Archive for March 29th, 2010


Fly Tying: Caddis With Deer Hair Collar

This Caddis pattern has a dubbed Ice Dub body and a collar of dark deer hair formed by inserting deer hair in a dubbing loop, then gently spinning the hair and then winding a buggy looking collar. The attached tutorial (I couldn’t figure out how to photograph it myself with out movement/blur) at Fly Tying Romania demonstrates the loop with inserted hair. I did not insert nearly as much hair, but the picture aids in the understanding of how to form a body (or in the above case, a collar). I have mentioned this use of deer/elk hair before.I first saw the use of deer hair for legs/wing material with Jeff Morgan. Jeff did not use a loop. He spun/twisted his hair onto the tying thread…a technique he admitted was taxing at best. I recommend the loop method. This buggy-leggy look could be equally used on all nymphs, not just Caddis. You would use less and have shorter legs, of course.


Fly Tying: Wet Fly’s Random Hackle & Other Renegade Fibers

From an aesthetic point of view, the renegade fibers (thread, feather, fur, dubbings) can look pretty chaotic to the camera lens, fish eye and human eye in larger sizes. I often rationalize the random twitches of material as suggestive of life and in no way a detractor to a fly’s effectiveness. A frequent troublemaker in the finished look of a fly is the errant hackle fibers that protrude forward when they should either be standing straight up (dry fly) or swept back (wet fly). I will demonstrate a simple wet fly that shows a tie in method (cutting the butt end of the hackle to form small comb teeth effect to better secure tie end thread wraps) and when the hackle fibers run amok, how to sweep the fibers back to the desired 45 degree angle.

I probably could have advanced the body further up the shank toward the eye another turn.

In the above picture from FlyAnglersOnline, you see the hackle fibers stroked back between the pinched tips of the thumb, forefinger and middle finger. When you see that you have captured all the errant fibers (hackle and dubbing fibers) (this may take several times) wrap thread wraps to bind down the swept back fibers. Don’t over bind them too much; they should be raised at a 45 degree angle.

This is a straight forward wet fly: black 8/0 thread, size 14 hook, small micro chenille like material, two wraps of hen hackle. The fibers are swept back and secured with thread wraps, which continue to form the completed thread head.


Fly Tying: Craft Stores & Yarn Stores

This morning, I was checking out and I saw Jean Paul’s ‘cache’ of goodies from a craft store. It reminded me of a plastic bag of materials I bought at a Eugene, Oregon yarn shop and have yet to use. Much of what is found in a craft or yarn shop are not found in a fly shop. So, if you feel you are betraying your favorite shop(s), don’t worry. A caution: you can find so many unique treasures that you will start grabbing multiple colors of everything. That can add up. Do the math as you grab.


Fly Fishing: Women Banding Together To Dip Their Collective Toe?

“Women have been under the thumb for many centuries. We have been controlled and ordered around by men for more than long enough. Modern women are forging their way ahead, paving the way for others like them. They are coming into their own and striving for equality in a still largely patriarchal world. One such corner of life in which women are making their mark is in fly fishing….Female fly fishers are a very real part of this sport, whether men like it or not….The internet is also filled with information and advice for female fly fishers. This makes picking out the right type of women’s fly fishing gear easier and hassle free because you don’t have to consult men in order to get yourself savvy…In order to get anywhere, women need to embrace each other and stand together.”   Women & Fly Fishing

I believe the above was written  about 2000. One woman’s opinion? Still a dominant opinion of women fly fishers? Do men really resist women joining the sport? I suppose somewhere there are men who are threatened. I don’t know of any. Probably more prominent is the opposite force…men so enjoy the appeal of a woman waving the stick that they provide unwanted attention and sexual energy toward the woman. The woman wants to be left alone to enjoy the sport. She does not view it as a means of meeting men. It is not a red flag endeavor to entice men. Or is it? Whoa! you say. I do recall two very attractive women that took a class from me for the express purpose of meeting men. They further had it dissected with men that fly fish will have a higher income level. The two women were also taking golf lessons. Exception to the norm? Yes, of course.

For myself, women in the sport are a great addition. Yes, an appealing one. Yet, I know instinctively to respect their individual need to enjoy the same qualities of the sport that I seek. I have the initial appreciation for a calendar showing nubile, half naked babes holding a fly rod…but, they aren’t real. They are mostly fantasy. Real women, not the half naked in hip waders girl, looking lost with a rod in hand, but real women we see all about us. I respect their desires to enjoy all aspects of the sport. I hope the strident tone above is less significant in the female angler’s world view today. I hope men can let women be long enough to let them appreciate the sport on their own.

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March 2010

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