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 !

a Clyde Style Fly Magpie & Silver

by Davie McPhail

clyde style - 2 centuries of soft-hackled flies

well, Davie’s magpie wing hardly fits in with the description above but it hardly matters because many other references to this style of fly have the same big-winged generosity. thing is,  it’s hard to find any universally accepted definition to the Clyde style fly as most authors tend to have their own vision of it but i believe we can basically break down its most distinctive feature of it being: a spider with a wing sitting pretty on top.

if you’ve been visiting here for a while you’ll most certainly be pretty familiar with the North Country Spider style. this North Country happens to be in the north of England and the Clyde style originated on river Clyde, close to southern Scotland. what connects the two is a line on a map and seeing that fish don’t care about boundaries and it’s the same part of the world, and that even way back then people travelled and drank beer and whisky, it’s all too easy for me at least, to see how fly style mixes occur and people being what they are and proud of their place and country of origin and somehow what happens after all this beer and whisky is a a whole new fly is given birth.
my point here isn’t to propose that someone copied another and even less to take sides (although i tend to like Scots, specially the ladies. must be their accents… ) but, i felt like introducing Davie’s great tying tutorial (that doesn’t really need one after all) in a somewhat grumpily manner as an attempt to get over my recent three-days out and three days blanking.., that for some reason keeps on nagging me to the point that i’m not even really enjoying all this xmas chocolate that’s laying about the house.
since i’m sure that last part has amused you at least a bit, i feel better.

i hope you’ll enjoy the video, it’s a really nice fly.

Clyde style intro excerpt from Nemes’softhackledfliesselling at around 200$ and therefore out of most people’s financial reach,
we can still get a pretty good preview of it by clicking the image of the book.

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.

Sexy-Floss BloodWorm

unsurprisingly, Davie’s new tie is the prettiest i’ve seen in the tailed-for-movement chironomid larvae imitation family but there’s more to it than just pretty. bloodworms, just like most of the different stages of the chironomid are translucent, chironomid_larvae_eric_lindsomething a lot of  other patterns sorely miss. they also wiggle/squirm back and forth a lot even when not going from one place to another and this is where adding a slinky/undulating marabou tail helps: fishing the fly static and letting the smallest currents in the lake or wind do the work instead of constantly retrieving the line and fly.

Chironomid_lifecycle

bugs of the same species can differ greatly from region to region and we’ll also notice that the chiro larvae goes through different stages, and more importantly for us, different sizes. bloodworms are typically red hence the name but as seen here  we’ll notice that various shades of olive, tans and grey are readily found so once again, different sizes and colours of this same pattern should cover you just about anywhere.

not a fancy fly for sure but then it says ‘eat me’ all over and it’s always a treat to watch Davie work his magic. enjoy !

click either bug image for its respective source

a clip-on fly body.

absofrigginlutely brilliant !
clip-on fly TLC 14-11-13

the actual fly is tied on the B-C stem and then it seems to be clipped on to the hook once the silk tippet is tied in.
of a completely different concept but closely resembling the hook-changing possibilities we have with tube flies this is bloody ingenious and something the creative tier might want to experiment with.  since we’re mostly using modern hooks with eyes, my thoughts are we needn’t bother with making clips as the stem can be simply tied in fore and aft and easily trimmed off later if needed. this also brings up ideas of being able to quickly change foam bodies or other softy materials that easily get munched to bits after a few fish but i’m sure we can think of a lot of other uses.
a little research hasn’t shown whether Upton’s patent was a lucrative one or not but this deserves some special attention. be sure to pass on his name if you give this style a go.

(more HERE on the history of hook eyes and the beginnings of the tying vise) 

’round and round with Davie

in a wonderful example that a fly tier can have ADHD (or be drunk and confused) and still manage to make a wonderful fly, Davie’s two-versioned tutorial of the same generalised imitation where wings and thorax get interchanged shows us some fine, yet-so-easy fly tuning that simple rearrangements can produce. more than just a groovy example of mixing and matching, this fly thing  seems to be just the ticket as a really good searching pattern or when there’s several types of bugs on the water. mayflies, caddis, hawthorn, crickets and you name it. it looks buggy as bug and’ll leave a lot for the fish to see below, in the surface film and above the water. that’s a lot of good points for a fly to have.  enjoy !

American Trout-Stream Insects

by Louis Rhead 1914 via OpenLibrary
Am. trout-stream insects TLC 8-11-13
without a doubt we can be pretty sure that hatch timetables and even bug species in the last ninety-nine years have come to be inexistent in some areas while others have taken their place, we’re still left with an enormous wealth of information regarding river-side insect life and how to put this to good use.
geared towards U.S. rivers, anglers from around the world will find similarities and usefulness for their own waters. besides, i’m not sure it really matters, it’s a great read regardless and maybe a reminder that bugs is bugs and fishes is fishes and fly fishing hasn’t changed all that much so there’s a lot to learn from the past.
americantroutstr00rhearich_0053the many hand-drawn plates created by the author back up all the groovy buggy-fishy info with beauty, further sharing the notion that it’s not just a matter of fish food and catching fish but of creatures to be admired on their own and thank you Mr Rhead for that.
americantroutstr00rhearich_0001
click either image for 177 pages of old school coolness online or HERE to download PDF, Kindle and others to enjoy this offline.

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 !

Lucian’s G – Nymph

by Lucian Vasies

my, that’s a pretty G !

G Nymph 1

i’d probably start blushing if asked which exact mayflies nymphs have gills like these,
contrasting-nymph-1but i have a hard time blushing  so it’s enough to say that some bugs have them and some bugs don’t. however,  these lovely G Flies most certainly have them and for the moment, that’s about all that matters. i guess.
todays step-by-step is a silent one and i like that. it makes us have to visually anchor the tying process by paying attention to all the little details and maybe best of all, transcends all languages. with demonstrations like this there’s no need for words. thanks Lucian.

G Nymph 2

can’t get enough…G Nymph 3

click either image for the complete step by step and materials list. 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.

How to Dress It and How to Use It.

not much to not like with a title like that..,
Salmon Fly-dressit, use it
but with topics such as: Underwater Experiments, The ‘Instrument of Satisfaction’ (my favourite !),  Diagnosis of Flies, Symmetry of Flies, The ‘Line-of-Pull’, Holding the Hook (tying these lovely flies by hand) and gorgeous plates like this, that it’s kinda turned into a love affair.

salmonflyhowtodr00kelsrich_0055
this one’s a really special find that i hope you’ll enjoy as much as i did. click either pic to access the complete 510 page book online on OpenLibrary or HERE to download it in pdf file or Kindle and other nifty ways to read it later when offline.

the Minnie Mouse No Hackle dry fly

by Davie McPhail

ok, Davie doesn’t mention anything about Ms. Mouse (as well as anyone else as far as i can tell… ) but, this style of fly always brings up images of her sexy bow-tie shaped head gear, something i’m sure  the trout are fond of in an equal manner. (that’s one of those  things i can’t explain but just is)

MinervaMouse2 if only she had a hook…

anyway, leaving aside the cutesy parts, what i mostly like about this fly is apart from the tail, it doesn’t look at all like a natural bug and yet we know it fools fish easily and it fools them a lot.
tying-tip-wise, were shown a really nice way to tie in and tame micro-fibbets and although we’ve seen it several times, Davie’s method of tying in and adjusting paired wing slips is always worthy of close attention. enjoy !