After watching the Don Bastian dvd's, inventoring my tying supplies and ordering the shortfalls, I tied up a prototype body today. I should have the beard hackle sometime next week and will finish the first fly at that time. If one watches enough videos where neatness and tying methods are stressed, it improves one's tying. I have a body and rib so neatly done it looks like one I would pay for.
Eunan gave me some tips on winging the other day and I eliminated the folding problem of the offside wing and am now with a neatly tied down quill wing.
10 perfect #8 bodies sitting there just waiting for hackle and married wings.
I tied up one of these today to work on the "married wing learning curve". I'm waiting on schlappin hackle for the fly I'm doing in the swap. Good thing I worked on the learning curve as I found out marrying wings is easier than I thought but one needs to leave enough room on the head or make sure when switching from white to black thread to position the wing tie in point far enough back. I have a nice looking fly but a tad of the wing shows up in front of the head. Also the the head cement I used is very thin and wicked up into the wing butts ends, a no-no.
I've seen what looks like 4 so far and it appears the swap is still open for applicants. I have my bodies done and am waiting for more schlappin for the beard hackle. I've done some more "trout fin" style flies and they look better than the example above. Starting to come together for me.