Archive for September 12th, 2010


4 Feet, 8.5 Inches (I wonder if……?)

I have seen this little piece before and enjoy it each time I read it. The one about U.S. rail track widths being a long historical progression from the Roman’s chariots. I have it passed on by fun loving retirees, who receive all manner of Internet minutiae from other retirees. But, I thought I am going to snoop a bit on this one, and did. Don’t put too much mental energy into it, but just in case in the next decade or so at a BBQ some besotted type launches into this in a slurred, all knowing voice and your patience level just reaches that 5 beer level…then let him have it!



Fly Tying: Magic Stretch (Body Material)

A while back I was at a bead shop…one of those ‘I wonder if…’ moments hit me when I saw this stretch stuff on a spool..Magic Stretch. I bought a spool and as often happens set it aside, until it was rediscovered two years later…’oh, wow I remember this’.

So, the other day I tied a bead head Caddis pattern and for the heck of it ribbed the fly by stretching the Magic Stretch. I pulled it pretty hard but it was a bit much for a small fly.

So, I was perfusing Flytying: New and Old and low and behold there was a use for Magic Stretch of great value. Just like VRib and other vinyl tubing-ribbing materials it provides the segmented body and the color can be added beneath and by marker. Check out Flytying: New and Old for additional info on this inexpensive material.


Fly Tying: Wet Fly (Trust in the Wet Fly)_

Not much to say about this often presented pattern. I have said it before, that I know seasoned fly fishers, who travel to the prime spots of the Western U.S. and (purposely) only fish small, wet flies. They are successful at connecting with trout. So, for the beginning fly tier and/or fisher,  this is a necessary pattern in your arsenal…punto! Mayfly, Chironomids, Caddis.

Wet Fly: Peacock Hurl body, ribbed, brown hackle (SB)

The peacock hurl body (abdomen) is wound with two hurls. The lighter green (contrast/segmentation) wire ribbing is wound up through the body. A slight thorax is dubbed with dark green synthetic dubbing. A dyed brown grizzly hackle is wrapped twice for the wing/legs. All this on a size 16 hook. Of course, as you will see with many utilitarian fly patterns….the fly lends itself to all the colors of insects and a sequence of hook sizes to cover all those possibilities.

An aside note: notice the green ribbing on the fly above. It is counter wrapped over the body material, which allows the ribbing to stay atop the body material rather sinking into the grooves of the wound body material.


Fly Tying: Antron Loop Wing for Emerger

This is a shot of a pattern I had seen in Tying Emergers: A Complete Guide.  I used pheasant tail fibers for the tail and body on a size 16 hook. The wing was a piece of Antron yarn tied in at the back of the thorax area. I dubbed a sparse thorax of hare’s ear, then pulled the piece of Antron over the top, loosely, to form a loop. Then it is tied off at the eye of the hook. No hackle. I fished this in the midst of a mayfly hatch and had ok results with it. However, it did not stay in the film long before sinking. So, I could do several things: use a dubbing for abdomen like Super Fine; make sure hook is light wire (it was); experiment with CDC for the loop wing: grease the leader with floatant paste down to the final inch; let if float ’til it sinks, then let it sink and work it back toward the top with slow hand twist retrieve like an emerging mayfly.

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September 2010

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