left handed tyers/unwinding thread

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Allison, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. _WW_

    _WW_ Geriatric Skagit Swinger

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    If this unraveling becomes a problem you might try reversing the direction that you wrap. Years ago when I first started tying I was winding the thread the "wrong" direction and decided to retrain myself after some good natured ribbing from more accomplished tyers.
     
  2. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Hi Allison,

    Greetings from another southpaw tier. As an adult midge fly, may I suggest the Lady McConnell, a pattern developed by Brian Chan, a legend of Kamloops lakes. I found a nice description of the pattern at www.fedflyfishers.org/fom/53c9-xyy55.cgi?FlyName=LADY. For a midge pupa, snowcones are effective (brown, black, olive, red) or similar patterns. I tie mine with clear glass beads with white ostrich to represent the gills; they are pretty quick to tie.

    Among staple dry flies, elk hair caddis are effective in lakes and in moving water (tie several body colors and sizes); it would give you experience with handling hair patterns. Parachute adams is a good imitation for Callibaetis and is also effective in moving water; parachutes can be a pain, but I usually tie a dozen in a size 12 or 14 to warm up before moving to smaller sizes. One of the easiest (and yet killer) patterns (like CDC emergers) are those using CDC as wings; I often use a double fly rig with an elk hair caddis or adams as the top fly and a CDC emerger as the point fly. Finally, Quigley cripples can be effective as a mayfly pattern, especially if the trout are being very picky or its early in the hatch.

    Steve
     
  3. TheShadKing

    TheShadKing Will Fish For Food

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    I have the following suggestions -- they're worth what you paid for 'em. :rofl: But basically I don't think it matters in what order you learn to tie patterns. That is, the best way to get better in a short time isn't to worry about picking the "next best pattern" to learn to tie, but to tie any pattern, only on incrementally smaller and smaller hooks. Say tie three or four of each size, not going down to the next hook size until you've tied at least two good ones.

    I still do this (I've been tying 4 years or so) when I'm learning or creating a new pattern. It's amazing the confidence / learning that goes on when you go from a size 12 to an 18 in a dozen or so flies.

    Dave Hughes' book "Trout Flies: the Tier's Reference" is available from the King County Public Library, and you can pick through it for some flies you want to tie. The Griffith's gnat you mentioned is a great fly to tie, a perfect pick since you've been tying wooly buggers and it's basically a dry wooly bugger. The nice thing about this book is that covers the classic patterns, but has detailed instructions for each fly. So you can figure out techniques as well as patterns from it.

    If you started that in a size 14 (not too big for the gnats at my house!) and went down to a size 20 I bet you'd be pretty psyched about your flies in just a dozen or two flies.

    Also, keep posting results and asking questions. I'm more active on a different board, but I've learned tons here and from the other board ... and as you've noted the people here are great. For instance, I would venture that when you tie the 'Gnat, you're going to run across a couple of problems:

    1.) the herl will break
    2.) the gap will be too small in the smaller hooks
    3.) it'll be tougher to tie the size 20 hook with 6/0 threads.

    We've all been through these, and there's several answers to each one of them, and (IMHO) no one answer is correct. For instance, you can address the hook gap issue at least four ways:

    1.) going to a shorter hook of the same type, i.e., stay with a dry fly, but go to a shorter hook.
    2.) sort of like one, but switch to a "big gape" hook.
    3.) switch to a light wire scud hook, which combines both #1 and #2, but switches shape as well.
    4.) have somebody tell you that if you go pick out peacock swords, you can find ones that have very short barbules that won't crowd the gap.

    Is one of these right? Wrong? There's only (again IMHO) two answers you should care about: 1.) what you think; and 2.) what catches fish. As you run into problems, you'll figure out what solutions work for you. (but of course I do both #3 and #4. :beer2:)

    I hope that's not a too obnoxiously long answer to your question!


    Rolland
     
  4. Allison

    Allison Banned or Parked

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    Great tips. I'm tying Griffiths Gnats in about an 18. Pretty small for me, but with the silly reading glasses, not tough at all. The pattern I'm tying clips the hackle top and bottom, so hackle size is less of a consideration, though I am not sure how to eyeball/measure hackle length on the small flies....? It seems like no feather is small enough for these midget flies in terms of hackle.
     
  5. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

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    Anyone who has grown up left handed has had to learn to adapt to a right handed world. Some things like scissors, golf, bowling, just do not readily lend themslved to lefties.
    I've known some pro tyers that tied lefthanded. Watch any tyer who knows what they are doing, and you will notice they spin the bobbin after a few wraps. Doesn't matter left or right, they will spin the bobbin to compensate for what happens to the thread as they wrap. Sometimes they will spin in a direction to unwrap, or flatten the thread. Sometimes the opposite direction to tighten it up. Depending on what they want to accomplish.
    However, when it comes to Peacock herl, it is a different matter. Look at a Peacock herl under a magnifying glass and you will see that the stem is shaped like an airplaine wing, with the little fuzzies growing out of the trailing edge. Pull one off each side of the main stem of the feather and you will see that they are mirror images. For winding on a hook, Griffith gnat style, you can only use those from one side of the feather. Use the wrong side, or wrap in the wrong direction, and you will wrap the stem over the fuzzies. Adapt, or loose half the feather.
     
  6. Minx

    Minx New Member

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    Allison,
     
  7. Minx

    Minx New Member

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    Hmmm....stupid computer tricks here, try this again:
    Allison, trust me on this, I'm no pro when it comes to learning to tie flies, BUT I've found just tying whatever you want seems to teach you the fastest. Whenever I pick something to tie and it comes out really scary, it just tells me to go read how to do it right, learn the right steps, get the right materials, and lo & behold it seems to come out right. Size doesn't seem to matter, technique does though and challenging yourself to try is the first step. From a size 24 Black Nose Dace to a big saltwater clouser, just go out & play....I don't think there's any order to learn....chuck
     
  8. Tony

    Tony Left handed Gemini.

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    I'm confused I'm a lefty and I taught myself to tie flies, I've always wrapped clockwise (under away from me over towards me as I face my fly with the eye on my left) I've never had a problem with the thread unfurling perhaps I'm tying incorrectly I don't know but hey what does it matter, I mean really, my flies look just like everybody elses in the end and seem to work the same, they catch fish.
     
  9. Allison

    Allison Banned or Parked

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    You're definiely tying in the opposite direction of me. I go up and away, down and toward me. I assume most people go up and away and down and toward, or else unwinding thread would be a problem for righties instead of lefties.
     
  10. TheShadKing

    TheShadKing Will Fish For Food

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    That's the instutionalized pattern, fer sure! iagree
     
  11. earlsmith

    earlsmith Member

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    Lefties UNITE!!!!!!

    I do spin the bobbin when I need the line to lay tight,or come back together, a little wetting of the line helps too and I was under the assumption that this phenomena happened to all fly tyers.....never been a problem though, it's actually desirable now and again, and I do think that it tends to happen w a larger diameter thread, I try to tie with as fine a thread as the size of fly will allow

    Earl
     
  12. earlsmith

    earlsmith Member

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    I tied my way through Randle Kaufnman's Books. The Wet fly and The Dry Fly, I borrowed them from a buddy, then bought them. They do teach you order of materials, tying from back to front, tips and tricks to managing materials, very well illustrated, ect. I spend two days at the show at the Meydenbauer every year picking the brains of the tyers who attend, it never hurts to get the instruction "live". Participate in round tables at fly shops or in your local club, it's actually alot of fun and you learn something and meet good people. Maybe I will volunteer to host a Sunday afternoon round table or something see if we get any interest......

    Earl
     
  13. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    My mother-in-law's a lefty too. Here's some stuff she's regaled me with over the years:

    In case you've ever wondered why the opposite of being left-handed is called 'right' handed ('right' in this case as a synonym for 'correct'), the word 'left' in most Romance languages shares the same Latin root as the word 'sinister'. Our European serf ancestors took a jaundiced view of people who used the wrong hand to eat with!

    Left-handed people have about a 10% shorter life expectancy than normal - oops! - I meant right-handed folks! Why? Because the world is designed for righties. Such mundane stuff as operating the gear shift lever on a car is just a bit more challenging and less reflexive or intuitive for lefties.

    If you think about it, how easy would it be for you to learn how to fly cast using the opposite hand?

    K
     
  14. Allison

    Allison Banned or Parked

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    Yes, Kent, I know about all of that. it's especially irritating when righties try to lord over lefties because lefties are more "accident-prone" because they are using right-handed stuff, like oh, I don't know, cooking utensils, desks, power tools, anything that's "ergonomic" like my ergo mouse. which is very nice, but it's right-handed ergo...leaving me with the option of mousing right handed or using it very "un-ergonmically" with my right hand. The last time I bothered going to my fly casting class, they asked me why I was casting left-handed. That's when I knew I was done. Iddjits.

    Kudos to Seth at Creekside Seattle for being so cool as to turn the vise around backwards and tie left-handed for my tying class, so I could learn it the "right" way for me.
     
  15. Allison

    Allison Banned or Parked

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    I'd be game for that, even more so if you did it on an evening during the week.