And another tying question

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by mike doughty, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. This pertains to spey patterns. I can't quite figure out tying a low wing with mallard flank so i have tried hackle tips as wings. how in the he** do you keep the tips to stay upright? when i start to tie mine on the tips keep wanting to lay on their sides.:beathead
  2. This is a good question and the challenge is one we all face when puttting on tip wings. Here are three things I suggest.

    First place the tips in your hand and get them all adjusted so the tips are aligned. Switch your grip to hold them by the stems and while holding the stems stroke the feathers to the tips over and over, preen them like a duck. This will marry the fibers from the differnt tip feather together and make the group into more of a single feather.

    Once the wing is prepared switch hands again, measure the wing on the fly so you know where the tie in point is. Using flat pliers flatten the stems at that point. A flat stem will not roll on the hook shank. Sometimes this takes a little work as the wing can twist when you are trying to flatten it but stay with it and you will succeed.

    Now that you have flattened the stem you can also put a bend in it so that when the stem is tied flat against the shank the wing will have the angle you desire.

    If you have more questions feel free to contact me, 425 922-5413 and I will do what I can.

  3. I have yet another question on speys. I used the mallard shoulder for the wings. I have gotten pretty good at tying them but my problem lies in when I fish with them it seems the wings splinter up and I can't get them back together. What should I do ? I was thinking about applying a coat of lacquer to stop this but wasn't sure.
  4. If you're tying flies to fish, I wouldn't worry about it. Lacquer on the wings will just take away from the action of the fly. If you do apply something, make sure it's sparse and only at the base of the wings.
  5. thanks for the advice. I wasn't sure whether or not they were supposed to stay together. and after all I do tie them to fish not to show. what good is a fly if it can't be used.
  6. John Shewey's "Spey Flies & Dee Flies" has a section on applying bronze mallard wings, in which he details three different methods. This indicates what a vexing tying skill this is. Personally, tying consistantly neat mallard wings is a barrier that I have yet to break. I'm experimenting with clear nail polish on the underside of the wing (lower third only).
    They invariably get frazzled when fished; no matter. The fish don't mind hair wings, which are already separated.
  7. Seems like I am getting them to wrap okay but I either cut them to wide(which causes it to wrap and cover the fly in the front) or too skinny(then it just looks like a dee fly). what you mentioned sounds like it would help a little bit. about the splitting problem.I think I am going to give that a try and see what happens.

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