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Hints & Tips 3

Vary your patterns

by Ivan Everest

Most of us come into Fly Fishing through other branches of the sport, whether it be coarse or sea fishing, although the transition of switching from weighted lines and baits to lighter tackle can take some getting used to.

The art of presenting a single fly in the right place is initially a challenge in itself, hence our starting afresh by joining the Flydressers and being taught a new approach and different craft.

With some trepidation, we go through the basic patterns (all fingers and thumbs and a few unprintable words), but eventually, our offerings begin to take shape and also give us hope they may catch a fish.



Some of the older fly patterns are legendary and should not be overlooked but with the number of modern materials available for tying purposes, there comes a time when we feel we can tweak a pattern and tie a variation (innovation will always be a challenge).The fishing magazines offer a wealth of ideas and suggestions for us to take advantage of and in this respect, Charles Jardine's articles are well scripted and balanced with the older and new materials.
My own humble offering is based on the pheasant tail and damsel nymph when a slim bodied fly is required:- Take the pheasant tail and present it in the vice in the usual way, using a nymph hook, and tie-down with the tail slightly flared for effect A good selection of body materials and colours are now offered in the Lureflash Twinkle and Crystal Hair range and can be tied together as for feather or herl.

Select three strands of your principal colour and one of Fluorescent Yellow to give the ribbed effect and reflective appearance.
Tie in the thorax cover over a mix of Partridge S.L.F dubbing with a touch of clear sparkle as an attractor, adding a brown head hackle for appendages before tying down.

These flies do not need wire or tinsel ribbing and if the body is varnished on completion you have a slim effective pattern.
The flashback damsel can be treated in a similar fashion with colours to suit. This body effect would be equally suitable for buzzers if given a try. These flies are not radical and by adding a small variation they still keep the same footprint as the originals.


Tying in Marabou

By Jack Jupp

When tying in a Marabou wing or tail the presence of static electricity can cause the material to 'flare' and interfere with the tying-in process. This can be overcome by drawing the material several times through a well-moistened finger and thumb. the marabou fibres will now cling together.
The material now becomes more manageable and tying in is easier, it also gives a fair indication as to how the material will appear when saturated underwater


Mounting Goldheads

By Phillip Ellis

Reading recently an American fly-tying magazine I came across a method of fixing gold heads or any type of bead without having to use a lot of thread and it saves time.

  1. Put a bead on the shank of the hook and put the hook in vice as normal.

  2. Take a length of lead wire about the same diameter as the hook shank and take four or more wraps around the shank behind the bead. Additional wraps can be made to add more weight if desired.

  3. Push the front of the wrapped lead wire into the opening of the bead making sure the front tag of the wire is pushed down. If it will not go in then you will have to use a smaller diameter wire. The wrapped wire must be pushed in to centre the bead, another advantage with this technique.

  4. Now mount the tying thread and wind over the exposed wire to form a tapered thread bump. Coat the thread wraps with head cement or superglue if you wish. Now complete tying remainder of fly.

This idea is worth experimenting with as it certainly fixes the bead firmly. Got any other ideas for fixing beads let us know.

Drying rack for flies

You've tied a fly and are looking for a place to hang it while the head varnish dries? Try this!

Take a 3" plastic flower pot and cut two small V-notches opposite each other on the rim of the pot. Slightly compress the pot and clip a short length of bead chain into the notches. When the pot is released the chain will tension sufficiently to hold a number of fly-hooks. Cut off any spare chain.

Fix a disc of card into the bottom of the pot to cover the drain holes and the space beneath the chain can then hold all those bits of tying waste - threads, fibres etc. Could get you another Brownie point from 'She who must be obeyed'!!

Dubbing needle holder

Keep your dubbing needles bright, clean and sharp by taking an empty 35mm film cassette container, packing it firmly with steel wool, and using the needle to make the requisite number of holes in the lid to hold the dubbing needles. It helps to weigh the bottom of the container with some lead foil (see tip on this subject) to add stability. The constant insertion of the needle into the steel wool cleans off any residual varnish etc. which may be on it, as well as sharpens the point.

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