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Fly Tying

Kevin D. Compton

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About Kevin D. Compton

  • Rank
    Bait Fisherman

Previous Fields

  • Favorite Species
    Trout
  • Security
    2007
  1. Charlie, How about the Poudre and Big T? Do you know of any info resources on these waters. I'll be there thru the middle of October. Thanks, Kevin
  2. (IMO the TMC 200r (and Daiichi 1270) has too narrow a gap -- is easily obstructed and leads to fewer hook-ups.) Some other curved-shank emerger hooks: TMC 206BL: Gamakatsu's new emerger hook: Knapek Barbless Grub Hook: Partridge Klinkhammer Hook (which works well for the curvature of an ascending midge pupa -- below): Partridge K14ST Oliver Edwards Silver-plated Emerger Hook:
  3. Some more ideas on tying micropatterns (#18s and smaller): 1. Darrel Martin's Micropatterns book. Much more technical than Engle's book, but there are many accessible passages and great ideas/patterns. 2. Despite the heat, I prefer 100-Watt halogen bulbs. 3. More so than tools, the selection of quality and suitable materials is the name of the game here (CDC, snowshoe hare foot fur, mole fur, muskrat fur, silk dubbing, fine synthetic (antron & poly) dubbings, micro tinsels, ultra-fine gauge wire, micro lead and tungsten wire, micro-flashes, Whiting Farms' cape & (midge) saddle hackles, stripped (and dyed) peacock herl, etc., etc.). In the end it's all about the right materials here, and anyway, you can only get so much stuff on a tiny hook. 4. Threads: Benecchi 12/0; Gudebrod 10/0 which Engle declares "changed his life". Without being a smart a$$, and with all due respect, nicking thread on the hook point is not the thread's fault. Tying Small Flies also has great notes and a comparison list of fine threads -- pp. 22-24. Benecchi 12/0 is strong enough to flare deer hair on, say, small comparaduns. Gel spun threads, with possibly the exception of Benecchi's Ultra Strong Thread, may be too bulky. There are also two threads (I know this is obscure, but they are excellent and can be available over here) from the Czech Republic: Hyperfine Thread (Jan Siman Products) and Synton (Hends Products). Both are two stranded monofilament threads and are excellent for twisting dubbing loops to use on small patterns -- you just feed the dubbing material between the two strands and twist the bobbin (not unlike the 'split-thread' dubbing loop method where flat, floss-like threads, often made of nylon, such as the Wapsi UTC 70) are separated into divided 'strands'. 5. Hooks: For the most part, I prefer straight-eye, wide-gaped hooks such as the TMC 2488 & 2488H, TMC 518 (down to #32), Daiichi 1270 (long-shank curved hook), Daiichi 1480 with a limerick bend, Daiichi 1640; and TMC 501, TMC 103BL, TMC 900BL, TMC 206BL, Partridge K14ST (Oliver Edwards' silver-plated emerger hook -- down to #20); Gamakatsu also has a number of excellent small hooks. Some of those are uncommon but are out there. 6. Hackle Pliers were mentioned. I prefer the small 'tear-drop' model of John Dorin pliers. The are extremely light-weighted, thereby putting very little tension and avoiding breakage on hackle, herl, pheasant tail fiber, or biot as you wrap it around the hook shank. Matarelli Midge bobbins. C&F Midge Bobbin. Renzetti mini hair stacker (which has two different size brass 'stackers' in the same tool). And perhaps most important: excellent, sharp, fine-tipped scissors. Scissors would be an interesting thread in itself. There are even micro whip finishers (Wasatch and Griffin, for example); and small brass half-hitch tools (Edgin) help me tremendously with small parachute patterns. "...small flies are often successful due to the particular requirements of tying and trouting. As patterns become smaller, so do the defects in color, proportion, and silhouette. Instead of creating more realistic imitations for fastidious fish, a tyer merely ties small. Micropatterns simply reduce, minimize the inherent deficiencies of imitative tying..." -- Darrel Martin, Micropatterns.
  4. This book is a modest account of the culmination of many years of field research carried out on the streams of central Pennsylvania. Its scope and reach, however, extend state and national lines. After two introductory chapters on theory and technique, "Fishing the Midge" and "Matching the Midge," the balance of the work discusses materials and patterns. Aside from tinsel, mono, and wire, Holbrook introduces two materials used on most of his patterns: DMC Embroidery Floss and Coats & Clark All Purpose Sewing Thread. The floss comes in six strands that can be separated according to hook size. The thread is a single, corded ply. In his appendix, he lists the colors and numbers of each for easy reference and as a guide when you head out to the craft store. DMC Floss: Coats & Clark: The subjects of the book revolve around either materials or various patterns: clear mono, metallics, beadheads, peacock; and with patterns: diamond & rainbow midges, size 24s, shrimp patterns, topwater patterns, and Elk River 32s. The book also records a five year, streamside journal of Holbrook's midge fishing. An interesting account of flies used, conditions, and frustrations. Does anyone fish similar itty-bitties on moving or still water? Can any other patterns benefit from the introduction of these 'new' materials? What's so 'magical' about midges? The essential theory behind the work is that 'matching midges' is a better way to go than 'suggesting' imitations. In Holbrook's words, "...I firmly believe that the closer your fly appears to be the trout's natural food, the more likely they are to take it." In his case, matching the 'pre-hatch' of larval & pupal turns of the life cycle. It's a great little book, and, if for nothing else, has clear photos of midge pupae aside his floss/thread imitations. Page though it the next time you're in a local book or fly shop -- something you can't do from a computer chair at a webshop... Kevin
  5. Equally good on small flies is Engle's companion volume to Tying Small Flies -- Fishing Small Flies. Also, his earlier book, Fishing the Tailwaters, has a chapter on tying small fly patterns. Anyone have a favorite itty-bitty pattern to share? Kevin
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