How to properly crush hook barbs

great stuff from ozarkflyflinger with very little to add. i can’t explain why but having the pliers inline with the hook point gives better results with fewer breaks of the barb and a smoother contact between the tip of the barb and the shank.
don’t forget the small pliers-small hook / big pliers-big hook ‘rule’ or you’ll either damage your pliers and/or get mediocre results. one last thing, be sure to apply smooth pressure and not some hard and quick squeeze.
personally, i only tie with factory barbless hooks because the hook design is almost always better at holding fish on than with ‘standard’ designed hooks with crushed barbs but this trick is always good to use when friends give me flies. enjoy !

Fly tying – One handed whip finish technique

A technique developed as part of a fly tying class at Walter Reed Army Medical Center delivered by volunteers from the Potomac-Patuxent Chapter of Trout Unlimited

kudos to the TU crew for finding a simple, easy and brilliant solution to help disabled tiers whip finish their flies. please share !

i just had to go try this and it works very well. after a half-dozen finishes the only semi-issue i had with this technique was that since i make tight wraps to have a secure knot with as few wraps as possible, sometimes the weight of the bobbin/forceps ensemble wasn’t heavy enough to pull through at the end but using a metal spring clip instead of the forceps did the trick.
clamp

as an alternative, instead of doing a regular whip finish another simple and very strong method is, once the fly completed, pull the bobbin holder down a bit and apply a drop or two of superglue evenly on the thread a few millimetres from the hook, wind a few turns and trim off the tying thread flush. simples !

Fly Tying Tips and Tricks- Staying organised

(or at least, a little more organised…)

i wish i could give credit to the originator of this great tip but it’s just one of the random gems that pop up now again on the net that i save as a reminder for my personal use that i thought i’d share here for all.

straightforward and as simple, cheap and efficient as it gets, the first tag end of the material wound is slipped near the metal spring to keep it from spinning around and the rest is self-explanatory.
i use this for yarns, chenille or other non-fly tying specific materials such as found in sewing or crafts shops. if needed, you can write the materials specifics on the clothespin’s handle.
i hope this will be of use, enjoy!

clothespin keep:spools

Scott’s Squidro

ok, he’s pushing sales but if we overlook that we’ll find lots of nice, interesting ideas on streamer design and construction in this video by Scott Howell via LeLandFly

“A cousin to the now-famous intruder fly, the Squidro features rubber legs instead of ostrich herl, a modification that accounts for its unrivaled durability and downright irresistible action in the water. With a slim profile, the Squidro sinks to swinging depth in a hurry, lengthening your swing to increase your chances of hooking up with deep-running fish.”

geared towards Steelhead, in different colour schemes and in different sizes i can’t imagine them not being equally effective on larger river browns and rainbows and even salmon. (and largemouth bass, and zanders, and pike and maybe salty fish and, and, and… )

here Scott ties a black and blue version. be warned, the video’s 28 minutes long. who knows, this might be fly fishing history’s longest-to-tie fishing fly ever !

and to push this fly to the ultimate Geekdome Fly-Hall of Fame, here’s ‘Anatomy of a Squidro‘ for the techies. enjoy (and get Squidy) !

Lady Compara

a low-in-the surface egg laying Adams Comparadun by Davie McPhail

some most excellent and inspiring craftsmanship in this just-out tying tutorial. i particularly liked the details of the wing and tail and going back through the wing fibres with the dubbing body to splay out the deer hair.
this one’s a real gem, enjoy !

Fly Tying- Working with Tinsels

 Is your body sexy ?

Does your body look like this?..

lumpy-bodyYes?

Would you like it to look like this?…
smooth-body-13

Yes?
Well the good news is you don’t have to go on a high protein diet or jog 10 miles every night! You don’t need special tools, skills or materials.

The bad news? Well there’s none. There are no secrets or special techniques required, it’s all down to common sense.

and common sense indeed is all it takes to get a nicer, stronger, better looking fly: starting off with a good foundation, using the right materials to keep it all in proportion and just taking the time to do it all well to be happy with the final result.
for more on how to easily achieve this with either metal or plastic tinsels but also with other materials such as Floss/Flexi-Floss, Herl, Biot and quill bodies click HERE for yet another fantastic tying tips tutorial on UKFlyDressing. enjoy !

 

 

Stripping Peacock Quills

as a sequel to Agitating the Barbules, today’s tying materials tips and tricks treat from Tim Flagler shows us how easy it is to strip peacock herls to get those easy to make, realistic and yummy segmented bodies for our flies.
when using the bleach method note the finer points to avoid under or over treating the herls and whichever method you choose, that further colouring is as simple as using permanent markers. awesome indeed, enjoy !

Micro Pheasant Tail Nymph

by Tim Flagler – TightLines Productions
the PT nymph needs no special mention. always have an assortment when fishing for insect-eating fishes or miss out on a lot of hooking-up opportunities so, apart from the must-have,
today’s find goes from spot-on tying tips, has a short intermezzo of Tim playing with a soft and sticky looking fish mouth to show us that barbed hooks suck and then we’re back to a whole host of other not-so-common tying techniques in this just-out-today-tutorial.    enjoy !

Increasing the Visibility of Dry Flies

most tiers don’t know this super-easy and super-efective tip so here goes.
as Lucian Vasies points out:
“A simple and very efficient method to increase the visibility for small CDC dry flies tied on #16-22 : adding a small bunch of white CDC barbs in front of the wing.
In certain cases I use yellow or pink instead of white, especially at sunset when the light and the shadows become metallic.”

this great tip has a double purpose: hatching insect wings may have colour tones but they mostly remain transparent so, what i also like about this method is when seen from below (always pretend you’re a fish !), the white ‘veil’ behind the main wing brings out it’s translucency: a realistic visual effect to the whole ensemble instead of an unnatural stark silhouette.
if it helps, think about the white veil as the white canvas that a painter will then apply other colours and varying shades of grey to.
now, as suggested above, if we want to add different coloured veils to increase visibility in say, low-light conditions or when fishing a heavily-bubbled flow we can judiciously plan the wing colours to compliment each other.
it’s well worth the effort and the fish will thank you for it.

one
2two
3

three !

4

click either image for the full step by step tutorial, enjoy !

‘whoever said a mayfly tail couldn’t be sexy was wrong.

Markus Hoffman hollow tailExtended Mayfly Quill Body by Markus Hoffman

i’ve seen a number of pre-made rubber hollow bodies aiming towards the same effect, but they where so ugly that using them felt more like an insult to fly tying but mostly to the fish.

and then comes Markus’ ever-creative mind that gives birth to this ingenious, simple, quick, realistic, transparent, lively looking, for-sure floating (because of all the trapped air when tied in) and just too friggin’ yummy mayfly abdomen for a fish to pass up.
by using the same pin and uv resin technique but using different sized and shaped pins and varying tail materials or not even placing a tail at all, under-body colours and rib materials we’ll end up with a whole range of delicious extended bodies to suit any hatching bug.
something tells me this  technique will be remembered and passed on for a while. simply brilliant, good on ya Markus. thanks !

Deer Hair Wings and Muddler Head the Easy way.

once in a while a really innovative tying technique pops up and this little doozy from Staffan Lindstrom fits the bill perfectly.
definitely one for those reluctant or that can’t be bothered to use deer hair, the ingenious trick of tying the hair wing on while still on the skin and using the butts to form the head in one simple-easy move should change a few tier’s approach.
since it’s in Norwegian, you might want to turn the sound down and put on some Davis or something, the visuals are more than easy to understand.
i’m struggling to understand the need for five strands of  thread to tie in the hair where a good and strong 6/0 or other single thread should be more than enough but then again, maybe i’m being punished for encouraging you to not listen to five minutes of Norwegian:mrgreen:
the cool deer hair party part starts at 1:18, enjoy !

here’s some ear-saving Davis.

Search and Sight fishing

Ollie Edwards videos don’t usually stay up for long on the public domain so, this is worth watching quickly before it washes downstream !
a little over an hour long and all in honor of Frank Sawyer, there’s tying and fishing with tips and tricks and of course, goofy ‘ole Edwards all along the way. enjoy !

Oh, you’ve got green eyes Oh, you’ve got blue eyes Oh, you’ve got shrimp eyes.

it’s New Wave and Shrimp Eye Day here in the south of France, so without further ado, to start off the festivities here’s a brilliant burnt-mono shrimp eye tutorial by Curtis Fry at Fly Fish Food.

“I’m sure most anyone has seen or has created their own monofilament eyes. It’s not rocket science, but there are still a few things I’ve found that make it easier yet keep a bit of realism in the mix.

mono_eyes Curtis Fry FFF

So for this method, you’ll need: ” to click the pic above for the complete materials list and awesome how-to video with some very interesting tips and tricks to make your own great looking shrimpy eyes.
keep in mind that mono-eyes can be used for streamers, damsel and other nymph imitations as well as for dry flies: the big and bulging adult mayfly eyes come to mind but that’s far from all. use the same technique and vary sizes and colours to suit.

as for the New Wave, i’m not really into this soft and sticky stuff but since it’s about Shrimp Eyes….  enjoy !

Split Thread Technique

by Hans Weilenmann
if you liked Dennis Shaw’s most fantabulous Fly Tying: A Complete Dubbing Techniques Tutorial then you’ll most certainly enjoy this new video. showing us the very same thread-splitting technique but in video form will help those who still might have a few difficulties in assimilating this technique to their bag of tricks.

keep in mind that as explained here, the more turns of thread we put around a hook the more we tighten the thread. (at least for right-hand tiers wrapping away from themselves: don’t worry, the vast majority of us tie this way. we’re not freaks !)
in other words, we might have to un-spin the thread before being able to flatten and split it. Hans, with his exemplary, minimal thread-wrap method of tying will automatically have less ‘problems’ with this than those who add more wraps. it’s not really a problem though as long as we’re aware of this tightening and un-twist accordingly.

on a personal note, the only ‘sort-of-negative’ aspect i can find to the split-thread technique is the amount of dubbing inserted in the thread has to be just right. if we’ve added too much and have some left over at the spot where we’ve wanted to stop winding, we can’t just tie it off and cut off excess as when using a dubbing loop.
depending on the materials used and how much we’ve tightened the thread and if wax was applied, we can always try to pull out the extra fluff but that’s not a for-sure. so, until we’ve acquired the sense of the exact amount of dubbing we’ll need for each specific pattern, it’s best to ere on on the lighter side and simply add a little more if necessary.
as so often in fly tying,  less is more.