I like olives...need grizzly olive

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Flyfishing Dad, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Flyfishing Dad displaced Alaskan

    Posts: 81
    Chehalis, WA
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Seems somehow right to be munching greek olives stuffed with garlic as I write...

    Need something that evidently is hard to come by in this area. Looking for a olive grizzly maribou. Need it for a variation on the "halloween" woolly bugger. The grizzly olive marabou comprises the tail of this one. Had one such fly that was the key to a recent weekend spent on a lake. The last fish to strike decided to keep it.

    Would post a picture of the pattern, but for obvious reasons cannot.

    I have olive marabou, black marabou, but not olive grizzly. Didn't see it at the local sporting goods location (limited tying materials anyway), nor at Cabela's. Next weekend supposed to go back to the lake and would like to have a few tied up. Anyone know where I can obtain some?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Big E Moderator

    Posts: 1,431
    Coon Bay
    Ratings: +364 / 0
    Have you tried our sponsors on the front page? I'm sure there's a few on there who have what you are looking for.
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  3. Flyfishing Dad displaced Alaskan

    Posts: 81
    Chehalis, WA
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Big E...I never even thought of that! I'll have to go have a look right after replying to your post. Just call me "Oblivious." :confused:
  4. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 552
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    I needed some in the spring for a green drake pattern and it led to my first try with kool aid. Took no time at all and turned out just fine. Might want to give it a try if you cannot find any.
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  5. Flyfishing Dad displaced Alaskan

    Posts: 81
    Chehalis, WA
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Kool Aid dye....like some kids do with their hair. Hadn't thought of that. It won't wash out in the water? Not sure how I'd find olive colored kool aid either, but it's worth a try! I do have some old standard grizzly fluff from a webby old saddle patch that has a good bit of bou on it....

    Going to have to try that now.
  6. Norm Frechette Active Member

    Posts: 605
    Norwich, CT
    Ratings: +77 / 0
  7. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,694
    Outer Duvall
    Ratings: +249 / 1
    In a pinch you can create stripes with a black Sharpie on regular olive marabou.

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  8. S Fontinalis Active Member

    Posts: 463
    Ratings: +180 / 0
    search jailhouse marabou by spirit river...you'll find it.

    or here is one store i found that had it
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  9. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,223
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,702 / 0
    Hareline sells griz marabou in just about any color you want. This year they added a large size of plum. I use olive griz all the time for my Turbo Leech patterns. Any fly shop with an account with Hareline can order the product for you if they don't have it in stock.


    And yes, this year Spirit River started selling their own version of griz marabou and call it Jail House Marabou. So you have both Hareline and Spirit River as suppliers to fly shops so someone should carry the stuff. I prefer it over a single color marabou for my fishing flies.
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  10. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,243
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    I know that what I'm about to post is going to be naysayed by some. Especially if they have read AK Best's book on dyeing fly tying materials. Unfortunately, his book is not the best and has some problems in it. I bought a copy of his book because I felt a need to read it and know why I would not recommend it to anyone wishing to know something about dyeing feathers and fur. To give AK his due, he is an excellent tyer, especially of trout flies, but it is obvious to anyone with experience dyeing fly tying feathers and fur that he has little experience and/or knowledge of dyeing when they read his book. The bad part about that is it is the only book on the market devoted exclusively to dyeing for fly tyers. It ranks right up there in usefulness with the books written by fly tyers who have little to no experience building rods from blanks. Despite this, many folks take it is gospel because it was written by AK Best.

    The truth is that RIT dye is a very poor dye to use for dyeing fly tying feathers and fur (which included animal tails). Part of the reason for this is RIT is a so-called "union dye", which means a single package contains many different types of dye:

    1) Some of the dye in the package is for dyeing cotton and other cellulose-based materials (known as substrates). This part of the dye mix in the package is useless for dyeing protein-based material, which all feathers and fur are made up of. And one should never, ever try to safe a dye bath and expect to get the same color the next time that dye bath is used. The reason for this is dye is absorbed when you dye something, so there is less dye in the remaining or left-over dye bath after something has been dyed in it.

    2) Another portion of the dye in the package is for dyeing polypropylene. It too is useless for dyeing feathers and fur.

    3) Still another portion of the dye in the package is for dyeing polyester. Yep, once again it is useless for dyeing feathers and fur.

    It is made this way so people can buy a package of the dye, dissolve it in a washing machine (or fair-sized tub), and toss in whatever clothes or cloth the wish to dye and it will dye it regardless of what the cloth or clothes are made of.

    Unfortunately, this also means that 80% or more of the dye in the package (or bottle) is wasted if dyeing feathers and fur because it will not dye the material.

    Another thing with RIT is the colors are not "bright and clear" on protein-based materials. This means they come out as a pastel, or muted color on feathers and fur.

    Another mistake many who advocate using RIT to dye feathers and fur make is they don't use white vinegar in the dye bath, nor do they talk about cleaning the material or using a liquid known as Synthrapol in the dye bath. Synthrapol degreases, cleans, and is a dye dispersant which means it promotes and insures the material is evenly dyed without splotchiness.

    An acid dye is what should be used to dye feathers and fur. Pro Chemical & Dye, Orco Dye, Dharma Trading Company are companies that I buy from. A 1 oz container of acid dye powder runs around $6.00 give or take depending on the company and color. And all you use to dye say a 1/4 oz of marabou is 3/32 tsp or 1/8 tsp of dye powder. Add a 1/4 cup of white vinegar (this is the acid portion of acid dye), and 1/4 tsp of Synthrapol to the dye bath, and you will have an excellent result. And this result can be repeated over and over and over with the same color each time. RIT and Kool-Aid cannot do that. Plus, acid dyes come is a huge range of colors.

    Unsweetened Koo-Aid can be used because it uses an acid dye, which is the dye type that works on protein materials. But since only a small portion of the Kool-Aid is actually dye (the rest is flavoring and other things), it is a poor substitute for simply buying a good acid dye such as Jacquards, Fly Dye, WashFast, Dharma, etc. But on the plus side, your feathers and furs will come out infused with the flavor of the Kool-Aid used to color the material. I wonder how trout feel about strawberry or grape flavored hackle or marabou?.

    Once last thing. Never, ever, under any circumstances buy and use Veniard's dye. Granted these dyes are acid dyes, which is good. However, virtually all of the colors are blends of different types of acid dyes. Some types of acid dyes set faster than others, some even overtake and remove some or all of the color of a different type. The problem is that there is not way to know who much of each color and each type is in the 1/4 tsp or less you are going to use to make a dye bath. This means that for virtually all of the Veniard's dyes, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to know what shade (light dark, etc.) of the color you are doing to get. If you use a little less of this dye to get a lighter shade, you might well end up with a completely different color because it is a mixture of different colors. And yes, I know AK Best called Veniard's dyes "super powerful dyes". This doesn't mean they are the best to use.

    The things I written here I've posted multiple times before.
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  11. BIG COHO Member

    Posts: 36
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  12. S Fontinalis Active Member

    Posts: 463
    Ratings: +180 / 0
    All excellent information which i 100% agree with. I also bought AK best book and then sold it on.

    If you're interested in OLD WORLD techinques for dyeing like they did in the victorian era, using mordanting and natural substances (vegetables, metals (Copper sulfate) etc, then I can recommend two books.
    Malone, Irish Trout and Salmon flies
    Radencich - Tying the classic salmon fly

    Also , some of the victorian era (and later) salmon fly tomes have info about dyeing, Blacker, Hale Kelson come to mind. All of which are available as free downloads.

    These are more of a historical perspective on dyeing - acid dyes are by far the simplest and quicketst to use today.
    Two other acid dye companies are Jacquard, and Cushings Perfection Acid dyes, both of which i've used to great success, along with ProChem.