Fly Tying- Herman’s Roy-style Reversed Parachute micro caddis

Herman as in deGala and Roy as in Christie !

i of course don’t mean any disrespect as i really like this video and Herman’s demeanour but ! apart from the bright green egg sack, to be honest, i can’t for the life of me see this fly as anything caddisy… but (again) ! lets have a closer look at this fly’s other component, one we can easily transfer over to countless other dry/emerger/floating nymph patterns; the Christie-style Parachute hackling method.

no style is an end-all but this one really stands out from the crowd on several levels, most notably by its ‘puffed-up in a ball’ fibre positions but also overall strength and resistance to fish teeth and other abrasions.
more ‘traditional’ hackling around the hook shank has the fibres oriented vertically when the fly is resting at the surface whereas others where the hackle is wound on a post such as the Klinkhammer or Christie styles have them horizontally, parallel to the water’s surface.
generally speaking, vertical fibres will have only their tips in contact with the water’s surface, thus the fly’s body is suspended above the surface whereas horizontal fibres are splayed out on the water. the latter leaves a bigger imprint on the surface but also does a better job at suspending what’s beneath it, in this case, the fly’s body or ‘floating nymph’ as it where.

as to it’s sturdiness, what makes this one so close to the proverbial bullet-proofness is that the hackle stem it enclosed within the nylon loop. should one segment be torn, the rest still hold their place, something traditionally wound hackles can’t claim. one little nick and the fly needs to be changed.
i don’t loose a lot of flies so how they hold up through time is important. (i’m also very lazy when it comes to tying sessions, or rather, it’s hard for me to actually start tying flies. once i’ve started i can’t stop and it’s not like flies are precious but i just don’t know when i’ll feel like tying again so the ones that have hatched are expected to last. i’ve digressed enough….) anyhow !

a while back we’d already seen Roy’s Reverse Parachute step-by-step and complete video tutorial and while Herman’s version isn’t a night and day variant, something about it makes the whole nylon post and hackling method seem simpler, something that should be of great interest for the person wanting to learn and try out this hackling method.

my guess is the ‘simpler’ part might have to do with using a Gallows tool to hold the nylon post vertically and tight whereas Roy does without. i’ve been tying mine for years without the tool and it of course works very well but i’ll give it a try soon as i suspect it makes winding the hackle easier and more importantly, easier to keep the winds compacted close to the hook before tightening the loop.
in a pinch, you can make a little metal hook from a paper clip and attach that to a rubber band, the lot suspended from your tying light or have someone hold the nylon post while you wind the hackle. it only takes a few seconds, plus its a good way to put your partner/spouse/sexdwarf/roommate/butler or whomever’s handy to good use… ummmm, enjoy !

some previously seen yums. i loves yums !

Fly Tying- Mix dubbing easily

a nifty, super-easy to understand tutorial from my buddy and über fly tier Holger Lachmann.

after re-reading Denis Shaw’s fantabulous A Complete Dubbing Techniques Tutorial i noticed that even though the flea comb is shown and used for other purposes, it isn’t used for mixing different types or different shades of material so Holger’s video fills this little gap perfectly. while there are several very good alternatives when mixing larger batches of dubbing, the standard for smaller amounts is simply using our fingers to pull, separate and regroup the materials.
this of course works very well but some materials, notably synthetics that tend to intertwine more than naturals make this task a little more difficult and that’s where the flea comb shines.

a lot of tiers simply buy pre-mixed blends that are readily available and that’s more than fine but in a way, they’re missing out on the possibility of customising the final result’s appearance and in the long run, perhaps its effectiveness in fooling the fish. another aspect of interest when mixing your own is the possibilities are endless. many, many ‘household’ or rather, not-out-of-a-fly shop things can be used to make dubbing, further enhancing creativity which is in my opinion a very big bonus to our craft because its another area where we can put in our own little personal touch while greatly reducing costs.
its all good. enjoy !

Fly Tying- the Double-Decker

no, not this goofy thing,
doubledecker
this one !
DDecker McPhail

nice and nifty and what i like best: lotsa fishing friendly, fish attracting profile with a highly non-bug-species-specific generic aspect.

take special note of Davie’s method of breaking away the wing’s waste hairs by increasing thread tension at the tie in point while tearing the fibres with the other hand. this is a brilliant, fast and tool-less solution for getting a great tapered body without having to cut away and ending up with an unsightly abrupt bump.
why the double wings ? the same amount of deer hair over a larger surface stabilises the fly on the surface, specially in faster flows or choppier water and is more translucent, something that’s gotta be more realistic or at least, less put-offish to the fish below than some dense lump. the larger surface will also help the angler track the fly without having to resort to adding some gaudy fluo pink shit to the fly…

lastly, this winging method of course reminds us of Bob Wyatt’s infamous* Deer Hair Emerger and i can’t help but think that a double-wing version added to it would be the bee’s knees, once again, specially in the faster waters or when it might be a little hard to see the fly or even as a ‘stronger floating’ indicator fly with a nymph or wet hanging below it. good stuff huh ?

thanks again Davie for giving us another great tutorial. enjoy folks !

* yeah, yeah, i know. once a kid always a kid…

Tying a Troutline Catgut Biothread Nymph

these little beauties from Lucian Vasies are the chocolate covered marshmallow-filled fish candy hot dogs of the nymph world, some of the handful of freshwater fly patterns that fit in the “If a fish won’t take them flies they don’t deserve to be caught… “ category and better yet, they’re a super-easy and super-fast pattern to tie. hard to beat on all levels, aye ?
micro-french-nymphs-for-trout-and-grayling-tied-with-troutline-catgut-biothread

“The Micro Nymph tied bellow with Catgut Biothread is a fly used in East Europe for his realistic look and for “easy to be tied” fact. A fly like this is efficient for his generic aspect and can be considered a search type of pattern. In fact this pattern is tied with body made of different types of threads but catgut gives a special look . The translucency is very unique and gives a realistic aspect to all flies ( nymphs or emergers ) tied with this fantastic material.”
step-4body-of-nymph-tied-with-troutline-catgut-biothread

click either pic for the complete step-by-step and HERE to source Biothread.
bon appétit , enjoy !

a Disco Shrimp

even if it isn’t even half as discoish as the infamous ‘discodildo on a hook’  what remains is a really nifty shrimp imitation well worth having for when its time to dredge river and stream beds for as noted in the title, grayling, but also trout, barbel, carp, masheer (i caught my first masheer in Malaysia on a shrimp/scud imitation), yellowfish and whatever else species you might have in your part of the world that eat freshwater shrimp and most do.
maybe more than the pattern itself, what caught my attention where several really good tying tips and tricks that are more than worth looking at carefully for tiers of all levels.
several of these methods can easily be taken over to other fly patterns, such as:
– controlling latex back widths by varying tension and stretching it well before cutting off so the little uncut part of the strip retracts.
– cutting the brush fibres of a toothbrush to make a nifty dubbing puller. serrated blade scissors work very well for this. apart from my usual tying tools, two that get used a lot are toothbrushes, one left as-is for general brushing and fly grooming (yeah, i know that sounds a little weird but weird is good !) and one trimmed as in the video.
the trimmed brush, with its longer fibres does a better job with bushier flies such as this shrimp or streamers than the standard velcro on lolly-stick tool.
– flattening the finished fly with pliers to finish its shape. i do this regularly with nymphs. sometimes in the vertical way as with this shrimp, sometimes on the horizontal as with crawling/stone clinger mayfly nymph imitations. using the striations of the pliers is also a cool way to add texture to varnished or uv resined flies.

i probably forgot a few tips but i’m sure you’ll find them in this great tutorial. enjoy !

Fly Tying Tips and Tricks- Threading a Bobbin Holder

by Martin Joergensen at The Global FlyFisher we’ve had several great tips from Martin in the past and here’s another that just might alleviate a bit of frustration when at the tying bench. not all bobbin holders are created equal and threads will all have different properties making for a different threading process dependant of what we’re using. getting to this seemingly simple result isn’t always as simple as it might seem… bobbin threading GFF with several methods and just about everything one might need to know on this bobbin holder threading subject, here’s another most tiers don’t know yet that i can imagine becoming the norm in the future: dental floss threaders. floss threader GFF click either image to access the complete article. thanks again Martin !

Tuesday’s ShoutOut- the UKFlyDressing forum

UKFlyDressing or UKFD, has been since i signed up six years ago my favorite fly tying forum among the crowd.
always friendly, unpretentious and with a very rich assortment of fly patterns, step-by-steps, tying tips and you name it goodies to keep the fly tier of all levels learning, creative and more efficient.
the highly read here on TLC, Dennis Shaw’s fantabulous A Complete Dubbing Techniques Tutorial is just one of the gems we’ll find on UKFD, i’ve included another lovely below this introduction.

the forum has been a little slow lately. apart from wanting to share a great source for my readers i’m also hoping that at least a few of you will like what you see and feel inclined to join up yourselves and share your ties and knowledge with the rest of the community and keep it alive and thriving for years to come. just in case: don’t be put off by the UK bit, its an international community making it rich and diversified. dig into the various sections deeply, you’ll find more than a few treasures.

you’ll find the main page HERE  but check out this great thread control/twist tutorial first. enjoy !


Don’t get in a Twist by Tango

The majority of threads have a clockwise twist. For a right handed tyer when you wrap the thread around the hook you put another full twist in for every turn taken around the shank. This tightens or cords the thread even more. You must learn to use this to your advantage i.e. when tying in materials/whip finishing/making a rib from thread.

No twist in thread
spin1

Wrapped to bend and a twist in there, not much but it affects the behaviour of the thread.
spin2
If you leave the twist in and try and take a soft turn over the materials the thread will want to lie to the right, this makes it difficult to get the thread where you want it.
spin3
Spin the bobbin anticlockwise and it takes the twist out, this make the thread lie straight and it goes where you want it to.
spin4
You can also spin the bobbin more to put an anticlockwise twist in the thread, this makes the thread lie to the left, you can use this to make the soft loop over your fingers and slide the thread down to the tie in point.
spin7

Why bother?
If you leave the twist in there and whip finish the thread bunches and knots, this usually results in the thread snapping and the whip finish coming undone.

It really does make it easier to tie in materials.

When to take the twist out?
Before tying in materials, whip finishing, splitting thread for dubbing and when you want the thread to lay flat – this reduces bulk.

Exceptions?
Pearsall’s silk has an anticlockwise twist, to split this thread you need to spin the bobbin clockwise. There may be more.

When to put twist in?
When you “post” upright wings it will take fewer wraps than untwisted thread.
When making a rib from thread, you won’t see a flat wrap.

For a left handed tyer it does the opposite, it takes the twist out of the thread, with some threads this can weaken it.

There is also two types of thread, BONDED and UNBONDED, bonded thread (i.e. Uni-Thread) will not lay flat but still suffers from the effects of twist. Also bonded thread will not split so you cannot use it for split thread dubbing technique, MP Magic tool techniques etc.