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Best feather for wet wing fly

wings wet fly

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67 replies to this topic

#16 j8000

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 10:34 AM

That all sounds like great advice.  Guess I figured a feather is a feather and if it's big enough it should be good for a wing.  Maybe that's why I had better luck with my clipped chicken wing feather than the pheanant tail feathers?  Anyways, I'm going to order some duck wings and maybe turkey too if the price is right.  Thank you all for taking your time with this.  Spend hours studying the wing setting and while I did learn a lot, this was the last bit I just couldn't find the right answer to.



#17 phg

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 10:45 AM

I'm a little late to the conversation, but I toss in my 2 cents....

 

For quill slip wings, I've always preferred goose primary feathers.  Unfortunately, they've become hard to find, even thought they are often listed in online catalogs.  My second choice would be duck primaries.  I don't think duck is quite as easy to work with as goose, but for a size 12, or smaller, it works pretty well. 

 

Turkey will work, but the wing primaries are hard to find in the colors desired (no reason why white turkey can't be dyed, they just don't do it.)  Turkey tail has some nice colors and textures, but the edges are often ragged.  Swan also works, but try to find it!  The classic salmon tiers like to use goose shoulder, because it has longer usable fibers, but I find those feathers hard to work with.  Water fowl, in general, seem to have a stronger bond between the biots, and so, make wings that are less likely to spit.

 

Other feathers can be used, but there are problems/limitations attendant to each of them.  Almost any game bird's wing feathers can make quill slip wings, but the colors and patterns are limited.  Duck flank is very difficult to work with, but there are a few pairs on each duck (I counted 3 pair on a mallard skin I had) that have the correct combination of makings, web and shape to make nice wings.  



#18 flytire

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 02:17 PM

Guess I figured a feather is a feather and if it's big enough it should be good for a wing.  

 

not if you want a result like this

 

http://www.georgia-o...ead.php?t=79636

 

http://stenstromflies.blogspot.com/

 

more info

 

http://www.flytyingf...showtopic=80822


The fish care less than we do!


#19 j8000

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 02:39 PM

That's exactly the type of wings I want to tie one day.  First though I want to get them set right before learning to marry fibers, but that is on my list.



#20 flytire

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 02:49 PM

dont worry about marrying the feathers for now

 

the example i provided was for the wing itself and can be made without marrying feathers

 

learn the simplest first. it takes many many attempts to get the wing right. use 2/3 the the gap of the hook for the width of the wing. that was taught to me by the master himself, don bastian

 

if its not right dont continue. unwrap the thread or start over. practice practice practice

 

leadwing coachman

 

 

another example

 


The fish care less than we do!


#21 Dave G.

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 03:39 PM

"leadwing coachman"

 

I've  caught some nice fish on that Leadwing Coachman, it was about my first true "classic trout wet fly" that I learned to tie. It gets the trout for sure. The first two wet flies I tied were the Professor and Grizzly King but they aren't trout specific. Just sayin, I think the OP could do far worse than to start right there with that LWC.

"practice practice practice"

 

Edit: Incidentally, JStockard has the matched Duck Quills for $1.65, that shouldn't break the bank even with multi colors purchased.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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


#22 Flat Rock native

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 09:38 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.
Interesting comment from a guy who literally herds cats, is unusually proud of using barbed hooks, and can't possibly EAT all of the critters he has caught and photographed.

Yep, and too bad animals can't vote or lobby politicians because their special interests are on the line and us advocates have not yet done a good enough job of helping out. Unfortunately, life forms with instinct-only might survive, but will needlessly suffer with the rest in the interim.
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#23 Flat Rock native

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 10:09 AM

 

 


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.

....

 

WARNING-SPOILER ALERT-THIS POST IS COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC

 

No cheers for me, eh?  When you say "glib" Crackaig, of the 22 iterations of the word in my e-dictionary,  I am presuming you refer to "shallow" and not the one that means "persuasive."  While it was directed at you, it was not meant to be disrespectful.  It was hoped to be slightly humorous, and point out some "perspective" and "proportionality."  So I am sorry for my rushed, communication failure.  If this had not been in a BEGINNER forum, you would not have heard one squeak from me.  I am sorry if your feelings were hurt. But what follows hereafter is why I am not sorry for the post.

 

When it comes to tying winged wet flies I am totally a BEGINNER too, despite working at this stuff, on and off, for about 24 years.  I started with a single book I didn't understand very well, there were no internet resources in which to pose questions, and I wasn't experienced enough to formulate the right questions anyway.  However, I had been fly-fishing since I was 8 years old.

 

I saw a winged, wet Rio Grande King somewhere and thought it looked simple and some nice trout would go for it.  I had the chenille, hackle and mallard wings.  But, it wasn't simple when I got to attaching the mallard.  I tried several and got wings that were splayed ridiculously so I gave up.  Then I fished with them, and while they looked stupid, they still worked fine.  Newsflash-  Trout are not art critics.  Next Newsflash- Saw a Rio Grand Trude, it fished just as well.  My problem was solved.  Kept tying flies, got much better looking results, read more. tied more, but never went back to attempting a winged wet fly, despite their inherent beauty, and effectiveness when fished.  Fast forward to this post.

 

I followed this thread with interest, and thought, I am going to try this too, when I get over my current infatuation with all things Muskie and Pike.  In the posts preceding yours, some simple solutions were offered and acknowledged. I knew what questions were being asked and it seemed that the problem with the "friable" pheasant fibers were solved.  Still didn't know what motivated the question, whether it was driven by a desire to tie a fishable, wet caddis imitation or was indeed seeking a cosmetic enhancement only.

 

Then, I saw your post and I got that sinking feeling from two decades back that I probably will never figure this out.  That is what happens when a renowned expert with a massive storehouse of experience, skill, and knowledge unloads a nutshell, 3-part history of winged wet fly-tying.  It can be and is overwhelming and intimidating to a beginner.  See, I know of your website, had been there on the quest for pike fly inspiration, and WOW, what gorgeous photos and detailed videos and, yeah, even information about the Invicta, winged wet flies.  So why I am I writing this missive.

 

Because I was wrong in the short-form, snippet I posted in response to your post, although in my defense I did say to learn the feather technique.  I should have been more direct. I should have just said straight out Crackaig, " I think you are unduly complicating the information a beginner needs at this point."  I was not questioning your talent, or your time generously given, as evidenced by over 2000 posts in this forum and by your offer on a recent occasion to give someone hooks that seemed in short supply in the USA, or your 40 plus years of endeavors in the field.  I was however, trying to point out, as someone with much more wisdom than I once said, to the effect that '...lightning bolts will not come from the sky.. if traditional thinking is not followed, which I believe was about unwrapping thread when things go awry.

 

So I will be more direct now.  I think you are wrong about me doing little to encourage the learner.  I think you are wrong about the easily available hen pheasant feathers, in the US -they were not easy to get for some time.  I think your analogy about net building is taking the analogy to a ridiculous level.  I think your classic thinking about restrictions and rules and more rules about making fishing more difficult is not helpful for many beginners who want to tie and catch fish.  It is fine for classical tying and I am glad to see that you and others are keeping that aspect alive.  But to me this is like "Climbing the Stairway to Heaven" and upon reaching Nirvana building another stairway for the sake of building a another stairway.  For me it is pointless. This is a fine philosophy for you, and many others, but I do not think it will market well to pure fishermen such as me.  For me, fly-tying will always PRIMARILY be a means to an end, not an end of itself.

 

In closing, I will now apologize to any readers that lasted this long, tell you Crackaig that I hope you keep posting, as I head off t0 flog myself with a dead grilse and banishment to the Witless Protection Program.  Much mea culpas to all...


Edited by Flat Rock native, 22 November 2016 - 12:31 PM.

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#24 mikechell

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 08:48 PM

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.
Interesting comment from a guy who literally herds cats, is unusually proud of using barbed hooks, and can't possibly EAT all of the critters he has caught and photographed.

Yep, and too bad animals can't vote or lobby politicians because their special interests are on the line and us advocates have not yet done a good enough job of helping out. Unfortunately, life forms with instinct-only might survive, but will needlessly suffer with the rest in the interim.

 

Just so you know ... I am laughing as I type this.  I am not sure where attitude comes from, but I find your comments ... interesting if pointless to my comments.  It seems that you need to take the bonnet off and let the bee out.

In reply:

1) What's my love of cats got to do with ... anything?

2) I am only as proud of barbed hooks as others are of going barbless.  Also pointless to my comment.

3) I take pictures and release a LOT of fish.  Ten fish makes 20 fillets, and that feeds my immediate family.  I usually have 2 packages of fillets in the freezer at any given time.  But again, pointless to my comment.

 

Finally, life has been on this planet for MILLIONS of years, survived many catastrophic events, and evolved continuously.  

The human species is just another catastrophic event that the Earth will live beyond. 


Barbed hooks rule!
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#25 Flat Rock native

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 09:22 PM

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.

Interesting comment from a guy who literally herds cats, is unusually proud of using barbed hooks, and can't possibly EAT all of the critters he has caught and photographed.
Yep, and too bad animals can't vote or lobby politicians because their special interests are on the line and us advocates have not yet done a good enough job of helping out. Unfortunately, life forms with instinct-only might survive, but will needlessly suffer with the rest in the interim.
Just so you know ... I am laughing as I type this.  I am not sure where attitude comes from, but I find your comments ... interesting if pointless to my comments.  It seems that you need to take the bonnet off and let the bee out.
In reply:
1) What's my love of cats got to do with ... anything?
2) I am only as proud of barbed hooks as others are of going barbless.  Also pointless to my comment.
3) I take pictures and release a LOT of fish.  Ten fish makes 20 fillets, and that feeds my immediate family.  I usually have 2 packages of fillets in the freezer at any given time.  But again, pointless to my comment.
 
Finally, life has been on this planet for MILLIONS of years, survived many catastrophic events, and evolved continuously.  
The human species is just another catastrophic event that the Earth will live beyond.

To bee or not to bee, that is the not the question. If the earth lives beyond the human species, ie only known intelligent life, who will know? who will care? Will you change your screen name to mike.shaman? No need to answer, fishing is all that matters, so tight lines,dude.
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#26 JSzymczyk

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 06:45 AM

F it, I'm going back to using worms. 


the gales of November remembered...


#27 j8000

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 12:23 PM

Great information.  That explaines why my chicken wing feathers produces better wings than any other non wing feathers I've been using.  Making an order right now for a pair or two of mallard duck wings. 

 

Last topic I posted in this sections ended up going into a conversation about Miley Cirus.  Interesting how a simple question can evolve.



#28 Dave G.

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 02:43 PM

Great information.  That explaines why my chicken wing feathers produces better wings than any other non wing feathers I've been using.  Making an order right now for a pair or two of mallard duck wings. 

 

Last topic I posted in this sections ended up going into a conversation about Miley Cirus.  Interesting how a simple question can evolve.

I think you want matched Duck Quill pairs ( as I already mentioned, JStockard has them for $1.65).. But what flies are you interested in tying anyway, or did you answer that already ?


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


#29 j8000

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 04:28 PM

What's the difference in duck quills and the primary wing feathers. (Sorry, but this is the beginner section.)  I thought a quill was any feather with a thick stem and connected feather fibers most all the way down the feather.  Would the duck wings have what I need?  I got convinced to tie a few Leadwing coachman's and a few other classic winged flies. 



#30 Flat Rock native

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 04:43 PM

What's the difference in duck quills and the primary wing feathers. (Sorry, but this is the beginner section.) I got convinced to tie a few Leadwing coachman's and a few other classic winged flies.

Me too j8000, those videos posted by flytier were very good, but I do not recall whether your question above was addressed. I don' t think so. When I figure it out I am going to try a Leadwing, a Royal Coacnman, a Rio Grande King, and something with yellow or tan.. The information you prompted restored my faith in getting them done properly. I have tons (...ounces) of feathers but not sure if correct. If so I will be happy to mail some out. Happy Thanksgiving

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