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Fly Tying


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About Ephemerella

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  • Birthday 12/16/1957

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    Southern New Hampshire

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  1. Suspect an old property boundary marker... common in New England to have iron rods driven into rocks as corner markers. Not sure how it came to be bent unless there was a flood and ice jam one spring. Is the iron rod bent downstream? Today one sees property markers as rods in dirt and rectangular granite markers with a cross on top for more modern subdivisions. My surveyor friend tells me in New England the markers and the property description in the deed often do not match, anything from measurement errors and use of magnetic North instead of true North. Hence the markers are generally used as the final arbiter. Probably a never-ending source of revenue for lawyers...
  2. If the officers don't donate the fish to a food pantry, then they should let'um sit outside until the [alleged] poacher's court date, and dump them on the defendants table in court. I'm guessing the guilty plea will come shortly after...
  3. The R.B.M. series of Gem Flies, are a set of 12 similar flies in Hale's book (2nd ed. 1919) that all use colored celluloid bodies. Perhaps the first use of synthetic materials in fishing flies (you flashabou folks got nothing on this...). I suspect R.B.M. is Mr. R. B. (Robert Bright) Marston, editor of The Fishing Gazette, a very popular periodical of London from 1878 - 1927, since Hale thanks him in the preface of the 2nd edition book. And nice tie, SalarMan!
  4. Agn54, The proportions are fine. That fly will catch fish. Note that Herb Welch, the creator of that fly, had a wide variation in proportions, ranging from a wing much longer (3x) than the body, to the more traditional wing being 1.3x the body. And various hook lengths. Tail generally is 1-1.5x the hook gap. Wings of saddle feathers and also wings of marabou. Tails and throats generally yellow hackle feather fibers or schlappen fibers. Also he used a variety of bodies, from a narrow silk body, a silk tapered body, to a fuzzy wool body. Typically the body has a tag (a few contiguous wraps of tinsel at the rear of the body), but this is getting to details the fish probably don't notice much.
  5. My freshwater reel gets wet and or put down on gravel all the time. It is a (4-5 wt) mid-grade large arbor reel about 6 years old, no longer on the market (~$200 new), from a merchant you all would recognize as a purveyor of fine sporting goods and clothing. Two bad things have happened to it as a result. 1) The aluminum alloy is apparently much softer than the vendor advertised, as it is dinged up worse than an older cast-aluminum reel I own with many more years on it. Cheap $#!~ from a nation known for low cost labor, stealing intellectual property, and cheating customers when it comes to meeting product specifications. I shoulda known better. So should have the merchant. 2) There is an anti-reverse bearing assembly (unfortunately part of too many modern reels) made of a cast nylon "cage", steel hub, and steel roller bearings. The steel roller bearings rusted and the reel seized up. The bearing sits in a "waterproof" cavity with an o-ring seal - but alas, water got in. Repair was simple - a short term cleaning with waterproof grease and a coarse cloth to polish the rust off; and as a longer term fix, I found an industrial supplier of the same bearing (they have model code numbers stamped on the hub) that sold them in small quantities, so if it locks up again I can replace the bearing. Lesson learned: I will open the reel hub up and dry it out to keep this from happening again after any trips where the reel gets soaked. And avoid reels imported from certain nations when I buy my next one.
  6. Couple of differences between the various UV lights. As noted above, some vary in intensity - and the results are sort of obvious - more light energy = faster cure. Many of the LED UV lights are on slightly different wavelengths (colors) -and further they are narrowband, that is, emit one or more vary narrow ranges of wavelengths of ultraviolet. Sunlight, filtered incandescent sources, and some (not all) UV fluorescent tube sources are broadband, containing a range of many different wavelengths. The various resins are chemically "tuned" for specific wavelength light to initiate hardening. The wrong wavelength will often eventually cure as there is some residual light that falls into the sweet spot of the specific UV resin cement, but not as fast. The slower cure, as SilverCreek noted, lets oxidation of some of the resin occur and hence sticky residue. So at a minimum, ensure the UV light you use is of the wavelength the resin vendor specifies. Now to be sure, some vendors try to keep this a "trade secret" so they can sell you their "proprietary" light source - it's their right to have trade secrets to protect their business. But vendors of UV resin for fly tying that are primarily making UV resin for industrial use will have the needed wavelength in their literature, although maybe not in the retail fly fishing literature.
  7. Red and white look like either tips of small turkey tail feathers or turkey "t-base" feathers. Upper black might be black dyed turkey t-base or maybe marabou? need a better picture of that.
  8. Congrats - now build her some wood toys, a fly rod, and plan a fishing trip when she's 3. Playing with and caring for grandchildren is a real joy (I have 2 granddaughters). And vicrider, you have stolen my secret method of taking care of grandchildren...
  9. And a little more: Hen feathers are webby, and rounded, rooster feathers have very little webbing (dry fly) or only some in a narrow strip widening near the base of the feather (streamer saddles and capes) and can be pointed or pointed with more rounded ends. So now you know rooster vs hens, and saddles vs capes. Next are the color patterns: Grizzly is b & w in bars, often with some genetic heritage from the Plymouth Rock chicken. Chinchilla (not the furry critter) is similar but gray barring, not black. Badger is white (silver badger) or yellow-cream (golden badger) with black webbing in the center of the feather. Furnace is similar, but a brown feather with the black center webbing. There are other more exotic patterning you can look up (coch-y-bondhu, knee-cap) that are variations on furnace and badger. Good dry fly hackle has very little webbing, and what there is, is confined to near the base of the feather. And the barbs are stiff, used to keep your flies afloat. At this point you'll probably be able to apply the right feathers to the pattern. So get tying!
  10. DFoster, Looks an awful lot like shelters my kids made in the woods when they were in Scouts. Leaves or leafy boughs covering the sticks....or Sasquatch did it...
  11. I'm guessing you are correct, the West Brookfield - Brookfield town boundary marker. Looking at town zoning maps for the two towns, the south edge of the railroad ROW has two sharp angles that are corners of the West Brookfield / Brookfield town line. Perhaps the ROW is 200 ft wide, with 100 ft to the south being a corner of the town boundary? Or perhaps Sasquatch left it...Not too far from the 'squatch lean-to DFoster posted.
  12. What do the other sides of the post say? I'm guessing this is a railroad mile marker. I'm suspect 1909 is the date, B is Boston (you are somewhere in New England), and on the other side would be the miles to Boston, maybe? Several of those on old yet still-active rail lines nearby although I have never seen one on the abandoned rail line in our town.
  13. I suggest you use Jacquard acid dyes. I'm not a dye-ologist, more of an enthusiastic amateur. As ChugBug indicated, acid dyes bind to protein like hair and feathers. You'll need a heat source, a dye pot (stainless steel or enameled only), a candy thermometer, some cheap measuring cups and measuring spoons. Synthrapol (an odorless colorless detergent designed for cleaning before dyeing) or Dawn detergent. And a small amount of white (distilled) vinegar or "special acid crystals" (citric acid powder). And the dye. Need to be careful with hides, and some colors. Reds and blues need higher temperatures but can start to cook the skins. Basically for 1 tail or a saddle or cape, use 4-6 cups water, dye - amount for saturated color is about 1/2 ts. Add 1 drop synthrapol or Dawn detergent. Heat to 150F for any color other than red or blue. For red or blue up to 175 F. Once up to temp, turn the heat as low as you can. Oh -wear rubber or nitrile or vinyl gloves since dye will bind to your skin also. And I recommend you use a camping stove outside or you will banished from the kitchen by "she who must be obeyed". [Chugbug apparently has negotiated a special deal in this regard - I have not]. Note the measuring cups/spoons and dye pot can never again be used for food. Before this starts, soak the bucktail (or feathers) in warm water with 1-2 drops synthrapol or Dawn, at least 30 minutes. Remove bucktail from this wash solution, and put the bucktail in the dye, stirring. Dye will take some time to bind to the substrate, typically 5-15 minutes, more for bucktail (maybe 30 min). After 5 minutes stir in 1-2 Tablespoons white vinegar. Do NOT put the vinegar on the bucktail, just slowly pour it into the water. Then stir. More of the dye will go into the bucktail, almost immediately. Check the color saturation, and remove the bucktail when it's a little darker than the desired color. Rinse the bucktail in running COLD water. then towel off and hang it up to dry. Black dye is a problem child. Some say dye the bucktail orange first, then dye again with black. Also use 2x the dye quantity. Black is best at 150 F max, and use only 1 tablespoon vinegar, or the color will be brownish (with Jacquard acid dye black - other dyes may be different). You can shut the heat off after 15 - 30 minutes and let the bucktail soak for 1-2 hours in the black dye as it cools off. Then the cold water rinse, etc. Acid dye is not a bigger leap. The little jars of dye are about $5 (find them on-line) and will do 10 tails or so. 40+ colors available. And for the adventurous you can mix using primaries, or overdye lighter colors to tweak them to the shade you want. Plus there are other manufacturers of acid dyes, like Dharma (sells Dharma and Jacquard). And others like Cushing, ORCO, ProChemical- WashFast. Larger jars are available from all these manufacturers but are priced by color. I've done saddles/capes in these colors: Red, several shades of orange, pink (red using 1/4 ts dye), deep blue, several shades of olive, dark pine green, medium green, pale green, yellow, black, gray-ghost gray (gray, overdyed with olive and green).
  14. It's beautiful and rural, for sure, and a sportsman's paradise. All sorts of freshwater fishing, from brook trout and landlocked salmon to bass fishing in the streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. And the state values sport tourism (hunting, fishing). Land away from the coast is inexpensive, except for a few tourist-centered areas. And the state is large, very large, and only one Interstate highway (and a few spur routes near Portland). Takes as much time to go from Kittery to Fort Kent, as the drive from Kittery to Philadelphia, PA. That being said there are a few things you should know: There is a state income tax applied to ALL household members if ANY live or work in Maine, including if you reside out of state. Not much in the way of state services Lots of rural poverty A few cities (all the cities are relatively small) have crime problems.
  15. That's a really nice bucktail! The long straight hair is perfect for the underbellies of Carrie Stevens-style streamers (e.g. Gray Ghost), and the flies you mentioned earlier. As far as treating the tail, put borax on the flesh side. Then bury the whole thing in maybe 1/4" borax and have a small fan blow air over it. As far as washing, a friend who sells bucktail in quantity and to shops, washes them in dawn, then shampoo, and then uses conditioner. Then dry out in borax again using the same method. Do NOT use bleach! (Bleach will weaken the protein in the hair very quickly. It's why one never uses bleach on wool garments. Don''t believe me? Take an old peacock eye feather and put it in a dish with bleach. In a few minutes all that is left will be the stems of the herls - in fact using dilute bleach is how one gets peacock quill bodies for the Quill Gordon).
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