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 !

Light Cahill’s extended body

a Matt Grobert fly via Tightline Productions

of particular interest, this video shows us a nice, simple and nifty way to create an extended-body generic mayfly pattern. i’ve seen this style many times before and i don’t know if Matt is the creator of this method but this tutorial indeed demonstrates this technique best.
as an option, other tiers will slick-down the body with varnish or uv resin to make the finished body thinner to match their local bugs. as might be expected, this thinner, coated  version will only help this part of fly sink as a sealed material can not soak up fly floatant but sometimes that’s not such a bad thing as the half in/half out appearance could suggest an emerging fly struggling to break through the water’s surface tension. as Matt’s use of rabbit dubbing on the video suggests that the thorax would be underwater, the tier wishing to have a higher floating fly can easily substitute for other coarser materials such as hare, seal’s fur or even foam. enjoy !