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Fly Tying


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About flyflinger

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  1. You have some fine choices there - I've fished them all. When you get ready for the South Platte, please let me know. I can provide some fairly specific advice (after guiding on that river for a quarter of a century!) For example, right now would be a terrible time since the key segments of the South Platte are blown out with ridiculously high flows. (Eleven Mile Canyon, Deckers, Cheesman Canyon, and the "Dream Stream" below Spinney Mountain Reservoir and above Eleven Mile Reservoir). Every year, the water management board(s) that control flows, somehow seemed shocked and amazed when the snow-melt in the mountains fills all the reservoirs, and they have to release a lot of water asap. The sad part is that many of those wonderful places suffer with minimum flows of 50-70 cfs all winter and spring. Then the flows suddenly go to 800-1000 cfs, stunning and moving the fish, eroding riverbanks, and making it dangerous to wade in the river. Regards,
  2. Amen! Most fly tyers have a hoarding problem! But that's ok . . . πŸ™„ Regards
  3. I'm still one of those dinosaurs wearing a good ol' fishing vest while fishing. It has pockets. I put fly boxes in those pockets! Some of those boxes are very old Wheatley boxes. I know there is a growing attraction for chest packs, fanny packs, belly packs, lanyards, and all manner of day-packs and shoulder slings, etc. I have nothing against any of those - just not my proverbial cup of tea . . . Regards, . . . and while we're on that subject, I use this $10 nipper tool: Please explain why I might need this one for $250??? Just sayin' . . .
  4. Ditto Mark, I can't define "too many"! Gene, Not a "sickness". You're just a "collector" (like me). Post em' in classifieds - folks will look . . . Regards,
  5. Well-stated - I concur. After 45 years of fly tying, I have collected a number of vises because I too like quality tools, and their history - Renzetti, Dyna-King, HMH, Regal, Petitjean, Thompson, and a few unique oddballs. Some are better at certain tasks than others. My current "day-to-day" vise is the Marc Petitjean Swiss-Vise Master, but if I switched to large streamers or saltwater flies, that would be exchanged probably for the Dyna-King or Regal. Sometimes I just dust off an old favorite for the heck-uv-it. At the end of the day, they just have to hold a particular hook really well. Regards,
  6. As they say: β€œThere but for the grace of God go I .” I too have surrendered many hooks to the carpet beneath my tying desk - and for the record they literally never can be retrieved by the magnets sold for that job!πŸ™„ Owing to the plethora of hooks buried there, I try to remember to wear something more than socks on my feet when at the tying bench. I have been perforated a few times by my own hand, and those of fly fishing clients, but mercifully never required professional medical intervention - I've been de-barbing hooks for a long time. And ditto on wearing glasses when casting! . . . Regards,
  7. If you only crimp the two ends of the cylinder on your leader/tippet, the middle of the split is still open. Then you can insert anything that will fit in the open slit (like hemostats) and pry it open . . . I don't know that they are better than Twistons, but have smaller sizes and are quite secure on small leader/tippets. Regards,
  8. At the risk of identifying an item that may be discontinued or "going away", I must say this is a gem of a product. Background: I have fished and guided for 40 years on the front range of Colorado. Much of our water is high quality in terms of catch-and-release of beautiful, and sometimes very large trout. The key locations on the South Platte River, for instance, have some outstanding fishing that is about 1.5 hours from both Denver and Colorado Springs. This means that those water are accessible to thousands of fishermen, and the trout become conditioned, and very "cautious" of presentations and tackle components that don't look extremely natural. This can make something like a split shot on a tippet become reason for a fish to avoid your flies altogether. If this seems a bit dramatic, just ask anyone, including some of my local brethren on this forum, who have fished in Cheesman Canyon near Deckers Colorado! Solution: Ideally, having no visible "sinker" would be best (for instance an upper fly with a integral hidden tungsten bead), but this quite difficult to execute with the very small flies required in those fisheries (size 22 flies are common). So clever fishermen dealing with spooky trout have developed some innovative solutions. I believe that the "stick-like" appearance of these "Stix" (aka Styler) split shot are one of many solutions to our wary fish, and it doesn't hurt that very few fishermen use them. Additionally, they come in "camo" color and are easy to remove/replace if you only crimp the ends and not the midsection. So that's my accurate, albeit lengthy, explanation/epistle of "why" I like Stix. Regards,
  9. Thank you very much. They're out of stock, hopefully not discontinued . . . Regards,
  10. A few years back I used a non-lead split shot that was shaped like a cylinder (with a slot down the edge). I seem to recall they were called "stylers", or something like that. Does anyone know if they are still available? - I can't seem to find them . . . Regards,
  11. Concur, briefly soaking in a little warm water (with glycerin if you like) is sufficient. It is not recommended to put any feather in your mouth to soften it since some have been prepared with chemicals that could be harmful. This is Charlie Craven's video on Biots - excellent! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN4a9qM3r0E Also, Soaking in water with glycerin is also helpful for stripped quills, horsehair, and moose mane/hair (if you're wrapping the moose) . . . or anything else that likes to crack when wrapped. Regards,
  12. Many decades ago, my first mentor Tom Lentz (in Florida) told me to put cedar chunks in all the drawers where I kept fur and feathers, and to leave them in their original packaging (usually zip lock bags). Over 45 years of storage in Florida, California, and mostly Colorado, I've only discarded one starling skin which I suspect was pretty infected when I bought it. I also believe that living at 7,000 feet of elevation in Colorado doesn't provide a many critters as a more temperate or humid sea-level climate. I also once heard that camphor wood had a similarly deterrent effect on insects, and also was a rust preventative. Has anyone used woods in this way? Regards,
  13. Yep, I did a related screw-up last year - I applied the Solarez to the fly and quickly went to cure it, not realizing I had set the applicator tube/bottle down on the bench under the vise (instead of replacing the cap). It was in the beam of the light so got cured along with the fly. Once it is "cooked", I know of no solvent that will release or soften it. Interestingly, it only cured the resin inside the applicator tube, so the bottle of resin wasn't compromised. I've tried all the viscosity options, but mostly use Bone Dry and thin or medium. I suspect if I did a lot of large streamers or salt water patterns, the thick could come in handy as well. Interesting trivia: this UV Resin originated in the belly board and surfing industry, and is still used for surfboard repairs. Regards,
  14. I use Solarez resins and their rechargeable curing light exclusively (see Charlie Craven video below) and it works great for me. There is also a second link below for an exhaustive test on various resins if you like lots of details. I have found that the procedure for curing is important, both the wavelength of the lamp (I won't go down that rabbit hole right now), and the timing. I start out with brief pulses of light from a distance, while rotating the fly in my vise. Then I increase the duration and closeness of the lamp to the fly incrementally until I'm sure its cured, usually about 30-60 seconds. Colored resins take longer. If you cure the resin to closely or too quickly, you can usually see a little puff of smoke, which in my experience, makes the resulting cure more brittle. The good news is that almost any resin, light, and procedure will work "adequately", but "good enough" is just not how my brain is wired after many years of fly tying (and being a retired engineer). I don't have any test data to answer if natural sunlight is better, but it surely does work to cure the resin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA-l1Qknuyc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJVI-7xHpWs Regards,
  15. Welcome to the forum. You live in a magnificent part of Scotland! I lived in Ayr and Troon as a kid (early 1960s). I loved Scotland and we had friends we kept in touch with for many decades. Regards,
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