can go a long way.
as promised, here’s a special-guest fly tying nugget via buddy Tim Trengrove from Wellington, North Island New Zealand.
Wellington happens to be as far away on the other side of the globe from me as possible, any further and he would have to come from space !, and i know this because i have an app on my phone that once leveled, shows what’s on the other side of our beautiful planet as if we where looking straight through it. it looks like this. cool, huh ?
ok, now that i’m finished with my pointless interjection… today’s topic is about traditional influences in contemporary fly tying and durability and more specifically, hackle durability by using the Reversed Hackling method. Tim’s explanation is straightforward and should suffice in itself but if it isn’t i’ll include the link to previously posted video in the comment section that explains it well. enjoy !
thanks for your contribution Tim, it’s greatly appreciated. i know your trout season’s about to start and i hope it’s a grand one !
Like Jim said
Tiny caddis were already crawling up my back when the first trout began rising. In the Southern Hemisphere summer, no rain for some weeks meant the flow was much lower for the post-Christmas period. Perhaps that and the extra hot day brought the caddis on as daytime hatches in this river were an unusual sight.
My normal fly choice would have been a caddis pupa but, having tied up some Partridge and Yellow spiders, I was keen to use them instead. The results were astounding, but unfortunately not for all the right reasons.
Browns and rainbows up to 3.5 pounds grabbed the fly and tore off down the pool. Some cartwheeling across the surface, others leaping high. There were break-offs and other midstream releases. What upset me way more than losing fish was the sight of seeing some of my flies unravelling. Flies that looked pretty in the box, but now were not surviving these fish. My spider tying technique was rubbish.
Later, after reading The North Country Fly by Robert L Smith, I adopted the traditional tying method for spiders. This made for much more robust flies and I’ve been waiting for another daytime caddis rise since then.
The whole “robust” thing got me thinking about fly construction. There will always be a place in my fly box for North Country fly designs like this Woodcock and Hare’s Ear.
The hackle is tied using the traditional tip-first method then wound once the body is constructed.
What I wanted was a fuller-bodied fly which was as strong as or stronger than the umbrella-shaped spider.
Starling with hare’s mask on a Kamasan B160 #16. Something along the lines of a Stewart’s Spider but not as unruly in appearance. This led me to reading how Jim Leisenring constructed his flies in The Art of Tying The Wet Fly & Fishing The Flymph. Jim typically used the reverse hackle tie-in for his soft hackle wet flies and instead of making a narrow collar of hackle, he spiralled the hackle rearward. The tying thread was then wound forward through the hackle to the tie- off position. This gave the hackle a fuller appearance and helped make the fly incredibly strong. I took those ideas and incorporated them into spiders.
If you can see differences in hackle construction looking at the two photos, your eyesight is very good! When both flies are moved about in the water together, the differences are seen more clearly. I tie these in #16 for slow, clear water and #14 for faster water. In the last season this pattern accounted for brown trout in slower rivers near my home in Wellington and the Mataura in the South Island, and rainbows in the fast flowing Tongariro. So long as I tie a decent knot and work on not being stupid after hooking fish, most of these flies make it back home. That is a big improvement on my first spiders.
When it comes to tying wingless wet flies, I like to tie the hackle in a similar way.
As Jim Leisenring has been such an inspiration, I will leave the last words to him.
“The art of tying the wet fly rests upon a knowledge of trout-stream insect life, a knowledge of materials used for imitating the insect life, and an ability to select, prepare, blend, and use the proper materials to create neat, durable, and lifelike imitations of the natural insects”.
(The Art of Tying The Wet Fly & Fishing The Flymph by James E. Leisenring and Vernon S. Hidy, 1971, page 34)
Tim Trengrove, New Zealand
From a French surname, originally De la Noye, indicating that the bearer was from a place called La Noue (ultimately Gaulish meaning “wetland, swamp”) or, in my Delano’s case, replace wetland by awesome river and swamp by the reeds that grow in said river.
Delano is the keeper of a particularly beautiful pool where unbeknownst to me earlier, harbours one of the biggest brown trout i’ve ever caught. i didn’t actually land this big trout because Delano told it to first go into those reeds, then go around a few stalks and proceed to head back towards me at full speed, on the last fish of the last day of trout season.
Delano had no idea of my good intentions towards the slimy brute so i won’t hold it against him, he’s only doing his job afterall. i’ll try having a word or two with him during the off-season to see if we can get on better terms. he’s proud and haughty and all that but experience has taught me that a few kind words and a smile can open tightly shut doors.
hard to think of a trout fly fisher anywhere around the Globe that hasn’t heard of or used Hans van Klinken’s notorious Klinkhammer emerger, one of the rare true innovations the fly tying world has seen in what seems like millenia.
lots of tiers from that very same Globe have made tutorials for this particular pattern and they’re pretty much all pretty good if not actually great but one thing’s missing: they’re not Hans.
generally speaking i guess, the way i see it is no matter how close one tries to stay close to the original, there’s always a slight personalization when translating someone else’s work and as such they become variants. there’s obviously nothing wrong with those variants, however from a learning perspective, and again this is just my own point of view, it’s of greater interest to learn from the original and vary from there instead of learning from variants and varying even more.
with a good portion of the important aspects of this fantastic pattern’s how-to details highlighted/blown up in split-screen, we’ll get it straight from the horse’s mouth whilst simultaneously having the opportunity to admire Hans’ glorious man-belly. enjoy !
～ Ein Laura Palmer film～ presumably named after everyone’s favourite girl-in-a-bag -at least that’s my guess- well, caught my attention. whether it has to do with an inexplicable interest in like-minded producers what give weird titles to their stuff combined with a good dose of fly casting… i’m happily digressing just to get to this: here’s a really nice, short and sweet video of Wolfgang Heusserer demonstrating an equally nice variety of single-hand spey casts.
Circle-C, Snap-T, Jump Roll/Switch cast, standard roll cast, wiggles and probably fourteen others i missed because i was too busy watching the line being first manipulated, then flying about. all the great presentation skills a river fisher should imo, have down pat.
not a how-to tutorial, this one’s just eye candy. more than the line dancing itself, we’ll notice how effortlessly every action is done. it looks easy and that easy is a sign of someone who’s worked a lot on their skill. i hope you’ll enjoy.
my own watery moon is the result of playing around with the phone and binoculars. no mysticism there, its just something do i thoughtlessly without an agenda but if you’d like to know more about the quote above and see a really sassy lady at the same time click below. enjoy !
its not gross at all, in fact i really like it.
if we take a quick look at the fly below we’ll see a really nice looking pattern but we also might think ‘nice but old hat’. now, if we take a look at the video and pay close attention to how it was made we’ll notice two super-duper easy-peasy tricks to get it just right and gorgeous and the second easy-peasy part just might bring some tiers over to the winged wet world where they might have been put off by the more traditional fuss and muss of having to pair left and right feather wing slips.
first up, the use of a two-toned Pearsall’s Gossimer thread
wound in touching turns down the hook shank then back up and that’s it. all the colour separation segmentation trigger points a fly and its tier could ever want or need in one simple step.
using the very same abdomen technique for standard non-winged wets, nymphs, emergers or dries instantly comes to mind. should you need a bulkier or asymmetric body simply create a base with standard thread and cover over with the silk. simples.
secondly- this is where this tutorial is absolutely brilliant !
construction of the wing itself using a single covert feather that’s tied on in one piece without having to deal with slips. put simply, you can’t go wrong and that’s a real bonus for those who like it sweet and simple and don’t have the patience for a possible wrong. i have no idea if Davie came up with the idea himself but i and i’m sure many others will be grateful he shared this great tip once they’ve checked out the vid and tried it out for themselves. enjoy !