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Fly Tying


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Posts posted by JoeLePaul

  1. Hi everyone,


    I have been tying flies for 15 years now. My first book was The Flytier's Manual by Mike Dawes and I still love it even today. I also have the Benchside reference for manuals to all techniques. However, what I am looking for, is an advanced book with many different fly patterns (in color images) as well as a "buying list" which materials have been used for these patterns - with less of a focus on technique (similar to most patterns in Dawes' book). Ideally, it would be a book where you could look up the material and then it lists all fly patterns that can be made with this particular material. There are so many materials I rarely find fly patterns for. Mole dubbing for instance. Or blue jay. However, I am explicitly not looking for streamer patterns. Everything else (dry flies, wet flies, nymphs...) is fine.


    Do you have any book recommendations for me?


    Thank you for your time!





    PS: And if you could tell me which are the best vises for flies on small hooks (I do not tie saltwater flies/streamers) on the market at the moment, I would be grateful to you even more - I am looking to update mine wink.png

  2. You don't need to put flies - you can also put other stuff inside - for example, swans:




    And by the way- i never cut any hackles from those flies for display! They are always at a distance from the wall thanks to the length of the styrofoam - therefore no hackle hits the back and therefore doesn't need to be cut. Heck, I could take them out right now and go fishing if I want to :D

  3. Hi @ll,


    having recently gotten into the "vibe" of tying not for fishing but for images, I was working on a Christmas present for my grandma which turned 80 this year.


    I combined her preference for swans and her family, finishing up a picture with the different development stages of swans, depicting her offspring (in moult), grandchildren (starting the moult) and great-grandchildren (down). I used different materials for each of them.


    Originally I wanted to tie "birds". Then I thought about what kind of bird could you tie properly with the materials you have for fly-tying? Using hooks as necks, I came up with swans.


    Used feather tips - upside down - to depict bills and gold pheasant for the feet.


    For the bodies/necks, I used different suites of materials. From top to down: white floss, deer, fox squirrel, mole.


    Finishing off with some white duck wings at the top and some ostrich fibers as tails in the third row.


    I like the result. What about you people?





  4. The way I use is very clean. Use the needles and stick them inside the paper from behind. Then mount the foam pieces on the needles - of course you need to use needles that are not longer than the pieces of foam. You won't see any needles anymore, only the foam. Each fly here is appoximately half an inch away from the background paper ( so that the hackles dont hit the paper), the perpective of the photo is misleading in that way :D

  5. You may not be off the hook; as you may think. Germany is a party to CITES, and if the particular heron species is listed on CITES, you could still be in for a shock! The fact that the feathers were dropped on your property means absolutely nothing under these laws.


    Wo in Deutschland sind Sie? Mein Grossvater war in Hassfurt, Bayern, geboren.




    No, really. That's not the case here. (Grey) herons have recovered so well here since the 50's (actual amount of breeding pairs in Germany is approximately >27.000 pairs). The herons have recovered so well that they are part of the hunter's prey. From 16. september to 31. october they may be freely shot in Bavaria - where I live. By the way - you brought me a great idea. I will try to contact the hunters during the "heron season" and ask them for some feathers.


    Yeah, it might be that dropped feathers are too old and brittle to work with - but I will try it out to use them nevertheless.


    Thanks for the tip with wetting the fibers - I will try it out.

  6. Hello,


    do not worry. As already stated in my introduction thread, I'm from Germany. Furthermore, I own a small pond in my garden which is regularly visited by herons. Yesterday one of them cleaned itself and dropped a few feathers. So, nothing to monitor.


    And - anyone knows how to use them?



  7. Good morning,


    yesterday I have acquired some heron feathers and wanted to try out the "Pale Watery Dun" pattern according to Dawes.


    This particular fly has a body consisting of heron fibres, very similar to peacock - just winding the fibers around the hook.


    However, I have had troubles handling heron.


    The heron feather fibres are VERY thin and brittle. As soon as I try to use hackle pliers, the fibres break off at the touching point!

    I can tie in the fibres only by hand - however then I have problems with them staying at their place. As soon as I tie them off, some windings of the fibres fall off towards the tail.


    Does anyone have any experience handling heron fibres and can help me out?





  8. I couldn't wait anymore for the arrival of the new materials, took my 10 year old indian grizzly cock neck and started making Adam flies.

    The only trouble I've encountered is that the feathers with the correct hackle size are very short, I can hardly do more than a few hackle turns.


    Nevertheless, I like the results. Having not tied anything for 10 years, I'm happy that my skills haven't become too rusty ;)


  9. Saddles are as rare here as in the USA - noone sells them.


    A Whiting Bronze is more expensive than a Grade #1 Metz here, so I wonder.


    At the moment, I'm definitely shifting into the direction of trying half Grade C Metz out, since they cost little (and its easier to talk about to the wife ;) ) and seem to offer exactly what I want.

  10. As others mentioned, get a grizzly hen neck for wings. Hugh Spencer (Spencer Hackle) had a very good deal posted on Fly Tyer's Dungeon that you might want to check out: http://www.flytyersdungeon.com/Materials/Spencerspecial.htm. Either neck A or B would be my choice...although I'd be tempted to get both, considering how hard hackle is to find these days...


    If I were not in Germany.. Here, hen hackle is 25 € a piece :( And a half Grade C Metz is at 20 €...

    Maybe I will order some half Grade C Metz - since I can send them back during the first two weeks - and trade them against more high grade capes if I'm not satisfied.

  11. Thanks flytire,


    however, I forgot to mention that while I like the Metz Grade A neck based on the coloring, I do not know whether I really require A grade since it only offers feathers for flies outside of my range as an upside. Using those small feathers as Adams wings were my only "upside" of an Grade A. However, I've seen color differences between Grades A and B as well, the B ones usually having less stripes. Is it always like that or can fine-structured B grades exist as well?


    Edit: I've received photographs by my online dealer; I can hardly see any difference between the capes. Anyone experienced with them can comment on them?

    (from left to right: Metz Grade #A, Metz Grade #B, Howard's Hackle Grade #B)


  12. Hey folks,


    having to stock up on my materials, I'm in dire need for a quality grizzly cape.


    I will be needing it for:


    a ) Hackles for hook size #12-#16

    b ) Wings for same hook sizes, for example the Adams pattern.


    I have all possibilities to select from: Metz, Whiting, Howard's Hackle, Keough

    Each in the grade #A, #B or #C.


    If I have noticed anything from shop photographs, it is that the Metz capes seem to have the finest structured grizzly, which I like very much for quality wings. I dislike wings with only 2-3 stripes.

    Furthermore, someone told me that the only difference of high grades is that there are more feathers for very small flies (below #20)


    Also, I'm in Germany and thus do not have a local shop to check the capes out (the next one is a 3 hour drive from here). Furthermore, prices are almost the same for all producers, they usually vary only with the grades (an A grade here is 75 €, a B grade 50 € and a C grade 35 €.


    So, can you suggest me what I should buy - maybe also out of personal experience?





  13. My first try flies from when I was 14 years and just started tying (especially the first one is horrenduous, I used my own hair as material!)


    And four of my flies one to two years later - at age 15 or 16 - shortly before I stopped fly tying, being in puberty. (I'm 26 now and interested in tying again - see the "newslast" example, tied with Angora Rabbit Wool ;) )


    I like the differences :)








  14. Good evening folks,


    Having recently registered, I just wanted to introduce myself prior to engaging in any discussion ;)


    I’m from Germany and 26 years old. My interest in fishing was fueled by my dad who took me fishing in the holidays all the time since I can remember. However, my fly-tying career did not start before I was 14 years old after I saw the book “Handbook Fly-Tying” from Dawes in a fishing shop. I took this book up and was hooked. However, the book provided poor instruction for a beginner and at that point of time no other german-translated fly-tying books existed here on the market. Therefore, I have learned most of my skills as an autodidact – I tried stuff and when it worked, I remembered it for the next time. I have started with the cheapest materials such as Indian hackle (my parents would never have spent 70 $ for a Metz, which I still found beautiful to look at inside of the local shop. Over the time, I have found my interest in collecting materials as well since the book always enticed me with the tons of different materials one needed in order to tie “all” flies. During the same time, I’ve been in quite some places around the world, keeping my eyes open for fly tying stuff – while being in Canada, USA and even South Africa. The latter developed to the absolute heaven for fly fishing – Dullstroom. I bought tons of stuff for very little money there. Even if I didn’t need the material yet, I was collecting it just for having it in case I needed it in the future. I was also most interested in rare materials, things almost no one had or used. A recent example would be Angora Rabbit Yarn which I have found only after several years of looking (no, I didn’t have internet at that point of time). At age 15, I was “mass-producing” (40 a month) and selling my flies 50 cent each to the same fishing shop I got the materials from. Being in puberty, however, I dropped this hobby after one more year. After graduating from school, I further pursued my interest in biology and recently completed my master thesis in biology with behavioural ecology (animal behavior, further specialized on fish behaviour) as a specialty. Now, while pursuing my PhD thesis in the same field, I have taken up my interest in fishing and tying flies again – using the same materials as before. I kept the stuff safely, away from light and pests and am happy to see every of the materials I’ve bought in my life.


    Since the recent fad seems to be showing one’s “first works”, I will gladly doing so. Furthermore, I will be showing some of my works that I finished before stopping that hobby altogether (approximately from age 16).


    I hope we will be able to have some nice discussions :)










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