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Fly Tying


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  • Birthday August 5

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    Annapolis, Maryland USA
  1. Chris, thanks for the info. On your DVD I mistakenly thought the first three flies, the Ishigaki Kebaris tied by you, Daniel, and Dr. Ishigaki, were meant to be dry flies as they were tied on dry fly hooks with dry fly hackle. Was I wrong on this assumption? If so, and it seems that's the case, why the dry fly hook and the dry fly hackle instead of wet fly hooks and a webbier softer hackle? Thanks for a great DVD, I tied a few of the CDC & Elk and those things float like a cork.
  2. I just started tenkara fishing and decided to tie a tenkara style reverse hackle dry fly. The standard version of this fly has a pretty heavy tread head followed by a reverse hackled cock feather collar and behind that a built up thread body. Instead of the thread head I used dry fly dubbing followed by the hackle and the thread body. I treated it with Gink about two days before using it. It only took about 6 casts before it started sinking. I used my Loon desiccant on it and that worked for another 6 casts and it started sinking again. Would a thread head have floated the fly better than using dry fly dubbing? Perhaps I used too much thread in the body of the fly? I can post an image of the fly but don't have one available at the moment.
  3. Here's a picture. Looks like I may have too much deer hair flared behind the head. I got this pattern from Skip Morris' Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple II.
  4. I just tied a few Dave's Hoppers and couldn't wait to try them out and see how I did. I noticed that they are floating on their side and not in a prone position they way I imagine they should. I used a store bought one a while back and if I remember correctly that one floated prone. My guess is that this is not good. Has anyone else had this issue? I'm wondering what I might be able to do to resolve this. From what I can see mine don't quite have the nicely compacted deer hair heads of the store bought ones and the hackle that's palmered around the body is slightly longer. Not much I can do about packing the deer hair tighter till I get better but I'll try trimming the hackle shorter and try again.
  5. I found some of my double edged blades and trimmed the 'frog' up a bit. Didn't want to take too much off at the first go around. I can always take more off but I can't put it back on... It might even be salvageable. I also tried to tie a basic mouse. No tail, ears, or anything else, just working on getting the hair right. I tried packing it as tight as I could. I used the empty body of a pen. Would an actual hair packer do a better job?
  6. I'm looking to catch some small Rockfish, Perch, or anything else that might be hungry in some of the rivers around the Chesapeake Bay and thought that a small shrimp pattern might be just thing to fish in the aquatic grasses in the Bay area. I weighted the hook with some lead wire to get it down to the bottom. As soon as I shake this nasty sinus infection and plan on trying this thing out. I know the ribbing is a bit uneven, I'll do better on the next one. I would welcome any critiques or suggestions.
  7. Thanks for all the advise. I bought some deer body hair and some 210 denier flat waxed nylon. I couldn't find any GSP thread. Will the 210 denier be sufficient? I also trimmed with scissors but I do have some double edge blades for my shaver. I assume that will do a better job than the scissors? I might also try one of my straight blade razors. I have a few that are shave ready and they might be a lot easier to handle for this. I also used the empty body of a pen to pack the hair on the hook. Would an actual hair packer do a better job? I don't mind buying the right tool for the right job but if some household object does just as good a job I'm good with that too. I bought deer body hair dyed green, some that was natural, and some deer belly hair that was white. Couldn't find any deer body hair dyed black. Will deer belly hair work for spinning? I was hoping to get some green, black, and white in there as that was in the pattern that I'm trying to copy. I also don't feel that my hook had enough shank. I picked up some 4xL size 4 hooks. Would that be the right size for a bass frog?
  8. I have mixed thoughts about kits. When I first started off I had a friend that was an accomplished fly tier so he guided me in my choice of tools and materials. He did insist on quality tools and five years later I'm still using the same tools although I have added a lot of nonessential but nice to have tools. Not everyone has the benefit of a friend that can guide you like that so a kit may be a good way to start. I bought my daughter a $90 kit and it came with all of the essential tools and materials but after looking them over I felt that I could have done better with the same $90 if I had simply picked out the tools and materials from the shelf. The scissors were of rather poor quality, the material was OK but could have been better, etc. I'm not saying I wasted $90 but I feel I could have done a bit better, of course that's with the knowledge of five years of fly tying. With no knowledge and no friend to help guide you a kit may be the way to go. Just be ready to eventually replace everything in it...
  9. I remember back in the early 70s when I was about 8 years old I got some fly fishing book from the library and looked at the black and white images of some of the flies. I put an Eagle Claw hook (built in leader and all) in my Dad's tool vise, wrapped hair from the family St. Bernard with my Mom's sewing thread, and if the timing where right would catch bluegill all day long with that thing. Would it catch a hook weary trout in a catch and release stream? Doubtful, but that's not what I was after. I think that just about any fly will catch a fish, just not any fish. Bluegill and the like tend to be less selective about flies than some other fish. A trout that's been stung by a hook or two might be less apt to take a fly that doesn't look quite right. Bass seem to have serious mood swings, sometimes they hit anything that strikes their interest and looks meaty and other time will ignore anything other than the perfect fly. If you're trout fishing during a hatch you almost have to match it, otherwise they may hit anything from a wooly bugger to a grasshopper. So just have realistic expectations with your flies. Until your skill level increases just don't expect to take trout from a stream with lots of fishing pressure during a caddis hatch. While your working on creating that perfectly symmetrical Elk Hair Caddis the bluegill will be more than happy to pounce on whatever you toss their way.
  10. I think that mistake number one was that I used bucktail and not regular deer hair for this one. Would that make a difference?
  11. How hard can spinning deer hair be? Looks easy enough on the videos that I watched... Well, now I know. After breaking the thread about four times and dropping hair all over the place I realize this might not be so easy after all. Not sure if I used too much at one time or maybe not enough. I was using 6/0 thread and kept breaking it. Is that thread too light or am I just putting too much pressure on it? If anyone has any tips or a good video for someone that is 'deer hair challenged' I would sure appreciate it!
  12. It's hard to go wrong with a couple of woolly buggers. Some size 14 hooks, chenille, marabou, thread, and some inexpensive webby hackle feathers. Tools needed are the bare minimum, a vise, scissors, bobbin, and hackle pliers.
  13. I also must concur with the two that brought up Skip Morris' book 'Fly Tying Clear and Simple'. It's well worth the money. I also like his 'Clear and Simple II' for more advanced techniques. If you're going to tie dry flies there is no getting around using the more expensive dry fly hackle. The initial investment is a bit steep (I paid about $60 for a cape) but it will tie hundreds of flies.
  14. Is there a general rule as to when you tie in a hackle feather from the tip end or the base? I've seen both techniques used and wasn't sure if it was simply a matter of preference or if there was something more to it.
  15. I usually buy from Great Feathers. Of course they're my local fly shop but nonetheless, they are great. Email them with any and all questions. You won't be disappointed.
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