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Fly Tying


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About Soft-hackle

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 09/14/1948

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    Wellsville, NY
  1. HI, First.let me say that fly fishing does not have to be complicated. It can be as involved and an in depth study of the art and science involved. With that being said, all you need do is to match the natural insects you see with your flies. Size, shape,behavior, color can be matched, and you'll have a start on selecting the right fly to start with. You don't need to know their scientific names, or for that matter what kind of fly it is (although this doesn't hurt.) It can and has been done by many fly fishermen for years with great success. If you see no insect activity, select an attractor pattern. Eventually, you WILL delve deeper into it all, but for now, take it easy, and keep it simple. Mark
  2. Hi, I'm sure this fur would be useable for tailing dries, in fact Fran Betters' used it as tailing on his Ausable Wulff. It was listed as woodchuck and it's the same animal. It could be good for winging streamers as well. Mark
  3. The blue winged olive is one of the most popular flies of all time. I'm speaking of the natural. Dressings-HA-- tons and tons of dressings for this natural. I also do not understand why everyone assumes that when someone asks for a dressing, they give the dry fly dressings. The fact of the matter is, this fly is very well represented by a wet fly. Double Olive Flymph Little Olive Flymph Here are two wingless wet flies that are super during olive hatches. Mark
  4. Honestly, most will tell you you will not find a decent vise for under $50. Some will say more. Since you are a beginner and you are not sure you will like tying, I'd suggest a standard vise like this: vise The problem with less expensive vises might be wobble in the vise, however, this one will get one started. If you enjoy tying, and feel you wish to continue, after a while, you can consider a much more expensive and finely made tool. Many tiers like myself started out on less expensive vises, which worked fairly well. The more tying you do, the more you will want something better. look here:Vise reviews Mark
  5. Hi, There are no hard, fast rules regarding fly tying, and I have seen beads used as a thorax on other flies. Personally, I have been tying and fishing wingless wet flies for many years and feel adding a bead to these flies inhibits their natural action in the water. Weight can be added, minimally, by adding some ribbing wire or tying on heavier hooks. Likewise, for fishing this type of fly in the film or just below, standard or light wire hooks can be used. I like the result of your second attempt much better without the bead. Keep tying and trying, you are on the right path. Mark
  6. Hi, As you can see, everyone has their own take on tying thread. Myself, I do not consider sewing thread for actual tying. It can be used for bodies or under-body build up. Size of the thread is determined by what you are using it for as well as size of fly. I tie a lot of trout flies ranging between size 10 to 16 and like my threads in sizes 6/0 and 8/0. Using these sizes will assist you in tying less bulkier flies ans smaller heads. You can get away with using white and black threads, but some flies utilize the thread color as an intricate part of the fly body, so in some instances different colors might be needed. It truly depends upon what you are doing or want to do. J. Stockard offers a great selection of tying threads, and would suggest you purchase tying threads from a reputable supplier like them. Do some research into the patterns you want to tie and see if they require special colored thread. Many flies don't, and as Al has said, black will work fine. Mark
  7. Hi, A lot of feathers can be used IF you tie the flies large enough. Pheasant, although very usable are often quite large for soft-hackles in smaller sizes. Look on the wings (on top of the wing and below), upper breasts and back for smaller feathers. There are various ways to utilize larger feathers on smaller flies. One of the flies I tie uses pheasant from a cock bird. Red Clock Here's a link to Charlie Craven's solution to using larger bird feathers on smaller flies. There are other methods as well. Craven's Soft hackle I hope this helps, Mark
  8. Hi Al, Absolutely. It'd be interesting to see why these particular breeds had "Blue" in their names. I'd venture a guess it was still probably derived from either the French bleu or the English bloa referring to a particular gray coloration. Mark
  9. Utyer, Dang! That Grffin looks real nice for the price, and they do make good stuff. novabass, That Griffin looks pretty nice for the price. The Anvil Apex is also a good sturdy vise which is of good quality. It also comes with a table clamp and pedestal base, I believe. My son owns one, and I can vouch that it does a great job. You need to start out slowly and build your tying repertoire and materials/ Start by tying rather larger flies like Wooley Buggers, etc, then work down to the smaller flies. Don't be afraid to strip the stuff off the hook and start over if you don't like your results. Starting out with good tools and materials usually results in decent flies. Be patient, and it'll work for you. There are some good tutorials on this site that can help you as well. When I first started, I had a little stamped out vise that came in a Knoll Fly tying kit. I had no bobbin to hold the thread, just a clip clothes pin to weight a very long piece of tying thread. Evenually,I got a better vise and the right tools to help, but it took me time to build my stash of stuff. If we can help answer questions, feel free. Mark
  10. Hi, To be honest, most experienced tiers do not recommend kits because the materials are not that good a quality. I looked at one from Bass Pro for about $65. It did not look too bad,had good customer reviews, and it might get you started tying reasonably. I'm not sure how much money you wish to initially invest, but once you get into it you will want a better vise, most likely, than the one in the kit. Also, it helps if you know what you'd like to start tying. Whatever you are thinking, starting out with a kit often times help you determine if you like tying or not, but I must also note that an inexpensive vise might not perform as well as a more expensive one, and may cause a beginner some frustrations. Based on the reviews it appears this kit would be an adequate beginning. Mark
  11. Hi, Maybe I can help. Blue dun is a medium shade of gray, so medium blue dun hackle is pretty much what is meant by "Blue Dun". A blue dun which has a creamy look to it might be called Honey dun, and is quite prized, today. Fly dressings usually distinguish whether to use dk. blue dun, light blue dun, or just blue dun. The term blue dun probably evolved from the term Bloa. as in bloa dun-used in England to distinguish a rather distinct gray- the color of a stormy sky. The term Bloa blae was used to describe such a sky. If you look up the famous pattern called a Waterhen Bloa, you should see a soft-hackle dressed with waterhen hackle of beautiful "Blue dun" color. The body is also lightly dubbed with blue dun water-rat over yellow thread. Mark
  12. Hi, I have read so many books, seen so many wingless wets, and tied many as well. It is my take that hook shank length plays an important part in figuring body length. It is also a matter of preference and geographical location. The same thing goes for hackle length and even the number of turns of hackle. European and tiers from the British Isles use less hackle turns than those in the USA. Also English soft-hackles often have longer hackles. As for me, most of my standard soft hackle bodies are tied so if you draw a straight line down to the barb from the tail end of the body, it will intersect a spot half way between the barb point and its rear point. Of course, I vary this occasionally depending upon what I am trying to represent with the fly. I like my hackles not too long, but not too short Again, it IS a matter of preference. The fish don't measure. Take a look at some of my flies: WOODCOCK & ORANGE This fly, although tied on a standard wet fly hook, is tied traditionally with sparse hackle tied more perpendicular to the hook shank. IRON BLUE DUN This is what is commonly called a flymph because the thread upon which the body is dubbed shows through. Notice the body length. The hackle length is just a bit shorter than I normally tie. TUPS INDISPENSIBLE This fly is proportioned perfectly as far as my preferences. Good luck in your tying, Mark
  13. flytier, The thing is this, everyone does it differently, and if you accomplish what you want to accomplish in tying, there's no right or wrong. Mark
  14. Hi Friends, You are correct, FrequentTyer, dubbing wax is different than wax for threads. I was thinking of making dubbing brushes as well. I use the Leisenring method of creating dubbing brushes, and these need a wax to help keep them together, initially. I guess this would qualify as a dubbing wax. I have actually used Leisenring's wax supplied to me by my friend, Jim Slattery. This wax takes getting use to, however, it surely holds these dubbing brushes together really well. It is not cobblers wax, but something else. It is so good, you can wax some Pearsall's Gossamer and "Cast it onto"(wrap it onto) the hooks shank and tie with it using no weight on the thread to hold it in position. Yet it's not sticky or gooey at all. perchjerker, You will have no argument from me that there are many instances where wax is not needed. The only thing I can ask is, have you ever fashioned a fly using the Leisenring method of dubbing or creating a dubbing brush? I'm not saying that in every instance you need wax. You don't, however I do believe there are certain applications where wax is needed. I've been tying for 49 years, and while I may not be a versatile a tier as you, I've tied long enough to know that wax can be a valuable additive to success in certain tying applications. Mark
  15. Super nice, Roy! That's got to be murder. Have you used it, yet? Mark
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