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Old 02-20-2012, 07:11 PM
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Default wool bodied flies

I'm interested in tying wool bodied flies, particularly hoppers. I tie them with foam, etc, just wanting to give these a try. I have some questions.

Is there a particular kind of wool that is best? Can I go get wool used for knitting or is there a better kind for fly tying?

Also, does it have to be wool or are there synthetics used for knitting etc that are just as good or better? I've wondered if wool has properties either visually or related to floating that make it better.

Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: wool bodied flies

This is in a different direction, but there are a lot of Salmon fly patterns that are tied with wool bodies.

In that case, the wool of choice is Berlin Wool; a tight, low fuzz material that was probably the best wool that they had lying around back around the turn of the last century.

If I wanted some float to the body, then I'd use a polypropylene wool; otherwise most wools will become water-logged and will drag your fly under. But, enough foam will easily compensate for that.

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: wool bodied flies

wool absorbs water and is not good for surface flies, wet flies and streamers can benifit from it...
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: wool bodied flies

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Originally Posted by sandfly View Post
wool absorbs water and is not good for surface flies, wet flies and streamers can benifit from it...
That's what I was thinking, but I've seen hopper patterns calling for it. I suppose it makes sense that it might just be.what they had around then. I guess it could make a nice drowned terrestrial or I could coat it in floatant... the wool yard does make a great buggy bodies.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: wool bodied flies

Wool is fine for dry fly bodies.

What you need is Royce Dam's book, The Practical Fly Tyer. Royce is the best fly tier that no one has heard of, but he is a legend in Wisconsin.

He won the FFF's Buz Buszek Memorial Fly Tying Award in 1994. This the Federation of Fly Fisher's highest award for fly tying. Royce's book has instructions for making wood dubbing and for using it to tie both dry and wet flies.

Read the comments below for The Practical Fly Tyer. Both fly tiers specifically mention that wool has worked for them for dry flies.

"Wool makes dry flies look and work even better than fur-dubbed flies." and "His wool dubbing method is so simple and quick I have used nothing else since. You can master this wool dubbing quickly and take all the work out of nymphs to drys."

Amazon.com: Practical Fly Tier, The (9780811710275): Royce Dam: Books Amazon.com: Practical Fly Tier, The (9780811710275): Royce Dam: Books
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: wool bodied flies

On a grasshopper pattern it probably won't matter too much what kind of yarn you use because there's usually a lot of spun deer body hair or foam used that will float the fly.

I use a couple different types of yarn--

wool yarn for some wet fly bodies-- Depending on the size of the fly, you may need to cut a length then separate the 4 strands of wool and use just one strand instead of all 4 strands to get a body that's not too thick.

acrylic rug yarn for grasshoppers and stonefly dries and stuff like crab flies, where short pieces are tied perpendicular to the shank, unravelled with a bodkin or brush and then trimmed into shape. You can often find a whole skein in craft stores for $1
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: wool bodied flies

Back when I first started fly fishing, a lot of the cheap store bought hoppers were tied with yellow synthetic yarn bodies. The hook shank was wrapped with thread, then a twisted piece of yarn was tied in on top of the shank with wraps to imitate segmentation. They always had a short bunch of red buck tail at the back.
You could dress the fly to try to keep it afloat, but I think they worked better with the body sunk and the wings dressed to float it just below the surface.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: wool bodied flies

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
Wool is fine for dry fly bodies.

What you need is Royce Dam's book, The Practical Fly Tyer. Royce is the best fly tier that no one has heard of, but he is a legend in Wisconsin.
Thanks for the recommendation. I just requested it through my library.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: wool bodied flies

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
Wool is fine for dry fly bodies.

What you need is Royce Dam's book, The Practical Fly Tyer. Royce is the best fly tier that no one has heard of, but he is a legend in Wisconsin.

He won the FFF's Buz Buszek Memorial Fly Tying Award in 1994. This the Federation of Fly Fisher's highest award for fly tying. Royce's book has instructions for making wood dubbing and for using it to tie both dry and wet flies.

Read the comments below for The Practical Fly Tyer. Both fly tiers specifically mention that wool has worked for them for dry flies.

"Wool makes dry flies look and work even better than fur-dubbed flies." and "His wool dubbing method is so simple and quick I have used nothing else since. You can master this wool dubbing quickly and take all the work out of nymphs to drys."

Amazon.com: Practical Fly Tier, The (9780811710275): Royce Dam: Books
Hey there SilverCreek. I just ordered Royce Dam's book, "The Practical Fly Tyer" on your excellent recommendation.

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Old 12-01-2012, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: wool bodied flies

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucerducer View Post
Hey there SilverCreek. I just ordered Royce Dam's book, "The Practical Fly Tyer" on your excellent recommendation.

Silver: Thanks for the heads up, I couldn't pass on that deal for $5.95.

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