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PostPosted: November 26th, 2018, 11:25 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
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........in no particular order:

The best advise I was given when I started tying Flies was to break my thread......and break it, and keep breaking it. I spent a few minutes every session just tying 5hread onto the hook......and breaking it. You might very well say “Huh?”......or WTH?

I then knew exactly how much pressure......or torque....I could put on 8/0 or 6/0 before it broke. That way I could tie to the maximum pressure of the thread.......without breaking it. Your flies don’t come apart that way. I still break thread.......frequently......just to be sure I’m tying to the utmost that thread will take. And, just for the record........unwaxed 8/0 Uni is way stronger than waxed 6/0 Danville. I’ve actually had guys tell me that they almost never break their thread. I always think “Hmmnnnn”.....I bet their flies fall apart with a fair degree of regularity, fwiw.

Secondly........when tying with deer hair or elk hair, your most important tool is a good comb. Getting that underfur the hell out of there is paramount to tying well. Sharp scissors is probably the second most important.

I watched a video years ago......(well, just the term “video” should have told you that) of Lefty and Bob Clouser tying Caddis.......and after tying on the elk hair Lefty taking his thread a dozen or so times through the butts to really secure it to the hook. I had never seen that done, and before that, no matter how hard I tightened down the collar of the hair.......it eventually loosened up. That’s never happened in the 35, or so, years since I learned that trick.

Fourthly.........glue is way overrated, and a crutch, IMO. I do use glue, sparingly, on flies that need to be bomb-proof, but virtually never use head cement on dry flies. The less chemicals used, the better, again, my opinion only. A good seven turn whip finish......or two four turn ones.......will suffice.

Fifth: Is there an easier Caddis fly to tie than a BRF X-Caddis? You can crank those out by the dozens.

Sixth: Cheap hooks are false economy. I hear guys/gals all the time bitching about the price of hooks. Are they getting expensive? Absolutely......no question about that. Tiemco’s are going into the stratosphere.........but Daiichi’s are just as good.......at 1/2 to 60% of Timeco’s. For those of you that like Dai Riki’s hang on to them,because I’ve heard they’re either out of business.......or going to be soon. We were in Dan Baileys ( importer of them) last summer, and even they were way down on supply. Fly fishing is an expensive sport, but hooks keep you connnected to the trout. For chrissakes use good ones.

Out for now.

Dave M

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PostPosted: November 26th, 2018, 2:38 pm 
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Points 3 and 5 resonates with me.... wrapping through the butt ends on an x caddis, or the wing of a comparadun, are the best ways to prevent spinning.

The rest are good... but you can take 3 & 5 to the bank.

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"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


Last edited by TGIF on November 26th, 2018, 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 26th, 2018, 2:46 pm 
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Location: Vassalboro, Maine
As stated by Dave- lots of little habits help when I tie. I keep the scissors on my hand ALL the time I tie. I put all tools in the same place on the desk every time-and now my hands go to them w/o looking. I have lists going on the desktop of my tying desk- of needs, flies I am low on, sizes I need to make more of and gear I need to review for replacement. I just (yesterday) cleaned my tying desk- put stuff away, threw waste out, and generally cleaned up my area.

As for hooks--- I just finished talking to the Trout Shop in Craig Mt. about my hook order- Dai Rikis in small sizes (lots of 310s) in 50 packs- 1/2 the price of Tiemco and, in my opinion a very decent hook....but I agree with Dave that Dai Rikis may be going out, so I tried some off brand hooks from The Fly Shop in California, and I think they are fine-and at $1.75 per 25 hooks- cheap.

I also have changed all my storage boxes to much smaller boxes that seem to hold as many flies but in less bulk. Easier to transport to Mt. and camp.

Speaking of camp- Parker went this weekend to finish some winterization, and arrived JUST after the heat failed...camp was not yet frozen, but it became clear that we were out of fuel...and some windows had been left open- which will eat up propane quite fast. As it looks to be another snow day on Tuesday, I expect I will be tying #22 caddis...

Hutch

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PostPosted: November 26th, 2018, 3:21 pm 
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Hutch wrote:

Speaking of camp- Parker went this weekend to finish some winterization, and arrived JUST after the heat failed...camp was not yet frozen, but it became clear that we were out of fuel...and some windows had been left open- which will eat up propane quite fast. As it looks to be another snow day on Tuesday, I expect I will be tying #22 caddis...


I've been there, though in my case it was my house- and I was just getting home at 1:30 AM from the airport to find my inside temp had dropped to 37 degrees. And for me it was some sludge in the fuel line. Fun figuring out and fixing before going to bed... I might have added an extra blanket to the bed that night.

It was a beautiful weekend to be at camp this weekend. I spent time there with family, chasing deer and grouse around the local covers. Birds were mostly in hiding, but could be found. We saw multiple deer, but only one had horns and presented no shot. The lake has frozen with about 6" of poor ice- a big change from the open water of two weeks ago. The 4 degree lows and 12 degree highs on Thursday helped- though were quite comfortable to be out hunting in (thanks largely to the now defunct Beagle Ware hunting gear- sad to see that company go under a few years back).

Winter tying (and in my case- planning a tying space from scratch at the house-to-be) is upon us.

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PostPosted: November 26th, 2018, 8:30 pm 
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Dave,
When it comes to tying you are always on top of the game. I find it hard but I respectfully disagree on easiest caddis imitation. It's very close but I would put the Vermont Hare's Ear dry as a tad easier. Not by much. Dub a body starting a bit into bend with hares ear dubbing left buggy. Hackle with a grizzly and a brown hackle mixed and trim to the hook gape. Great for beginners that may not have really good genetic hackle yet, as you use longer fibered hackle and trim.
Both are very easy and durable. It's a real tossup.
Hutch, Snow day? Gee willickers, how are these kids to learn if you're home tying flies.

Ron

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PostPosted: November 27th, 2018, 12:29 am 
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The best advice I ever got regarding fly tying was:
1. Don't expect to save any money by tying your own flies
2. The fish don't care if your fly is not perfect


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PostPosted: November 27th, 2018, 9:01 am 
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kmudgn wrote:
The best advice I ever got regarding fly tying was:
1. Don't expect to save any money by tying your own flies
2. The fish don't care if your fly is not perfect


Very true, that!

You most assuredly *won’t* save money tying your own flies.

The fish don’t care if the fly isn’t perfect.......but I do. Sloppy flies just don’t cut it for me. If I even suspect the fly isn’t as close to perfect as I can possibly make it; the double edged razor blade comes out, and that fly is down to the bare hook in just a few swipes.

One more thing I thought of after posting yesterday. In dubbing, when I teach, or demonstrate dubbing techniques..........I always say, change the color of the thread, but not the diameter. In other words.......keep that dubbing noodle as tight to the thread as humanly possible, and as thin as humanly possible. That’s for dry fly bodies.........it doesn’t work that way for fuzzy Nymph bodies........obviously.

Dave M

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PostPosted: November 27th, 2018, 1:37 pm 
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
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Wow. I’m glad I tie big Alaskan patterns. Thread so strong, you can’t break it. Most everything sees Zap a Gap.


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PostPosted: December 6th, 2018, 1:19 pm 
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Quote:
".and after tying on the elk hair Lefty taking his thread a dozen or so times through the butts to really secure it to the hook. I had never seen that done, and before that, no matter how hard I tightened down the collar of the hair.......it eventually loosened up. That’s never happened in the 35, or so, years since I learned that trick."


can anyone elaborate on what this means?

I've only been tying for about a year and still have lots of issues with elk hair spinning around the hook or flaring too much making a sparse and wide wing. I've tried the loop around the thread before tying it to the hook trick, and tried cutting the "head" or butts before tying it to make more of a starburst pattern. Just cant get a great technique down for these hair wings.


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PostPosted: December 6th, 2018, 1:47 pm 
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ginky lady wrote:
can anyone elaborate on what this means?


Sure. After you've tide the elk hair on, before clipping the butts off- take the top 25% of the butt hair and lift it up and take a wrap in front of it. Then do the same for the next 25% of the butts. Keep working forward until you're taking a wrap or two in front of the butts near the eye. Whip finish and clip the butts to the desired length. This adds a little bit of weight, but also adds a lot of durability.

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2018, 2:16 pm 
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GL.......

I do it a bit different from the way David does it.

After tying on the Elk with seven turns of thread.......and, for the record, I always count my wraps when tying on hair, deer or elk, ( I was taught that by one of Maine’s best pro tiers, and it’s a great help, fwiw) ......The first turn of thread is tight, and each subsequent turn is tighter than the prior one........after the seventh turn of thread I left up just a few hairs, and cinch down through the butts as firmly as I can......flareing the butts; then take about another dozen hairs (or thereabouts) and cinch down as firmly as possible.......doing this about 12 times (or so......depending on the size of the fly).

The final wraps are behind the eye of the hook. Whip finish.......then cut all the butts. Your hair absolutely won’t spin around the hook or loosen up.

Dave M

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2018, 2:35 pm 
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I think we're describing the same thing Dave. Different words, same action. :mrgreen: Though I don't count my wraps.

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2018, 2:49 pm 
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Does anyone else remember, when you first started fly tying and/or trapping, unless you had a close family member or a generous friend, who tied or trapped...these were kind of secretive activities...thank goodness today, we have youtube!


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PostPosted: December 7th, 2018, 9:42 am 
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Wood Special wrote:
Does anyone else remember, when you first started fly tying and/or trapping, unless you had a close family member or a generous friend, who tied or trapped...these were kind of secretive activities...thank goodness today, we have youtube!


Oh God yes!

I started tying in the early 70’s. Before video, before Youtube, Vimeo, etc.

The first instruction books (and I use the term loosely.......more illustrated manuals........and the illustrations were freaking terrible, fwiw) were nothing more than awful.

I well remember not even knowing how to tie the thread into the hook. I used a bunch of granny knots to secure it.

The first fly I tied ( well.......*tried* to tie) the manual said “tie on the tail”. I thought “Ok......how the hell do I do that?” It went downhill from there.

There were no classes, no TU groups, noGray Ghost tying sessions, etc. it was trial and error. You REALLY had to be motivated to teach yourself. The bad old days, for sure.

Dave M

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PostPosted: December 7th, 2018, 10:28 am 
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That is an awesome point about the quality of the video and written instruction that is now available.. not to mention forums like this.

I started with a garage sale kit that my mom picked up... it was a vice a bobbin, 2 spools of red thread, a red Chinese neck, and some chenille. Granted, that was in the early 2000s and the internet was blossoming, so i didn't have to wait long.

However, I splurged ($250) for a two day tying course with Dick Talleur coordinated by Stone River Outfitters (via their connection and extension of Hunters in New Boston). I learned more in those two days than I had learned in years prior.

Dick was a great teacher and story teller, I had no idea at the time that he was a "name" in the industry, but i was taken aback that there were people who had driven in for the class, from all over the east coast.

In true fashion, we started with a wooley bugger and 16 hours later closed with a married wing Parm Belle.

So yes, I can totally relate to fumbling in the dark, and then benefiting from people and resources to improve over time. I am working from home in my tying room... lots of $$$ has also gone into the effort since that $5 start at the garage sale :)

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