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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by brooknut

  1. Harry Darby in Catskill Flytier (pg. 56) describes an interesting alternative. Find an appropriate colored hackle feather with fibers about the length you want about 1/4" below the tip. Cut off the tip at the shaft at that point. Clip that with your hackle pliers, and stroke most of the fibers back, leaving 2 or 3 on the top for the tail. Bend back or cut off the other fibers, leaving about 1/16" attached to the stem. He used these to make a very light tail and body for his small Two-Feather Fly.
  2. I'm eager to see the movie.
  3. Trying a new tying technique - something intricate and challenging. After several attempts, I finally get it right, and the exhalation of relief blows feathers and clipped thread and loose fur all over the place.
  4. I recently downsized my library by several thousand books (nothing fishing related) so you know what side I fall on. I am fortunate that there are several great used book stores near me in CT - I check them frequently, and got Daniels' Dynamic Nymphing a few months ago for $6. I found Fishbugs for $2. The key is NOT to search in stores that specialize in fishing/outdoors/ sports - no bargains there (although certainly cheaper than new). Amazon is another good resource, but search for used copies in Good or better condition - you'll be surprised what you come across. If you are searching for truly hard to find books, try Abebooks.com, which has a worldwide search capability - but be prepared to pay for it - you can drop $3500 for a signed first edition of The Trout and the Fly by Goddard and Clarke, or get a used, pedestrian one for $1.62 (plus shipping). All that said, YouTube IS an excellent resource, with all of the advantages and limitations previously mentioned. One other on-line resource that is often overlooked is Facebook - there are some excellent groups of fly-tiers there, and they tend to be more immediately responsive than posters on YouTube. I've not checked, but there is probably - or ought to be - a database of recommended YouTube tiers on this site - but I will second Davie McPhail and Barry Ord Clarke and add In The Riffle to that list - all highly competent tiers, good teachers and with a style I prefer, but your results may vary. Finally, and with no offense intended, I have learned from unfortunate experience NOT to loan books without some collateral - I still regret losing a signed first edition inscribed to me by the author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to a moron who absconded with it. He owes me roughly the equivalent of a good used Volvo. Start here: http://used-bookdepot.com/CentralPennsylvaniaUsedBooks
  5. Great for making strong forms for pouring cement. A doubled heavy wire is passed through holes on opposite sides of the form, and a nail inserted through the bend. The pliers are locked on the tag ends, and you pull the spiralled handle, which twists the wire tight. After the cement sets, you clip off the wire - in the picture, it appears there was a LOT of wire clipping done.
  6. Some of us "type A" personalities like that level of organization, and there are some helpful books that can get you closer to knowing the standards (the Orvis Pattern Book is one of the "classics," the Umpqua Feather Merchants Fly Pattern book is another. The Fly Fisherman Federation has a Fly Pattern Encyclopedia. When I was getting started, I would go to local fly shops - for a while, LLBean was local for me - and just try to learn to identify the most pertinent ones. Now, like many here, I keep them in boxes by type - streamers, dries, nymphs, wets, etc, or by season, or by where they will be fished. It means I have a lot of boxes, but it's easy to manage a wider assortment. There are several pattern databases on line
  7. I've been fishing for 50 years, fly fishing for 20 years and only started tying about 15 months ago when I bought a lot of tying materials on Craigslist. For $200 I got two vises (an Atlas Anvil and a Crown) 6 dry fly saddles, 9 hen hackles, 8 bucktails (5 dyed) 64 spools of thread, wire, a few thousand hooks, a bunch of synthetic materials, patches of beaver, badger, fox, coyote, elk, moose (and moose mane) bags of marabou, partridge, grouse, turkey, ostrich, pheasant and peacock, 5 bobbin holders and a bunch of other tools, and a few things that I still haven't identified. I wasn't certain I would enjoy it, but now find it's almost as fun as fishing - especially with a polar vortex heading this way. It was the best investment I've ever made - and I'm still looking for more stuff. I've been learning a lot here, and decided to finally step out of the shadows.
  8. look at the tools used for jewelry making - that's where those round-nosed pliers are easily found.
  9. There is an excellent book called Wet Flies by Dave Hughes which addresses this issue briefly. It may relate to the type of water being fished, or to the opinion of the angler as to whether a soft-hackle is an imitation or an attractor, and if so, whether it mimics an insect or a baitfish. In faster or more roiled water, a heavier dressing may have some advantages regarding visibility, but I prefer a lighter dressing - with longer hackles - in slower water where the movement of the fibers imparts more life to the fly. That said, both work, and it makes sense to have some options if you often fish a variety of water conditions.
  10. Hi Gene - I'm new to this forum, and yours is the first post I'm responding to. I have a condition called drug-induced Parkinsonism caused by a medication I take for another condition. It results in uncontrollable trremors that make tying both difficult and inelegant - probably a situation you are familiar with. I have found that mounting my vise low with a pad for my forearms I can regain some control. I also know that certain times of day my symptoms are less severe.One advantage I've found - which is small comfort indeed - is that it is easier to weave thread through standing hackle without binding down the fibers - not insignificant for a relative beginner. I admire your tenacity, and wish you all the best.
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