Fly Tying- a Long Hackled Secret

why ‘secret’ ? well, to start with, this usually reserved for wet fly method of hackling a dry fly is anything but common.

in its finished all-in-one-step legs and wing aspect it closely resembles the layed-back wing and prickly legs/head results one would get with deer hair but without all the fuss and muss plus, generic cock hackle fibres are softer than genetic fibres and a lot less stiff than any deer hair, giving a more life-like movement to those very same fibres while still keeping the pattern afloat. who knows, the softer fibres might also result in less spit-outs compared to the probably unnatural extra-crunchiness of stiffish deer hair but that’s more of a guess than a rule.

long hackled dry D.McPhail

secondly, besides the ingenuousness of the hacking method is Davie McPhail’s enthusiasm about this pattern. after studying what, several hundreds of his tying tutorials with many of them shared here on TLC , apart from the excellence of each one, the common denominator -and i don’t mean this in the slightest derogatory way- is Davie’s droning voice and while his voice is still the same here there’s a certain held-back excitement when he describes this pattern’s merits that i haven’t noticed in any of his other tutorials and that’s telling me that this little secret tie is really special, has been held back long enough and is now ready to be shared with all. thanks Davie.

originally created as a Bibio/Hawthorn/St. Mark’s fly –Bibio Pomonae– imitation, its more than obvious that a little tweaking here and there with different colour schemes and in different sizes will make this pattern an equally effective imitation for a whole lot of other terrestrial species and even aquatic-born sedges. Bibios ‘thighs’ are a very distinctive red, thus the red wool but that same wool can easily be nipped off waterside if need be.

at first glance, this isn’t the most impressive looking fly out there but it’s designed to catch fish, not anglers.  enjoy !

fly design- Seeing Red

by Alan Bithell via Rodtrip

Seeing-Red_0004-598x418

“The lochs in my part of the (Scottish) Highlands are acidic; this is from the peat that blankets this part of the world.
Aquatic insects find it difficult to extract oxygen from the water if it is acidic. To counter this their haemoglobin has to be more efficient. As it becomes more efficient it also becomes redder.”
“This explained the choices which of flies we use. Tradition has us using lots of flies with red in them. My approach to the traditional flies has been to ask “What is it that makes this pattern successful?” then to look into how modern materials enable me to tie flies with more of what makes them work.”

Seeing-Red_0006-598x418

brilliant info indeed. after a loooong time and a lot of experimenting, i had finally been able to somewhat ‘break the color code’ on the similar dark-dark waters in Sweden but had no clue why red somewhere on the fly seemed to do the trick better than other tones. thanks Alan !

as a side note when talking about fly colors, it’s a well-accepted fact that red is the first color to ‘disappear’ in the water column (loose it’s distinctive hue and turn to a shade of grey) the deeper it goes down and conversely, blue will retain it’s hue deepest. true, most Loch-Style flies are designed to be fished pretty close to the surface but i can’t help but wonder how this red vs blue phenomenon is affected by peat-stained water ?

click either pic for the complete article. enjoy !

Cloak and Dabbler

cloak & dabbler

dabble |ˈdabəl|
verb
1 [ with obj. ] immerse (one’s fly or flies) partially in water and move them around gently: they dabbled their dabblers in the rock pools.
• [ no obj. ] (of a fly angler) move the team of flies around in the water, feeding them to long and large trout: she figure-of eighted and dabbled her flies through the waves until she turned purple.
2 [ no obj. ] take part in an activity in a casual or superficial way: he dabbled in writing about tradition loch-style flies as a young man.
DERIVATIVES
dabbler |ˈdab(ə)lər|noun
1 he/she/it who engages in dabbling

good, now that we know how to use it we can get on with this thing and make one. enjoy !

“ya got to be brave to do that”  

-related articles-

Bibio Marci
Wet Flies
Fly Tying Videos (129)

Teal Blue and Silver

teal blue & silverby Davie McPhail

i always get a few chuckles when thinking of the naming process of a lot of the UK traditional flies. it’s a bit as if i where to call myself  ‘Semi-Hairless, Semi-Roundish and Predominantly Pink’

anyhow, the TB&S is a cool fly and here’s how to make it. enjoy !