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Old 09-19-2010, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Salmon Fly Tie-Along?

Grub Pattern - Some Additional Information

Here's some additional points on tying up the Grub pattern. I tried to make these part of the step-by-step post, but I ran out of picture capacity. So, here they are now:

1. Flattening thread

Most feathered Salmon flies have a lot of materials tied onto the hook (not the case with the Grub pattern), so in many cases "bulk" becomes a problem, since it takes a consideable amount of thread to tie in all of these materials. The use of flattened thread is one way to mitigate this problem.

Suffice it to say that for each wrap of thread around the hook, you introduce 1/4 turn of twist into the thread. So, with every 4 turns, you add one turn of twist. You can take this thread twist out by turning the bobbin countercolckwise one turn. Don't just spin the bobbin counterclockwise; all that does is twist the thead in the opposite direction. Think 4 wraps of thread, 1 counterclockwise twist of the bobbin and you should be fine.

Here's a link to an article that talks about thread twist and gives some examples:

http://http://globalflyfisher.com/tiebetter/thread_control/

Another article that talks about flattening thread and how to keep the heads of your flies small using flattened thread and the "shoulder" concept is below. It's written for winged wet flies, but it's applicable to Salmon flies, too:

http://http://hatchesmagazine.com/blogs/Hatches/2010/02/08/wet-fly-heads-by-mike-schmidt/

2. Tying in oval tinsel

Oval tinsel is, geneally, metal or a metal-like material would around a thread-like core material. When you cut off a piece of oval tinsel, it looks like this; with a blunt end:

Click the image to open in full size.

But, what you want is to tie in tinsel as flatly as you can, so what you want to do is to tie in the core (which is flattenable). To do this, pinch the last 1/8" of the blunt end with the fingernails of your left thumb and index finger. Then take the fingernails of your right thumb and index finger; butt them right up against the left fingers and pull quickly to the right. That will give you a stripped end that looks something like this:

Click the image to open in full size.

Now, using the stripped tinsel core, tie in your tinsel.

3. Folding hackle

Folding hackle is something that you'll need to do for most feather wing Salmon flies. There are, essentially, two ways to do it: 1. off the hook, and 2. on the hook.

Tom takes you through how to fold hackle off the hook in pages 105-108 of his book (Chapter VIII). I've tried this method and, frankly, I'm not very good at it.

For a good example of how to fold hackle on the hook, see the below video from YouTube that was previously posted to this forum by another member on a thread that describes how to fold hackle. It uses scissors to achieve the folding and, in my hands, it works pretty well.


I use a combinaion of the two. I fold the hackle off the hook, but I use the scissors fooding technique in the video. Here's how I do it.

Start with a good hackle:

Click the image to open in full size.

Then brush the barbs backwards, leaving a very small tip. Attach your hackle pliers to this tip:

Click the image to open in full size.

I then mount the hackle to my vise:

Click the image to open in full size.

Then I hold the other end of the hackle in my left hand and with the scissors held in the position shown in the video, I brush the blade against each side of the hackle 10 or so times; until I get the folded effect that I'm looking for. If you snap your hackle, then you're bearing down too hard with the scissors. If you see hackle fibers accumulating under the hackle as you use the scissors, then you're bearing down too hard. If the hackle isn't folded after 10 or so strokes on each side, you're not bearing down hard enough. It takes some practice, but once you have it down, it's relatively easy and it's an essential technique for tying feather wing Salmon flies. Here's how it looks on the vise after folding:

Click the image to open in full size.

And, viewed from the side:

Click the image to open in full size.

When you're ready to mount the hackle, remove the hackle pliers and cut the tip off horizontally, giving you what looks like an upside down pyramid. This is what is generally referred to as an "anchor" and this is what you use to tie the folded hackle onto the hook. Here's an example:

Click the image to open in full size.

There is another technique for folding hackle off the hook. It sounds interesting, but I haven't tried it yet. It was developed by Joe Ayres and uses a styrofoam block. If you're an experimentalist, the link is below:

http://http://swittersb.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/fly-tying-folding-hackle-barbs-to-double-the-barbs/

That's it. Post any questions that you have to the thread and I'll try to answer them; or someone else in the tie-along will. Let's see some more pics!

Allan
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