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Old 12-09-2008, 11:16 PM
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Default Hair Leadwing Coachman

I wanted to tie some lead wing coachman wet flies and didn't have the needed slate gray feathers so.....
I substituted fine gray deer hair. This hair is more like bucktail, that is, not hollow; and, slate gray. I know some of the traditional salmon flies have been redone using a hair wing so I thought I would give it a go.
I think the concept behind this fly is an adult caddis that lays it's eggs underwater, hence the no tail and gold tinsel tag. I use a fine gold wire rib to help hold the herl and I use a bunch of hackle fibers tied in place as a false beard or on the underside only. The overall look is pretty much the same as the standard tie. In any event, have any of you ever tied a lead wing coachman with a hair wing and if so, how did it work. The book I read on salmon fishing claims the hair wings actually are better than the feather wings.
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Hair Leadwing Coachman

Red,

I've never tied a lead wing coachman either way. I have tied a lot of patterns but not that one. As for the what Salmon prefer issue I have to ask what species of Salmon and where are you fishing?

Generally I like feather over hair, (literally speaking) sparse hair to serve as an underwing and to add color as needed. For certain applications I use all bunny fur dyed to fit the need. These are used on fresh run fish close to the salt and are mostly attractor patterns.

For fish farther up the channel who have been here a while I use streamers that more closely imitate small fish such as a Grey Ghost or a Whitlock's Sculpin.

The real answer is in the fly itself, if it catches fish tie more.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Hair Leadwing Coachman

Atlantic Salmon. The reason I asked about the gray hair is in the salmon book the author said the hair moves or pulsates, or breathes and he thought it was better than the feathers. Well I read that there are some caddis flies- the adult- that swim under water and lay their eggs on the bottom of the stream and the leadwing coachman may suggest such a fly, that's why you're not suppose to have a tail and the gold tinsel is suppose to suggest and egg sack. In any event, this article I read said the wings aren't used for swimming, they stay in place and the legs move, so... in such a case hair may be wrong, what you probably want is a wing that doesn't move very much. In any event, that's why I asked.
I patrolled my lake shore (yeah, I live on a lake) and picked up some so-so slate feathers and did about 5 standard tie but so far I'm not that happy with the results. On a bare hook (dry fly) I can pull down the thread and get the wings fairly good but on a wet fly there is all the bunched up material and I find it more difficult.
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