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.

 

Fly Tying- Setting Hair Wings

by Roger Lowe via Brookings’ Anglers

unfortunately, this video suffers of poor image quality but the very clear, concise and extremely well explained and pleasantly twangy instructions on this technique more than make up for the constant blur.
the tutorial is based on the infamous Royal Wulff patern but the same winging technique will do the do for a whole host of other flies from the more traditional types such as the Catskill school to more contemporary floating patterns such as this little Honey that’s caught me so many fish. Honey has a synthetic wing but the tying process is basically the same.
explore, experiment but mostly, enjoy !

Fly Tying- How to apply dubbing

clear, concise with all the finer details, Hans Stephenson‘s basic dubbing application tutorial is primarily geared towards the beginners in fly tying but a lot of ‘seasoned veterans’ might just pick up a thing or two as well.
although the dubbing material used in the vid seems to be of the ‘super-easy to apply’ type, note that this method will tame the more difficult materials such as adult seal fur, just to name a what-can-be toughy. enjoy !

for the most complete of all completest dubbing tutorials be sure to check out previously posted Fly Tying: A Complete Dubbing Techniques Tutorial by Dennis Shaw whom i’d like to take the occasion to thank again for sharing such an amazing work with us.

How to properly crush hook barbs: Part Two

we’ve recently seen the how-to video and today, sent in by friend Alan Bithell is a detailed explanation why it’s way better to crush barbs with the pliers inline with the hook point rather than across. thanks Alan !

De Barbing

for more of Alan’s goodies previously contributed to TLC so far click here enjoy !

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 !

EDIT– i’m very sorry, folks but the video has been removed and that’s a shame as it was very good. i’m awaiting the author’s response and will repost it back here if he agrees to share it again.

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.
we all know someone or that could use a helping hand and this video is well worth sharing with them.

i just had to try this and it works very well. after a half-dozen finishes the only semi-issue i had with this technique was that sometimes the weight of the bobbin/forceps ensemble wasn’t heavy enough to pull through at the end but using a small, heavier metal spring clip instead of the forceps did the trick perfectly.
clamp

finally, 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 saved a long time ago 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 inside the clip near the metal spring to keep it from unwinding and 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 !
https://vimeo.com/84027222?email_id=ZGFpbHlfZGlnZXN0fDEyOWVkZGRlMDc3MzUyM2Q4ODM5ZjgzMzkxMWFhNzE2MTIyfDE4MDc3ODR8MTM4OTYxNTU5M3w5Mjc5&utm_campaign=9279&utm_medium=vimeo-digest-daily_digest-20140100&utm_source=email

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, mostly striations but they’re mostly 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 the whole wing’s translucency: a realistic visual effect to the whole ensemble instead of an unnatural stark silhouette.

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 small 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 !

oh, 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 !

Fly Tying- the 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.

Fly Tying- Spinning an Extended Body Mayfly

by Norm Norlander

ok, i’ve never used one and i’ve always considered these full-spinning vises to be more of a gadget than anything else.  that’s hardly an educated opinion. check.
i guess my major beef has been all the comments from users about how fast they could get a fly finished; something i can never get my head around because i wonder what’s the point of hurrying up, why not take a few more moments to enjoy the craft, maybe learn a thing or two along the way, take a break from the ‘i gotta do everything fast so i can keep up with this high-paced world we live in’ (or rather, some of us accept to live in), add in some silly old fart saying such as ‘haste makes waste’ and i end up with an enormous WTF ?!
but ! that all sounds old-fashioned and since i’m not getting any younger it might be a good idea to not make a fashion of this way of thinking any more. besides, the video is really nice, we can learn some very nice ways to make a very nice fly where we can more or less adapt the same techniques even without the turbo-vise and, for some unknown reason, i’ve always liked the name Norm. (that probably mostly happened after seeing Fargo) anyhow… enjoy !

the KF (Krystal Flash) Buzzer

by Hans Weilenmann

even though they’re not really transparent, chironomid pupae have this gross, slimy texture and reflectance about them that makes it seems like it and that’s what makes Hans’ KF stand out from the somewhat recent vogue of epoxy/now turned to UV resin yet still opaque buzzer imitations that are branded just about everywhere.
Midge Pupait’s not like i’d say that wrapping the KF body is labor intensive as it just takes a little while but it’s the key element of this fly. allowing the slightly shiny hook to show through gives that ‘airy-lively-sexy (sort of)’ appearance the real bugs have. sure, there are other methods of getting the same visual results but they involve adding unnecessary layers and thickness to a bug that’s usually quite thin.
also, in yet another demonstration of ‘every wrap of thread should contribute to the fly’s construction’ philosophy, Hans’ great trick of combining winding the dubbing while simultaneously whip-finishing the fly is a great one to add to any tier’s repertoire. enjoy !

Fly Tying Tips- Tying Off Materials

an oh-so useful and out-of-the-box tip just out from Hans Weilenmann
we’ve seen this method many times throughout Hans’ great tying tutorials, however today’s how-to demonstrates in greater detail his rather unique manner of tying off ribbing, hackles and other materials.

this has several advantages over wrap-wrap-wrap and snip: since the material is effectively doubled-over, it’s completely locked in place with only two turns of thread. as explained, the first turn locks down both sides of the material by crossing it twice and the second jams it all together. brilliant.
of equal grooviness is the cut or worried-off (twisted) or snapped-off material bit that’s left is angled toward the the back of the hook instead of toward the eye, leaving  the space between the last material and the eye without lumps and bumps and unnecessary thread-wrap thickness to add on more materials or, nice and neat and thin to finish the head of the fly without having horendouly-horrible things sticking out of it.  brilliant.
enjoy !

Related articles

pretty darn-nice Hopper Legs

via In The Riffle

i’ll leave out the video title’s extraneous superlatives and get to the point: this is a very nice and simple way to get big, fat, juicy-sexy legs for all your grasshopper and similar-legged terrestrial bug  imitations.
combining more ‘traditional’ methods of knotting feather fibers and then gluing the fibers to get a strong and realistic shape as in Ulf Hagström’s ‘Sexy legs Simply’ , hopefully this how-to will inspire a few patterns for this end-of-summer-trout-candy must-have fly. enjoy !

more leg-knotting

we’d already seen different methods of knotting different materials with the goal of giving them the characteristic bent shape that just about every bug’s joints have:
– Knotting your legs by hand
 bend Ze legs and keep Zem bent
sexy legs simply

in this new how-to video, Davie McPhail shows us yet another method, this time using tweezers making it easier to make multiple knots on the same fiber(s) while leaving them on the feather’s quill. nice and handy for storage and easier later on to select the right size when at the tying bench. towards the end of the clip we’ll notice how he uses the same method but with mallard feathers instead of the usual pheasant tail.  hopefully this will inspire the creative tier to experiment with other materials. enjoy !

Fly Tying Tips and Tricks: Hackling

another great tying tip from In The Riffle. this one on how to keep hackle wraps nice and tight and perpendicular to the hook on either bulky, irregular or tapered fly bodies.  good and dead simple stuff indeed, one to put in the “D’Oh ! why didn’t i think about it ?! category.

‘It’s about to go CriTicaL’

dubstep and dubbing. an obvious mix but this one’s mixed so well, it’s hard to brush one from the other.

from Brian Wise at Fly Fishing the Ozarks, try to blow out your speakers with this dubstep-by-step.