Wingcase:Gray duck/goose quill or turkey tail fibers
Thorax:Hare’s Ear Dubbing (Dark)
Can be tied weighted or unweighted.
Use a different color thread to determine a weighted fly.
Use different colored hares ear dubbing.
Tease out the hares ear dubbing for a buggy looking fly.
When tying nymphs with feather quill segments are usually called for, these fibers are delicate, they will split apart and will eventually break. These feather slips are usually sprayed with a clear fixatif to help keep them together while tying and finishing the fly. There are multiple alternative materials that can be used to replace the feather slips. I now use a strip of tyvec material dyed with a colored marker for a wing case. It won't slpit or break off. Over my years of tying flies, I have saved a couple of mailing envelopes I have received from various on-line purchases.
Tyvek envelopes are usually white but can be colored with a permanent marker in any color that you want.
You can also add a piece of tinsel over the wing case (like that on a copper john) for a little flash. Coat that with a drop of uv resin of your chioce.
When using marabou, wet it first. It will be easier to handle.
Use a sharp
blade like a scalpel blade or razor blade, instead of scissors, to cut the
tensioned thread after making a whip finish. That way you only cut the thread
and not the hackle fibers.
variation is to keep the thread tight and use the "V" of the scissors
to cut, same principle and safer
lids on bottles of head cement etc as soon as you’re finished using it
Add a small
amount of head cement to the thread just before whip finishing . This saves you
getting head cement on the hackles when finishing the small dry fly.
Moisten your finger tips before adding dubbing to the thread
twice, cut one" particularly when making wings from quill feathers.
When dubbing, pick out how much you think you
need for the fly, then reduce it in half.
hackle pliers are slipping, glue a thin piece of rubber band to the inside of
the blade to hold the feathers securely.
recommend a beginner to wax their thread.
When tying in
deer hair use 2-3 pinching loops then if you want it to spin it tighten by
pulling thread down and if you want to tie in as a wing pull thread upwards to
hold in place
turn of the thread better have a damn good reason for being there.
Tie flies in
batches. This will lead to greater consistency and you don't waste as much time
handling different materials.
material the opposite way to the feather fiber etc underneath so that it
secures it more effectively.
When tying in
chenille etc strip the material from the core with your finger nails. Tie in the exposed thread core to the hook. Less bulk at the tie in point.
buzzers, 4 coats of Sally Hansen’s gives the right degree of coverage.
Learn to whip
finish with your fingers.
chip bags. They can make excellent tinsel in an array of colors. Great for body
Always have a
look in your local big box craft shop, home center, department store or dollar
You can find some interesting fly tying materials at a fraction of the
price you’ll pay in a fly shop.
ALWAYS keep materials
you don’t want bugs to get into in the original sealed plastic bags they came
is brittle – always rib with wire or make a rope around your thread.
half hitch will stop things becoming undone. perfectly acceptable to do so regarless of what someone may tell you.
Tie in game
feathers such as partridge by the tip as the stalk is too large.
of room for your head (I’m guilty of not doing this)
Save the old
appliance cords and cut them to approximately 6-8 inches long. Strip away a few
of inches of the insulation to expose the fine copper wire inside. Great for
You CAN use
your expensive scissors to cut wire! Just cut wire close to the pivot area.
Use what ever
kind of feather is lying around your tying area to clean out the head cement
hook eye. Many other tying items can also be used to accomplish a
clean hook eye.
tension is very important. Try to tie with the thread at 90% breaking strain.
2 tight turns
of thread are better than 6 slack ones.
with flat stick on eyes, bending them into a vee shape like this < will make
installing them onto a rounded head much easier. After they are installed, I
will make an x wrap with clear mono thread and then coat with epoxy or the
current goos on the market. The mono will disappear, the eyes are held on tight
and the epoxy or goo makes a nice head.
thread! Get to know how much pressure you can apply to your tying thread by
making it break. If it does break, don’t panic! Simply attach your hackle pliers
to the broken end, unwrap a bit and then reattach your tying thread
deer hair wings a couple of loose wraps around base of wing prior to fixing it
in position prevents unwanted flare.
especially puppies away from fly tying tables and materials. Genetic capes seem
to taste best.
A stick with a
magnet taped to one end or a telescoping magnetic wand is the easiest way to find stray hooks and flies on the
Sharpen fly tying scissors by taking kitchen aluminum
foil and folding so that it is four layers thick.
Use scissors to make about 10
cuts with the full length of the blades ...... give the tips another 5 snips. Bingo
sharp scissors again.
Tie one in at the eye and one at the tail; take your thread back to the eye.
Wind the herl at the eye to the bend and then secure this by winding the tail
herl to the head, then secure with thread wraps.
fingers when handling Goose biots. They'll stay in between your fingers and
save you the embarrassment of swearing at yourself.
Holo tinsel and UV strands as a rib. Place the UV on top of the Holo tinsel. On
a bright day the tinsel glistens and when overcast or in low light the UV
Do you want
your dry flies to float all day and do so after catching fish? Use Scotchgard. Only
use this as a pretreatment on batches of new flies and do not over do it. Let
them dry for a couple of days.
You can also
convert your articulated reading/fly tying lamp into a gallows tool with the
aid of a child’s hair band and a spare hackle pliers.
If you ever
need emerald green tinsel, take a piece of pearl put a weight on each end and
cover the pearl using a black marker pen. When dry, turn it over you’ll have
control. Use thinner thread where possible.
holders and plastic spools have very little weight to hang and hold mid-tie
when winding ribs and hackles etc. Put a piece of lead or brass rod which will
fit within the spool between the holding axels to give weight.
tip bobbin holders. It will greatly reduce swearing
A bit of Velcro
super glued onto a flat stick, dowel, coffee stirrer etc makes a simple dubbing brush
things JUST out of reach, You get some exercise with a good old stretch and are
less likely to knock things off the work surface.
A washed out mascara
brush makes a more delicate dubbing brush
When tying in deer hair wings, use you dubbing needle
to work a bit of head cement into the butt ends before binding down on them. They'll last
When tying in herl bodies, wind them onto wet
head cement. They'll last much longer.
Do not be afraid to bend the hook to suit the pattern you
are tying. Just don't over do it.
I've been tying flies for 35+ years and I certainly dont know every fly tying technique. And neither do you.
So every now and then I take out "The Fly Tyers Benchside Reference" book and learn a new tying technique.
I dont necessarily tie a finished fly but just try to master the technique to the best of my availabily.If it doesnt come out correctly you can always unwind everything and start over or just cut everything off of the hook.
Give a new technique a try. You can do it if you really try!
Tail: Lemon colored wood duck side feather fibers
Body: Oxford gray yarn with a yellow yarn belly stripe
Hackle: Grizzly, stripped on one side
The fly should be weighted
with 10 turns of #25 lead wire (recommended for a #10 hook, weight should be
adjusted proportionately for other hook sizes). The body should appear long and
lean. The hackle should be tied in by the tip at the bend of the hook and
palmered forward to give a sparse effect.
This is a Don Bastian variation of an old standard.
Red Squirrel Silver Body Picket Pin (RSP)
Danville Flymaster 6/0 Brown
#6 – #10 4x long.
schlappen fibers or hen hackle
Brown schlappen or hen fibers
squirrel. Fox squirrel was used on these.
Head: Peacock herl. Use two strands; winding two
at once gets the job done faster, but moreover, two strands of peacock herl are
twice as strong as one. Add a drop of head cement before winding the herl.