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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by SalarMan

  1. Tell McLain George K sent you. I know him well and he will appreciate that.
  2. I prefer wooly nylon thread because it is finer diameter and that gives better control of the diameter (size) of the underbody and it also seems to wrap smoother.
  3. Regarding the wings splitting...now we are getting into the area of material quality. I imagine you are using goose shoulder which is easy to use but can vary widely in quality. Your options are either swan (hard to find) or dyed white turkey. John McLain's (feathersmc.com) goose shoulder is probably the best you will find anywhere, plus his dye work is second to none. He also has a respectable selection of turkey at this time. And yes too much handling can cause wing problems...I know from experience LOL.
  4. Sorry for the delay in responding, but sometimes life gets in the way. I've attached a couple of photos showing the current state of affairs on my tying desk. The agate burnishers I use are shown to illustrate the various sizes available. Now...They will not compensate for poor tying, only smooth and polish what you've done to a certain degree. It is important to make the underbody as flat and flawless as possible and the burnisher will fine tune your work, which means the finished body can also be completed smooth and shiny as well. Hope this helps.
  5. Okay Sandan...I will add a few more thoughts focusing on small details, plus a material and tool tip or 2. Tool tip #1 - On that well known auction site type burnishing agate knife into the search box. They are all I use to burnish my flies. The flat gray ones are my choice. Material tip #1 - On that same site type wooly nylon thread into the search box. Buy a spool (cone) of white. You will have to transfer this stuff onto tying sized spools to use it with a bobbin, but when you pay less than $10 for several thousand meters...need I say more? When wrapping the underbody, be sure to keep the material flat for smoothness. When you have what you're looking for...burnish it. Then do the same with the finished body. Be patient and you will be happy with the results. The tip/tag/tail/butt area are much closer to the correct traditional length. Try to make the floss smaller in diameter. The body must be a little larger than that for proper appearances. Finally for now - the traditional length of the tail is 1 1/2 times the gape (gap) of the hook. Everything will follow and begin to fall in place after that.
  6. Okay, I'll address what I consider important points to move you on your way...starting with something simple...wax. DO NOT use modern tube wax. It is too slippery for the uses in tying these flies. You must use old fashioned cake wax of the type John McLain sells at Feathers Mc. Next - Hooks...Go with traditional salmon fly hooks rather than AJ Spey type for traditional salmon flies. Daiichi 2441 should work well enough in sizes 1/0 or 2/0. When you get the hooks lay 5 or 6 on the glass of your copy machine and make a copy or 2 of the hooks. Then use a pencil to lay out your fly's shape and proportions. This will give your mind's eye an image of what you want the finished fly to look like. Nothing detailed, just basic shape and size. I have been guilty of the rushing thing. If you own 2 vises that would help. Work a little on the fancy stuff, then let it sit a bit while you do some regular tying. Don't hesitate to use a ruler for some things. Your bobbin is also a measuring tool...as in a plumb bob. The fly begins over the point of the barb, then the tip/tag/butt area finish over the point of the hook. Use of silk floss will make it easier to achieve a smooth finish to the body. Use fine diameter Uni-Stretch for the underbody and be sure to burnish both the under and finished bodies. Any flaws on the underbody show through on the finished body. I've attached a photo of a partially completed body to illustrate. Use of the ruler...I always allow 5/32" for the head, plus about 1/16" for the throat. Believe me I could go on for pages and pages, but I'll stop here for now. There is much to learn and the journey is part of the fun. I always say learning to tie these flies is a marathon not a sprint. Patience my friend. Cheers, George
  7. Ditto to all that has been said. Enjoy folks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. Sorry for the slow response time guys. Been off "The Tour" for a spell. Took a bit of a break while I help my wife with her rehab after double knee replacement surgery. First - Brora. That is the village (town) on the Brora River in Scotland and it was the home of salmon fly tying legend...the late Megan Boyd. Second - The fly. Your work shows great promise Sandan. I would really like to see you working with a more traditional shaped hook for starters. I also would like to see you put greater effort in controlling the proportions of the fly. As far as a smaller head is concerned...do a couple of things. Remember only 2, maybe 3 wraps are all that is needed to hold virtually any material in place. And along that line, count the number of wraps at each step of the fly. If you use 5 wraps to temporarily hold something in place...remove 2 wraps before adding the next piece of material. I also use Veevus 10/0 thread for all of my salmon flies as another way of controlling bulk. Finally - Keep tying!!!
  9. The old story goes early that hairwings were developed in the Maritimes of Canada by locals who used materials on hand...and that turned out to be primarily dog hair along with some local bird feathers which would have been waterfowl for the most part. Don't know if the legend is true, but it does seem to make sense to me.
  10. Thanks Dean...much appreciated.
  11. I agree with Sandan.👍 Keep working at it. That's the way to improve.
  12. Thank you all again folks. This was a fun tie because it was something different for me.
  13. Thank you for your kind words guys...much appreciated.
  14. Like you Mark I worked with my hands my entire working life...I am a retired sheet metal worker. The arthritis is rather insignificant at the moment, but just enough to get my attention. I will be spending plenty of time over the vise this winter...so no worries there. Right now I am helping my wife with her recovery for double knee replacement and that is priority #1. The fly tying bench, tools, materials, etc. will be there when she is up and running again.
  15. I was just reading about another forum member's dealing with pretty bad carpal tunnel syndrome and how the effect it is having on tying flies. My arthritis in a couple of the fingers in my left hand have been slowing down my tying of late...but I thought I'd post something from the past to keep things rolling here. This is a "Yellow Eagle" I did not long ago and one of those flies that interested me and which...of course...required subs for the eagle hackle. Feel free to comment folks!!
  16. Doug- I've attached a series of photos that will hopefully will give you a look at what the finished product looks like when trying to be as realistic as possible with this particular sub. There is the feather, the tool and the feather in place on a Silver Jock Scott. George
  17. Doug - The JC is obviously the real thing since there is no adequate sub I'm aware of. The RRFC (Red Indian Crow) is John McLain's Granadensis sub on Ringneck Pheasant feathers and the Chatterer sub is also John's work on Penguin feathers. His stuff at http://www.feathersmc.com is the best dye job in the business!! I have a very small cache of the real thing, but for the most part it is a little rich for my blood. George
  18. Well, I haven't been doing any tying, or not much anyway so I thought I'd post something from the past...again to keep this forum going. The current fly in the vise is one of those "Flag Flies" I tie, and it is by request from a long time friend or I wouldn't be doing another one at the moment. When Art gets the bill he may regret his request - HA HA HA 😁 This pattern, the Dewdrop, is from a couple of years ago, and to be honest I always liked this interpretation of the pattern. I've seen other variations, but this one is what was in my mind and I went with it at the time and in looking back...no regrets.
  19. Your last sentence brings back a conversation with none other than Ernie Schwiebert. What is generally referred to as sports...think the "sports page" of the newspaper...should be the "games page". Activities like football, baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, etc. are games not sports. Carefully designed rules, playing fields, other limitations and requirements. Ernie maintained the true definition of a "sport" is something now done as a pastime that what was once done as a means of survival...like fishing and hunting. Certain equestrian competitions could be construed as a sport since the horse was once a major part of hunting on the plains of North America in the not too distant past, but that may be stretching it a bit.
  20. I didn't participate in that particular project, but I do remember those things happening on that site. As someone who was "in their prime" in the late 1960's...combined with a number years after those days...as well as being a big fan of Pink Floyd...well let's just say the fly makes perfect sense to me...sort of a scary thought 😎😁 Petri Heil, George
  21. Oh yea!!! One fine effort there flykid. This is a pattern I've never tied despite the fact I am totally fascinated by it. I always chuckle at the name. When I was growing up I was taught the 7 colors of the spectrum was call VIBGYOR. The first time I saw this fly and the name I wondered who Roy G Biv was Thanks for the shout out about posting older ties. It is fun to look at my own flies from the past, plus I truly enjoy looking at past efforts from my fellow tyers on the site. I hope others follow suit. It benefits the site and also helps those who aspire to tie the classics. Petri Heil, George PS - I noticed it was missed...Happy Birthday back on the 9/25 🍺
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