Posts Tagged ‘swept wing


Marjin Fratnik’s “F” Fly Revisited

I have highlighted Marjin Fratnik’s F fly series before. I think it is a perfect beginner’s fly pattern that has many variations in color, size and applications (caddis, mayfly, chironomid, stonefly). My only personal caveat is regarding cutting the ends of any feather. I would rather spend the time to stack/sort the feathers so they are uniform in length rather than trim them….just my personal choice. None the less, it is a simple tie and the CDC is magical. I am linking to the always helpful FlyForumUk for the step by step (SBS) visual tutorial on tying the F Fly.

Fratnik’s F Fly at The Essential Fly



Fly Tying: Assume The Position (Sweep Back the Hackle)

A Rare, Tidy SwittersB Thread Head

To finish off a fly, the materials (usually hackle fibers) are swept back away from the eye of the fly, exposing and area that becomes the thread head. The fingers  (usually thumb, forefinger and middle finger or the less efficient thumb and forefinger ) are used to form a triangle or pinch of sorts, which gathers and sweeps the fibers to the rear. It often takes a few attempts to gather all the fibers and sweep them back with the off-bobbin hand.

Skip Morris Photo


Fly Tying: Wet Fly’s Random Hackle & Other Renegade Fibers

From an aesthetic point of view, the renegade fibers (thread, feather, fur, dubbings) can look pretty chaotic to the camera lens, fish eye and human eye in larger sizes. I often rationalize the random twitches of material as suggestive of life and in no way a detractor to a fly’s effectiveness. A frequent troublemaker in the finished look of a fly is the errant hackle fibers that protrude forward when they should either be standing straight up (dry fly) or swept back (wet fly). I will demonstrate a simple wet fly that shows a tie in method (cutting the butt end of the hackle to form small comb teeth effect to better secure tie end thread wraps) and when the hackle fibers run amok, how to sweep the fibers back to the desired 45 degree angle.

I probably could have advanced the body further up the shank toward the eye another turn.

In the above picture from FlyAnglersOnline, you see the hackle fibers stroked back between the pinched tips of the thumb, forefinger and middle finger. When you see that you have captured all the errant fibers (hackle and dubbing fibers) (this may take several times) wrap thread wraps to bind down the swept back fibers. Don’t over bind them too much; they should be raised at a 45 degree angle.

This is a straight forward wet fly: black 8/0 thread, size 14 hook, small micro chenille like material, two wraps of hen hackle. The fibers are swept back and secured with thread wraps, which continue to form the completed thread head.

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