SBS Tying the Durham Ranger Part 1

Start with your hook of choice in the vise. In this case i've used a 5/0 1xl Emerald Isle from Ronn Lucas
I went with the 1xl hook because I like a long and low Durham Ranger fly.
This one will be for a display in my tying den.

In this photo, I've started with black tying thread (Danville flymaster 6/0) to secure the gut to the hook. Wax the thread, and make a two turn jam knot, the wax will hold the thread to the hook while you position the gut in place. Prior to tying in the gut, i've bitten it down with my teeth to flatten it. Saliva will also soften it up too. Take a few wraps around each part of the gut, and secure it under the hook. Make sure both sided of the gut are touching. Take about 10 touching wraps back and the snip off on of the pieces of gut. This is two strand twist, so you should have three strands left. By doing this you are tapering off the gut toward the back of the hook, which helps reduce the bulk at the head of the fly, particularly useful if you are going to be making a floss bodied fly (this one is not). Keep winding the black thread back to secure the gut, periodically (usually for me, every 10 or so wraps) snipping of the remaining strands of gut to form a nice taper.
when the gut is tied in, you can whip finish the black thread and start with white for the rest of the fly (at least until you get to the wing at the front).

Start with white danville 6/0 right behind the gut and work your way down the hook shank with flat touching wraps.

Here I've stopped just in front of the point of the hook and rotated the vise for easy access to the far side of the hook, and the tie in point for the tinsel tag, which is small oval tinsel (I use Lagartun brand). Strip off some of the metal to expose the core and take flat touching wraps back long the hook shank. You'll want to ensure the last three flat wraps are cover some of the metal of the tinsel, otherwise the bare core will be exposed when you wrap the tag. Wrap your thread back up again to the original tie in point. Since this is a tag and not a tip, you'll want a nice 5-6 mm length for your tag (if it was a tip, it would be 4 wraps of extra small tinsel instead followed by a floss tag)

Move the thread towards the front of the hook by taking wide turns. This creates some space to wind the tinsel. I usually do it with hackle pliers, even though the vise is rotary. Notice the tag stops just short of the original tie in point. Unwind the thread back to the tinsel, Wax your thread and take two tight turns to secure the tinsel.

Then lie the tinsel along the hook shank and take tight flat turns right the way up to the gut tie in point. By securing the tinsel along the hook shank, you eliminate a bump at the tag and the bulk of the tinsel along the hook shank helps form the underbody. Take the thread back down the shank to the tag. Next is the tail

Unfortunately i forgot to take pictures of the tail and veil tie in, so here's the finished article.
Basically, select a Golden pheasant crest tail that is about 1.7x the gap of the hook, flatten the stem and secure with two wraps of well waxed thread. Select a tail veiling (in this case Indian Crow), and secure on top of the tail, again with two wraps of waxed thread. Then select a piece of ostrich herl, strip some fibers, secure and wind the thread forward, so you can wrap it. Again, i use hackle pliers. This one is 5 wraps of ostrich herl. Secure with two wraps of waxed thread.

Finished area. There was a little unevenness here, so i made a few extra wraps to even it out then burnished the whole body.


Part two will cover ribs, hackle, body, throat, then part 3 will be the wing and all the accouterments that go with it.

Thanks for looking.