Last week, I was extolling the virtues of Ostrich Herl as a fly tying material. Tim Rolson, of South Africa, remarked that the Chomper was a worthy pattern, that incorporated the Ostrich Herl. Tim mentioned that the Chomper pattern was less recognized in the U.S. A little research showed that a UK fly fisher, Richard Walker, is noted with developing the pattern.
So, this morning to the vise I went. I tied two Chomper flies. Neither one was satisfying. But, both would probably catch fish. But some observations are in order from my tying effort. I will use the two pictures to elaborate.
This first effort on a size 14 nymph style hook, had the raffia back strap and the olive Ostrich Herl body. The thread was 8/0. I have never been a big fan of Raffia, especially now that synthetic materials make a more durable part and they do not necessitate the addition of some adhesive. In this instance, I selected 5 herls. I tied them in ahead of the already secured raffia at the bend. Once wound forward, I secured the herls. A rather plump body resulted. I pulled the raffia over the top and secured it. The piece of raffia was too large. The resultant thread head was too large because of the bulky raffia and 5 herls. Then I added a coating of glue over the top of the raffia. In the process, I had some end up on the ostrich. A rather sloppy, little pudge ball.
With this Chomper, I used less raffia and only 3 Osrich Herls. The fly presents a more slender, less bulky fly. The herl has room to move. But, again, I was messy in the application of the head cement over the raffia.
The point of the fly is to showcase the merits of Ostrich Herl as a lively material that attracts attention. That is a given, I believe. Beyond that I would use a different material besides raffia for the backstrap. Any of the newer, synthetic materials used for Czech Nymphs and Scuds would suffice. I intend to tie up a dozen more in olive and in black and substitute for the raffia synthetic or feather fibers even with no lacquer). Sizes 14 will work and I may opt for 14/0 thread in olive as well. Thanks Tim for the suggestion re the Chomper. Photo’s a bit blurry. Oops!
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be
satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”