Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by riseform, Aug 13, 2008.
Wow, that looks like a piece of art. Nice flies and photo Double-D.
Those are nicely done and I bet they look just as good in the water. I have been using epoxy head patterns exclusively this year and this looks like a good alternative. I would be interested in a quick description of how it's tied. From the photo, it looks like white bucktail, with single layers white/olive/grey hackle feather. Is the hackle tied "flat" to the hook as the name implies (flat wing)? Thanks.
Thanks DB and PS, the flat wing was originated on the east coast for stripers, the name of the person who originated the tie escapes me now but Nathan Keene of the Avid angler fished with him several years back and brought back with him this style of tying Nathan swears by it. The first year he fished it off the beach he landed a 10lb + steelhead; I think I would swear by it too.
The fly incorporates a series of saddle hackles tied flat and face to face you can also add a sparse mix of hair/fur. The idea is to layer the colors so there is a blend effect and with a sandlance imitation it’s important not to over dress the fly. These saddle capes I might add are selected just for the flat wing tie and are very long and slender and come in a variety of bait fish colors. Nathan also brings these in from the east coast. I will post a future photo of some capes along with a basic flat wing tying description in the fly tying section.
For a quick answer to your question PS this pattern starts out with:
White platform (stiff hair). This won't eliminate fouling completely but it will cut it down considerably. I use this on all my salt patterns.
Two white saddles with a couple strands of pearl crystal hair
Very sparse blend of olive gliss-n-glow
One olive saddle
Topped with two gray saddles
Jungle Cock eyes.
I also tie variations of this (always experimenting).
For THE book on Flatwing Patterns check out "A Perfect Fish" by Ken Abrames. It is a very interesting approach to baitfish imitation. In this book the author shows how to imitate the "impression" of a fish and not necessarily the whole anatomy of a fish. My own attempts at the vice have yeilded only mixed results however, and I still use more standard patterns for my fishing.
There is also a distinct expense in gearing up for this, as he advocates blending colors and the capes aren't cheap at $30 a pop, plus various types of flash, marabou and hair.
He also has some very nice adaptations of the General Practitioner which he advocates as a saltwater shrimp pattern.
I tried my flatwing patterns in the current yesterday. It was very popular, often being chased three times on a single cast. Unfortunately, the fish would strike right through the fly and I didn't hook any. I tied mine with the saddle hackles tied at the rear over the bucktail, after seeing an instruction on you tube, hoping it wouldn't be as prone to foul. Perhaps I should shorten the pattern a bit to minimize the missed strikes?
Even with my more successful surf candy, my strike to hook up ratio is fairly low (I'm guessing <20% ?). Still makes for very exciting fishing.
Since this is a subject near and dear to me, i thought I would jump in if even a bit late. Flat wings have long been a staple for me in the salt. The versatility to strip a fly in like crazy, quick pick-up and lay downs, and dead drift swinging gives these patterns unbelievable fishability. They have sort of enjoyed a cult following for many of the Avid crew now for years, undoubtably influenced by Nathan Keen.
They are the only style of fly I fish in the salt now, save for a few little amphipods. Simply take a feather and wiggle it flat side to side, and then hold it vertically deceiver style and try to move it side to side. The difference is amazing and the action of the feather is fantastic. We fish them waking, deep on streamer express lines, off of the boat, and off the beach. For those concerned about fouling, when tied correctly (easier said then done! It took me a very long time to learn all of the little tricks to get the feathers to lay flat) they rarely foul. Also, i like to tie three feather versions way off the back of the hook, similar to Anil's foul free herring. A little mono loop works wonders as well. Give them a try, you will be pleasantly surprised. I'd be glad to offer suggestions in anyone is interested. :thumb: Thanks.
I'd be interested in learning more about your flatwing variations for different baitfish species (sizes, color variations, # of hackles), photos too if you have some. I'm particularly interested in tying a better herring flatwing pattern. Do you tie in a mono loop to support the tail hackles or to prevent the hook from fouling?
I hadn't updated my last post, but since tying my flatwings a bit shorter, I've had much better success and don't have the fish strike through the fly as much. I've been fishing them as much as my trusty surf candy, so thank you for introducing them (to me) in this thread. I haven't had a significant problem with fouling.
From a presentation standpoint (shore fisherman), my current first choice before varying my retrieve and cast is to cast down and across, stripping rapidly against the tidal current.
I need to take some photos of current models. This summer I used a three feather wing tied on Gamakatsu SC15. This is the best hook ever, imo. I've gone away from the mono loop and now just tie way off of the back of the hook leaving most of the shank exposed. Rarely do they foul this way.
I start with white bucktail tied with upward energy with a couple wraps underneath to prop it up. Lay a short white webby neck hackle on top and tie it in flat with the curved (concave) side up. Lay in three separate colored feathers (purple, pink, and olive kicks ass) curved side down, tied in flat, with two or three strands of flashabou in-between each feather. Top it off with peacock herl strands and Jungle Cock eyes (or whatever eyes you like) on either side and your good to go. I bought a grade 3 jungle cock neck because i don't care if the nails are split. They make awesome fish eyes and they pulse and move in the water.
Don't get crazy with the flashabou! It looks awesome sparse, as they twist and flutter and catch light at different angles. The more flash you use the less motion you get. Don't get too long with the feathers, keep the flies 2"-3" for cutties, 3"-6" for salmon.
Have fun! Try some in long lengths of brown and olive to imitate floating pile worms and hang on....
Hello Dylan, I am also a big fan of the flat wing after being introduced to it my by Nathan several years ago. This last Saturday in the north sound; against my better judgment and after a few unsuccessful attempts with a clouser I switched to the flat wing sand lance (my usual go to pattern) and began hooking up immediately.
This fly has an amazing ability to move through the water erratically (unlike others) and accounted for more than a half dozen cutts to the net. Just a note about retrieving this fly, after the cutts began loosing interest as they sometimes do, I changed up the retrieve to a long semi fast pull (pulling my hand line behind me) this resulted in increasing the takes and hook up ratio. Tying this fly can be a challenge for any tyer but I welcome the challenge to this new and refreshing tie.
Thanks for the suggestions, I've also had success with the purple, pink, olive (but not on a really big coho yet). Very interesting suggestion about the pile worm, I need to try that. I hope to see you on the beach someday.
Dylan, great to have you on the board buddy. I pulled out my flat wings this weekend and am inspired to tie some on tubes. With the smaller micro tubes it think it will offer a good tying platform and still allow use of the SC15. Look forward to having you put up some photos. See you on the Sound.
Flatwing Fever is in effect!
Is was good seeing you at the show, I'm sorry we didn't get to hang out more. I'll be road tripping until Nov. then let's fish! On my way to Kodiak. Take care.
I've had this happen twice on what would have been my last cast after outings of not getting a single tug, both fresh and salt. Spent 2 hours both times over-thinking retrieves and then that's how I pick up fish. Great to not get skunked, but head-buttingly frustrating just the same.
I have hooked up fish quite often when reeling in. The craziest one was landing a 9 lb. blackmouth when I was reeling in before heading back to the boat ramp on a bright summer afternoon in 10 to 12 feet of water. It is a nice surprise to get lucky once in a while!
I'd love to get some new pics posted of the patterns in this thread. Anyone?
Did you remove the pics? I can't find them.
The original thread is a few years old, so thats probably why they are no longer up.
I'll repost those patterns again by Monday within this thread and on my profile page. I think all the old photo attachments from past threads were dumped awhile ago.