tying mosquito flies

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Allison, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. I'm trying to learn to tie mosquito flies. The recipe I'm using is from Western Trout Fly Tying Manual or whatever that's called. That version shows a light and a dark hair wound up the butt like ribbing to make stripes on the fly's butt. I've tried several types of animal hair, but they all seem to break off. I know it won't be as floaty, but can I use thread to make the contrast instead? Is there any major disadantage? Maybe there is some trick to tying with hairs in this way? I'm tying on a Renzetti Traveler and have tried winding the hair and using the roto-matic.

    Thanks for advice!
  2. What kind of hair are you using? Try using moose mane, I prefer tying a quill body mosquito.
    You can use a thread body but if you do that you should tie a heavy hackle to help it float. I think that a thread body wouldn't have as much shine as a hair or quill body.
  3. The classic description for the abdomen of mosquito flies is to use moose mane, two black hairs and one white hair for contrast. I have found moose mane to be flexible enough without any additional treatment. If you are using another hair type that is splitting, you might try placing the hairs between damp paper towels for a while. This should make them less brittle. After you finish the fly, I would hit the hairs with a bit of head cement to provide some additional strength.

    I'm not positive why moose mane is the hair of choice for this fly. The simplest reason may be that the right colors are readily available and the hairs are of an appropriate diameter. The moose mane may also be somewhat hollow/ [But I don't know that for sure. Hollow hair, like deer and elk body hair, tends to flare then you put thread pressure on it and thus their use for spun deer-hair bodies. Tail hairs aren't hollow and tend not to flare as much]. If moose mane was hollow, that would add some flotation to the fly.

  4. cabezon may be on the right track with the damp paper towel. When tieing with biots, the easiest thing is to soak them for a few minutes to make them flexible - might work just the same with moose hairs.

    Thread is a pain to keep from sinking, IMHO.

  5. Steve is correct in his description. Moose mane is the body material for a mosquito pattern. It is long enough to wind completely up the shank of the hook, it is hollow and will float better than a solid hair.

    If you find the mane you have is brittle, soak it in a basin of warm water with a teaspoon or so of hair conditioner, then blot it dry on a paper towel and use a blow dryer to completely dry the patch of hide. DO NOT put it away in a ziplock bag until COMPLETELY dry or it will rot.

    The conditioner will keep the hair soft and pliable for a long time. When I do this, I try to use a conditioner with as little scent as possible, though it really doesn't seem to make a difference, just me being anal about fish's sense of smell...

  6. I like the conditioner tip . . . should serve to make my offerings even more attractive with shine, highlights, and no split ends, lol. I gotta try that . . . great tip . . . thanks, Paul!

  7. I use white thread as the ribbing on my mosquito flies and it works just fine.
  8. try using 1 strand of white and 1 strand of black flexifloss or spanflex. no conditioners or broken hairs.
  9. Try using a stripped grizzly hackle, works and looks great. Also can try a black and white centipede leg.

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