Fly Tiers Corner

April Fly Tiers CornerTricks? 

After last month’s article I had a lot of emails and conversations with people about ‘my tying tricks’.  Only two problems with that statement: 

1) They aren’t my tricks (I haven’t had an original thought in years)

2) “Tricks” just sounds dirty 

I think the greatest gift tying gives us is the freedom to experiment and to share ideas with others.  So in that vein… here are a few more ‘tricks’. 

Underbodies can be as important to the fly as any other material. If you are tying a floss body they are critical. On light colored floss-bodied flies always wrap a smooth underbody of mylar tinsel. Floss looks so great dry but the second you get it wet it picks up the colors of the object underneath it. As this is usually a black hook, your beautiful lime green body is now a muddy green.  The mylar underbody not only maintains the color you intended but will shine through and enhance it. 

Wrapping Biots can often be very frustrating, especially when the biot is dry and brittle.  As you are sorting out materials to tie, tear off the needed biots for your tying session and place them in your lip.  Take the moistened biot out as needed and they won’t tear.  Did you also know that by facing the biot toward or away from you when tying you can change the body from ribbed to smooth? 

Calf tail wings are a struggle for most tiers, novice or advanced.  Always clip off 2-3 times the amount of hair as needed. Grab the hair by the base and pull out all the long guard hairs and any hair that is not uniform. Grab the hairs then by the tips and flick out all hairs too short for the desired wing. Stack the remaining and typically you have a perfect amount of hairs and hair that is much easier to work with. 

Dubbing blends seldom come in the perfect colors or have the perfect blend of guard hairs to give us the desired affect. Pick up a cheap coffee grinder and blend your own dubbing from any combination of materials you desire.  Words of caution—DO NOT attempt to blend Quick Decent dubbing. This material contains metal fibers to help it sink and will tangle around the shaft of the grinder. Also, I highly recommend you inform your spouse of your new tying device before they find out on their own…

The Fly Tiers Corner is an excerpt from the April issue of The Flyline, the official monthly publication of the Fly Fishers of Idaho.

Author: Jeff Wimer, Vice President of the Fly Fishers of Idaho & editor of The Flyline

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