I came across a book on Salmon Fly tying about a year ago, written back in the late 1800's by a British Doctor, fly fisher who later in life simply dropped medicine and became the Inspector of Salmon Fisheries for the UK. His last name was Pryce-Tannatt; the book is entitled: How to Dress Salmon Flies: A Handbook for Amateurs. It was one of several books that was recommended to me when I first discussed Salmon Fly tying with some of the local fly tyers up here in the Poconos. Other books included those by Hale, Francis and Kelson. Of those that I read, I liked this one best because it approached Salmon Fly tying in a gradient of difficulty manner; starting with the simplest flies and progressing to the more complex; adding new techniques that built on previous techniques with each successive fly.
Now, a little background on why I'm proposing what follows. Overall, I'm guilty of being the type of person who heads for the finish line as soon as possible; if there's a quick path the the end then I'm either already on it or I'm looking hard to find it. But, in the case of Salmon Fly tying, I think it would be a big help to me to go back to the basics and to re-build my approach to tying these beautiful, intriguing and effective flies. I've been intending to do that ever since I finished up Pryce-Tannatt's book and I plan to start the journey sometime in mid-September.
The book takes you through 7 different Salmon Fly patterns:
1. a grub pattern (a wingless pattern that teaches how to form the body, the rib and how to fold a hackle)
2. the March Brown (a strip wing pattern that teaches how to mount and place wings)
3. the Black Ranger (a whole feather winged pattern with a floss body)
4. the Silver Doctor (a mixed-wing pattern with a plain tinsel body)
5. the Jock Scott (a built-winged pattern with a jointed floss body - this could be a step too far; I'll have to see as I go along)
6. the Green King (a Spey pattern)
7. the Jock O'Dee (a Dee strip-wing pattern)
I'm far from being an accomplished Salmon Fly tyer, or for that matter an accomplished any fly tyer, but I plan to try to improve my skills in tying up these patterns and although I'm also not a teacher or instructor, I wanted to open up this Salmon Fly tying journey of mine to other forum members in the form of what I'd call a tie-along or a how-to. If anyone's interested in this, then here's how I plan to proceed.
1. I'd start with the first pattern (the grub) and proceed sequentially from there to tie up as many of the other patterns as I can.
2. I'd post the fly that I'm going to tie and the materials in advance and give everyone about two weeks to source the materials that you don't already have. I'll share the sources that I use so that you can have some options.
3. After we have the materials, I'd tie each of the patterns with picture step-by-steps and video where video is better than stills (if I can get the video piece worked out; which I think I can)
4. As I go along, we can share ideas and techniques; what's working, what's not, post pics of what we've tied, etc. If we get a group to tie these flies, then we're probably going to turn out to be a lot better collectively than any of us will be alone; at least initially. We also have some forum members, Ard in particular, who have a lot of experience and who already tie very nice Salmon Fly patterns and I'm hoping that they'll join in to give us some pointers along the way.
I'm figuring that each pattern should take about a month; perhaps less for the easier ones. That's counting the time to designate the fly, post the materials, source the materials and complete the tie. Starting time would be roughly mid-September.
I'm looking forward to it. I hope that there are others on this forum who will join me on this journey. Let me know what you think.
Here's the roster of members for this tie-along, so far:
I think this is going to be great. Especially good for new tiers or anyone who wants to learn how to tie feather wing flies. I know Pocono will do a good job and provide a lot of help for even the very basic tier. I hope a lot of you take advantage of the opportunity.
That's great, Fysh! I could definitely use some company.
I hope we can get a few others to come along, too.
I know that we had quite a bit of interest in the Salmon Fly Swap last year, so I'm thinking that maybe some of those folks, as well as some of those who missed out on it, will also want to tie up these patterns.
I'll post more details when I get back at the end of this week.
Thank you for the PM. I would love to do this but honestly my stuff is buried under boxes and sundry. I know I will not be ready by mid month, I have to prep and paint about 60% of the walls and I am doing hardwood and ceramic floors that must be done before the snow flies. My apologies, I would have loved to jump in on this one.....Kerry
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