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Fly Tying


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Posts posted by DarrellP

  1. I want to explain my thoughts on bigger flies requiring different skills.  Those skills include tying with Buck tail, spinning deer hair, using rubber legs, winding marabou, working with foam or balsa, placing eyes, composite loops, etc.  There are a lot of skills that are used for warm water, salt and Salmon/Steelhead  that small trout flies don't require.

  2. Ok.  Done.  My new glasses, and my table mounted magnifying lens made it possible.  10/0 was almost too large a thread!  I have met Ed Engle and somehow he remains a decent, friendly guy even though he ties much smaller.  I think I should go back to tying Buggers and Steelhead flies!  My wife objected to my language while I tied these.  She said "I thought fly tying was supposed to be fun."  Seriously, these flies really tried me.

  3. Disclaimer: I never said that I was a professional.  Heads are my biggest worry/ problem.  I am a slow tyer.  I started tying when I was 40, and now I can't see how bad my small flies look until I take photos! 

    I appreciate you guys putting your thoughts down.  I hope more people will add to this thread.  Hoping this helps some new tiers.

  4. I have been tying flies off and on for a good part of 20 years.  I have had some good teachers, good books, and I have learned a lot of things through trial and error.  I have learned quite a lot from other forum members.  I would like to encourage others to chime in with their own observations. Mine, in no particular order:

    1.  A small clean head is the sign of a professional.

    2.  Learning to whip finish by hand was a game changer.

    3.  If a step looks wrong, unwrap it and do over.  Always!

    4.  Use ceramic bobbins and sharp scissors.  You need a reliable vise.

    5.  A pinch wrap is probably the most important skill you will learn.

    6.  You don't get faster by moving faster.  You get faster by eliminating pauses and knowing where stuff is.  

    7.  Pre-sorting, measuring and working in batches helps a lot in tying faster and more consistently.

    8.  Proportion, based on the hook as a measuring guide, is how you get correct, consistent flies.

    9.  Compare your fly to the picture you are trying to emulate..

    10.  Crappy materials = crappy flies.

    11.  Sparse flies may not look as good to you, but they catch more fish.

    12.  Use the smallest threads you can get by with.  Use the same brand so that you learn how strong it is and how much strength it takes to break it.

    13.  If you can tie it on a size 12, you can go down to smaller sizes.  Same basic skills.  What you can do on a 10 or larger, may not "miniaturize".  A 12 requires the same "small fly skills" as a 14-20, IMHO.  Big flies require different skills, not less skills.

    14.  Davie McPhail is not a normal human.  Expecting to tie like him is like expecting to pitch like Clayton Kershaw.  But you will improve with good instruction and practice.

    15.  Simple flies are elegant and they work.  I.e., Clouser Minnows, Woolly Buggers, Bob's Bangers, PT nymphs, Zebra Midges, Klinkenhammer Specials, Partridge and Orange, and on and on.  But they can be deceptive with a lot of subtle differences to get right.  I thought I had a Clouser Minnow down pat until I saw Bob Clouser tie one and heard him explain each step.

    Fly tying is like sex--you don't have to be good at it to enjoy it, but you should want to get better at it!



  5. On 1/4/2021 at 5:54 PM, Poopdeck said:

    DF, that is a really nice looking riser. I have been toying with the idea of making a smaller portable desk to hold a vise, bobbin and just  a few tools and material since I do a lot of tying away from my actual world HQ. I will definately be modeling it after your riser.  That actually looks nice enough to where I can leave it on a shelving unit in my formal living room and it will not detract from the decor. Thanks for sharing. 

    I always like when threads like this pop up because I'm proud of my portable desk and enjoy sharing it and it's story with others. While I have a fully appointed wood shop with a minor in metal work,  It was not constructed by me but rather my father who was a simple no frills farmer. It is of very crude construction, laughable construction actually, and he and it were the target of many family jokes. When he passed away the desk passed to me and I can't and will never use anything but this. To many great memories of my dad tying flies at this desk and the many jokes tossed his way. I cleaned it up a bit and put a light sealer on it to preserve its crudeness. My favorite part is the orange lumberyard marking paint on the edges that he never bothered to sand off. The Griffin vise on the left was his as well. This also will not ever be replaced. 



    That is very cool that you have preserved your Dad's stuff.  I respect that a lot!

  6. I have moved into an area that is rich in fishing opportunities.  I think that one really overlooked area of fly fishing is stillwater fishing.  I live near a lake that seems to consistently produce large Trout, along with bass and other warm water species.  It offers easy access.  As I am not quite as good at wading as I used to be (balance), I am probably going to focus on float tube fishing a good bit.

    I would appreciate anyone letting me know what patterns have worked for them in Stillwaters.  I have read Rickard's boo;ks, Phil Rowley's book, watched Brian Chan and Phil Rowley on you tube.  

    I have also read Lockhart's book.  While I appreciate the presentation vs fly argument, it seems that lakewater fishing is really about depth and distance from shore, along with structure.  This is exactly what we had to focus on with Bass Fishing when I lived in the South.  I will be Bass fishing some in this lake as well.

    The flies I have had luck with in the past are Woooly Buggers in various colors, Rickard's AP nymph, Carey Specials, and PT nymphs.  Please let me know your thoughts on pattern selection.  I am trying to limit this to one large box for the lake.


  7. Happy New Year.  Glad this SOB of a year is finally getting over.  It has been a hard year for most everyone, but it has put things in perspective.  Family, Health, having a Job, food on the table, living in a Democracy, Basic Human dignity.  Things we have probably all taken for granted have been moved to the forefront of our minds.  I hope everyone has a safe and prosperous New Year!  Tie on, and hopefully fish on.

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