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Fly Tying


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Everything posted by phg

  1. From my experience working with Boy Scouts, I'd have to say, for fly fishing, then need to be 11 or 12 to have the physical coordination to work a fly rod. You should try to take them fishing before that, though. I took my grandson fishing, for the first time, when he was 5. Spinning rod with worms, in a farm pond full of bream. Good introduction to the sport.
  2. I've bought from McMaster-Carr, no problem. They are set up for retail sales through their catalog (WEB Site).
  3. I'm not sure beads help sinking much in swifter water, upstream maybe but they don't seem to sink on the down/across or on the swing. At least not for me, even cone heads on buggers swim at the top much of the time in the runs, unless loaded with the normal amount of lead. Haven't tried tungsten, so, don't know if it helps or not, I was disappointed with the beads I tried with no added lead. Yes, you have to cast upstream, and you should try to lift your line off the water. We used to call it "High sticking", but now it's called by other names, as if it were something new.
  4. If you check the plates in Ray Bergman's "Trout", almost all the wet flies are tied with beards. Only a handful have collars. The real argument is whether it's OK to use a "false beard", or if it should be wound around the hook and pulled under to form a beard. My mentor, from whom I learned to tie winged wets, back in the '50's, always used, what are now called "false beards." This technique allows you to use hackles that are, technically, too long on any fly. The fact is, the hackles we had back then didn't allow you to be too fussy. You used what you had, and nobody looked down their noses at you for doing so. That said, I use beards on almost all my winged wets.
  5. Most southern Appalachian streams are fairly high gradient with swift runs and plunge pools. Those conditions call for a fair amount of weight, so bead heads and lead wraps are the norm. I use a variety of beads, including black nickle, where I want the weight, but no flash. Generally, though, I can't say as I've ever noticed the color of the bead making much difference. A little extra sparkle doesn't seem to hurt. I also have to agree with whatfly. In most instances, especially on smaller nymphs, the use of tungsten doesn't seem to make much difference, and is probably not worth the cost. On larger flies, say size 12, the extra density of tungsten may help.
  6. Hey, they are out of most sizes and styles of waders too. I was going to get a pair for Christmas. I guess I'll have to wait for Easter, now.
  7. This is NOT true. There are only a few materials that are "illegal to possess," and there are acceptable substitutes for most endangered species. If you get obsessed with using the Victorian materials, like Edwin did, then it can get very expensive, but it can still be totally legal.
  8. I use the Dr. Slick dubbing spinner, when I use a dubbing loop. I like it a lot, and have fun demonstrating it. Gary Borger has switched his tool/technique, a bit. Last year, at the Fly Fishing Show, he was demonstrating this tool from Ikea: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30301167/?query=PRODUKT&icid=iba|us|unbxdsuggestion|201811132211556208_1 He cut the end off, and bent the shaft into a hook. Cute, and he obviously was having fun with it. Still, I like the brass spinner. It's fun too....
  9. Looking good! If you haven't already done it, you might try hooking up with the Cape Fear Fly Fishers. They could provide you with a wealth of information on fishing in your area.
  10. Reasonably well, if you have a slow casting stroke. I did it as a kid. OTOH, fly fishing was invented so that you didn't have to bother with catching live insects Agreed! Back when I used worms (with a fly rod), I never did like the way my fingers always smelled of worm guts. Yuck! Fly fishing is much cleaner.
  11. This was my first year as a tyer at the Symposium. I stayed busy. There was a steady stream of patrons, but it never seemed to be overly crowded. Most of the time, there was someone in front of my table, and I tried to engage, instruct and entertain. That is the art of demonstration tying. I freely admit that I am not the best tyer in the world, (although I am pretty good) but I do enjoy meeting people and I don't get rattled when things don't go right. Unfortunately, I didn't get to look around too much, so I can't really comment on the variety of vendors. Food was a problem, and there aren't any restaurants nearby. Overall, though, all the tyers I talked to thought it was a pretty good show.
  12. For size 18 or 20, I just use a couple of pheasant tail fibers.
  13. I got some Solerez Bone Dry UV resin at the Symposium last weekend. That stuff is great for head cement! Water thin, so it soaks into the thread, and then zap for 6 seconds to cure. No muss, no fuss, no tackiness. I'm going to be using that a lot!
  14. I'm on the email list, so I get frequent promotional messages. I picked up a recent one, from my trash folder, and tried the link in it, and it worked fine. The WEB site came up as: https://gcoutfitters.com/ The product selection is far more limited than it used to be....
  15. Will has been having server/provider problems recently. I had the same problem accessing this site several times last week. The only thing you can do is try again later.
  16. I have to drive nearly 3 hours to get to a stream that good!
  17. I'll be there too, but I don't know what my schedule is. I've attended several times in the past, as a attendee, but this year, Chuck is giving me 1/2 a table to demo. I guess he was feeling bad about not having more southern tyers in the show. Hopefully, I won't embarrass myself.... It's a longish drive for me, and will take me all day Friday to get there.
  18. ...Also, you don't need to use Hungarian Partridge. Ruffed Grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Bob White Quail, Asian Partridge, hen pheasant (Ring Neck) all work about as well. The patterning is a bit different, but wound on a hook has similar effect. Don't get hung up on using a specific material, as there are many substitutes.
  19. Here in NC, the rule is "single hook artificial lure." As long as you don't add scent, a.la. powerbait, plastics are legal. Yes, squirmys work for trout. Stocked trout are particularly susceptible, but wild trout will also take them. There are always a number of aquatic worms in the water, so the shape and movement are a natural trigger. Also, the soft "chew" of the squirmy makes the fish hold onto the fly a bit longer, making it a good choice for inexperienced anglers who might be a bit slow to set the hook. ps: I was in Townsend myself, last weekend. I hope you found time to come out back and check out the Tyer's Tent. Most of the best tyers in the southeast were there, demonstrating their craft.
  20. My wife is a librarian. I don't buy books.... I have read this book, and can say that it is very well written. Johnson did a lot of research on the natural history of exotic birds, and well as spent a lot of time and money running down various aspects of the story. Through it all, though, I felt a constant negative bias against fly tyers, in general, and against the use of natural materials in our craft/art. He concedes the use of chicken and turkey feathers, but, in his estimation, the use of other wild materials is unethical. What disturbed me the most, however, was his vigilante attitude. Not satisfied with the official disposition of the case, he set out on his own to harass and badger and "expose" those even marginally involved. While I agree that "justice" was not well served in this case, his actions went well beyond what a private citizen should be allowed to do.
  21. My dad had a Utica on his fly rod. It was the only reel he ever used. Bass, trout, panfish, it didn't matter. They are great for line control, but you can't really fight a fish with them. I still have his Utica with it's patented phrase, "The little finger does it". It's too heavy to use on a graphite rod, but it balanced his old HI Trouter perfectly.
  22. Several years ago, I got some Icelandic Pony Hair from one of the online shops, maybe Feathercraft, but I'm not sure. I like how it looks for quill bodies, but it can be very brittle when wound tightly. I had some success soaking it in warm water, for a few minutes, before tying with it. I made some sulpher quills for the South Holston that worked pretty well. I'll have to dig it out, and try a few more....
  23. Yep, you've been doing it wrong all your life. It's a wonder any of your flies catch any fish.... If it works for you, stick with it. If you want to try twisting the other way, that's fine too. There's no "right" or "wrong", it just works a bit differently. If you twist your dubbing the same way the thread is twisted, that will tend to tighten up as you wind, but, honestly, few of us make enough winds, with dubbing, to make it loosen significantly. Then too, it's easy enough to twist the dubbing tighter, as you wind, so that it isn't really an issue.
  24. Scotch Guard is probably just as good. It's a teflon repellent that's used to "waterproof" nylon, but doesn't work nearly as well as the stuff they use in the manufacturing process (probably the method of application, rather than the product itself.) It would have to be reapplied, once in a while, but not every time you went fishing. I haven't watched TV since they went HD. I didn't watch much TV before that....
  25. That's a little like asking, "What's your favorite fly?" From a strictly tying standpoint, though, I have a bared ginger that I got from Charlie Collins that is my favorite to work with. It handles well and gives me a nice, consistent dry fly hackle every time. Good stem flexibility, and good barb count. The flies? Anything that uses ginger, brown or brown and grizzly mixed.
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