy flows, or murky water); tied sparse (warm water, light flows, clear water)
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:59 pm

Wow, thanks! They really are beautiful and exactly the type of examples I was looking for. It’s hard to tell without a reference, what kind of size are we looking at here?
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by durangopipe » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:14 pm

They’re all pretty large, but the tying technique remains the same whatever the size. For reference, the fly box they’re sitting on is 6” X 3 1/2”.

The largest (like the big bunny strip fly) are #2/0 - tied for northern B.C., specifically the Babine River. Steelhead pushing 30lbs. The smallest is a #6. An Atlantic salmon fly for eastern Canada, Iceland, Scotland.

If you haven’t already, go back a page. There’s a very good video on how to tie quill wings, and a nice article on the four kinds of quill wing pairs.

There’s also a fully dressed Thunder & Lightning Atlantic Salmon fly and a hairwing variation for comparison.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by FredS » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:12 am

I've never really targeted *small mouths but I've causght some as by-products while crappie fishing so I presume they like the same sorts of flies. One of my favorite crappie flies is a hair wing salmon fly called the Skykomish Sunrise. That they're tied in the colors of the Chiefs is a bonus.

Here are some I tied.
Image

Here's what they should really look like.
Image

I've seen these flies tied with the wing over the hackle as well as under it. I have no idea if it makes a difference to their effectiveness but I think they look better with the wing on top.

*It just dawned on me that the truncated term "small mouth" doesn't seem like fishing jargon but I'm pretty sure most non-fishers would look sideways at us if we used it in conversation.
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by durangopipe » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:14 am

FredS wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:12 am
I've never really targeted *small mouths but I've causght some as by-products while crappie fishing so I presume they like the same sorts of flies. One of my favorite crappie flies is a hair wing salmon fly called the Skykomish Sunrise. That they're tied in the colors of the Chiefs is a bonus.

Here are some I tied.
Image

Here's what they should really look like.
Image

I've seen these flies tied with the wing over the hackle as well as under it. I have no idea if it makes a difference to their effectiveness but I think they look better with the wing on top.

*It just dawned on me that the truncated term "small mouth" doesn't seem like fishing jargon but I'm pretty sure most non-fishers would look sideways at us if we used it in conversation.
Killer fly for pink salmon, too, Fred!
Yours look great.
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by JudgeRusty » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:16 pm

durangopipe wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:14 am
FredS wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:12 am
I've never really targeted *small mouths but I've causght some as by-products while crappie fishing so I presume they like the same sorts of flies. One of my favorite crappie flies is a hair wing salmon fly called the Skykomish Sunrise. That they're tied in the colors of the Chiefs is a bonus.

Here are some I tied.
Image

Here's what they should really look like.
Image

I've seen these flies tied with the wing over the hackle as well as under it. I have no idea if it makes a difference to their effectiveness but I think they look better with the wing on top.

*It just dawned on me that the truncated term "small mouth" doesn't seem like fishing jargon but I'm pretty sure most non-fishers would look sideways at us if we used it in conversation.
Killer fly for pink salmon, too, Fred!
Yours look great.
Interesting thought about tying the wing below---is the wing very stiff?
I ask because most of the good crappie fishing here is in heavy cover and a weedless version would be a good asset.
I grew up crappie fishing on Weiss Lake, the "Crappie Capital of the World" but never fished for them with a fly. Peak time for crappies here is a couple of months away.
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by FredS » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:03 pm

JudgeRusty wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:16 pm
FredS wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:12 am
Here are some I tied.
Image

Here's what they should really look like.
Image
Interesting thought about tying the wing below---is the wing very stiff?
I ask because most of the good crappie fishing here is in heavy cover and a weedless version would be a good asset.
I grew up crappie fishing on Weiss Lake, the "Crappie Capital of the World" but never fished for them with a fly. Peak time for crappies here is a couple of months away.
My comments about the hair wing being over or under the hackle don't refer to the hair being on the top or bottom of the hook, but it's relation to the yellow and red hackle fibers. The loose fly in the top photo has that white hair tied in first, then the colored feathers are wrapped over it. All the other flies in both pictures have the hair over the feathers. Sorry I wasn't more clear before.

Regarding weed guards, it might work if you used the right kind of hair on the bottom of the hook. Traditionally these types of hair wings are made from bucktail. That's the white hair on the bottom side of the tail from white tailed deer. On smaller flies I prefer to use kip tail (calf tail) because it's finer and sort of crinkly/curly rather than coarse and straight but some coarse buck tail might offer some weedless benefits. Might not work so well if you're fishing over brushy structure like submerged timber or brush piles as the hook point would probably still snag on branches unless you're fishing from a boat or a dock and jigging straight down. I found when retrieving around such structure it was best to find the structure, then count down your fly/lure so you can retrieve over the snags rather than through them. Still, you lose a lot of flies if you're aggressive enough to put them in front of the fish.
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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

"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 FredS » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:11 pm

Another tactic when fishing flies in weedy water is to use flies with some weight tied on the 'top' of the hook. The weights can be barbell or hourglass shaped lead (or something less toxic) or even "bead chain' like that found on the lights in grandmas cellar or your ceiling fan. The weights act as a keel and make the fly sink with the point up.

The fly below will ride point up as well as offer some weed guard protection of the hook point. This one is called a Crazy Charlie and is tied in colors to attract bonefish, but works well for crappie when tied with white over red. There's a similar fly called Crappie Candy that was developed specifically for crappie.
Image
"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 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:19 pm

You all are fantastic, I hope to have time tonight and/or tomorrow to do some tying.

I’m rapidly falling in love with tying for its own sake.
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:30 pm

Speaking of Crazy Charlie’s, here’s one my daughter tied last summer. Lead eyes and holographic tinsel, haven’t fished it yet.

Image
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by durangopipe » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:33 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:30 pm
Speaking of Crazy Charlie’s, here’s one my daughter tied last summer. Lead eyes and holographic tinsel, haven’t fished it yet.

Image
Know what I like better than kids tying flies?
Not. One. Damn. Thing.

(Sorry Fred. I'm a plagiarist; what can I say?)
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:43 pm

Here’s an attempt. Gold tinsel, green floss, gold wire, pheasant breast hackle, squirrel tail wing. Not bad.

Image

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by durangopipe » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:04 pm

Gabriel wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:43 pm
Here’s an attempt. Gold tinsel, green floss, gold wire, pheasant breast hackle, squirrel tail wing. Not bad.

Image
Very nice, Gabriel!
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by FredS » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:37 am

durangopipe wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:04 pm
Gabriel wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:43 pm
Here’s an attempt. Gold tinsel, green floss, gold wire, pheasant breast hackle, squirrel tail wing. Not bad.

Image
Very nice, Gabriel!
Another nice one Gabe. Let's go deep and discuss this flies attributes. I really like wet flies with gold or red butts. Do we suppose that extra little bit of flash along the center attracts fish? Does it still 'flash' when it's 4' down in the water and sees only half as much sunlight as on the surface? Does the butt, rib, and floss serve as a lateral line so this fly looks like a fry? Is the tinsel butt simply the original 'hot spot' that's so - pardon me - hot these days on nymphs?
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"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 durangopipe » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:06 am

FredS wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:37 am
durangopipe wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:04 pm
Gabriel wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:43 pm
Here’s an attempt. Gold tinsel, green floss, gold wire, pheasant breast hackle, squirrel tail wing. Not bad.

Image
Very nice, Gabriel!
Another nice one Gabe. Let's go deep and discuss this flies attributes. I really like wet flies with gold or red butts. Do we suppose that extra little bit of flash along the center attracts fish? Does it still 'flash' when it's 4' down in the water and sees only half as much sunlight as on the surface? Does the butt, rib, and floss serve as a lateral line so this fly looks like a fry? Is the tinsel butt simply the original 'hot spot' that's so - pardon me - hot these days on nymphs?
That little bit of color or flash does seem to make these flies more effective. The name for that part of the fly is the “tag.”
The British call these “Fancy Flies.”

When I was young, few traditional wet flies were considered imitative of anything, and no one knew why trout ate them. Salmon returning to spawn are a whole ‘nother story. Supposedly, they don’t eat, so why do they take a fly?

There are theories, and some writers espouse them with great certainty. But nobody really knows why trout or salmon take fancy flies. Territoriality? Curiosity? The awakening of some deeply buried memory of food? For the same reason some humans would rather drive a sports car than a four-door sedan?

When I first arrived in the mountains, there were hundreds of little alpine lakes and tarns where the fish had either seen very few or no fly fisherman. The occasional hunter or cowboy might have tossed them a worm for camp food. I remember one lake at 12,000’ that I used to regularly hike to where Cutthroat trout would fight each other to take a bare brass hook.

I like to put this question in the same category as the Trinity. I know the fact of it’s reality, but I’d be a fool to pretend I even begin to understand it.

Most places, where trout are more “suspicious” and want imitative flies, fly selection appears to make some sense. But where they take fancy flies, and for salmon and steelhead returning to their home streams to spawn, it’s a mystery. You fish on intuition. You choose flies on a hunch. And it’s all a wonder.

It’s also why making up, tying and fishing your own “fancy flies” is so much fun.

Here’s a wet fly that was very popular when I was a kid. The Parmachene Belle:

Image

The wing and tail of a fly true to pattern are married quill. It’s got many of the parts of a traditional Atlantic salmon fly. Trout in rivers used to eat them with gusto. (And you could buy them for a dime or a quarter, I forget, at the hardware store.)

What do you suppose it imitates?

I’d guess trout candy canes.

:pipe3:
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by FredS » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:30 am

durangopipe wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:06 am
Image

What do you suppose it imitates?
The Parmachene Belle is obviously tied to imitate the natural Daredevil Spoon in it's adult state.
Image
"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 durangopipe » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:44 am

FredS wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:30 am
durangopipe wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:06 am
Image

What do you suppose it imitates?
The Parmachene Belle is obviously tied to imitate the natural Daredevil Spoon in it's adult state.
Image
:thumbsup:
. . . be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.. J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by Gabriel » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:54 pm

I love the conversation, and have no time to add anything substantive at the moment. I did attempt a matching design in different colors from last night’s pattern:

Image
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Re: The Fly Tying Thread

Post by FredS » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:20 pm

FYI Big Y Fly Company has all their dry flies (hundreds of patterns) on sale at 30% off. This puts most of them well below the $0.50 mark. Sure, they're cheap flies, but hey, teenaged girls in Kenya need to eat too. I have difficulty tying my own dries in smaller sizes (particularly mayflies smaller than #14) so I just placed an insane order. Let's say I had no problem with the free shipping threshold and leave it at that.
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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

"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 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:46 pm

Joshie finally pestered me to teach him some tying when I had time to do it with him. He really enjoyed it.

Image
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