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Fly Tying

cencalfly

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About cencalfly

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 06/13/1963

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  • Favorite Species
    Trout
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    2008

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  • Location
    Central California

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  1. Great write up. Thank you for sharing. I really appreciate your discussion and thoughts. You called it though; this surely can be a rabbit hole but one I’m glad to go down. Just need to avoid the hatmakers and hookah smoking caterpillars. I surely hope you enjoy the book. It’s well made with heavy paper, decent binding with good exhibits and photos. Bells and whistles aside, there is a wealth of info in there that I believe to be well researched. Writing is well done. It’s becoming a reference book for me. Shewey does cover it. He notes that Knox stated that Spey flies often only had 3 or 4 turns of wide tinsel. Shewey was able to personally examine flies tied by Jamie and Geordie Shanks (how cool is that). He notes that the flies he examined had 4 to 5 turns of ribbing. Also, that there would be 7 to 15 turns of hackle. Turns of hackle did not necessarily match the turns of ribbing. The father son team of Shanks sometimes even doubled up the hackle. A lot of this was dictated by the length of the hook. I was limited in my tie by a short hook so the rib doesn’t flow like I think it should, seems a bit crowded, and the body a little fat (like me). I want to get the styles and tying movements down before I spend the $ for long shank blind-eye hooks. They can be pricey. The family of Kings were known for their alternating gold and silver tinsel. Other families of flies differ. It’s also noted by Shewey that even a particular pattern (Kings included) would differ depending on the tyer. In fact, the same tyer may also have different versions of the same pattern/recipe that they themselves tie. Much like today, tyers rarely tie the same pattern to be consistent across the board. Lots of variants. There are a lot of current ‘best practice’ thoughts I need to get past. Like having the wing have the upturned keel look and be tight to the fly body. It seems the old style Spey dressings had the wing ride higher over the hackle. They may still have the upturned keel but ride much higher and/or left and right wing separated. There's discussion of tying the wings in reverse, folding them back over, and using a figure-eight thread pattern to secure, lift, and separate the sides. The wing in the fly I posted needs much work. It’ll fish though. I’m posting a pic from Shewey’s book of a vintage/original Spey fly. I have a lot to learn. These guys were good. They also tied by hand. So elegant.
  2. My first attempt at tying an Old Spey Fly and my thoughts on tying it follows. Long post warning (not sorry so grace and patience please). I’ve just started on a journey to learn about, and tie, good Spey flies. I’ve tied many flies that I now understand to be ‘Spey Type Flies.’ By my own account they were really cool. I’ve also tied many steelhead and trout flies. However, I’ve always been drawn to the elegance of a well tied Spey fly. Soft Hackles are right up there too but that’s another endeavor. Love that Simple Elegance. With that said, boy there is a lot of history. Started binge reading to get a good understanding of the style. One of my first reads in my focused study is “Spey Flies, Their History and Construction” by John Shewey (reading still in progress). That guy put a lot of work in that book. Anyway, Shewey and many others say that to learn, start with the originals. Learn to tie them well first. As a retired old school engineer it’s a sentiment I support. So, I started with what I can see as one of the first or original Spey flies. Evidently it was considered old in 1872 in A.E Knox’s “Autumn On The Spey” collection. Caveat; not my best tie, my eyesight is crap and hands a little shaky. First thing I see is that I crowded the eye and got head cement on the wing amongst other things. Bad tyer, no donut for me 😊. Let me know what needs work including my understanding of what I’ve read and perceived. I’m trying to learn. I’m including some pics of the stages of my work. Black King1 Hook: Alec Jackson Spey #3 Body: Black Berlin Wool2 Rib: Alternate bars of flat gold and silver tinsel (wound reverse), Dark Charcoal silk button hole twist thread (wound reverse over the hackle to lock it in)3 Hackle: Black Rooster Coque (wound normal over the gold and silver tinsel) Shoulder Hackle: Guinea fowl Wing: Bronze Mallard Footnotes: 1) Recipe is found on page 69 of the book “Autumn On The Spey.” The fly is listed as one of the “Old Spey Flies” at the time the book was published in 1872. The fly described was tied by Shanks of Craigellachie (by all accounts a renowned ghillie and fly-tying artist). My version varies from that description slightly. 2) From my reading of textile sites, production of Berlin Wool ceased in the 1930s. The material used on this fly was listed as “like” Berlin Wool (same material). From what I can gather the closest material available today would be Crewel yarn made of Merino Wool. 3) The direction of winding the tinsel is not stated in Knox’s description. Kelson’s book describes the tinsels wound in reverse and the hackle wound normal. So, I followed that on this fly. Kelson also refers to the Green King for additional tying notes wherein the thread is added to lock in the hackle. Shewey mentions in his book that the thread may be omitted in descriptions but it was common practice to add it to secure the hackle. Therefore, I added it. Seems to make sense.
  3. Your welcome. Hope they work for you well. I opened a wonderful set of flies on Christmas morning. Set was from you via St Nick so thank you very much. Nick; again a wonderful job getting this swap done. Thanks.
  4. Tie is based on the Orvis version of the Don Martinez fly: https://news.orvis.com/fly-fishing/video-how-to-tie-the-woolly-worm Woolly Worm Hook: 3X-long streamer hook size 12. Weight: Lead wire. Thread: Black Uni Thread 6/0. Tail: Red yarn. Body: Black Ultra Chenille, micro. Hackle: Grizzly saddle hackle. Adhesive/Head cement: Superglue. Next Challenge Fly: Royal Coachman Dry Fly (with upright quill wings)
  5. Showing as delivered. Can you confirm it in Santa's hands?
  6. Should be dropped off to USPS this afternoon: USPS Tracking No. 9400109205568893834222
  7. Steelhead Candy Hook: TMC 2457 #8 Thread: Red Egg: Glo-Bug yarn cinched with 20lb fly line backing Tail: Guinea died green Body: Blue Mylar Collar: Peacock Krystal Flash Chenille Bead: 5/32 Gold Didn't have any egg beads so I cinched up some Glo-Bug yarn with backing. It made it flare ok. Beads would be much better and easier to use. I ordered some beads but they will not be here until tomorrow.
  8. Thanks for responding. Health is still so-so but we keep on doing as best we can. Hope to get back involved. Tie some flies, do some swaps, and try not to piss off the locals
  9. Mossback cool? It's the go to fly in my region. I'll do a steelhead candy also but please give more info. The pattern now goes from nymph to intruder style. Is it tyers choice? I'm down for whatever just let me know.
  10. Nothing fancy or life changing at all: It's late here in the PC time zone, I think I'll make a sammy and read and view some fishing stuff on my pooter. Do you ever just hang and look and read?
  11. Hey DW: I feel you. Low BP can be scary. I hit a new low last month at 62/42. Hypovolemic shock is what was diagnosed. The kidneys shut down amongst other things leading to an ER/911 call. Hospital stay for a few days until my kidneys started doing what they are supposed to do. Not fun and scary as all get-out. Hang in there. Remember: Your body feels, not easily understood, the things it does to your mind and spirit can cause so much. We live it in so many different ways and it's not easily understood to be sure. Be blessed, keep faith. The spirit of the Lord is not fear but of sound mind. I need to remember this for myself too.
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