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Blue dun fly question


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Ginormus1

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:07 PM

Hi guys, I was looking to tie up some blue duns and i'm having a bit of trouble. I'm wondering what feather to use off of my mallard flank to tie in the wing. If anyone's got experience in tying this sort of fly your help would be much appreciated! (the picture included is not my tie btw just found it online)

 

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#2 Crackaig

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:17 AM

That wing isn't any kind of flank feather. Those are from the primary flight feathers on the wings. To tie them you need a matched pair of wings, from which you take the same feather from each wing. Teal and mallard wings both produce suitable feathers for this kind of fly wing. (Other birds can also be used, but many don't hold together well enough to form this kind of wing).

 

Usually slips are taken from the same place on each feather. These are placed together so that the curve away from each other. Then tied onto the shank using the "pinch and loop" technique. They are then stood up using turns of thread. However, this way doesn't always produce good wings, and can be very frustrating. My preference for doing these wings is to use the method I was shown by Donald Downs. In the photos I have used white duck feathers for clarity. I've also tied it a bit close to the eye.

 

Select your feathers.

Wing1.jpg

 

Remove the biots from the leading edge of the feather and trim the feathers so you can get at the portion suitable for winging.

Wing2.jpg

 

Cut slips from each feather by cutting through the stems. (Use heavy duty scissors)

Wing3.jpg

 

Lay down a bed of thread to tie them onto. Place the slips together, and measure for size, about twice the gap of the hook.

Wing5.jpg

 

Pinch and loop onto the shank.Wing7.jpg

 

Take turns behind the wing to stand it up.

Wing8.jpg

 

Once the wings are upright take the forward portion of each slip around the bottom of the wings to each side and tie down behind the wing.

Wing9.jpg

 

Trim out the excess at an angle so you can tie it down smoothly, as you progress down the hook shank

Wing10.jpg

 

If you want the wings wider apart you can take a couple of turns between them.

Wing11.jpg

 

Advantages of using this method are; the wing slips stay together better while being handled, and it produces a more robust wing.

In your picture either the slips have not been matched up properly, or both have been taken from the same feather. That is why one slip is longer at the front, and the other longer at the back.

 

This kind of slip wing on dry flies tends to make the fly top heavy. Often they will fall to one side or the other. Which is why I no longer use them on my flies. I only tie them when a customer orders them. My flies either use a bunch of duck flank feather fibres or poly yarn, Or I use a Wally Wing; which is a whole different story!

 

This isn't an easy technique to get to grips with. What I have shown you is the best way I have found to do it, short of getting someone else to do it.. If you have any questions about it feel free to ask.

 

Cheers,

C.

 

 

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#3 SilverCreek

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 09:33 PM

Aren't they also prone to spinning (helicoptering) the fly since the wings act as airfoils when the fly is cast? I would think they have to be perfectly symmetrical in size, shape, and angle just like the wings on Swisher and Richards no-hackle duns.


Regards,

Silver

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#4 Crackaig

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:23 PM

They are, Silver. Though with care it is not too much of a problem; less of a problem the heavier you hackle the fly. There is a good way to get even slips I was shown. Take a hook, the same model you are tying the fly on, but one size smaller. Catch the eye in your hackle pliers, and use it as a gauge for your wing slips.

 

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"


#5 Ginormus1

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 01:29 PM

Hi Crackaig, thank you so much for the response! Being new to tying, your step by step guide on how to tie them in was super helpful! I do have a few questions for you however. When you say matched pair of wings, how do you match the wings to one another. Is this just done by taking a feather from each side of the wing form the relative same spot? The link attached to this post is the material I got from J. Stockard labeled " Mallard whole wings". Is this the correct product to tie this sort of fly? Thanks again for all your help!

http://www.jsflyfish...ard-whole-wings


Matthew 4:19 "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men"


#6 Crackaig

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 05:55 PM

You are welcome, I'm only paying forward what I learned from others.

 

Those wings are ideal. There is a "but" though. I have no experience of J Stockard's materials. This side of the pond the main supplier of this kind of material is Veniards. They deal in thousands of pairs of wings. When you buy a pack you will get one left and one right wing. Seldom are they from the same bird, which is what you really need. It really annoys me that they do this. Beginners struggle with things like winging. When I try to help and find their problems are entirely down to second rate materials I get annoyed. This is not doing their business any favours. They should want people to succeed at fly tying, then they remain customers. That alone should motivate them to take the extra little effort to provide matched pairs. Anyway that aside I will presume you have a matched pair of wings. 

 

What I would do with them now is get a ziplok bag and some wire; whatever you have lots of, it doesn't matter what size or colour. Take out the longest feather from each wing. Strip off the biots, (the stiff short fibres that form the leading edge of the wing. Then wire the stems together. Put them in the bag. Take the next longest pair and do the same. Do this with all the primary flight feathers.

 

It is also worth doing the same with the blue feathers. They are used on the Butcher series of wet flies. You may not use them but you will really impress people when you can tie them.

 

Some of the small feathers near the knuckle of the wing will be useful for soft hackles, These are called "covert" feathers. There are two kinds; inner and outer. The inner ones are from under the wing and the outer from the outside. They are not marked at all, so are not the most useful feathers, but it is worth having some. They are also useful for the legs on nymphs.

 

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"


#7 Ginormus1

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 02:46 PM

Thanks again! The wings will be coming in a few days so with any luck I'll be posting pictures on this thread in the next week or so for critiques! I'll probably have a few more questions when I actually get to tying them but again, thank you for the help. It's hard to find good information on this sort of thing using a google search so I am very thankful to find someone so willing to help!!


Matthew 4:19 "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men"


#8 Tom Cummings

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 11:53 PM

That was by far the easier to follow tutorial I have seen on tying and I even learned a trick in the process. I have no problems tying this wing prior but the leaving of stem I have never done. Kudos on tutorial and best to Ginormus1

#9 Dave G.

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 03:52 AM

When I did do this I bought matched pairs of feathers rather than whole wings, FWIW. I don't know if they even still sell matched feather pairs of duck feather ( I know they do pheasant) but I suspect so. I think mine came from Universal Vise who is since those days, long gone.

 

Not on topic but about 20 years ago now I stopped tying matched upright duck wings . If I want wings at all I use either hair or synthetic fiber wings like in a Catskill tie, even sometimes I just do a single stack like you would for a parachute fly. Life is much simpler at the tying bench now and the fish just don't care.. But I mostly tie fishing flies too rather than show flies.


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