Posts Tagged ‘Soft Hackles


Fly Tying: Wet Fly (Oversized Hackle Barbs for Wing)


Pulling hackle barbs off of a larger hackle and tying them in over the eye of the hook, then after creating a body, pulling them back over the body. Key: make the barbs only the length of the hook shank (not longer or shorter). 

Oversized Barbs Used Here and Pulled Back Over Peacock Herl Body (SwittersB)


Fly Fishing: Hemostat Triple Twist~Grab Tag & Pull

h/t to John Newbury from FB re this knot tying technique: The Hemostat Knot.  This might be particularly helpful when the finger tips are frozen, or for general use.

For the beginning fly tier, you would be well served to practice your tying techniques while tying a limited scope of patterns. The temptation is to tie every pattern in that book and more that come to mind. Tie this and tie that. If you were limited to just tying as a past time with no opportunity to fish your creations, then tie hither and yon, but otherwise I would stay toward basic nymphs, dries, emergers, streamers and flymphs/wets (or, the basic patterns for the species you chase….it could be a variety of streamers only for a predatory species). This way there is a practical benefit to your targeted tying.

Flymphs: this style of ‘wet’ fly is worth a study on your part and worth a lot of tying. Selection of hackle and style of body are the two key considerations. Sparse patterns for almost dry fly presentations have/had their place. But, buggier dubbing and softer hackling offer a great deal of animation and life. A flymph can fish from the bottom up to the top with the correct presentations: Leisenring Lift.

A couple presentation considerations: study spey (two hander) casts and research their applicability to a single hander. Jean Paul from Roughfisher mentioned this the other day and it true. Line handling with bigger flies or more staged presentations can be easier by moving line, dumping it and then rolling it out into a zone. Research this. Also, for the stream fishing angler chasing primarily trout there is a tendency toward only using a floating line and rarely a sink tip. I use five lines for stillwater but severely limit myself on rivers when chasing trout. (I carry multiple spey line heads). But, a readers comment about using sinking lines and manipulating the fly up through pools and rapids reminded me of watching an old timer fish streamers with a clear, intermediate line to fish streamers on a river (something I would normally only use on a lake). 


Fly Tying: ‘Bzzzz’ & A Photo Question?

The fly is tied on a size 18, curved shanked hook. A typical mistake, as I so fortuitously provide here, is compressing too much material near the head. This results in an over developed head (fat head) at the end. ‘Less is more” (better) with many fly patterns and especially so with small flies.

Now a photography question: The back drop for this shot was bright white. The lighting was and OTT light directly over the fly less than 2″ away. On either side are two small halogen lamps also about two inches away. The Canon Xti with a 100mm Canon Macro is set on AV f22.  I seem to always get a quite dark shot with the back drop actually darker than depicted here. I tweaked it with Photoscape. I am not that accomplished with the photo lingo but any advice much appreciated to achieve better lighting.


Fly Tying: Emerger~Wet

Just my ongoing kick with CDC and Starling to create a wet fly sort of pattern. I say that because some will take exception to the overly dressed, complicated creation as not in line with the simple silk/floss body and two turns of sparse grey hackle. Buzzer sound here….  To each their own. It must be quite apparent, I am not a traditionalist, even though I do know and respect the origins of certain patterns. I am more in tune with the last times on the water and what worked and presented well.


Fly Tying: Nymphs & Their Sex Life


Nyphms Came Together & Put Their Heads Together In Order To...

Tomorrow, I think I will discuss the Fly Tying Expo in Albany, Oregon ( held today and Saturday, the 12th, Albany Expo Bldg.) As I sat in an accident related traffic jam tonight, I had time to reflect upon the event’s effect upon me. I will offer up my observations (in the for what it is worth department) and what I learned. Also, I will bring attention to a few tiers that caught my eye. Oh, and to you fella’s (and gals) that have a thing about sweet, innocent, wood nymphs and the like, and ended up here…………..they do visit here, but only after a wee bit too much of the spirits.


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