The aim of this blog is to connect fly-tyers all over the world, to share, techniques, patterns, information and knowledge.

Archive for February 26, 2013

The feather benders tying room

IMG_7195

Now that the blog has become established and I have just reached 50,000 visitors and over 3000 followers I thought it only correct to take you on a little tour of the tying room.

This is where it all the tying and photography happens. It may look like its a bit chaotic but everything I use on a regular basis is close at hand.

IMG_7331Trying to keep order in the hook department is always testing, without order, everything falls apart, I can spend more time looking for hooks that actually tying the pattern it was intended for! But I have gone for a simple filing system. Plastic boxes, each containing a different type of hook but many sizes.

IMG_7347

My wife is so glad I dont have all this gear around the house!

IMG_7348I have a similar set up for materials. All the natural materials in air tight containers to keep the bugs off and larger materials in plastic containers. This room here also has no heating so is always cold this also helps keep the bugs at bay.

IMG_7351I have about 50 of these plastic boxes stacked in the materials room, but it doesn’t guarantee I will find what I am looking for.

IMG_7344

Its here I also keep all my fly boxes, reels and lines.

IMG_7352

Oh and waders… and float tubes and other gear.

IMG_7354And the rods, well some of them…

IMG_7332Most of my tying books are also in the tying room for reference.

IMG_7339The tools. These I have collected and been given from friends over three decades of tying. Everything I use all the time is kept here except for Bug Bond, thats kept in the cold room and only brought out when needed.

IMG_6209_2The fly stand that I use for demos was made for me by my good friend Kjell Karlsen.

 


Fly tying course # 9 Techniques for traditional dry’s

Techniques for traditional dry’s

IMG_0724

Its often said “If you can tie a good dry fly, you can tie just about anything” this makes dry flies sound extremely difficult, they are not. There are many other patterns that look much simpler but are much more challenging for the tyer to master. 

The key to good dry flies:  

Quality materials

Proportion

Attention to detail

Follow the step by step instructions

Practice

h3doU2

Follow these rules and you will be tying great dry flies in no time.

Although you dont need perfect, great looking flies to catch fish, a well proportioned dry fly will float better and fish better in many cases giving a much more correct footprint on the water. There is also the wow factor, a well tied box of flies is always a great talking point amongst friends and other fishermen!

The techniques shown here are normally only learned after many years of tying and observing other more experienced tyers. If we where talking about a play station game, they may be thought of as cheats! Here you are given a condensed lesson in tying the classic dry fly.  If you learn the correct way right from the start you wont carry on making elementary mistakes. So study, learn and practice these techniques, and apply them to other patterns with a similar style.

Dont forget! If you have any questions please dont hesitate to ask. Just post your question at the foot of this page.

If you would like to receive a message when the next stage of the course is published, just add your e mail address at the top right of this page. Thanks, The feather bender.

IMG_0697

1

Secure your hook in the vice, so the hook shank is horizontal.

IMG_0699

2

Attach your tying thread and cover the hook shank with a even foundation of thread.

IMG_0700

3

Take a golden pheasant tippet feather and cut out a small section as shown. Keeping the tippets on the feather shaft will give you perfect aligned tips and also keep the tippets the right way while you tie them in.

IMG_0701

4

Lie one side of the tippet section on top of the hook shank and adjust to the correct length, see proportions chart. Tie in.

IMG_0705

5

Trim off the tippets 2/3 of the hook shank length or where you will tie in the wings. If you cut them off shorter you will have an un even underbody later. Tie down the tippet butts. Now make two small ridges with tying thread at the wing tying in point, about 1 mm apart.

This will make a groove for the wing shafts to be placed.

IMG_0698

6

Prepare two fan wing feathers by stripping off the lower fibers from the shaft. Dont worry too much about the wing tips not being too square this we will fix later.

IMG_0706

7

Place one of the fan wings in the groove and tie in as with a regular dry fly hackle X whipping.

IMG_0708

8

Now repeat with the second fan wing on the opposite side.

IMG_0710

9

Tie down the hackles keeping them vertical and run your tying thread to the rear of the hook shank. Take a long peacock herl. To get the peacock herl to warp correctly, tie it in by the point with the concave side to the hook shank. Again tie in the herl the full length of the body too the wing. Wind your tying thread about 1/3 of the hook shank.

IMG_0711

10

Wind on your peacock herl in tight even turns about 1/3 of the body length and tie off. Now carry on winding your peacock herl 2/3 of the body length.

IMG_0712

11

Cover the second third of peacock herl with wraps of tying thread and the a few wraps further into the wing. The wraps of tying thread over the peacock herl will give the body the required thickness.

IMG_0714

12

Now make the next segment of peacock herl into the wing base and tie off with a couple of turns of tying thread.

IMG_0715

13

Select and prepare a hackle and tie in so the hackle is vertical and then run your tying thread for ward to the hook eye.

IMG_0716

14

Remove the hackle stem and wind on the end of the peacock herl and tie off a couple of mm behind the hook eye. This peacock herl will give you the best foundation for your hackle. It creates a track that each turn of hackle will fall into and ensure that the hackle points stay vertical when wound.

IMG_0718

15

Attach a hackle plier to the point of your hackle and wind on your hackle in nice even turns, taking care that it doesn’t twist or buckle. Tie off a couple of mm behind the hook eye.

IMG_0737

16

Now take some flat edged scissors. While holding the wings in one hand, and holding the blade along the desired wing length position press your thumb against the blade trapping the wing points and whip off the points with a twist of the wrist. Take care that you are holding the wings tightly, otherwise you may pull them off!

IMG_0724

17

The finished fan wing dry.