Jump to content


 Welcome to FlyTyingForum.com


FlyTyingForum.com is the largest fly tying community in the world and we hope you take a moment to register for a free account and join this amazingly friendly and helpful group of anglers. FTF has over 12,000 registered members that have made over 300,000 posts and have uploaded over 6,000 patterns to our exclusive fly pattern database!

If you are an experienced fly tier or just starting out FTF is the perfect place to call home. Click Here To Register for a Free Account

Fly Pattern Database / Browse by Topics / Browse by Material / Fly Tying Bench Database / Fly Fishing & Tying Videos / FTFCurrent(NEW!)
Featured Products: Fly Tying Hooks / Fly Tying Scissors / Waterproof Fly Boxes
Photo

Best feather for wet wing fly

wings wet fly

  • Please log in to reply
67 replies to this topic

#1 j8000

j8000

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 151 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 01:33 PM

I've been working on some wet flies and been having difficulty of setting a good wing.  I've been using pheasant tail, you know the smaller ones in a clump.  Some come out ok, but most seem to fold up while tightening.  Been using text book methods, but wondering if there are better feathers to use for a beginner like me.

 

What I'm looking for is an easy to set feather for classic wet flies mainly around the size of 12.  I hear all different types work for wet fly wings, but looking for one that will set the easiest without costing an arm and a leg.  color not too important now as I'd rather get technique down before matching colors.

 

Thank you,

Jeff



#2 Bugsy

Bugsy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 741 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 03:10 PM

Jeff,
I'd suggest starting with a matched pair of mallard wings,...under $5. The sets I've purchased have all been correctly matched, but some tyers have reported getting mismatched pairs. Select in person or verify a reputable supplier before online purchase.

I go through the wings, removing matching quills as I go and bagging the matched pairs separately.

#3 Bimini15

Bimini15

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,234 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 03:14 PM

What are you trying to tie exactly?
Bimini15

#4 Dave G.

Dave G.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,585 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 04:02 PM

I agree with Bugsy, mallard pairs will work on many traditional wet flies, it's what is used in flies like the Leadwing Coachman. Also Mallard Flank feathers are used on some others and  needed for the very popular Hornberg or Joe's Smelt.. Turkey pairs too, especially if the mottled look is what you are after ( not as resilient as either type mallard), some of the caddis wets use this .. Pheasant would be at the bottom of my list, it's too fragile to hold up for more than a few fish if that many.


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#5 j8000

j8000

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 151 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:04 PM

Great!  I wasn't sure about the duck wings.  I have to agree about the pheasant feathers.  Figured I was just horrible at them, but when I used a couple cut chicken feathers, they didn't look too bad.  I do like the mottled look, but like I said, I want to get the wing setting right before I worry about colors. 

 

March Brown ( both the American and the male England versions) the Montreal and a couple similar s.



#6 Fatman

Fatman

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,583 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:18 PM

Turkey, duck, goose, pheasant WING feathers - heres an article that showed me faster than what anyone could tell me,

 

Once you make that first wrap of thread to seat the feather slips DON'T make any wraps of thread behind that wrap!!!

 

http://www.flyfisher...ther-slip-wing/


Just Fishing! All life is that to some extent. If we are not fishing for one thing it is another. But angling! That's just a bit different. In it we find peace and contentment and much with which to occupy our minds. May the balance of our fishing days be blessed with congenial comrades and "tight lines." Ray Bergman

#7 flyty1

flyty1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 198 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:20 PM

If you try to tie quill wings from either duck or goose feathers, don't try to tie in below the bloodline (this is a line parallel to the quill where the feather changes texture and more importantly where the fibers interlock with adjacent fibers). Below the bloodline, the fibers do not adhere or interlock with their adjacent fibers. If you try to tighten on a bundle of fibers below the bloodline, they will split apart and won't make a nice wing. Make sure you make a complete wrap or wrap and a half before trying to tighten on your wing clump - and always keep a "death grip" on the wing clump. Maintain your grip even when trimming the butts from the wing clump and have placed a few tight turns to finish the operation.

#8 Flat Rock native

Flat Rock native

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,042 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:34 PM

If you want to tie one that fishes trout as good as it looks, Leadwing Coachman could be the ticket. # 14....
Kenduardo's Lure & FlyBuffalo, WyomingEstablished: Circa "Whenever you see anything I have, ... that you must buy!" 😎

#9 j8000

j8000

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 151 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:32 PM

That is very good to know fly tie.  I will keep that in mind.  Is that on all feathers, or just ducks, geese?  I'm going to check out the L coachman right now.



#10 Crackaig

Crackaig

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,199 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:44 PM

There are various methods of winging a wet fly, usually the method varies with the material. Two of the most common wings are the matched slips, and the rolled or folded wings.

Flies that require a wing of duck flank feathers, teal, bronze mallard etc. usually have a rolled or folded wing. These would include Teal Blue and Silver, Mallard and Claret Dunkeld etc. (Some people tie these with paired slips but the wings tied like that are not substantial enough, well not enough for my liking). Paired slips are made from more substantial feathers, usually primary flight feathers. A matched pair of feathers, the same one from each wing from the wings of one bird. (Not all suppliers supply matched pairs of wings, Veniards are particularly guilty of this). The slips are taken from the same place on both feathers. These include flies like Greenwell's Gory, Cinnamon and Gold etc. 

There are a third class of winged wet that has a folded wing from a secondary flight feather. For a start possibly the best, most readily available, feather for this is the hen pheasant. A large slip, 3 1/2 times the width of the desired wing is ideal. Now with the slip on the table in front of you turn in the left edge until it almost reaches the centre of the strip. Then fold in the right edge. It is important that both edges neither meet or cross in the middle. Then fold the entire strip in half. The gap you left in the middle helps to keep the slip together. If they are too long the slip will split. This folded wing is mounted with the open edge downward. This method is most commonly used on the Invicta wet fly family. That would be where I suggest you start. Have a go and let us know how you get on.

 

Cheers,

C.


"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
by the clean end"


#11 Flat Rock native

Flat Rock native

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,042 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 07:26 PM

There are various methods of winging a wet fly, usually the method varies with the material. Two of the most common wings are the matched slips, and the rolled or folded wings.
Flies that require a wing of duck flank feathers, teal, bronze mallard etc. usually have a rolled or folded wing. These would include Teal Blue and Silver, Mallard and Claret Dunkeld etc. (Some people tie these with paired slips but the wings tied like that are not substantial enough, well not enough for my liking). Paired slips are made from more substantial feathers, usually primary flight feathers. A matched pair of feathers, the same one from each wing from the wings of one bird. (Not all suppliers supply matched pairs of wings, Veniards are particularly guilty of this). The slips are taken from the same place on both feathers. These include flies like Greenwell's Gory, Cinnamon and Gold etc. 

There are a third class of winged wet that has a folded wing from a secondary flight feather. For a start possibly the best, most readily available, feather for this is the hen pheasant. A large slip, 3 1/2 times the width of the desired wing is ideal. Now with the slip on the table in front of you turn in the left edge until it almost reaches the centre of the strip. Then fold in the right edge. It is important that both edges neither meet or cross in the middle. Then fold the entire strip in half. The gap you left in the middle helps to keep the slip together. If they are too long the slip will split. This folded wing is mounted with the open edge downward. This method is most commonly used on the Invicta wet fly family. That would be where I suggest you start. Have a go and let us know how you get on.
 
Cheers,
C.



or, if you are just trying to trick an animal with a brain the size of a BB you can use grey polyolfin yarn, in color to match the natural, trimmed in the shapeof a wing. Go for the feathers first and learn technique, many shortcuts work fine if you tie for the fish
Kenduardo's Lure & FlyBuffalo, WyomingEstablished: Circa "Whenever you see anything I have, ... that you must buy!" 😎

#12 Crackaig

Crackaig

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,199 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 08:11 PM

 

There are various methods of winging a wet fly, usually the method varies with the material. Two of the most common wings are the matched slips, and the rolled or folded wings.
Flies that require a wing of duck flank feathers, teal, bronze mallard etc. usually have a rolled or folded wing. These would include Teal Blue and Silver, Mallard and Claret Dunkeld etc. (Some people tie these with paired slips but the wings tied like that are not substantial enough, well not enough for my liking). Paired slips are made from more substantial feathers, usually primary flight feathers. A matched pair of feathers, the same one from each wing from the wings of one bird. (Not all suppliers supply matched pairs of wings, Veniards are particularly guilty of this). The slips are taken from the same place on both feathers. These include flies like Greenwell's Gory, Cinnamon and Gold etc. 

There are a third class of winged wet that has a folded wing from a secondary flight feather. For a start possibly the best, most readily available, feather for this is the hen pheasant. A large slip, 3 1/2 times the width of the desired wing is ideal. Now with the slip on the table in front of you turn in the left edge until it almost reaches the centre of the strip. Then fold in the right edge. It is important that both edges neither meet or cross in the middle. Then fold the entire strip in half. The gap you left in the middle helps to keep the slip together. If they are too long the slip will split. This folded wing is mounted with the open edge downward. This method is most commonly used on the Invicta wet fly family. That would be where I suggest you start. Have a go and let us know how you get on.
 
Cheers,
C.



or, if you are just trying to trick an animal with a brain the size of a BB you can use grey polyolfin yarn, in color to match the natural, trimmed in the shapeof a wing. Go for the feathers first and learn technique, many shortcuts work fine if you tie for the fish

 

That line of argument is fine, but if efficiency of catching fish is the question this would be a net making forum. Fly fishing is a list of restrictions to make the catch more difficult, like choosing only to read the cryptic clues when standard ones are available. You don't have to even attempt to do the crossword!

The question was about winging techniques, from someone who, I believed, seriously wants to learn. Rather than tell him to avoid the problem, I took the time to answer his question. To provide my answer I drew on over 40 years of both amateur and professional fly tying experience.

 

Your glib answer does little to encourage the learner, and, as it is directed specifically at me, disrespectful; my only intention was to answer the original question in a helpful way.

 

C.


"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
by the clean end"


#13 JSzymczyk

JSzymczyk

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,352 posts

Posted 20 November 2016 - 09:10 PM

all good advice above- I also like matched pairs of turkey secondary flight feathers. Matched turkey tail can be very nice too. If you hunt, or if you know anyone who hunts turkeys or ducks, ask them to save you the ENTIRE WINGS-- that way you can count each left and right feather pair and have a huge supply of perfectly matched feathers for "free".

Once you get the hang of crafting a nice pair of wet fly wings, it is a great feeling. Yes, other things are probably as effective and easier, but a well executed set of wet fly wings holds a certain level of class and refinement.

I'm no snob, and I mostly tie flies to catch fish, but I do it the best I possibly can- winged wet flies are just a darn nice thing to have.

the gales of November remembered...


#14 mikechell

mikechell

    Cold weather afficando- Give me Snow or give me death!

  • Super Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 12,140 posts

Posted 21 November 2016 - 07:33 AM

 

or, if you are just trying to trick an animal with a brain the size of a BB ...

 

I get so tired of this line of thinking.  

Granted, fish are creatures of instinct, with NO human-like feelings or cognition.

Instinct, however, has kept many a creature viable on this planet for MUCH longer than intelligence.

And, based on current events, intelligence will burn out and die off on this planet much, MUCH sooner than instinct.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#15 Dave G.

Dave G.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,585 posts

Posted 21 November 2016 - 09:29 AM

I'll admit that I don't  tie all that many wet flies with matched pairs of wings but I can do it and like the look , it's classic. They fish well too and ya know sometimes that's just the fly that gets fish when they are stubborn. There is one I keep with me for Maine though, it's a jade green floss bodied caddis with barred or mottled turkey tent wing . Grizzly soft hackle collar. Don't know its  name but it's caught me a bunch of salmon in a couple of stubborn pools up there. It's one of those flies where you know the fish is there, you have seen it rise once or twice, have run everything else through the pool and try this and bam fish on.. It's happened many times for me and the fly is a size 12 to boot. I've tried tying these with other feather besides turkey and maybe it's my confidence in the fly but the turkey seems to do much better. They love to take it in the hook of the swing and earnestly..


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"