Archive for November 1st, 2009


Fly Tying with Turkey Feathers (Creating the abdomen)

IMG_1573xPreviously, I have referenced the fuzzy appearance of the wound barbs from a turkey feather. That is a nice affect and I think I have found a material equal to pheasant tail, at least as far as wrapping the abdomen area. Both materials need a little ribbing for reinforcement. I counter wrapped the copper wire ribbing here. I never paid much attention to the Cate’s Turkey pattern. I may have to revisit that pattern.



Gnat’s Ass (Chironomid-Midge-Buzzer Dry)

Fly tier (or is it tyer?) admission: Because of lighting, eye sight and a lack of commitment, I have not really ever committed to tying anything smaller than a size 18. I have not made the psychic leap that a small gaped, size 22 will penetrate the jaw of any fish over 14 inches. Yes, yes it does in fact do so…it is me. So, don’t pay attention to my doubts. Let the successes of other small fly fanatics speak for itself ….hookups. With that in mind I tied a few (actually several dozen). They are now tucked in with my Griffith’s Gnats (18’s).


Size 20 Pupa hook, Size 8/0 thread (I should have used 14/0), a Zelon wing was tied in first, then 3 pheasant tail fibers were tied in half the distance from mid-shank to the eye, then a small dry fly quality hackle suitable for a size 20 hook was tied in and wrapped several times then tied off, the butt sections of the previously tied in pheasant tail barbs were then pulled over the top of the wound hackle or thorax area as a wingcase and tied off. The excess materials can be seen to be protruding out…but I could not see them while tying. Not sure it really hurts anything as long as the thread wraps for the head are tight to keep those materials secure.



Wow! That actually looks nice. A size 18 dry fly quality hook, 8/0 thread, an underwing of Zelon was tied in at the mid point of the shank, then a white CDC feather was folded in half with the tip meeting the butt section. The mid point (or spot where the CDC stem was bent) was tied in behind the eye with the tip and butt section extending to the rear and past the bend of the hook. A wingcase of mottled Thinskin was tied in at the mid point of the shank and then a dry fly quality hackle (size 18) was tied in at the thorax area and wound then tied off at the eye. The wing case was pulled over the top of the wound hackle and tied off at the eye. Again, a smaller diameter thread (14/0) may have been better.  I tied a bunch of these and they look way better to the camera lens then to my eyes.


Fly Tying (Smashing The Barb)


I have received a few emails asking why my pics never show the barb flattened. “Aren’t you sending the wrong message about the imperative need for releasing one’s catch?” Well, my response  is two fold: I have never been dutiful in opening a box or bag of hooks and barbing them all at once before commencing to tie.

I frankly rarely tie more than a dozen to two dozen of anything anymore. But, if I had a suggestion for someone planning on tying in quantity then barb all your hooks in advance or buy the barbless hooks.

Also, it is important to do this for practical reasons…removing the errant fly from clothing, skin or gear.

Lastly, I admittedly barb on the water. So, no fret….excepting Salmon in Alaska or Oregon, I haven’t killed a fish in years (exception: the damn, evil Loons stalking me in B.C. and laying in wait for trout I released).


‘Damn it, Beth! Don’t Move! I’ve had enough beans to last me…………..’

vanstraten_woman x

There is that begrudging realization that at many levels, man cannot function well without the steady support of a woman.   Peter Van Straten

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November 2009

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