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Fly Tying

Pastor Ron

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About Pastor Ron

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    Altoona, PA
  1. Have blended dubbing for many, many years. Experimented with all kinds of materials, for me, natural materials seem to blend the best and have the most "natural" appearance. Sometimes I add in a little synthetic to the natural mix for added sparkle appeal, i.e. "Pearl Ice Dubbing". Rabbit in various shades and colors (my brother-in-law used to raise rabbits, I have quite a few hides in various colors), squirrel, groundhog, muskrat, etc.... all good home blend materials. Length of fibers has proven critical for a good blend and avoiding a knotted and tangled mess. Static Guard or cling free static sheets are a necessity. For many years I used an old multi-speed blender, it died! :wallbash: Then the search for a replacement.... tried a few various brand blenders but wasn't satisfied, then I bought a Smoothie blender..... works great!
  2. This is awesome! If I lived in the area I'd participate.
  3. +1 on the mothballs! Have used mothballs for many years and fortunately never had a bug problem. I also use large plastic jars, zip lock bags, and cedar chips.
  4. I save the hide/hair/skin/feathers/fur of everything I hunt and I ask other hunters for theirs as well!!!! When I see what a matched pair of wing quills/feathers cost, or two tail feathers from a ringneck.......... I save, collect, and beg from other hunters as well as keep my own.
  5. My old blender bit the dust a while ago so I have been searching all over for a replacement. The Salvation army store and the Goodwill Store each had a used blender..... they wanted $15 for them and they looked all beat up. I settled on a Smoothie Drink Blender for $15 at KMart.... works great.
  6. From one pastor to another.... Amen! Loyalty, commitment, integrity, respect...... largely have become relics...
  7. Harbor Freight has a plastic box set up that works well for me. It is 24 smaller boxes nested in one larger box, there is also another style that contains several double size hook boxes for larger hooks. I have several of these, each larger box is dedicated to a specific style (dry / wet / etc.) and every box is labeled. I also put a strip of sticky back magnet in each hook box.
  8. How many have ever tested some of your flys in the swimming pool or bath tub? I've done both.... many times!! Just ask my wife!!! I've actually gotten in the pool and checked the swimming action on some nymphs and streamers! :hyst: :hyst: I've timed descent rates of various weighted nymphs. If you tie a piece of mono to the inlet jet and leave the other end with a perfection loop you can attach various flies and see how they react in a current flow! My wife says that I am a very sick man!
  9. To ad to what I posted earlier..... Lots of Zip Lock bags and large plastic containers (the shoe box type and the large plastic jars that snack foods come in). I usually put every item in it's own separate zip lock bag if at all possible; i.e., each Pheasant hide or Grouse skin goes in a zip lock bag of it's own with either moth balls / cloves / cedar chips and then I put all the bags with pheasant skins in one plastic container and the grouse skins in another container and so on. I usually put things like squirrel tails etc together in one large plastic jar with the additives. Oh, I also spray my tying area; floor, shelves, etc with a home safe insect spray, usually two times a year. I've also heard that Basil leaves are a good insect deterrent. Also, google "homemade insect spray", you'll get a whole bunch of easy and safe concoctions. I'm not saying that you don't need to or shouldn't wash your raw materials, just that I've never done that in the past.... it's probably a very good idea to do so and I would encourage others to take that step... there is too much money tied up in materials to take a chance on bug infestation. I can't imagine washing some of the hides I have....... I have four full deer hides, about 10 very large rabbit hides, and on and on and on....... My wife wouldn't like those things in the bathtub!!!!
  10. Wow... really broad topic! Perhaps asking how long it takes to tie a GRHE nymph, but with all the variables it's shot in the dark question to me. If I'm tying more than half a dozen of one fly (which is almost always) I preselect and size all the components and set them in order. I.e., for GRHE nymphs I pull all the tail bunches and size them then place them in individual hair clips, same for the wing cases; if they are bead head I put beads on all the hooks and if they are weighted i do all the hooks at once. So then I am picking up a pre-weighted beaded hook, attaching the thread and picking up the preset tail material.... etc etc This goes back to my years of production tying, I got used to tying this way and it works well for me. I can do a lot of the pres-electing and sizing and beading of hooks anywhere... often take stuff to the family room to watch a movie with the family or sit outside on a beautiful day and prep materials.
  11. Ah, now dying materials, yes... then I do wash them in a mild dish detergent.... otherwise the dye will not penetrate the materials as well or as evenly.
  12. Don't have an Ipod or an MP3 player.... I usually am listening to talk radio, or a Bluegrass CD..... and sometimes I just tie in silence!
  13. HHmmmm, there maybe some other / better advice come along but as for me, I've never "washed" anything that I've either killed or had given to me by another hunter. I've been keeping wild hides and skins for nearly 40 years and never had a problem. I stretch and flesh the hides and then treat them with a mixture of salt, water, bleach (powder form), and peroxide. I mix this into a paste form and rub it into the hide real good and then let it dry (preferably in the sun). Once it's good and dry I brush off the mixture as best as possible. I've used this on hides and bird shins, I've also used it on the stump ends of tails and wings. For storing my tails, wings, and skins I generally put them individually in to zip lock bags with a couple cloves and/or cedar chips and/or moth balls, then I date the bag and place the bags in specific containers of my chest of drawers. I have some rabbit hides that I treated this way nearly 20 years ago and they have held up fine. If you want the hides to stay soft and pliable then after the paste treatment is brushed off you can apply some tanners oil / leather softener / or hide paste (talk to a taxidermist). Thankfully in 40 years of tying I've never had a bug problem... but I am a little fanatical about zip lock bags, large plastic jars, cloves, moth balls, and cedar chips! Not saying that this is what everybody ought to do, just sharing my experience. YMMV
  14. Here's a couple of pictures of a type of portable tying station. I've made several of these over the years, sold a few and gave a couple away. This one I made for my son but he never really caught the bug so it has been sitting under my tying desk for years. It's made from two 1 x 8 x 20, a couple of 2 x 4 pieces for the sides and some 1 x 2 for the vise mount. I drilled some holes in top of the back 2 x 4 for tools, added some nails to hang some tools from and put a cup hook in the end of the vise mount to put my bobbin in thus keeping it out of the way for various tying stages. I've actually used this many times.... i.e., camping trips, vacations, watching a movie with the family, etc. Everything is glued and screwed together so it is very stable and durable. There's enough information here and in the pictures for anyone to copy and build.... you can knock one of these out in half an hour. I used an amber stain for the finish, this seemed to work the best.... don't use a varnish or shellac or poly coating that has a gloss finish.... too much glare. I also cut some heavy cardboard in a couple of colors to slide onto the work area for contrast depending on what materials I'm working with.
  15. Another hobby of mine is woodworking.... I've built several portable/mobile tying stations over the years. If I get a chance I'll post a picture of one I made for my son quite a few years ago.... the others I sold or gave away. Added... See my other post on this topic for more details...
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