Archive for March 5th, 2011


Fly Tying: Loop Wings of CDC

A straight eye, size 20 hook was used and 14/0 Sheer thread. I tied in a grouping of tail fibbets. I was not exacting as to two  or three tail fibers. I should have been as the extra fibbets added thickness to the top of the shank. I tied in a single wisp of 14/0 grey thread for a ribbing. I wrapped the black thread over the fibbets and back.  I think the initial layer covering the shank plus the two additional layers to cover the fibbets added a touch too much thickness to the abdomen. I wound the grey thread ribbing up the body and tied it off. I tied in two CDC plumes, tan in color, and held them toward the rear and then dubbed a small amount of Hareline Ice Dub, Black Peacock, for the thorax. I then pulled the CDC feathers forward over the thorax but provided slack to form a small loop wing above the thorax and tied off. The tail is probably a touch long, but it’ll do. I like the two photo’s because they give some sort of scale to these ridiculously small hooks. The shot is not as crisp as it could have been, but you get the general ideal w/ the description. Loop Wing Emerger


Fly Tying: Goggles/No Goggles

I tied two flies, not identical but close enough, on a size 14 hook. Although the differences are not that apparent there are a few obvious differences (pattern on right): I rolled the tail, wrapped the abdomen with more gaps and generally did not see the mistakes as I tied. With the goggles (ok, magnification specs) I tended to see as I tied my mistakes and unwound more often. What I know/see is that I am tying slower. That is ok, as I don’t tie that many patterns at a sitting anymore (maybe 10 to 15 at a sitting, often less). Most of my patterns are trout patterns and simply easier to tie, even if on a much smaller hook.

Goggles on the Left....No Goggles on the Right

I am enjoying this new fly tying tool (magnification specs/goggles). I have enormous respect for those tiers that tie with such precision. I will be satisfied to improve the basic elements of my tying: proportions, cleaner starts and finishes and everything in between.


Fly Tying: A whole wing, what to do?

I recently came by a whole wing from an unidentified bird (outstretched about 18″) which was medium gray in color. It had been cut at the bone (about 3/8″ in diameter). There was flesh around the protruding bone and I could feel what felt like ‘meat/muscle’ in the front section closest to the bone. I was really unclear of how to process this material. Frankly, I have received pheasant capes and skinned rabbits before. The processing results of borax and salt and curing really never turned out very well and waste resulted.

This time, I took heavy kitchen scissors and cut each individual feather away from the connection points as close as I could. In the end, I harvested maybe 40 feathers (primaries, secondaries, primary coverts) that will mostly provides wing material for say a classic wet fly pattern. I am attaching a link on process materials for fly tying. I have frozen deer hair hide in my freezer. They went in somewhat clean but still possessing blood/flesh. I did not process them. I have to contend with that at some point. (Fly Tying & Processing Materials)  There are safety/health/hygiene concerns in handling these materials. Rubber gloves might be a good idea.


Fly Tying: What If’s & Anticipation

Part of the joy of fly tying is experimenting in a ‘what if’ sort of way. It is part fanciful and also practical to consider ‘what if’s’. Often, I most probably deviate away from any realistic entomological standard that probably would or does (if someone happens by here) drive some tiers/fly fishers bonkers. “What in the hell is he thinking?”  I have this dominant tying gene that keeps going to stimulation, ‘excitor’, provocation. Movement, glimmer, life….something to stimulate a sip, galump, smack. On a spring creek with discerning trout, I would most probably be humbled. But, because I don’t get to fish such waters, I am lucky to not be humbled more than I already am………

Beads, ribbings, wavy synthetics, iridescent natural materials are a contrast to the perfection of crisp, clean, etched patterns that are probably in a trout’s mind “out of my way, lunch is ready”.

The above pattern on a size 18 hook was tied with focus on the bead and tail. I over tweaked/processed the pic here to bring attention to the bead and tail. The wing is Starling and supple enough to bend beneath the fly, in the surface and beneath, but to open the gape of the hook a bit more, I could trim out a few more barbs underneath the fly, I suppose. The bead is a bit over sized, but again….it was all about the bead’s coloration and a little bit of movement from the hackle and tail and that nice glow of Peacock herl in the thorax. I may initiate a SwittersB’s ugly fly series soon. Fly tying is, like many creative endeavors good for the imagination, relaxing (it should be relaxing) and provide a constant glimmer of ‘what if’s’ and anticipation.

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March 2011

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