Please follow the fly-tying sub-menu on the left.
(New page added - 'Trout vision')
Following below on this page:
- FLY TYING TUTOR
- Material supply changes
- Some fly photos
- Some patterns PDFs
- A dubbing method
- The nonsense about Chadwick's 477
FLY TYING TUTOR
Here is a fly tying course in the form of a PDF 'book'.
It is for complete beginners and stating with the most basic and widely useful materials, it takes you through a series of patterns so that each one builds your experience of the techniques.
Every step of every pattern is explained together with a photograph.
For 3 years I have offered Part 1 free, the second part being available by email for a payment of £7.
During those 3 years, hundreds have downloaded Part 1 but not a single person has offered to pay for Part 2.
So, I am no longer offering anything free!
The link below will display a few pages and the first of the patterns so that you can see the style.
If you want to purchase Part 1 for £5.00. email me and I will return payment details, and on receipt of the latter I will give you a download location.
Part 2 continues to be available for £7.00
FLY TYERS BEWARE
Don't be conned by the manufacturers (whether intentional or not) - new supply of some materials are not what they seem.
I have for years used Orvis 10/0 thread for dry flies. It was fine thread with good strength and grip, ideal for small dries. Orvis have apparently changed their supplier. 10/0 is replaced with 12/0. You might think this is good - even finer. Unfortunately, this is a different '0' scale and in fact it is barely finer than Uni 8/0.
I now use Uni 17/0 'Trico' which has similar low bulk to the old Orvis 10/0 but only comes in white (or Danville Spider Web for very small).
|Some of my flies
Dafydd Lloyd (for the above FDG competition)
A wally-wing midge
Some Harry Toms
A sedge pupa
Davie McPhail Mayfly Emergers
Here are some pattern PDFs which you might find interesting. I will build this list slowly.
- The 'African Queen' emerger
I was asked by a customer to tie a fly to match one which he had brought from Africa, where he had
found it successful. It was a black emerger with a very scruffy, limp hackle round a pink wing post
and some long fronds of an unknown material in the position of a tail. I decided that the best way to
reproduce it was to use a hen hackle (later changed to cock) with CDC wound under it (like the
CAM emerger). For the tail fronds I decided to use split Flexifloss. Later, I decided to use the Flexifloss for the body, replacing the earlier crow herl. It makes the fly more stable in the water besides being a more elegant pattern.
- Skinhead bead nymph
Following recent publication of Oliver Edwards''buried bead nymphs',I gave it a try and didn't like it. With the bead in the thorax position I thought it tended to block the gape. Also, I wanted small nymphs. Oliver had recommended this in the text but the nymphs illustrated were certainly not small. So I came up with these - you might call it a 'half buried bead'.
- Red Ant
Here is the pattern for my favourite dry fly. I designed this not long after starting to tie flies and by some miracle of chance it worked. The main idea was to create a fly which rode high, keeping the hook above the surface. Whether it succeedes in this respect or not, it certainly brings rises.
- Wallywing Midge
Another of my own patterns, using the 'Wallywing' method and a foam thorax to help flotation
- Having got into the habit of applying a foam thorax over the hackle to pull the fibres into a horizontal position, and then clipping the downward-pointing ones, it occurred to me that it would be a better idea to put the foam thorax under the shank. This pulls the downward hackle fibres into the horizontal position and no clipping needed. Also it provides a nice buoyant cushion under the shank, provided you don't stretch the bubbles out.
A bit fiddly but worth it.
Here is the under-shank thorax applied to a Hawthorn Fly pattern (PDF):
- Paraloop dry fly
A hackle dry fly with an unusual way of tying the hackle. I like the prominent thorax which results.
- USD Dun
A Roy Christie pattern
- Sedge pupa
A dubbing technique
The standard method of applying dubbing does not involve clipping. I find tightly wound dubbing liable to be seen as a dense silhouette in the water. I prefer to have the light shining through it. This clipping method provides an easy way of obtaining a very neat finish which gives a halo of colour round the body. It is ideal for seal fur or wool dubbing:-
Wind thread (similar colour to the dubbing) to the tail in touching turns, tying in a length of ribbing material. If no visible rib is required, keep a tag of thread at the tail to use as a rib.
Apply dubbing whilst winding the thread back up the body. Apply it in loose bundles making no attempt at neatness. In fact, the fibres must be in a loose mass.
Wind the rib tightly over it in the opposite direction in open turns and secure at the shoulder.
Finally, carefully clip the dubbing to shape, tapering it toward the tail, so that the remaining stubble forms a pile between the turns of rib.
The nonsense about CHADWICK'S 477
The original yarn used by Frank Sawyer for his Killer Bug grayling lure.
Production of this yarn ceased in 1965. It is reported that Sawyer switched to a copy.
What a lot of nonsense is spouted about Chadwick's 477 wool. In the photo above, top left and bottom are samples offered on eBay in 2011. Top right is offered for auction by Mullock's in 2012 (guide price £40-£60). Granted that colour reproduction via photography and the internet is unreliable, there can be no doubt that there is a considerable difference between these.
Chadwick's 477 is a mixture of undyed wool/nylon with wool (and perhaps also nylon) dyed to a shade of brown. (it is no manner of 'pink' as often described) I have long experience as a colour matcher reproducing mixtures of this kind. I can tell you that the mixture was almost certainly rematched during its production, and obviously so when Sawyer switched to 'a copy'. The way that a colour matcher would normally work with this mixture is as follows:
He would look closely at the sample to be matched and from his range of existing samples of dyed slubbing (unspun wool) he would take a brown which he judged to be somewhere near the one in the sample. He would calculate a percentage by trial and error to be mixed with undyed wool. If the shade was not quite right he would add a little of another colour so that the visual effect was that of a close match.
It is almost certain that the shade as produced by Chadwick's did not retain precisely the same properties throughout its production and absolutely certain that the copy would objectively be quite different. Even without rematching it is very unlikely that the shade remained constant between ongoing production batches for any significant number of years.
No colour matcher or dyer would ever undertake to produce a match which was 'exactly the same'as a pattern. (even though that is always what the customer asks for and thinks he gets. It is as always hopeless trying to sensibly discuss colour with anyone who is not practiced in the technology.)
Therefore the mysticism attached to it by some fly-fishers is utterly unfounded. There is no possibility whatever of knowing that any sample of wool currently in anyone's possession is identical under all conditions to that which was originally used by Sawyer, or indeed that it remained so through the period that he produced his Killer Bugs.