First Salmon Fly. Needs improvement.

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by PatrickH, May 28, 2014.

  1. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    First attempt at a Salmon Fly size 10. I haven't used many of these materials before, but I tied a fly to get a idea of what I am working with. Any helpful tips would be appreciated before I try another one so I don't waste any more of my double hooks :p
    I feel comfortable with the body section even though I know it could be better, but the rest of it I don't. I also feel the deer hair I used sucks and probably too long..

    IMG_2762.jpg
     
  2. Cole L

    Cole L Fish Fiend

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    For that style of salmon flies, I usually will use calf tail or squirrel for the wing. Maybe a smaller head and usually use a single hook if you're not retaining.
     
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  3. Jmills81

    Jmills81 The Dude Abides

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    fish it, my guess is that they wont care and crush it. Nice work
     
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  4. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

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    Are you planning on fishing these type of flies? If so, its probably fine, minus the double hook. If they are just for show, then just the opposite. :) Get a big salmon fly book and follow the instructions.
    Those things are annoyingly hard to get right. And I've never been good at drawing inside the lines. But if I were to start, I'm sure that Mark Mercer's inbox would be full of pm's with dumb questions from myself
     
  5. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    Mostly just for show. I usually like to use a single barbless hook when I fish. A double with this large of barb will for sure rip some lips to the point of no return. I tie mostly for the art of it, but I do like to get out once in a while and fish the flies I tie.
     
  6. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    Is the wing the green buck tail I used?
    I haven't learned all the names for all the fly parts yet :p
     
  7. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    I just tied this one as a test design yesterday. I just got double hooks for fun, but I might try this one in the lake for bass.
     

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  8. Cole L

    Cole L Fish Fiend

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    Looks like bucktail to me. Calf tail is a little shorter and better for smaller flies IMO
     
  9. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    Cool thank you. Calf tail is just what I need. The buck tail I used is just too big, but I had to use it because that is all I had. I wasn't sure what options I had since these flies are totally new to me.
    I will order some calf tail.
    Is there better grades of calf tail or is it all just pretty much the same?
     
  10. Cole L

    Cole L Fish Fiend

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    I think it is mostly about the same. There's always going to be a little variation between individual packages though but that's how it goes with most natural materials it seems
     
  11. Mark Mercer

    Mark Mercer Member

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    HI Patrick, if you want to learn the classics check out some of these books, 'The Salmon Fly' by Kelson would be a good place to start.
    Most all artistic tiers start by tying the classics to learn the skills and techniques needed. Good luck.

    http://nwflytyer.wordpress.com/classic-books/
     
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  12. FT

    FT Active Member

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    The wing on this style of fly looks and seems to fish best if it is 1.5 times the length of the hook shank long. There is nothing wrong with using bucktail for the wing on this style fly, just tie it shorter. I'd avoid calf tail and use dyed Artic Fox for the wing. Calf tail is crinkly due to its curled tips and this style fly looks best with a wing made of hair that is more or less straight.

    The head is twice as long as it needs to be. Use less thread to tie in the wing, hackle, and jungle cock. Put a drop of a flexible cement such as Dave's Flexament or similar in the wing tie in spot, then tie in the wing. This will lock the wing in and keep it from moving or pulling out. And the best part, you can tie the wing in with no more than 6-8 thread wraps if you put the flexible cement drop on and then immediately tie in the wing over the wet cement.

    There really isn't any need or reason to tie hackle or jungle cock in with more than 3-5 wraps of thread on any fly. Keeping the number of thread wraps down makes for a much neater fly and it doesn't compromise the integrity of the fly if the thread is applied correctly with tight wraps. In other words, more thread is not better, less thread is.

    That said, your fly is not bad and with a few small adjustments as mentioned above will be very much improved.
     
  13. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I will post up another once I try again. I usually don't wrap that much, but I get distracted while tying a new style of fly that I haven't tied before and was focused on the placement and not the proper technique.
    Is there any way to slightly straighten the calf tail? The fox fur I got is a little too fluffy for the look I'm going for with these. I did use it under the wing, it's red.
     
  14. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    Thank you. I will have a look at those books once i sit down to tie some more :)
     
  15. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Unfortunately, there really isn't any good way to straighten calf tail.

    The secret with fox tail or fox fur is to pull or comb out about half the underfur (the shorter, thinner hair closer to the hide) before tying it in.
     
  16. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    When it come to calf tail on my steelhead flies, I take considerable time pulling as many of the bent fibers as possible before stacking (tips first); then I pull the clump out of the stacker and remove any short and stray fibers from the butt end (side of things); then restack; take that clump and again pull the wild/bent fibers...this usually gives me a much cleaner/straighter looking wing.

    It takes time, but I like the results. ;)
     
  17. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    Good idea. What % of waste do you think you get on a tail picking out all the good stuff on a decent quality tail?
     
  18. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    I haven't purchased the calf tail. Is there any other cheap alternatives for this type of hair for what I need it for? Like maybe Calf body fur or deer belly hair? or something else? I was looking at squirrel tail, but the died pieces have too much dark in them.
    Problem is that I like having a variety of colors, so If I bought the fox fur, its about $6 or $7 each piece and I'm wanting at least 3 to 5 colors, but I also feel there might be too much waste because of the underfur, even though I can use it for something else.
    I mean if there is no good other options, I will probably just invest in the Fox fur, but I just wanna be sure that is my best option. I also feel the fox fur might be a little too soft?
     
  19. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

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    Polar bear
     
  20. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    Yeah that would be nice. Expensive and hard to find.. I missed out on a couple auctions for some for myself..
     

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