Okay guys, I'm posting apologies all over the place on this one and am truely embarrassed. After the judging I placed two of the flies in the wrong containers and subsequently gave credit to the wrong tiers for the first and third place flies. It was Wayne Kohan's Angel that garnered the First and The Shad King's Christmas tree that took Third Place. Both have been notified by e-mail or PM and apologies, along with corrections, have been posted on the main board and the gallery.
Sorry folks. My error completely. I am NEVER running two identical swaps again!
My fly was my wife's idea as I was trying to decide what to do. I used white maribou for the bottom as well as the wings. The thorax was started with plastic bead eyes and then dubbing and white polypro covered with pearl krystal flash. It made for a "well-endowed" thorax. The head was made from pearl E-Z shape body with krystal flash as hair.
I was stoked about getting third place, but shocked about first amongst all those cool flies. I was impressed by all of the flies.
Despite the mix-up, I am really glad I didn't have to judge this contest. Every fly was a labor of love of the tiers art and clearly showed the time spent designing and tying the fly. There's no way I could have made the picks. I'm really glad all I have to do is count votes.
Hey, how's the streamers coming? I find the football playoffs are perfect for tying. Got twelve of them done already. Using some deer hair for the head. The smartest thing I did was to get Kevlar thread for the hair spinning. Can't break that stuff. I almost enjoy spinning hair now........
Funny thing though. My regular thread for the boddy keeps breaking. Last time I use Danville 6-0. I will stick with Uni thread or Wapsi.
I had a mix up with the post office NOT delivering my hackle from Denny, but got that all cleared up when I picked it up on Saturday. Ron, I guess you were'nt kidding that it pays to tip your driver!! Anyways, for being grade 2 hackle, I am impressed with the hackle and the color too. I'll be looking forward to using it for next months dry fly swap!!
My streamers are coming along well, I'm about half way there already!
I'll wait until I get my camera back to post a real review, and then I'll do it in a more visible manner than this posting, but I have several comments I'd like to throw out.
1.) Denny just seems like a great guy. I had a good time talking to him, and learned a lot to boot. Besides, anybody who mails people he doesn't know merchandise they haven't paid for, just assuming that they'll eventually get around to mailing him a check, has to be a great guy.
2.) I got as my (thanks Ron!) prize a #2 cape in "cree like dun" or some such name; I have the name written down at home and I apologize for not remembering what color Denny called it. He doesn't list it on his web site, and this is NOT the cree skin for which he maintains a first-come list.
3.) I also ordered on my own nickle, three JV skins, I think brown (furnace?), grizzly, and a light grizzly (barred cream? again, can't remember).
I think in both that the cape and especially the JV skins, Denny's offering a great product that's not otherwise available in the market.
The color of the cape is outstanding. Having seen it, I think the blue dun cree is a better color than a true cree. While I wish the hackle sweet spot was longer than it is, it's certainly long enough and the quill is of good quality for tying. This is going to be one of my favorite, if not my favorite, capes to tie from.
Denny also leaves the side feathers on his dry capes, so you get a fair number of bonus streamer feathers & a bunch that are good for tailing. This is nice.
The JV skins: Denny talked me into picking up a couple of these as a possible substitute for partridge on wet hackles. I've been tying my wet hackles down to about a 22 on a short light wire emerger hook, and this is just a pain with partridge ... the quill seems even weaker than the barbules on the small partridge feathers and I break far more than I wrap. This is even assuming I can find feathers small enough to tie with; most partridge feathers seem to go to about size 18 and then they don't get shorter.
The JV skins, on the other hand, are full of feathers that can be wrapped onto a 22 hook; heck I swear you could tie a 42 with some of those feathers! And the quill is strong but incredibly flexible. Tying a 22 with the JV feathers is not harder than tying a 16.
Also, the color on the brown skin is outstanding, very pretty.
I want to do a bit more water tank testing to verify that there's enough flexibility in the barbules of the JV feathers in the small size to make a good soft hackle, but the flies look good. It's not a true substitute for partridge, since the partridge feathers are evenly spotted on a per-individual-barbule basis, whereas the the JV barbules are typically solid individually. But still, I won't be trying to tie small soft hackles with partridge anymore.
If I was going to quibble about this, it'd be nice if the paper backing included with the skins was a bit sturdier (and cut a bit narrower) so it's easier to get the skins back in the bags. Ziplocs would be a nice bonus, too, but these obviously aren't huge issues. :thumb: