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Practice Flies


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16 replies to this topic

#1 njcav2002

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:35 AM

I have a little time to practice and was wondering what would be a good practice fly



#2 utyer

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:53 AM

Practice tying thread midge larvae.  The patterns use nothing but thread and a hook.  These patterns will teach you important thread control techniques that every fly tier should learn.  


"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

#3 Crackaig

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 07:55 AM

Thread control is important in all flies. If you do like Utyer says, when you lay a bed of thread drag the edge your index finger nail over it. It will find every bump and gap. Try to get them smooth, testing by this method.

Cheers,

C.



#4 flytire

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 07:59 AM

same as above

 

learn how much pull it takes to break various treads

 

tie simple thread midges, brassies etc

 

thread midge

 

http://www.danica.co...hread_midge.htm

 

brassie

 

http://www.danica.co...tte/brassie.htm



#5 njcav2002

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 09:03 AM

Thanks Guys. What about casting practice?



#6 Jimr1961

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 10:39 AM

Just tie up any old fly the size of your choice or use an old, beat up fly and cut the shank.  I have an old size 12 piece of junk I tied when I was in grade school I use for practice with my 5 wt and a flatwing that I didn't like for the 8 wt.  I just cut them at the shank bend and they are now permanent practice flies.  Once, I dropped my flatwing in the house on the way out and didn't notice until I looked to tie it on.  In a pinch, I wandered around and found a gum wrapper.  I rolled it into a spear and tied it on.



#7 Peterjay

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 11:05 AM

Good advice above. I'm assuming that you're new to the sport; one thing you can do to develop your skills is to practice specific techniques rather than tie whole flies. For instance, if you're having trouble wrapping hackle, just keep doing it over and over until you feel more comfortable. Nothing will sharpen your game better than repetition. There are a lot of tricky techniques that you'll master a lot quicker by practicing them individually rather than using them once on a fly, then waiting until you need to do it again. When I want to learn something new, I just lay a thread base on the hook and do it over and over until I get it right.



#8 whatfly

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 12:07 PM

Just to offer a different view, skip using flies for practice casting and use a tuft of bright colored yarn.  Focus on developing a consistent casting stroke, and focus less on distance until you get comfortable.

 

For practice tying, if you have not mastered the thread midge after your first tying class, or first 2 hours in front of the vise, then tying is not for you.  Assuming you have, work through the standard list of beginner's flies and develop your skills with each pattern (e.g. wooly bugger, pheasant tail, hare's ear).

 

If you really have no time at all, focus on your casting and leave the tying for when you have more time.



#9 flytire

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 12:39 PM

tie some yarn to a leader and practice with that

 

you don't have to tie flies to fly fish but you do have to know how to cast. practice casting first.



#10 hairwing

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 04:23 PM

 
 
njcav2002,
 
It sounds to me like you already can tie flies but want a fly to practice that will improve your skill and make you a better tier. My suggestion is the Royal Coachman wet fly. Pick a size like # 12 and incorporate a gold tag in the pattern.
 
Plan on tying six flies at different stages, completing one part at a time on all six hooks. Start with the tag, the tail, and the body. Assemble the parts for hook # one and tie off. Make 5 more just like it. Exactly like it! Same turns of tinsel, same number of fibers for the tail, same turns of peacock, same segment of red floss, stopping two eye-lengths from the hook eye for each hook. Make all the parts from hook to hook the same length and bulk. Set all six flies in front of you and examine them closely. Do they all look the same? Strip the flies and start over until they do.
 
When you are satisfied with all six move on to the wings and hackle. Take your time and cut and match six paired right and left white duck quill slips about 1/8 inch wide. All the slips must match exactly the same. Then select six brown hackle 1 1/2 to 2 times the hook gape for a collar. I like to put the wings on first and follow with the collar, others do it differently.
 
Proceed...measure your matched wings against the shank or hook length and pinch wrap the quills into place with a couple of tight turns. If they fold or are misaligned start over until you get it right. In my opinion this winging part of the fly is the most difficult and requires the most patience. You will be rewarded using this technique in the future. It is so much a part of so many flies. Clip the butts using your scissors from front to back (not from the side) close as you can cut. Cover the butts with thread.
 
Tie in your hackle at the base of the wing (that should be two eye lengths from the eye) and wrap a collar to within one eye length of the eye of the hook. Hold the hackle up and take two turns to secure it being careful not to splay and trap the fibers forward into the eye. Take a few turns of thread covering any material and whip finish to complete.
 
Do this to the remaining 5 other hooks you started and make each one of them exactly the same! Set the flies in a group in front of you and examine them closely, be critical, learn from what you just did and what you can do better.
 
Now next day....take a razor blade and strip the hooks after one last look and do it again. In a few weeks you will be a better tier!
 
Note: there are endless patterns for the Royal Coachman form quill wings on, and all the different hackling operations. You can tie them from really big flies to midge sizes. The only wet fly I use consistently is a #10 Marabou Winged Royal Coachman. It's a good one! 
 
Here is an example from Don Bastians site http://donbastianwet...al-coachman.jpg
 
Are you asking for fly casting tips in post #5, or are you asking for a fly to practice with? Unconfuse me?
 
 
 
 
 
 

"As far down the river as he could see, the trout where rising, making circles all down the surface of the water, as though it were starting to rain."-E.H. Big Two Hearted River
"As far as the eye could see,several hundred yards at least, the entire surface of the water was a mass of dimpling rise forms, occurring and recurring with increasing tempo as the evening advanced." V. Marinaro...A Modern Dry Fly Code.

#11 njcav2002

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:19 AM

Hairwing,

 I have been tying for a few months now and am still a novice. As for casting I am still a newbie and still trying to get some of the basics down. I am having trouble with timing my forward stoke and I am cracking the line like a bull whip after the slack period. I was looking for a fly I can use as a visual to maybe help with the timing. Any tips would be helpful on casting. Also I have never gotten any Line wet on a fly rod I have always used the clasic spinning reel and rod. So as far as actually fly fishing Im kind of in new territorry. My father inlaw (avid fly fisherman)  has been helping but our sceduals rarely meet up. So I have been practicing casting on my lunch brakes.



#12 Trouser Trout

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 06:57 AM

Thread control is the most important thing to learn, and then practice with each skill until it becomes second nature.  I've found the bigger the hook/fly the easier it is to learn.  I started with size 4 Woolly Buggers to learn to wrap and tie off hackle - transferring that skill to smaller dry flies was easier since I knew the basic technique, except now it is on a smaller scale. 

 

As far as casting practice, I use a bright colored piece of yarn tied to the end of the leader.  When you get your casting stroke and loops where you like them, start aiming for a target.  I use one of those plastic 5 gallon bucket lids in the yard.  Start at a short distance and land your yarn on it 10 times in a row, then progressively move away hitting it 10 times at each distance. 

 

I am fortunate enough to have 24/7 access to a pond chock full of bluegill.  See if you can find someone or somewhere with something like that.  It's very easy to learn hook sets and landing techniques with bluegills, they'll strike any fly you throw at them.  With the trout opener in my area next weekend, I'll be practicing as much as possible.


If you can't make it look good, make it look obvious.

 

Fishing is a sport; therefore I am an athlete.


#13 Crackaig

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:16 AM

It has been said that Only perfect practice makes perfect. If you are not careful with what you practice in casting, then you only ingrain bad habit. The best resource on casting on the web is www.sexyloops.com There is more knowledge on casting there than anywhere. It would be worth reading through the articles on teaching beginners to cast before developing your bad habits.

Cheers,

C.



#14 hairwing

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 10:07 AM

 
 
 
njcav2002,
 
I was an expert fly line whip cracker when I started to. We all went through what you are going through.
 
There is a slightest pause both for the forward and backcast. So it goes something like backcast ..pause, forward cast..pause. Without this slight pause the change in direction is too quick and the end of the line cracks like a whip. Myself, I'm not a big backcast line watcher because it throws my body and rod path out of alignment. I think about the backcast and forward cast taking the same amount of time and use this thought to gauge when to start the change in direction. Longer casts=longer pauses. Shorter cast=shorter pauses.
 
If I wait or pause too long I will tick the line on the water or ground. That's a signal for me to shorten my pause. If I don't wait or pause long enough I'll crack the whip. It's my cue to shorten the pause. Somewhere between too long and too short is just right.
 
Lack of speed or loss of speed is another way to crack the whip. The line just doesn't have enough umph to straighten out and no matter when your change in direction happens the end of the line will whip. Usually this loss of speed is caused by the loop. Big fat, lazy loops lose speed fast, while the narrow loops take less speed to turn over. Learn how to control the size of the loop. Make big fat ones on command and make narrow ones. To control the loop size I think about what the tip is doing. The straighter the tip moves, the narrower the loop. The more rounded the tip moves, the wider the loop. The rule is "the line does what the tip did".
 
With your loops working the way you want, you can work on the speed of the cast. Throw some hard and fast. Throw some nice and soft with just enough speed to turn the line over.
 
There's more to this fly casting but that's enough from me. I don't want to make it more confusing. Take it a step at a time and you'll get there. Hope you and your dad-in-law have a few good trips together. Best of luck!
 
I use a piece of white yarn clinch knotted to the end of my leader for a practice fly. Carl McNeil is a good communicator http://midcurrent.co...to-fly-casting/ and so is Tim Rajeff,http://www.youtube.c...r/RajeffSports. Have a look.

"As far down the river as he could see, the trout where rising, making circles all down the surface of the water, as though it were starting to rain."-E.H. Big Two Hearted River
"As far as the eye could see,several hundred yards at least, the entire surface of the water was a mass of dimpling rise forms, occurring and recurring with increasing tempo as the evening advanced." V. Marinaro...A Modern Dry Fly Code.

#15 ColindaFlyguy

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:55 PM

One pattern is always  good no matter where you live. Tie a..........

 

Griffins Ghat

_____________

1.Dry fly hook size 8-12 

 

(You can use any hook you want: scud, nymph. Whatever hook you want)

 

2.  Peacock hurl 

 

( Peacock can be dyed Black,Green, Bronze, White... basically any color you like.

 

3. a Grizzly or White and or blue dun or some kind of dun colored hackle

 

I prefer Whiting 100's packs. match the peacock body with the color of hackle

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

                                                       Notes 

 

The reason why i say to use any color of  peacock is to match any insect. You could tie  say a May fly depending on the color of my fly..For example 

 

 

 Yellow Mayfly ( tied Griffins Ghat style)

 

1. A Dry fly hook to match to size 10-14

 

2.. Peacock dyed yellow

 

3. white or yellow Hackle

 

and make sure you you the size of hackle that meets your needs.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you think of it like a smaller woolly bugger or woolly worm. You can match any insect using just peacock and ether dying it your self or buying it from a fly shop.  

 

In my opinion i would practice 3 style of flies 

 

1. Woolly Bugger in Black Olive Brown and White 

 

2. Woolly Worm  in Black Olive, White, Brown, Red,

 

3. Peacock body( dyed or natural)  and a Hackle to match the body and have the right size to match the hook