You will often find that the brush on your superglue, UV glue, or Sally Hansen’s nail varnish, is just too bulky for the fine work you do. Simply use a small pair of scissors to trim away the brush fibers, leaving a much more manageable brush size. I find I trim away three quarters of them!
I have been tying along a particular theme recently, that being nymphs with a V-Rib body and a tungsten bead. On this one I was focusing on getting a glowing translucence in the body:
Place a 2.5mm black tungsten bead on a #14 or #16 nymph hook.
Tie in a rough base (for grip) of bright yellow silk (70 denier used here)
Tie in a tail of natural blonde squirrel tail, and use the tag end to build up the thorax a little , so securing the bead.
Tie in a small bunch of cock pheasant tail fibres as shown above.
Now splay and spread the fibres either side of the hook shank in two bunches of equal size.
Bring the pheasant tail fibres back to the back of the bead as indicated above.
Now tie in a strand of honey coloured V-Rib, with the end in tight against the base of the bead, and wrap your silk back to the back of the thorax position.
Now dub in a fairly tightly wound sausage of a wiry gray dubbing mix containing some rabbit and ice dub or SLF.
Bring the pheasant tail thorax back over the dubbing, secure with a few wraps of thread, and add in a strand of holographic tinsel at this point.
Use your silk to raise the V-Rib to a vertical position, and tie the tinsel back to the back of the thorax.
Now wrap the v-rib in tight wraps back towards the tail. Before making the last two wraps, place a dot of super glue on the silk underbody and then wrap the v-rib over that , bringing it to the position where the tail was tied in. The super glue just helps secure this tough material, since we don’t want to create any bulk at this point in the fly, and will tie it down with only two wraps of thread.
Now pull the holographic tinsel back down the back of the body and secure with a single wrap of thread. Then dab a very small amount of superglue onto the thread, and perform three wraps, and snip the thread and tinsel away.
Use a dark brown marker to colour the yellow thread wraps near the tail. Now apply a thin layer of UV glue along just the back of the body, and up over the thorax cover, and dry with the UV torch. Don’t coat the underside of the body, as we want to keep the ribbed appearance there.
Stroke the pheasant tail fibres back by hand, and thin them out with a very fine pointed pair of scissors.
This is the finished fly.
In a previous posting I showed a fly pattern that uses knotted pheasant tail legs, and I promised a posting to help readers tie these.
Tying knots in short pieces of feather fibre is difficult, so don’t beat yourself up if you end up with bits of knotless feather on the floor, and a foul temper. That would be entirely normal, and part of the process. In fact, if I haven’t tied these in a while, I forget all my own learning and do the same for a good 20 minutes before the synapses fire, and I remember this method:
Choose your fibres.
While he was catching fish, he was having one of those days, where he was battling to turn the fly over neatly at times, and he decided on a leader change, as part of a process of elimination. That is a sensible thing to do when you are having a “tangle-day”. You have tangled days too? Good: you are human like me.
Anyway, he changed to a tapered mono leader. Within half an hour he put the furled leader back on. It turns out it was probably the wind, or his reaction to it, that was the trouble, and the furled leader was in fact making things marginally better.
On the same day, I stopped around lunchtime, and took off the sodden furled leader, to change it for a freshly treated and dry one. (I need to explain: I make my furled leaders with fly-tying silk in them, so they do absorb some water over time). Usually this change is like a freshening up. It puts a spring in my step in a way. After lunch one is back on the water, with the leader floating high and dry, and some of the confidence of the first cast of the day is returned. But on this day, I did something I have never done before: I changed back to the sodden one!
Why, you may ask. Well it turns out that the sodden one had more weight, and as a result it was turning over fantastically in the wind. The dry one was as light as a feather in comparison, and I couldn’t get it to turn over in the face of the wind. Normally, and without a strong wind, the dry one would have been perfect.
I strolled into a haberdashery yesterday while my son had his hair cut. The woman behind the counter viewed me with suspicion over the top of her bifocals. I was an uncommon sight for her I suppose.
She seemed happy enough when I bought a few things however. One of those things was a small reel of glistening green material, with no name on it. While she was ringing it up I converted it into a Caddis pupa in my minds eye. After dinner I converted it into a Caddis pupa in my vice.