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

Archive for January 2, 2014

Fly tying course # 8 The Brassie

The BrassieIMG_0695

Hook:  Mustad C49SNP # 6-22  http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/product.php?id=177

Tying thread:  Dyneema

Body:  Copper wire

Head:  Mixed hares ear dubbing

Its normal to weight nymphs with and under body of lead, but on small flies its sometimes desirable  to maintain a slim but at the same time heavy, body profile. With the Brassie copper wire of different sizes is used in respect to hook size, but you can achieve the best results with copper wire that is no thicker than the hook wire being used.  Copper wire in different colours can give extremely natural looking abdomen on pupa and larva patterns. Copper wire gives the impression of gas bubbles that hatching pupa and larva carry with them to the surface. The Brassie is especially effective in fast flowing water as a free swimming caddis larva or in smaller sizes as a midge pupa in still water.

In those situations where you wish to get down deep quick, this pattern is a must, especially when tied with a brass bead at the head of the fly. While fishing sea run char in Iceland once on the beautiful small river Fljotaa, where the holes are deep and the current strong, this pattern worked every time.

Try this in different sizes and colours, with and without brass bead heads.

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.

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1

Secure your hook in the vice.

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2

Attach your tying thread and cover the hook shank.

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3

Cut a length of copper wire. This is where many fly tyers make a mistake with this pattern.

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Take some flat nose pliers and flatten just 3 mm or so of the copper wire end to be tied in.

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The end of the copper wire should now look like this! Many tyers dont do this and get a considerably thicker body at the tail of the fly when they wrap the copper wire over the tying in point.

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Now tie in the flat end as shown and then wind your tying thread forward to the hook eye.

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Begin wrapping your copper wire in tight neat turns up the hook shank towards the thorax.

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8

Once you have covered the whole abdomen tie off at the thorax.

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9

Split and wax your tying thread. If you are not using thread that can be split make a dubbing loop and wax.

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Take a hares mask and pull enough of the spiky hairs from the ears and mix in the palm of your hand.

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Place the mixed hares ear dubbing in the waxed dubbing loop.

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Spin the hares ear dubbing in the loop.

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Wind on the dubbing loop brushing back the dubbing with each turn to get the best buggy effect.

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Whip finish and varnish.

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Fly tying course # 7 Bullet head technique Madam X

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This is another deer hair technique that very useful for many dry, terrestrial, and streamer patterns. Although not an easy technique to get right without detailed instruction, once mastered, never forgotten!

Hook: Mustad R30 94833 # 4-10  http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/product.php?id=175

Tying thread: Dyneema

Tail: Bleached elk hair

Body: Floss silk

Wing/head: Bleached elk hair

Legs: Rubber legs http://www.veniard.com/product2136/section172/micro-rubber-legs

This pattern was designed by US tyer Doug Swisher for attractor fishing in the Rocky mountains. The advantage of rubber legs in an attractor pattern is that the create maximum movement in the surface, ideal for searching out fish with both free drift and stripped across the surface. The large amount of elk hair and the bullet head make the Madam float well but low, using bleached elk hair also makes it easier to keep visual contact with her as she floats over rapids at a distance! Madam X can be tied in several colour combinations with bleached elk hair, as here but also natural and dyed black. You can also change the colour of the body and rubber legs. The bullet head construction should be very compact. If you think the head is too little or too loose you can build up a dubbing ball under the head, see my earlier post ‘Thunder creek’ for this technique. This pattern should not be underestimated, especially during caddis fly hatches in fast flowing rivers and streams.

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1

Secure your hook in the vice, remember always so the hook shaft is horizontal.

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2

Cover the hook shank with tying thread, until your thread hangs plumb with the hook barb.

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3

Cut a small bunch of bleached elk hair. You will see that it has quite a large amount of  underfur.

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4

Once you have cut a bunch of deer hair from the hide, ( while still holding it in your left hand by the tips) take your comb and brush out the under fur and any loose hairs that might be there.  Now you can stack your hair in a hair stacker and then comb it once more just to remove any smaller hairs that you may have missed the first time.

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5

Now place your elk hair in a hair stacker.

This is probably the most important tool for achieving a good attractive finish to a deer hair fly.   I like to have at hand three different sizes of stacker Small, Medium and Large.  The smallest is for traditional tails and wings, the medium for normal sized bunches of deer hair and larger wings i.e.; caddis fly wings, and the largest for long deer hair such as buck tail.

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To use a hair stacker, cut a bunch of hair and remove the under fur and loose hair with a comb.  Place the hair tips fist into the hair stacker and tap firmly on the table.  This will make the hair slide down into the stacker and align the tips. When removing the hair from the stacker hold the stacker at 60 degrees, not upright, so the hair doesn’t fall out, but will slide out.

If you would like to try and make mixed coloured bodies and wings etc take a few strands of equal lengthen different coloured hair until you have enough for the job at hand and place them all together in a wide necked hair stacker.  With a dubbing needle stir the hair around, so as to mix it evenly together.  This works like a dream for attractive natural wings (Streaking caddis) and multi coloured clipped bodies.

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6

Once the hair is cleaned and stacked tie in the tail. Firstly with two loose turns of tying thread, you dont want to tighten too much here otherwise the hair will flair too much.

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7

Run the tying thread towards the hook eye tying down the hair as you go. Trim off the excess hair and cover the whole hook shank in an even layer of tying thread.

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8

When the hair is cleaned and stacked measure the wing. This is important to get the proportions correct. From the tip of the tail to the hook eye. The wing should be tied in at the point of your thumb tip.

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9

Before you tie in the wing wrap your tying thread tight into the hook eye.

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10

When you tie in the bunch of elk hair for the wing make sure it spins around the whole hook shank tight into the hook eye.

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11

Carefully trim off the excess elk hair at the rear of the head. you can leave a little if you would like a larger foundation for your finished bullet head.

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12

Tie down the ends of the clipped elk hair.

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13

Tie in a length of floss silk and wrap it down to the tail base and back up again covering the whole body.

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14

Once you have returned to the head with the floss tie off and cut away the excess.

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15

If you have a transparent plastic tube, you can use a drinking straw, this next stage is much easier. First brush your elk hair wing with a tooth brush so all the fibers stand right out. Now take your plastic tube up-to the hook eye. Make sure that your tying thread is hanging where you would like the head to be tied!

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As you push the tube over the head of fly, grasp the wing with your left hand. If you have a transparent tube you are able to see if any of the deer hair has crossed each other and the everything is lying correct. If not gently twist the plastic tube from side to side and the deer hair will fall into place!

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17

Keeping the tube in place make a couple of loose turns of tying thread to hold everything in place.

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If you are please with how everything looks, lift the wing as shown, and tighten the head wrappings.

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Cut two lengths of rubber leg material the same size. Take one length and tie it in with 3 or 4 wraps of tying thread directly on the side of the head whippings as shown. The more you tighten the thread the more acute angle you will get on the rubber legs.

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Tie in the other rubber legs, make sure they are symmetrical.

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You can now colour your Dyneema with a water proof felt pen.

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Now make a whip finish and remove the tying thread.

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Apply a little drop of varnish to the whippings, you can also give the head a coat with varnish to make it a little more durable, and there you have your finished Madam X.