Archive for May 1st, 2010


Fly Tying: Worms @ Fly Fisherman’s Cafe (musicarskikafe)

Wormulje (Musicarskikafe)



Fly Tying: Double Wire Body & Cactus Chenille Thorax-Wing

I recently noticed some nymphs with 3 wire wrapped abdomens in a well known mag. I thought I would try my hand at two wires. Not a great start but instructive for the beginner re the pitfalls along the way.

Tying for a blog is easiest for me, if you, the beginning tier,  just see the finished fly and have enough knowledge to replicate the sequence. As you progress along, you will be able to read patterns/recipes and tie them or see a pic and copy it the vast majority of the time. So, to follow that a picture is worth a 1000 words…I damn near wrote a book for such a simple little fly today.

But, it is worth showing my errors or bumps along the way to teach. The tail tie in could have been smaller or tied in farther up shank to avoid that bump that can cause materials (two strands of wire in this case) to slide off forward. The gap in the wire wraps will not affect the fish catching ability of the fly. It is more aesthetics and demonstrating correct handling of the materials…also, the cutting the wire with the V of the scissors or tips on old scissors. A tag end will be left with the V cut. This is why tiers are tempted to use the tips on their good scissors to nip that wire. You quickly ruin your nice scissor tips doing that.”

All in all, a fun exercise to share. I  have admiration for the tier that manages 3 strands of wire. I think I man need those magnification goggles soon. I seem to be missing details until the camera’s lens reveals the true results. Fun either way.

Craig Commented Very Good Advice: “if you are using dead soft wire you can start wrapping the way you did and it will go up the shank almost as evenly as dubbing.  however stiffer wire will require that you immobilize it where it comes out of the thread wrap, i use smooth jawed jewelry pliers, to get a smooth transition.  another method is to lay your thread wrap, then wrap your wires the length you want (not tied in), put a dab of adhesive at the tail and slide the wire coil down the shank and let it dry.”


Fly Tying: Touch Dubbing (A Little Dab Will Do You)

Dubbing….whether you twist it on the thread, or position the dubbing between the two strands of a dubbing loop or even split the thread and insert strands of dubbing….then wrap the dubbing onto the shank….it produces that fibrous look that suggests life in the water. But, there is another dubbing technique, touch dubbing, that I have used for years (LaFontaine technique). It creates a fibrous, buggy body. I use it for the thorax, but you could dub and entire shank with it.


Touch Dubbing onto Dubbing Loop (jrefsa pic)

A good, tacky wax is key, which is applied to your thread. Don’t overdo it with gobs of wax on the thread, which then have to be removed. Your impulse will be to use your finger tips…don’t. Use a small piece of paper towel. One of the aggravators of tying is wax on your fingers and dubbing attached to you and not the thread. Also, be forewarned that  the dubbing wax stick can be knocked over and its attractive/magnet qualities are legendary. All manner of dubbing, thread, marabou….all the fly tying detritus on your work station will find that wax stick tip…trust me. If it does get globbed up with too much gunk, gently wipe the tip with a paper towel to skim off the accumulated fuzz.

Back to touch dubbing, the tutorials suffice. Don’t overdo the dubbing. Whether you touch dub to a single strand of tying thread or a dubbing loop, keep it light. After you wrap the dubbing, use an old toothbrush or velcro on a popsicle stick and brush out any stray strands of dubbing. Remember just a touch will do. You are striving for a halo, shroud, transparency over the hook shank or a sub-body already wrapped onto the shank.

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May 2010

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