Tying Long Flies
Blue Devil Custom
This is one of the many patterns from the legendary Rangeley fly tyer Carrie G Stevens. Most of her patterns where tied on 6 X long – 10 X long shank hooks although she did use some that where even 12 X long, these super long shank hooks is what gives these flies their unique profile and silhouette. In 1924 Carrie G Stevens caught a 6lb 13oz brook trout on a prototype streamer she had made herself. She entered her catch into the fishing competition in the well known American magazine “Field and Stream” shortly after her prototype streamer and the trophy brook trout it caught would be her spring board to international acclaim as the originator of this new style of streamer.
Hook: Mustad L87NP-BR #2 or Partridge CS15 #4
Tying thread: Dyneema
Tag: Flat silver tinsel
Body: Red silk floss
Rib: Flat silver tinsel
Throat: White buck tail with red/orange hackle or hackle fibres
Wing: Eight – ten strands of peacock herl, two red/orange hackles, two blue hackles.
Shoulder: Brown grey partridge hackle
Cheeks: Jungle Cock
Secure your 10XL streamer hook in the vice with the hook shank horizontal.
Attach your tying thread to the hook shank just above the point.
Tie in a short length of flat silver tinsel and make 6 or 7 turns to form the tag.
Tie in another longer length of flat silver tinsel at the end of the tag and run your tying thread neatly along the hook shank towards the hook eye. Now tie in a length of red floss silk just behind the eye.
Wrap the floss silk in neat flat turns back towards the tag try and make these wraps as neat and flat as possible. Once at the tag reverse the floss and begin wrapping it back towards the hook eye, and tie off.
Now take your flat silver tinsel for the rib and wind forward in even open turns, trying to make each turn the same distance and angle as the last. Tie off.
Cut clean and stack a bunch of white buck tail for the throat. This should be about one hook gape longer than the hook. Tie in as shown.
Select 8-10 straight strands of nice peacock herl, avoid strung herl, these are often bent or broken. Choose full bodied herl with nice points and good iredescent colour. Tie these in lying on top of the hook shank. Don’t worry if these flare a little you can position these later with the wing.
Construct the wing by selecting all four components for both sides of the wing. Measure and strip off the un-needed fibres at the base so they are all the correct size.
Typically these wings are constructed by glueing each component on top of each other. The glue or cement used should be thick enough so as not to bleed into the fibres of the feathers. The glue used here is a regular bottle of Veniard Cellire varnish that I have left the top off for a few days. This will make the varnish evaporate down to about 50% and result in a thick sticky cement that won’t bleed. Run a small amount of cement along the base of the hackle for the inner wing. Make sure that you only apply it to the area to be covered by the shoulder hackle.
Now place the second wing component on top of the glued area of the first hackle.
Make sure that the shoulder partridge hackles have a similar pattern.
Cement the shoulder hackle onto the wing as shown.
Followed by the Jungle cock cheeks.
When both wings are constructed they should look balanced as with these, leave to dry for a few minutes.
Prepare your throat hackle and tie in. Many use only fibres here but I find a traditional hackle better as the top half of the wound hackle makes a good buffer for holding the wing evenly positioned.
Wind on the throat hackle and tie off.
With wet fingers separate the hackle in two a little more on the throat part and position.
Place a small piece of foam over the hackle as shown and hold this in place with a english hackle plier for a couple of minutes. This will form the hackle into the correct position and shape.
Now you can trim the hackle stems on the wing sections. This should be done at a angle so you get a taper on the head of the fly.
Position each wing section and tie in with as few wraps of tying thread as possible.
If you are using Dyneema thread colour it black with a waterproof felt pen and finish the head with a whip finish.
Give the head a few coats of glossy varnish.