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Sandan

Snowies #2 for the Brora

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First attempt. Next one will have the topping and tail even, the wings set a bit better and a smaller head. Criticisms always welcome. Also posted in November flies, but I think here is more appropriate. 

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Odd.  I posted a fly yesterday (Francis Fly) named after that older tyer named in that article, Francis Francis, from that book.   

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2 hours ago, niveker said:

Odd.  I posted a fly yesterday (Francis Fly) named after that older tyer named in that article, Francis Francis, from that book.   

Yeah?  It's in the "Flies from the bench" thread.

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18 minutes ago, mikechell said:

Yeah?  It's in the "Flies from the bench" thread.

Yes.  Thought it was kinda weird having that guy and his book pop up twice in the same day on two different flies.  .  

anyhow, sorry to hijack your thread, Sandan.  Your fly is beautiful.  It'll be a few years until I can attempt to tackle something like that.  

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7 hours ago, niveker said:

Yes.  Thought it was kinda weird having that guy and his book pop up twice in the same day on two different flies.  .  

anyhow, sorry to hijack your thread, Sandan.  Your fly is beautiful.  It'll be a few years until I can attempt to tackle something like that.  

No worries. It's all good here

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16 hours ago, Mark Knapp said:

Sandan, are you going to the Brora?

No, I wish I was though.  I thought the fly would be a good pattern to practice improving my oh so limited skills with. 

 

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3 hours ago, Sandan said:

No, I wish I was though.  I thought the fly would be a good pattern to practice improving my oh so limited skills with. 

 

That would be fun. Very nice looking fly.

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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!!!

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3 hours ago, SalarMan said:

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!!!

@SalarMan My sincere wishes that your wife has a speedy recovery from her surgery.  Your criticisms are always welcome, always constructive and always taken to heart.  As you've noticed, I've just been bending hooks to approximate shape, I'll pick up son Daiichi Alec Johnson Spey hooks, probably some 2052s in size 1.  Any other recommendations?  Proportions have been my bugaboo, greater effort coming up!  I think that I'm rushing the whole process and as a result focus on "A" while missing "B".  Proportion-wise I'm also noticing that the underwing, wing and topping are too long and the tail doesn't curve enough though it seems to be the right length. Do you use the same crest feathers for both the tail and the topping?  As to counting wraps, interestingly when I'm tying small trout patterns I do that. I'll work on making it second nature.  Dropping down in thread size makes great sense too. Additionally I'll go back to using wax as that will increase the "holding" power of the thread and result, hopefully, in fewer wraps.   Stay tuned. Thanks again and have a good Thanksgiving.

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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

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On 11/26/2020 at 8:15 AM, SalarMan said:

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

 

(pic cut for brevity)

The wax I have is tyers wax, not tube wax. I got it at a fly fishing show from a guy who interestingly enough was tying full dress salmon flies. Out of the freezer it's coming for use at the bench. I ordered some Daiichi 2441's in both 1/0 and 2/0 sizes.  Until they arrive, I'll probably spend time marrying wings. The suggestion of drawing out the fly is a great one. I think that'll be an immense help for visualization, proportion as well as not focusing on "A" and missing "B" as I'll now have a game plan to follow.  I do have two vises, switching between flies is another idea that I really like. Taking the time to look at what's in the vise and plan that next move without having to take the fly out should also help me follow the plan. Ruler, measuring, underbody, where the fly actually begins, burnishing...so much good advice. I think I'm guilty of sprinting too often. I'll drop that pace to a marathon pace rather than a fist out of the blocks pace.

Thanks again for all the help and advice.

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