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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by FlorentineJohn

  1. Thanks everyone! It sounds like the problem is not the thread (polyester UNI 8/0) but poor fly tying skills on my part! I am going to try to tie with nylon thread so that I can feel the stretch, and get a spool of 50 denier GSP thread (Veevus or Semperfli Nano Silk) to see what that feels like. Thanks again!!
  2. Wow, thank you! Unfortunately I am a little more confused than I was before... I have tried Uni-thread 8/0 and it breaks in my clumsy hands too easily; UTC also frays way too easily. Is the Veevus 10/0 UTYER and McFlyLures refer to GSP thread? Steve, what GSP thread 50 denier brand do you prefer? Looking at the chart that SilverCreek kindly provided, two threads pop to my attention: a) the Semperfli Nano Silk Ultra Fine 30D 18/0 (so fine that it may cut the hair, though), as well as b) the UNI Uni-Cord 12/0. Has anyone tried either one? Thank you!!
  3. Hi! I hope everyone is keeping safe. I also hope you can help me: what fly tying thread do you suggest for tying small (sz. 16 and smaller) Elk Hair Caddis, Comparaduns and Stimulators? I am looking for a thread that is not bulky and that will not break too easily. Thank you! John
  4. By the way, what would you say is the ratio of caddis/emerger hook to dry fly with emerger body? I imagine tying a size 12 (extended body included) dry fly on a size 12 hook would not make sense... Thanks again.
  5. Thank you all so much for your help! Glad to hear that grub and caddis hooks are the same - I don't need things to get even more complex. As to the hook, the TMC 2488 looks great!
  6. Hi folks, Some of you may be familiar with Agostino Roncallo's CDC flies (not only CDC, but he's best known for those.) See https://www.flydreamers.com/en/fly-tying/agostino-roncallo-u99378 Here's one of his flies, the Mirage, tied with one CDC feather: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp-37RH2MOc He says he uses grub fly hooks. J:son flies also use extended bodies, and unlike Roncallo, not just for mayflies - but they suggest an ultra-short dry fly hook, which they manufacture, for all their dry flies. My questions are: Are grub and caddis hooks the same? Is there a hook that will work for most extended body flies: Roncallo's CDC, J:son, "regular" extended body flies? (Could you kindly provide examples?) Finally, another (slightly unrelated) question, still about hooks: in Matching Major Eastern Hatches, Henry Ramsay calls for 2XS (short) wide-gap dry fly hooks such as the Tiemco 2488 when tying his CDC Adult Caddis. Do you think I can use regular-sized dry fly hooks instead, and just keep the body shorter (instead of buying more hooks)? Thanks! Confused in Connecticut PS The e-book My CDC Flies by Roncallo is available for free here: Part 1, Part 2.
  7. Thank you all for your advice. I realize that hackle is supposed to hold the fly up, so perhaps I am not hackling the flies heavily enough, as in really rough water I have a hard time seeing the fly and sometimes find it half submerged. I guess for those situations I'll have to try razor foam! I am glad to hear that Congo hair works well; I'll have to give it a try, as it's so affordable!
  8. Hi, I'm sure this topic has been covered ad nauseam, but I am still confused. Which material do you prefer for dry fly wings and for parachute posts that has unsurpassed "floatability" and superb visibility? I see Para Post, Antron, EP Trigger Point Int'l Fibers, plain polypropylene, siliconized polypropylene, McFlylon, antron/Aunt Lydia's Sparkle Yarn, PIP, Poly-X-Wing, etc... I'm looking for something that floats like a cork, that doesn't get easily lose its ability to float even in rough white water or when covered with slime, and that can be easily seen in the whitewater and/or in the dusk. (I tie flies mostly sizes 14-18). Thanks! John
  9. tHi, At the Bear's Den Show a few weeks ago (my first time, but how could I not have gone before?) I met Rich Murphy, author of "Fly Fishing for Striped Bass". A lot of the patterns he uses use polar bear fur. As I'm sure you know, it is exhorbitantly expensive material, not to mention the fact that it may soon be listed on the Endangered Species Act. So, here's my question: what's the next best thing? If you were to mention both a synthetic and a natural substitute, what would you list? ...And which one do you prefer? Thanks!
  10. Thank you! Is there a clear glossy acrylic lacquer (not so thick that it comes out as a glob) that is non-toxic or at the very least slow-evaporating that you recommend? It's amazing how stinky the lacquer I now have is: I closed the bottle extremely tightly, then put it in a Zip-Lok bag, then into a plastic shoebox container used to store other fly tying materials, yet I could still smell the solvent (faintly) and when I opened the shoebox it smelled as if I were in a "superfund" (toxics cleanup) site! I have to be careful, especially considering that I live in a "sealed" apartment and my fly tying space is a walk-in closet (a closed-in closed-in space)... :sick: So, I'll try the electric tape for now, and as I run low I'll switch to a nail polish bottle, but if you can recommend a better alternative, please let me know. Thanks again!
  11. Hi, This sounds ridiculous, but I have a glue problem. I am learning how to tie wet flies; I am a slow tier and so I only tie a couple a day in the evening. I got the (first) Don Bastian DVD and he recommends Griff's thin multi-coat cement followed by the E. Hille Lacquer cement (which smells like pesticides...) and finally black lacquer. I have no problem with either the multi-coat cement or the lacquer. I keep the first in one of the Renzetti bottles with bodkin, and the second one came with a bodkin so I keep it in its original container. The problem is that the E. Hille Lacquer cement keeps evaporating no matter how tightly I close the container! I've tried switching to small glass bottles, even closing the original bottles (I had 2 now I'm down to 1 due to evaporation) in Zip-Lok bags, all to no avail. (I have the same problem, though not as badly, with Dave's Flexament.) :wallbash: This is such a silly problem to have! Have you faced the same problem? Did you find an evaporation-proof container? Please let me know. Thanks!
  12. Thank you for your email Fred. My target species are mostly striped bass and bluefish. ~ Could you tell me more about color additives for epoxy? What kind? Where do you get them? Is there a way to keep it clear/transparent?
  13. Hi. I enjoy tieing freshwater flies. I don't tie as often as I should, nor am I fast when tieing, but I do enjoy this form of "art therapy," especially when a fish decides to go after one. I'd like to learn how to tie saltwater patterns such as crease flies, EP-style bunker flies (narrow but tall,) deceivers, big poppers that have a large, loose foam head... and anything else well-known to catch stripers and blues. Is there a book that could teach me these things step-by-step? It's easier for me to tie flies from a book than from the internet. It'd be great if the book weren't limited to flies created by one person, and it would be nice if there were some indication of when each fly works best, and how to fish it. A description/guide to the bewildering array of synthetic materials available to saltwater tyers would help, too (angel hair, diamond hair, bozo fiber, EP fibers, polar fiber, polar flash, yak hair, bucktail, corsair tubing, ez tubing, monocord, flat waxed nylon, gel-spun thread, monofilament, kinky hair... etc. - yikes!). Is there a book you'd recommend? Looking at Amazon.com I found the following books: Introduction to Salt Water Fly Tying by Scott Sanchez Essential Saltwater Flies by Ed Jaworowski Saltwater Fly Tying by Frank Wentink Tying Saltwater Flies: 12 Of the Best by Deke Meyer There were other books, but they were either lists of patterns, or dedicated to the flies of one tyer only. The first two books look particularly good, as they were recently written and have numerous patterns with step-by-step directions. I'm writing hoping that someone with more experience can point me in the right direction, or that a beginner like me has had a chance to compare the top two books. Thanks! PS I may be pushing this, but if you are willing to, I'd like to have your opinion/suggestions on the following matters: - Is there a less-toxic epoxy alternative? Nothing tremendously expensive, though. - Is there a way to delay the yellowing of epoxy over time? (Use 30 minute epoxy?) - How do you find out what fish are feeding on -- therefore which fly to use? Sometimes I don't see anything. - Are there any sources of cheap saltwater fly tying materials? For example, eyes, saddle hackles to tie Abrames-style flies, and EZ-body tubing are quite expensive - and not always easy to find. THANKS AGAIN!
  14. Hi! I just love Whitlocks bass and trout flies (and drawings.) The problem I am having is that, aside from an occasional fly magazine article, I can't find a source that will tell me how to tie (and fish) them. Any suggestions? Thanks! P.S. I'm looking forward to fishing for smallmouth on the Housatonic this summer - email me if you want to join me (but don't come if you're looking for someone to teach you - I am a fish snob: I only catch "rock fish!" )
  15. Thank you Paul, Mike, Bill, Leigh, Bob and Mark for being so helpful and generous with your time and ideas! I am so lucky to have "met" you. I wish I had a better memory... I may just have to create a word file! PS Anyone going to the Marlborough Fly Show?
  16. Get in touch with Robert Lewis - http://www.anglersden.net/index.html ; or Phil Castleman - http://castlearms.com/ They should be able to help you.
  17. Hi there! HAPPY NEW YEAR! My fly tying addiction is getting worse... As I was removing moth balls (my room STINKS!) and replacing them with a mixture of black pepper (the little black balls,) garlic cloves and cheap flea collar sections, I came across a reminder of just how gullible I can be. Well, I didn't know better, so a couple of years ago or so, at one of those fly fishing shows here in the Northeast, when a merchant said that yes, he did have blue dun dry fly capes after all (I'd heard so much about this amazing color and my beloved "Guide to New England Hatches" by T. Ames made it obvious that it was needed) I jumped to my (friend's) wallet and asked to borrow 30-something bucks for a #3 grizzly dyed medium blue dun Ewing dry fly cape. At last! The Grail was mine! A few weeks later I happily walked in to a meeting of the TU chapter I belong to, proud to show them my progress as a fly tyer - or at least proud that I now had something to start tieing with! First came the grizzly, cream, brown and dark gray/brown dun hackle I'd bought from (well, actually partially been given by) that very good-hearted and very knowledgeable breeder, Mr Collins himself. My friends obviously admired the beautiful hackle (If you haven't heard of Charlie Collins's famous duns and barred colors, take a look at the latest issue of Fly Tyer or go to http://store.catskillflies.com/fly-tying-m...ns-hackle.html). Then I took the Ewing "medium blue dun" out of the bag, and people looked at me in a strange way. "That's not blue dun," giggled my friend Dwight, "that's TEAL!" So true. It looks even more teal/green/gray/whatever-ish when wrapped around a hook. A few months later, after having won an Orvis gift certificate, I went to the local Orvis store with a fly tyer who's practically a pro and got the best Whiting medium dun half saddle we could find. It's dun, and that means it'll do as blue dun for now. (In any case I'm getting more into old - and by definition wet - flies.) So as I ponder my own experience with less than-honest human nature (and ignorance) I take this sad, never used product out of its plastic bag, and wonder whether throwing it away really is the best thing to do. It'd be a waste. A once living animal literally lost its skin for me. And I sweated about three hours to pay for it. The color IS grizzly dyed... teal. An almost metallic shade of teal that reminds me of early '90s cars or surfboards (not that we see too many of the latter here in CT.) Maybe it was popular then!? What to do? Should I experiment with bleaching and obtain some other monstrosity? Keep the larger feathers for streamers and play the (false) generous by giving the smaller-feathered (supposedly more valuable) upper section to TU's kids' program? I'm all ears. Happy New Year!
  18. Hi fellow addicts, I have two questions I hope you guys are willing to answer. I've been lucky enough to find a copy of the Lesenring/Hidy book on tying and fishing the flymph at a local library. Leisenring writes that Land Rail has great hackle for caddis wings. Is anyone familiar with this bird? :help: Where can one find it? If unavailable, is there a good, affordable, non-endangered substitute? My second question (the nerve!) deals with classic wets' wings. I got Don Bastain's video a couple of months ago but haven't had a chance to practice the tying as much as I would have liked to as I was working and going to college. My question is this: is it all right to use goose shoulder quills instead of the traditional duck quills? Besides breaking with tradition, are there other disadvantages? I don't mind that the goose quills are not as rigid, as I'm tying for fishing and not display, and its softness may actully be an advantage. Also, I find goose quills grab other feathers more easily and are more forgiving, therefore being better suited for a neophyte :baby: like me. Your opinion? (Hope I'm not ruffling anyone's feathers!) Thanks! PS - I bet you've answered these questions numerous times in the past, but although I look at dozens of postings, most times I just can't seem to find what I am looking for when I use the search function.
  19. Hi! Does anyone know of a way to keep synthetic Uni, Danville and (all-natural) Pearsall silk threads, as well as synthetic flosses, from weakening over time? There's nothing more frustrating than frail thread! Keeping them in the shade? In the fridge? Thanks! PS I also noticed that at least some flosses' colors change or fade over time (or maybe it's just the dirt!) - any suggestions? (Keeping them in a dark fridge? ) I don't use too much floss, but I like to keep colors around and would hate to have these very minor investments go to waste.
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