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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. Sorry gents, The UVA LED flashlights can be hazardous, depending on the emitted power, and wavelength. Solarez needs 385 nm and typically one uses a 370- 390 nm. The Solareze high power UVA flash lights are in the 1-3W range at 385nm. Looking at a UK-made light at 365 nm (more active - more of a hazard) , this Manual for 365nm 5 Watt UV LED flashlight is a 5W unit. Using the UK UVA exposure standards: Eye exposure limit (unprotected) at 20 cm to 40 seconds a day - that is looking at the beam. Of course reflections from fly heads and the surrounding vise are less, maybe 5%. So that's about 13 minutes/day. Plus the Solareze and similar lights are only like 1-3 watts, so maybe that is bumped to 26 minutes per day. Probably even 8-9 hrs of tying won't hit that limit. Smaller UV lights allow even more exposure time. But if you are tying at a fly tying demo, you need to be careful not expose the guests to the beam! Skin exposure limit (unprotected) at 20 cm is 46 minutes per day, and for a 3 w unit, that is like 92 minutes/day. But if you are holding the fly when you illuminate it, you are at maybe 2 cm from the beam, so the power increases as 1/distance-squared, so 100 times stronger and so 1/100 of the exposure which is about 1 minute/day. At 5 seconds per fly, you skin hits its exposure limit after a dozen flies. Not good. So do NOT hold the fly when exposing it to the UV light. Again, smaller UV lights allow even more exposure time. The problems of UVA exposure are minor burns and cataracts, plus some potential retina damage. -Peter
  2. The buyer's request to meet at a location half way is a scummy technique to get you (seller) invested in the sale, and de-risk the buyer. It has the appearance of only a small concession, so often can get a "Yes" from the seller. You, the seller, have to spend the time to get all the way to the seller (halfway there and back), so you feel invested having already driven say 30 minutes, and the buyer saves him/herself half the time. The next step of the buyer will be to request a lower price, of course waiting until you are both at the meeting place - assuming he shows up at all. Since the seller is invested at this point, the odds of an unprepared or unknowledgeable seller agreeing are higher - after all, if the seller refuses, the seller is out the investment, and the buyer is only out half his investment. Now you know the tricks, you are prepared to just say, "No thank you" when the buyer requests the meeting place. If the buyer complains, you probably don't want to deal with him/her anyway. And I detest having to deal with people playing those sorts of games. -Peter
  3. Bill, For me, the crest looks a bit thin, but everyone has a different opinion on how the tails should look. If you want to try something, here's one way to remedy: 1) Don't use a cheap crest. Go buy a high end one. Should have an intense golden color, not pale yellow, maybe with a hint of red at the very tips. Maybe $12-$16 at a reputable materials dealer. Pluck off the feathers, discarding any that have a double twist, etc. You'll have a half naked bird head left which you can use to terrorize grandchildren. Wash the plucked crest feathers in Dawn and water using a small bowl or container, drain and rinse,. Then pick each crest feather using tweezers and lay out in their natural shape on a piece of glass to dry. Don't try to manipulate the shape much, other than each feather's natural curvature. (Some well-known published tyers have advocated manipulating the shape, but on the first humid day they return to their natural shape).You can spread the fibers apart at the ends a little with a bodkin if you like. You can use the corner of a paper towel to soak up water droplets next to the crests, if need be. Let dry, maybe a couple of hours depending on humidity. Sort by size in one of those plastic boxes (e.g. Plano lure/fly box). 2) Select a crest of the right size, maybe 1/8" - 1/4" longer than the crest you will see on the fly. Make sure it is not too scrawny in terms of number of fibers and density of fibers. Pluck off some of the whitish and shorter fibers at the base, discarding them. This leaves a flexible whitish stem for the tie-in for maybe 1/8 - 1/4 of an inch. Do NOT pluck off so many that the remaining stem is the harder yellowish material - this causes the crest to roll under thread tension as it has an odd cross-section shape. 3) Tie in your crest with very few wraps, specifically flattening the thread by spinning the bobbin counter clockwise before making your first wrap. Start at the rear (towards the hook bend) of the desired tie-down point and wrap thread only forward (towards the eye). If you go back with thread, say, to tie down the silk body if you don't use a herl butt, then NEVER go past the first thread wrap on the crest, or it will go cockeyed, and the fibers will splay, making the tail look weak. Try these ideas!
  4. To avoid permanent exile from the kitchen and eternal scorn from "she who must be obeyed" I recommend you dye outside. Use a camping stove, get an old soup pot from the discount store, a plastic bowl, along with your own set of measuring cups and measuring spoons, a candy thermometer, a spoon, and some rubber or vinyl gloves. Do your dyeing outside. You'll need Jacquard acid dyes, available on the internet - they are usually used to dye wool, but chemically bind to any protein like feathers - or your skin - hence the need for gloves. Do NOT use dyes for cotton or polyester - they will NOT bind to the feathers and will rinse out. And you'll need Synthrapol or Dawn detergent, and white vinegar. Wash the material to be dyed in hot water with a few drops of the detergent and let soak for 30 minutes, then rinse and keep submerged in warm water. Squirrel is a bit tricky since it is a smooth fiber, and will initially resist dye. Meanwhile heat up 4-6 cups of water to 160F/70C in the pot on the burner. Put on the gloves. Add dye to the hot water, roughly 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon using a dry measuring spoon. Stir the dye into the water until dissolved. Adjust the heat to keep the dye solution at or just below 160F/70C, although olives and black can dye at lower temperatures. Other colors won't take or end up with undesired shades. Stir in tiny drop of detergent. Now take the material to be dyed and slip it into the hot dye solution, and keep stirring. After a minute or two, you can add 1/4 cup vinegar to the solution. Keep stirring. The dye will begin to bind to the feathers. Keep checking for the desired shade, maybe a little darker. Takes between 3 and 15 minutes, depending on color (hue) and desired color saturation. Remove the material when done and rinse in cold water. Let the material dry. Material can be dried with a hair dryer on medium (not high) heat, but the skin will be wet for several days. Dry on newspaper or paper towels. Package in separate plastic bags when thoroughly dry. If you want brighter colors on squirrel, you'll need to pre-bleach the tails. That is something I have never done, but in general you use hair bleach from the beauty section (you've already been seen lurking there for Hard-As-Nails, cuticle scissors, eyelash brushes, and black nail polish ). Good luck!
  5. looks good, but slow as molasses...
  6. Let me add to Flytire's excellent tip - BTW this method is how Carrie Stevens tied her streamers. 1) With Carrie Stevens patterns the material is not all tied in at the head. End the body, say 1/2" from the eye on a size #6 hook. Tie on underbelly of deer hair. Tie on peacock herl underwing forward of that. Tie on throat forward of that - leaving room for the head. So each material has its own tie in spot, never bunching up. This avoids the bunched materials interfering with the wing feathers. 2) Ensure the thread base you will be tying the feather stems on to is smooth and tapered. Do this by untwisting thread (work's with Danville 6/0 - 70 denier) to get a flat ribbon and carefully build up the thread over the butts of the throat. 3) Use tying wax, not dubbing wax, on the thread used to tie down the wing feathers. Tying wax available from John McLain (feathersmc.com) and a small piece lasts a lifetime. It is 70% rosin 20% beeswax, 10% castor or olive oil -formulas vary. It is the superglue of the 1880s - used to tie Classic Atlantic Salmon flies. With thread pressure it softens, and releasing pressure, it hardens like a rock. And unlike superglue, it can be unwrapped with a little effort. 4) Tie on each side wing assemblies using only 3 wraps each, advancing thread in adjacent wraps towards the eye on each side. Ensure you hold the wing feathers in place. Wrap once only, back to the first wrap of the first wing. Now tie on the other side - not too much thread tension or you'll roll the feathers. 5) At this point, stop, remove your left hand from the wing feathers and inspect. Ensure symmetrical and feathers are at the position you want. Undo and re-tie as needed. Once you move to the next step, there's no going back. (dramatic music goes here...) 6) Flatten the thread, and coat with tying wax. Hold on the wing with your left hand. Tie on, wrapping forward with reasonable tension. Once you get to 3/4 of the way forward, clip the wing butts. Finish the wrapping the head, keeping the thread untwisted, building up the shape you want, forward and back, smoothly with no thread lumps. 7) add a drop or two of medium-thin cement. 8) For a presentation finish, apply Sally Hansen Hard-as-Nails, 1 coat every 12 hours for 4-5 coats.
  7. Vinegar might do the trick - the dye should be acid dye for feathers - if insufficient acid added the dye will bleed. If it still bleeds in cold water, I suspect the dye was not an acid dye so will only weakly bind to the feathers.
  8. And to add to the confusion, in addition to denier (weight) and the ought system (diameter from same manufacturer), the construction of the threads differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, and from thread type within the same manufacturer. For example Danville is spun (twisted) nylon, which can be un-twisted, to get a flatter lay of the thread, but is consequently weaker. Other manufacturers use bonded polyester, where the strands are twisted, like Danville, but then bonded (I'm guessing using heat) so the thread cannot untwist. That thread construction is a little stronger, but can never be untwisted to get flattened. And then there are the various gel-spun products and Kevlar... Perhaps buying a few spools of each kind of thread (really they're only a buck or two) and find what you like for each purpose. You may find you like one size and construction for one purpose, but another for a different fly. Thread preferences are a bit like religion or politics - you understand and like yours, but that of the other people remains a mystery... -Peter
  9. Possibly Estaz in the Grande size?
  10. Just be aware generic head cement is not nail polish, or one of its minor variants, but simple lacquer. Generally bought in multi-gallon containers and repackaged in 1 oz (29ml) glass jars, and the fly shop's label added. A job for the junior member of the fly shop staff. As with the other cements, it suffers from solvent evaporation. Use lacquer thinner from the hardware store to thin. I have a small squeeze container of head cement that has been re-thinned for several years. After 6-7 years of re-thinning, the cement got cloudy and I discarded it -probably from water absorbtion by alcohols in the thinner. A 1 qt can (about 0.9 liters) of lacquer thinner should last a lifetime. Also do not decant the thinner into smaller bottles near open flames (oil burners, wood stoves, gas stoves) since its vapors travel quickly and are explosive. For Fleximent, lots of articles on its ingredients and solvents, but rather than play amateur chemist, I just buy its solvent. The outrageous sum of $4 for an ounce every 2 years or so isn't what puts me in the poorhouse.
  11. I've been tying at shows for 5-6 years now. It's fun. Drop by and see me if you're in the Northeast at any of "The Fly Fishing Show" venues. A few tips for show tyers: Prepare: -Extension cord and power strip with your name on them -Make a list, check it twice. Don't forget your vise and lamp... (it happens...) -Bring example flies, even in a frame or on some sort of 3D display -Drill a block of wood and insert test clips (Radio Shack or other electronics supplier) to hold completed flies up off the table - some folks use alligator clips on stiff wire mounted on blocks -Some sort of holder for tools - you really can't leave them lying on the tying table - they roll off and get lost -Business cards from Overnight Prints or Vista Print -Business card holder ($4 at Staples) -Small notebook and a pen At the show: -Be friendly - ask folks if they tie - tell them something interesting about the fly you are tying - ask them where they fish and with what flies...your interest in show guests gets rewarded with their attention to you ... and maybe a sale. -Show them a tip they won't get in a book - anything from hand tied whip finish, to cobbler's wax, to thread control to tie in tails or whatever -Brush your teeth and use mouthwash, and wash your hands, clip your nails, and use deodorant... just saying... -Keep food off the table - nothing worse than ham and cheese and marabou sandwich -Tell them to enjoy the show -Little kids love peacock tail eye plumes ( like after you have harvested the herls ) - hand them out and their parents or grandparents will stay at your booth -Take a break every few hours and enjoy the other tyers and vendors - just leave a card in your vise that you'll be right back. -Tell the show manager how much you enjoyed tying, and leave him/her a few flies for fishing, or a presentation fly for framing. -Relax and enjoy the show - YOU are the show.
  12. Lightweight-medium weight polypro long underwear (Walmart, or if not available in the South, get some at walmart.com). Layer over these with polyester fleece lounge pants (hipster pajamas) (in the Northeast these are available at Ocean State Job Lots for about $8). Be sure they are polyester not cotton. Wear wool or acrylic heavy socks and you can stand around all day in your waders in the cold. No cotton except maybe your undershorts. All moisture needs to wick out, driven by body heat, or you get cold. Also a fleece vest or sweater to keep your core warm, and a winter hat (wool or acrylic), since most heat leaves via the head, especially if you are follicly challenged like me. Personally I wear old-school neoprene waders in the early spring and late fall, but probably not worth the investment in the South.
  13. Vendors mostly take both, tyers generally cash only. There is an ATM in the lobby of the venue. The symposium is mostly tyers and a few materials vendors - especially Salmon fly and other hard-to-find quality materials. The Fly Fishing Shows in January through March are mostly vendors, guides, and fewer tyers. This show is large but you'll have plenty of time to talk with tyers and learn various tying tips - everything from one-minute trout flies to classic Atlantic Salmon flies and everything in-between. Drop by, I'll be tying Carrie Stevens streamer patterns. -Peter Simonson
  14. Use standard 70 Denier (6/0) Danville waxed thread. The flat waxed 140 Denier thread is really not spun tightly, in fact it is almost flat- Most useful for building up bodies on streamers or wet flies, but not really good for general tying. The 6/0 thread is strands of nylon, spun into a rope. On the spool it is already spun. The 140 Denier flat waxed on the spool is not really spun tightly.Once you use the standard 6/0 thread, you should be wrapping clockwise (facing the eye) so the wrap goes away from you on the top of the hook shank, and towards you underneath. Now with the 6/0 thread, if you want it to be flat, such as for tying on tails on #18 dry flies, you can untwist the thread, by twirling the bobbin counter clockwise (looking form the top) until the thread is flat. Likewise, you can twist it to be a little more ropelike with a round profile for other applications. Good luck!
  15. Antique flat silver tinsel IS silver - really silver plated brass. I have several spools of it. The outer layers on the spool tarnish, but the inner layers are as shiny as the day it was spooled - the outer layers keep the air and airborne sulfur away from it. The gold tinsel is brass. The tinsel I have comes in different weights as well as widths, for example the thin stuff is very flexible but fragile, while the wider stuff is fairly stiff. As others have pointed out it can weight a fly quite a bit, will withstand years of fish bites, but can easily cut the thread, especially when counter wound. Some tinsel is varnished - the old French stuff is labeled "vernie" which means varnished. Today you can find Lagurtun's which is varnished and ridiculously priced at about $7/spool. If you are lucky you can find some varnished UTC flat metal tinsel, no longer generally available - years ago I found some at a Midwest bass fishing store. For those in the Northeast US, try Tinsel Trading Co. in NYC. Years ago they came to the International Fly Tying Symposium and were selling spool ends of antique French tinsel for crazy low prices -I bought all sorts of tinsel, including flats, ovals, "twist" (round also called thread), and lace (3 strands of twist wrapped together) of various sizes and colors, and patterns. -Peter
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