Jump to content
Fly Tying


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by DFoster

  1. Here's a question related to this thread,

    A few years back I was given a bunch of tying materials including dozen or so small bags of various wood and mallard duck feathers which were sorted. The guy that gave them to me had intended to learn to tie flies but never got past acquiring some materials. He said a hunter he knew had shot the ducks back in the 80's. Whoever shot them packed the feathers in bags with a white colored fine powder apparently to preserve them. 30+ years later and they are still perfect for tying. Cocaine jokes aside does anyone out there have any idea what this powder might be? I was thinking it might be a type of desiccant but the contemporary stuff I'm seeing on line doesn't look white.





    Well Mark I'm a professional musician on weekends (2nd job) and have been saving my band pay to order a new HMH TRV vise. Not easy with a big family and Christmas this month but it's looking like the Vise will be mine just before the holidays.


    Very cool. I'm afraid those kinds of vises are above my skill level. I gotta stick to the simple stuff. Looks like you'll have a Merry Christmas.



    Well I'm not Oliver Edwards either and certainly I don't "need" another vise. Honestly I just like the design. All part of the obsession of catching fish on the fly -



    Well, I don't smoke, drink or use drugs, I don't cheat on my wife, I'm kind to small children, animals and women. I guess I could use a couple of new vises.


    Your vise has become your vice-


    Well Mark I'm a professional musician on weekends (2nd job) and have been saving my band pay to order a new HMH TRV vise. Not easy with a big family and Christmas this month but it's looking like the Vise will be mine just before the holidays.


    Very cool. I'm afraid those kinds of vises are above my skill level. I gotta stick to the simple stuff. Looks like you'll have a Merry Christmas.



    Well I'm not Oliver Edwards either and certainly I don't "need" another vise. Honestly I just like the design. All part of the obsession of catching fish on the fly -

  4. if you dont trim the fur from a hares mask and use packaged dubbing is it still a gold ribbed hares ear?


    i tie from established recipes. i also substitute hard to find materials but not to the point that the fly is unrecognizable from the original. if i cant find a substitue i dont tie it


    dyed black squirrel tail is an acceptable substitute for bear hair for wings and is often mentioned in recipes. bucktai for polar bear (hard to find)


    i dont tie any pike flies using 15 hackle feathers and a 10 inches of ep fibers smile.png


  5. Mark as a fan and student of classic flies I bought the book "The History of Fly Fishing in Fifty Flies" by Ian Whitelaw. If you're not already familiar with it there's loads of information about how and why a lot of the well know standard patterns came to be. The book covers a lot of detail regarding how the classic innovators thought process worked. Anglers like yourself carefully watching when and what their local fish are feeding on and their efforts to replicate the food source and it's behavior.

  6. I've been known to tie an original pattern or two - but that was long after copying every bug that worked (or that I thought might work...). Years later I was encouraged to send a few patterns forward to be considered by Umpqua Feather Merchants and was lucky enough to have some of them accepted... Every year they receive a bunch of "new patterns" and have the difficult job of selection just a tiny percentage to go into production. Can't say I'd want to be in their shoes. I can only imagine how many Copper John or Clouser style patterns they've had to weed through. The world of contract tying (or royalty patterns) is a tough one. If a new pattern doesn't sell well enough it gets dropped without ceremony (and I've had a few patterns that disappeared from Umpqua's catalogue over the years (and it will happen again if my current stuff no longer sells...).


    In the meantime, if I'm doing someone else's pattern I always try to make a point of naming the tyer and the original pattern name, while noting that this is my version of their pattern...


    Here's a good example... my version of Matthews Turneffe Crab...



    Although I call them Spider Crabs -they're still Matthews pattern but with outrigger style weedguards...

    That's some nice work Bob!

  7. I understand that part of the art of tying flies is tying the essence of the bug, not necessarily the exact bug. I see the art in that too, it's just not always practical to tie lifelike replicas for fishing.


    Hi Mark and with MUCH respect for those of you who practice the art of realistic tying- I have never forgotten what the guy who sold me my first fly rod said to me- "I know a guy who ties flies that look exactly like bugs. They're almost indistinguishable except for the hook. Yet when he fishes with us we always out fish him using traditionally tied flies". I tend to think flies with plucked dubbing or soft hackles/feather fibers catch fish because they do a really good job of imitating a dead bug that has been banged up in a stream or waterlogged.


    Here's how I see the "Original" question-

    There are certain flies known the world over, with distinguishing features, if your creation ends up resembling one you should probably use the word "variant" out of respect for tradition. If your winding peacock herl for an abdomen divided with red floss you kind of have to call it a Royal Coachman "variant".


    Otherwise why not consider a fly you create based on looking at a natural, matching up materials and visualizing the tying technique an original? Someone somewhere may have (or not) come up with a similar concept but that doesn't diminish your insight. Who knows maybe in a few years "Mark's Tiger Rockfish" will be huge with the salt water guys.


    Impressive catches, Mark. Outstanding days on the water.


    I've been to Alaska twice, and have not had the opportunity to fish. Those fish look fun, but in my world ... nothing is worth being cold.

    I'll stick with my little fish in Florida.


    Looks like middle-of-the-summer pictures there. If I get the chance to come up during that time of the year, I'll be giving the fishing a try.


    Yes, middle of summer, July. 60 to 80 degrees. You definitely should do it. I can help point you in the right direction if you decide to come up.


    Wow nice fish mark- Here in Mass we have landlocked Atlantic salmon, they grow to about 3lbs although my first one was considerably smaller than the average. (yes put him back after the photo)


  9. I had a tri color collie that passed about 7 years ago. His under coat was perfect dubbing for an Adams dry.


    Did I try it? You betcha, wish I still had some. Felt like he was with me every time I used an Adams.


    My daughter's golden retriever's under coat worked great for true fly larva underneath uni clear tubing. I decided to try to get a sample from the cat cat- years of building trust gone in an instant.

  10. Never even thought of recording flies tied. Don't feel the need and I can't recognize a need since the interweb has everything recorded already. Do you guys only tie one fly for experimentation purpose? If I tie something to see what happens I will still tie 2,3, or 4 of them. If they work I will tie more. If they don't work I'll use the left overs for pannie fishing where anything works.

    "At least one for the fish and another one for the tree" -Oliver Edwards

  11. When I was new to fly fishing I bought a handful of flies and managed to catch what was my personal best rainbow up to that point on one of them. Then two cast later I lost that fly. Now as a Tier I would love to be able to tie a bunch of them but I can only tell you it was mostly green and wingless.


    To me it makes sense to have a record of my flies and how they are tied so that I can accurately replicate the ones that catch fish. A big part of the fun for me is trying new patterns on both the vise and the fish. Because I do most of my tying through the winter It may be months until I'm actually fishing with some of them. I download a recipe for each new pattern that I want to tie and store them on a flash drive. I have my folders sorted by the style of fly, winged wets, drys, nymphs, soft hackles and so on. Some prefer to sort their flies by the season they're for use or by the intended species of fish. I'm slowly building my own database.

  12. Welcome from CT Dean this is a good place to spend time (other than a river)


    Thanks Chris, this forum is a required sanity break from my day job. I know CT very well having lived in Bristol, not to far from ESPN. My job at the time required me to cover the entire state. Regrettably in those days I wasn't fly fisherman so I never got on the Farmington or the mountain streams off Route 7. Beautiful area!

  13. Thanks for posting all. It was a slow day at the office yesterday due to the Veteran's Day observance -Thank you to all of you who served. I got thinking about those of us who love to chase trout on flowing water but, like myself don't live next to a cold water fishery. Here in central Mass most trout streams are heavily pressured and the fish can be tough to entice. Because sometimes life gets in the way of fishing, I will go months between visits to a trout river. I began fishing the stream behind the house as a way to keep my skills up, what I call my practice river. Now I've come to love the time I spend on that little stream.


    As a river fanatic it's great to see the photos of your local spots, please post photos if you have them-


    This is another warm water stream a few minutes drive that I fish on occasion.






  14. I have to drive nearly 3 hours to get to a stream that good!

    3 hours! The only time I ever see anyone else fishing on this river (with bait) is within a few weeks of the state stocking in April. After that it's just me. The vast majority of our local anglers are spinning tackle, still water bass guys. I have it on good authority from several of them that a fly rod is in fact impossible to cast- who knew?

  15. Nope. No water like that in my part of the State, let alone in my backyard.


    But I do have access to about a dozen places to fish within 20 minutes of the house.



    Fortunately for me, no kids so no grand offspring, either.

    Not quite my back yard, but close. We're built on family farm land with access to the stream through my father in law's cattle pastures. Roughly 500 yards from our home. I'm thankful to have it so close-

  16. Greetings from New England, below are a couple of photos of my "practice stream". It's a small, shallow (knee deep) stream that I am fortunate to have a behind my house. Lightly stocked in April, by June the water is too warm to support Trout. Still it does offer a year round population of river dace, perch and blue gill. Over the years I have used this stream to keep in practice between fishing actual trout waters. Often I"ll fish it simply because I don't have enough day light remaining after finishing with the responsibilities of life to justify a half hour car ride out to one of our local trout rivers.


    I'm a grandfather and all of my grandchildren have expressed an interest in tying and fly fishing. My oldest granddaughter is getting tall enough to fit into my wife's waders and I plan teach her to fly fish on my practice stream. There is enough current to learn the fundamentals of river fishing and the brush is tight enough to make you aware of your back cast. Generally the pan fish are not very picky and are a lot of fun on a 3wt especially if she tied the fly herself.


    Just curious if anyone else has a similar practice spot?



  17. This is very true. As of late in NJ it has been too windy or rainy. Lots of time to tie though.

    Same here Tom- I'm a few states north of you but we to catch most of the weather systems riding up the east coast. It's been just miserable enough to make me question driving any distance to trout fish in the cold wind driven rain.

  • Create New...