Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Ryan Nathe, Feb 17, 2013.
Here is my first attempt at an Orange Heron. Suggestions? Tips?
Nice tie Ryan, My suggestion would be to get some books, John Shewey's book on spey and dee flies is a good one, but there are many, look closely at the proportions and try and make them look exactly the same. The tag and body on spey's should start in front of the hook point and the wing should not be much longer than the body if any. With a little practice you'll get them, they are fun and challenging flies. Good luck and keep posting your flies.
Thanks Mark for the feedback. I'll try to keep those things in mind for the next tie.
The head on this one is a little sloppy. I'm not a huge fan of the orange thread I am using, it doesn't seem to lie down as well as the black thread.
Shorter wing and shorter body, forward of the hook point.
This second one has the body pretty much starting at the right place on the hook.
These are the things I'd do differently:
1) The head is still a bit sloppy (work on making sure there aren't any "spikes of wing butt or hackle" sticking out.
2) The wing is still too long. Wings on spey flies should end somewhere between the root of the barb (this is the place where the barb first starts moving up from the point) and half-way to the bend of the hook. Most of the best spey fly tyers have the wing end between the root of the barb and point (or end) of the barb.
3) The wing ought to be tented. I.e. each side should be canted toward the center of the top of the hook/body with the center-line being the highest point on the wing. This is really easy to do after you learn how.Shewey illustrates it well in his book on spey and dee flies. If you leave a few barbs on the wing stems at the tie-in spot, it makes it easier to tie each side in the proper "tented" position. Also, tie the far side wing in first, then the near side wing. And only use 3-turns of thread to tie-in each side of the wing.
4) The wing ought to lay close to the body. Pulling the spey feather hackle barbs and throat duck flank barbs off the top of the hook near the tie-in with a pair of tweezers will help get the wing to lie lower. And you may have to slightly bend or kink the hackle tip stems at the place where they will be tied-in to get them to lie lower.
5) The head has a bit too much thread wraps in it. Use only 3-turns of thread to hold in each side of the wing.
5.a) After both sides are tied-in, you can adjust them forward a bit if needed to have them not longer than the end of the barb by holding on to them with your left hand and pulling the stems slowly with your right hand.
5.b) After they are of the proper length and in the proper tented shape, make 3 more tight wraps of thread on the wing butts while holding the wing in posiiton with you left hand.
5.c) Hold on to the wing with you left hand and carefully clip the wing butts off close to the thread (but don't but the thread! Don't ask how I know this.).
5.d) After cutting off the wing butts, put a good drop of a flexible head cement (something like Dave's Flexament) on the wing wing butts, spin the bobbin counter-clockwise to untwist it and flatten it, and whip finish using a Materelli style whip finisher over the wet flexible cement and wing butts. (You may have to make two whip finishes to completely cover the wing butts and have a nice smooth head.)
5.e) Cut the thread and put a coat of head cement on the fly then set it aside to dry for at least 15 minutes. Put a second coat of head cement on it and set it aside another 15 minutes. Repeat the head cement until the head is smooth and glossy.
By putting the flexible cement on the wing butts before putting on the whip finish, you make for a very durable fly that has very few turns of thread on the head. This is because you are gluing the thread to the hook, glueing the wing butts to the hook, gluiing the thread to the wing butts, and gluing the thread to itself all at the same time. And as a bonus, you get a smaller head to boot!