I'm new to tying and trying to figure out what I can do to make my flies swim right side up with the hook on the bottom. I tied a few Smoke Wagons and a wooly bugger with a marabou wing on top and both of these flies swam upside down through the water. They were tied on a size 8 3x hook with a brass bead head. What is the trick to getting them to swim the right way with the extra marabou tied in?
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Fly swimming upside down?
Posted 21 May 2019 - 05:57 PM
edit: keel not reel.
Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:47 PM
TMC947BL is supposedly designed in part to help subsurface patterns ride right side up....
"The hook shank on this barbless model is curved slightly to help achieve a more
natural-looking nymph imitation. The curved shank also helps the fly ride in the correct position in the water instead of turning upside-down. The wide size range, sizes #4-#20, allows you to cover all nymph patterns from the largest stoneflies to smallest mayflies. Since this model uses standard wire, it can also be used for tying dry flies or floating terrestrials."
Here's a link to a picture of the hook profile
Seems too gimmicky for comfort, but if Tiemco is right then it might be worth a shot bending a slight downward curve mid-shank on your smaller 2xl and larger 3xl hooks before tying.
Posted 22 May 2019 - 07:28 AM
There may be multiple factors at play here. A woolly bugger is fundamentally a symmetrical fly--no top or bottom. However when you add that bead at the front, it is naturally going to descend in the water column hook eye down. Next time on the water, drop one of your fully wetted buggers in the water and observe its descent. If it rolls over, there's something making it heavier on top. The bead should cause it to nose dive a bit, but not roll over. The next factor is your tippet. Am assuming you are tying the fly on with a clinch knot. If your tippet is stiff and tight against the hook eye make sure the fly is in line with the tension in the tippet. If your tippet is limp, it may be twisting a bit during the cast, and that twist will translate to the fly once in the water. A fly with a straight eye will ride better than one with a down eye.
There are three methods by which you can improve the performance of a bugger:
1) Abandon the bead and replace with 10-15 wraps of lead-free wire at the middle of the hook shank. This puts the center of gravity of the fly in the middle, not the hook eye. A real added benefit of this is "rod-insurance". Beads that impact rod blanks during errant casting do unseen damage that eventually contribute to rod breakage. If significant depth is required, use sink-tips not weight to achieve.
2) Instead of using a clinch knot to attach the fly, use a non-slip loop knot. The fly will swim more freely and be less affected by twisting or stiffness of the tippet.
3) One of the better bugger hooks is the Daiichi 1850. The straight, flat eye is perfect for a hook/tippet connection that doesn't adversely impact fly performance.
Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:02 AM
Posted 22 May 2019 - 03:47 PM
tend to agree with both mikemac and flicted. However I'm not understanding the "wooly bugger with a marabou wing on top"; aren't woolly buggers wingless?
Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:04 PM
Thank you for the replies everyone.
Here is an image of one of the smoke wagons I tied. I apologize in advance for my tying. Even though alot of my flies are not the prettiest it has been nice catching fish on them. I almost exclusively fish things I tie now so it's been pretty encouraging when I'm able to fool the native brook trout.
Another question I had was regarding wet flies. Is there a big difference between tying with silk vs UTC 70? I have been tying up some partridge and orange/olive as well as a few poachers and haven't had much luck with them compared to streamers.
Posted 22 May 2019 - 08:26 PM
Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:10 PM
Sometimes it can depend on the knot you tie and the leader stiffness on an eye up or eye down hook.
I'm kind of a fan of "symmetrical" patterns for that reason.
Not that Pearsall
Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:39 PM
If you use lead wire (or lead substitute), when you wrap the lead around the hook shank, make sure that when you cut the ends of the lead that both ends point up. By doing this you will ensure that the bottom half of the fly has one more wrap than the top of the fly (count the wraps on the top half vs the bottom half and you will see what I am talking about). Thus, the fly will be tend to float in an upright position. (I hope this explanation is clear. It's much easier to demonstrate than to try to explain)
Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:20 AM
where the cut ends of the lead wraps end up is going to affect how the hook point rides in the water? or float in an upright position?
so i would need to wrap the forward tag end 1/2 more turn to be vertical above the hook to affect how the fly floats/sinks in the water?
Think BEFORE you assume!
Posted 23 May 2019 - 09:56 AM
Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:33 AM
Since the op used bead instead of wraps, that is not likely to be his problem.
What I see in the picture is the combo of down eye and bead have created a jig that has more bead above the eye than below the eye and when the leader turns the eye upwards the bead rolls the hook over. The eye will always want to line up with the leader, making the ring or flat eye better for this situation, imo.
It would also suit me better if that fly had about 1/3 less material, that may be a part of the problem also.
Posted 23 May 2019 - 11:04 AM
Looking at the picture, you'd snip off the lead on the left side of the fly about mid-hookshank. Then you'd make 1/2 turn more on the right side of the fly and snip it off about mid-hookshank. Both ends of the lead would be pointed up. If you count the number of turns on the top half of the fly, there would be 15. If you counted the number of turns on the bottom half of the fly, it would be 16. Thus, the bottom half of the fly is weighted slightly more than the top half of the fly.
Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:08 PM