Itsy Bitsy, Teenie Weenie, Yellow Comparadun

B…..
ok, enough singing and on to some praising !

here’s a little two matirialed, size 24 ephemera/mayfly imitation that comes together in that just-right manner at the end of the tie.
getting tiny flies down pat is a matter of keeping things simple while keeping all those simple things in the correct proportions and ending up with an imitation that’ll float well, be visible, last in time, leave an enticing footprint on the surface, easy to tie, all the while looking yummy and this wee thing has them all.

– note that Davie’s using Dik-Dik for the wing and tails but also notice that any fine, preferably well-marked tips deer hair will do just as well.
– of special interest as well is this particular Tiemco 2487 BL hook. i haven’t used these yet but they tick a lot of boxes and i’ll definitely be giving them a go in this size this upcoming season.

as always, Mr. McPhail not only shows us fantastic flies but also a miriad of high level techniques for those who observe carefully. enjoy !

klippies

Fly Tying- The Klippies en Kolgaans

most of the tying videos i share here are about the whats (flies) and how-tos (techniques),

hqdefault

but this little doozie from South Africa’s pride and joy, Fanie Visagie (a.k.a Gordon Van Der Spuy) is more about the how or rather…  give a totally nutter yet completely lovable guy a vice, tools, video cameras and some exotic fluff and see how he manages to put them all together in his own very particular style and in other words, this is a real treat. enjoy !

jiggling damsel Dron Lee

Which is better, Good Head or Great Tail ?

thanks to buddy Dron Lee and his just-out Jigging Damsel Nymph the age old debate is no more as this stunning creature has both. created to capture the murky denizens in deepest-darkest Malaysia, just one look in this damsel’s direction tells us she’ll be a stunner anywhere around our beautiful globe.

sure, her big forehead, shiny neck, silky-rubbery legs and globular eyes get my attention,jiggling damsel Dron Lee
but take a look at her backside and imagine it all wet and dancing about !
Jiggling damsel tail Dron Lee

ok hear me out, i’ll explain why i’m so excited…  real damsel nymphs move about quite quickly in the water and their swim closely resembles that of a tiny fish. this two part tail, while remaining flexible in its entirety which makes it very lively and seductive and all that will move about slightly differently in its two parts: abdomen/actual tail, since the abdomen is stiffer than the tail and no matter how weird it may sound, that kind of stuff gets my blood pumping.

to make this lovely tail you’ll need a needle, some chenille, tying thread and, as for how to put this and all of the rest of her together, you’ll have to click one of the pics above for the complete step-by-step. enjoy !

spin7

Fly Tying- More on Tying Thread Twist

good things come and go and the UKFDUKFlyDressing forum recently and very unfortunately did just that.
it’s hard to put a rating on fly tying forums but i always really appreciated this one, there was so much to learn from very talented tiers, excellent tips and tricks and step-by-steps and always a helping hand for anyone with a query.

along with Dennis Shaw’s amazing A Complete Dubbing Techniques Tutorial and several other tying goodies previously posted here on TLC, today’s nicey is about thread twist.
this twisting is inevitable but we can control it, create more, reduce it and use either one to our advantage depending on what we want or need. knowing this an invaluable aid to any tier. in a sense it’s just as important as any other tying technique and one all tiers of all levels should be familiar with.
once again, thanks again to the whole UKFD crew for sharing such good stuff throughout the years and allowing me to keep some of it alive here.
on with the show, 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- a Perfect Embryo

here’s a super-nifty tying trick from Gilbert Rowley

i’m neither pro nor con when it comes to egg patterns. as far as today’s tutorial goes, i’ll even completely disassociate from the fact that its an egg imitation and focus in on the rather ingenious idea of covering up a bead or beads whilst creating a body shape.
eggs are pretty much round but one of the beauties of using UV resins is it can be built-up and shaped at will; more on one side, less on the other. UV resin can be cured in successive steps and doesn’t need to be applied in one go. with that in mind we can easily recreate shapes like these or any others we can think of while still adding a fair amount of weight to the fly.
tungsten body shapes

and that’s where Gilbert’s tutorial really shines, at least in my eyes: an inspiration on simple, inexpensive, modular, creative use of weight and fly shape. enjoy !

Fly Tying- Making an Easy flat Lead Tape substitute

“If you can’t find Lead Tape/Foil then why don’t you make your own using a Seam Roller….. ?”

Davie McPhail‘s question/suggestion says it all. first of all, flat lead tape, whether sticky-back or not isn’t always easy to find and it’s more expensive than it should be. on the other hand, round profiled lead wire is easily abundant and quite cheap, specially when bought in larger spools.
secondly, unless we’re going for a bulky build-up of the fly’s profile, flat lead has several advantages the round stuff can’t do. flattening round wire doesn’t change it’s weight which means that for the same amount/weight of wire we can get either get a slimmer profile and not end up with a small, short, squat obese nymph… or, add approximately twice the weight of round wire with subsequent layers of the flat stuff without getting a fatter profile than a single wrap of round. (i hope that makes sense…😆 )

finally, the flat stuff lets us be more creative and specific as to how much weight we add to the fly while easily controlling the profile that we want: its all good.

tip- although a seam roller works best and is worth the purchase in the long run, any burnishing-type tool, an old Bic pen or even a hammer will work great in a pinch. lead is soft and takes little pressure to deform.

Davie’s on a how-to/tying tips and tricks roll these days so, here’s a first for us to eat up, enjoy !

ps- don’t forget that lead is poisonous. don’t go picking your nose, scratching your eyes, eating fried chicken while having sex and licking your fingers after without washing your hands first, Ok ?

Fly Tying- a Blae and Black/Black Pennell two-in-one wet fly

blae
[bley, blee]
Origin
adjective, Scotland and North England
1. bluish-black; blue-gray.

“Ye must be fair starving, Paul,” quoth she softly with her hand on my arm, and I daresay my face was blae with cold and chagrin.
‘The Shoes of Fortune’, Neil Munroblae and black McPhail

now, what’s interesting in this fly’s name is that it doesn’t have any blue components.

ok, black materials almost always have either a blueish or reddish highlight reflection when/if the light hits it just right but it doesn’t matter a single bit because i’m rambling about something irrelevant instead of getting to the point which is: this a f’n awesome fish catching and beautiful fly.

as for the two-in-one and noted in the vid, this pattern is a Black Pennell with a wing. the Black Pennell wet designed by Mr H. Cholmondley (pronounced Chumley) Pennell is a classic that shouldn’t need any introduction to anyone born since 1870.

“Quoting from Fly Patterns and Their Origins by Harold Hinsdill Smedly; “H. Cholmondeley Pennel, 1837-1913, English poet-sportsman and author of The Angler Naturalist 1864; Modern Practical Angler, 1873; The Sporting Fish of Great Britain, Modern Improvements in Fishing Tackle, and Salmon & Trout , 1885, of which he was also an editor, was the originator of that type of hackle fly known as the “Pennell Hackle.” He also originated the turned down eyed and tapered hook which carry his name.
His choice and recommendation of that particular type of hackle fly was in three colors: brown, yellow and green. The body, instead of being bushy or soft, was hard, silk wrapped and thin. The hackle, tied very sparsely, was a little longer than usual.
Although he probably did not realize it when he recommended these patterns of thin bodies and lightly dressed hackles, he started something, for many tiers now recommend and say “dress sparsely,” but he was the first to realize that a lightly dressed fly was oftentimes better than one too heavily dressed.” *

history aside, whether this pattern needs a wing or not to be effective is most probably anyone’s guess and not the fish’s. what it will obviously do however is give the fly a bigger profile and make it look like a bigger somethingoranother instead of a smaller somethingoranother. the good thing about including a wing is it can always be trimmed off waterside with our nippers when big(ger) isn’t on the day’s menu.

enough talk, here’s how to tie the beast. enjoy !

since we’re Pennelling today and variety being the spice of life and all that, here’s an anorexic version of the standard BP tied by superman-tier Hans Weilenmann. following Han’s method you’ll be hard-pressed fitting a wing in there but we all know this fly doesn’t need a wing…

* quote source: Fly Anglers Online

step-5-flytying.ro-the-T-side-of-biot-by-Lucian-Vasies

Fly Tying- More on Biots

today’s tying tutorial treat comes to us from Romania via buddy  Lucian Vasies, one of my favourite all-time trout-type fly tiers.

we’d previously seen a more-than-nice introduction to this great fly body material in What are biots ? and Lucian’s just-out article comes in to seal the deal and help you get the most from these feather parts. here’s a few extracts:

-when you strip the barb from the stem of the feather you will notice that the structure is not symmetrical. The base is transparent and the upper part is more opaque. Also you’ll see a small gap at the base . This gap is a reference for us in tying process.
step-5-flytying.ro-how-looks-closer-a-biot-by-Lucian-Vasies

The opposite part of the gap is not so transparent and in section has a “T” shape. The barb has a small fin/burr. This fin will provide you a very nice segmentation and you can see it in the photo bellow between arrows:”
step-5-flytying.ro-the-T-side-of-biot-by-Lucian-Vasies

and here are a few results on the different ways to use biots. need i say more ?

step-8-flytying.ro-wide-steps-Lucian-Vasies

step-9-flytying.ro-slim-body-Lucian-Vasies
well, yes because i can’t help it… as noted in the article and easily seen and demonstrated in the images above is one of the biot’s fantastic properties: its translucency.
be sure to keep that in mind and use it to its full advantage by strategically selecting an appropriately toned thread or other material under-wrap to reflect light through the wound biot. in the examples above the underbody used was white thread but the possibilities are endless. if you really want the colours to ‘pop’ you could always lay a base of flashabou or similar mirrory-like material and  conversely, you can always tone down and dull or subtly change the biot’s colour by again selecting a primary thread base colour to let it show through the biot. here’s a colour wheel chart to help you mix and match. as we see on the chart, if we have a yellow biot placed over a blue underbody we’ll have a greenish/olive result. 

’nuff said ! click either pic for the complete article. enjoy !

Fly Tying- Deviating Charlie’s Nuke Egg

some people like egg patterns and some people don’t but what i’m seeing in Charlie Craven’s great step-by-step tutorial is a tying technique that’ll be of interest to any fly fisher. (except for the die-hard dry fly purist… )

Charlie's Nuke Egg

– as is, the Nuke of course looks like a very yummy fish egg still encapsulated by its embryonic sac but if we play with the basic pattern, use an as-close-to-clear as possible egg yarn and say, add two big black eyes we’ll have a fantastic alevin imitation.
– if we don’t add the veil and use that same egg construction shape and stack several close together along the hook shank and then trim to shape once the yarn is all fluffed out we have a really interesting, super-easy, translucent, lively and very attractive streamer body.
– the very same egg shape would make a much nicer head for egg-sucking leeches than the typical chenille.
– this stuff doesn’t hold water for long so we can easily build up a bulky fly body and still have something easy to cast.
– i’m sure there’s plenty of other uses to this technique i haven’t thought of but by now i’m equally sure you’ll see that it’s not just about egg patterns.

click the pic for Charlie’s complete step-by-step. enjoy !

Fly Tying- Building a better Boobie

by Philip Rowley

Boobie flies, lovem’ or hatem’. personally, i’m somewhere in between but loving them or not isn’t really the point of today’s post but one of cleverly thought-out fly design and technique(s). we’ve already seen a myriad of tying videos here on TLC and this is one of the most thoroughly thought-out and complete ones i’ve ever had the pleasure of studying and here’s why:

– a curved hook always gets my preference when it fits with the fly’s design and this one fits it super-well. as alluded to in the video, these flies can be easily be inhaled and a curved-in hook point in my opinion not only holds fish better once hooked but really help in keeping the fly in the fish’s mouth instead of down its throat. even if you’re not a die-hard barbless fisher (and you should be !) please either find a similar factory barbless or crush the barb well when tying these patterns.

– thickish tying thread as stated makes for better tying-in of thin foam parts as it’s less likely to cut through. besides, there’s no need for finesse here.

– trimming marabou fibres from the stalk instead of using the feather’s tip is the way to go. even if the tip seems flexible it isn’t half as flexible as the fibres lower down the feather and, because of the asymmetry of the tip’s fibres it’s a lot harder to get a good, even bunch along the whole tail’s length.

– the thread wrap between the tail and hook shank greatly improves the tail’s position and swim. all you need is one snug wrap to get this.

– trimming the tied-in tail by tearing them off with the fingers because nothing makes a ‘deader’ tail than by trimming it with scissors.

– ‘made-for-Boobies’ chenille really makes a difference from the standard synthetic chenille. this particular model isn’t very translucent which can be a good or a lesser good thing but the more important element with this pattern-type-specific material is the way it moves when fished. the fibres fold back on retrieve and resume their original shape when stopped and this gives the fly’s body a ‘breathing’ effect while still holding its structure to push water, give a very visible profile and combined with the foam eyes, creates a water-flow turbulence which in turn greatly enhances the tail’s movement even with the slightest and slowest retrieve. in other words, the fly doesn’t need to be torn through the water to make it come alive and its the combination of all these elements that makes these patterns so effective in triggering strikes.

– unless you’re going to tie a lot of these things, factory-made foam eyes are the way to go as they’re perfectly symmetric. its not an aesthetic thing but one of how the symmetric eyes will be perfectly balanced. asymmetric eyes make the fly swim erratically and usually twist on itself during the retrieve and that’s no good.

lots of good stuff there easily transposed to a whole lot of other less offensive patterns so, there isn’t a lot to hate is there ?
be sure to watch in HD by clicking the video’s settings button, enjoy !

Tim’s Little Black Stone

by Tim Flagler via TightLineVideo

hard to think of a nicer, simpler, great surface footprinted, Wonder-Winged, low-riding adult stonefly pattern.
harder yet to think of anything else i could add to what looks like the end-all stonefly imitation except for… enjoy !

ps- well ok, just one thing. try not to crowd the hook eye so much with excess materials when you’re tying your own…😆

Fly Tying- April tells us all about her Rhea

first, here’s the beast.
3 Rheas well, three of them…

as for the telling all about part, here’s April Volkey giving what’s in my mind/experience the finest and most thought-out fly tying material how-to-use demonstration i’ve ever seen.
it’s not about constructing a specific pattern but about exploring the endless possibilities and hands-on practical aspects of this long, durable and very lively fibre and incorporating it to all manner of salmon, steelhead flies or basically any kind of wet fly or streamer whether it be for fresh or saltwater. be sure to watch it in HD, enjoy !

 

as for the beast itself, click on the threesome for more info.