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Old 11-09-2012, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: First attempt at a salmon fly

That's a great first attempt at a salmon fly, very nice work! No doubt this will fish. I wouldn't hesitate to swing it.

I think Pocono's advice is excellent--tie up several patterns and watch your progress from the first to last. I do this with any new to me pattern--for any species. Usually by the 3rd pattern I have it dialed in where I want to.

Nothing wrong with making use of what's on hand, I do that frequently. I am far from an expert with ASF's as I've only tied a few myself but a few observations I have gleaned from looking at other's work and similar posts:

Your tie in point looks a little far back to me. The thread body could have been built up to keep the profile of the body a little more even and as you pointed out the wraps of wire are uneven. The head looks a little large. Everything else to me looks great, hackle, wing proportion, JC eyes. BTW, really nice job with the goose slips, that can be tricky at least for me anyway.

One of the things I have noticed with ASF's - they are as much a work of art as they are a functional piece of tackle. At least for the expert tiers anyway--one of which I am not. Great job and stick with it, you are on to something here.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: First attempt at a salmon fly

Something I've noticed over time; I have the advantage of being to look at flies I tied long ago and compare them to recent ties. The one thing that stands out is that the flies look great when we make them and they are there clamped in the vise but when we examine them under the unforgiving magnification of macro photography we all begin to doubt our own works.

As you and all the rest of our members who wish to try their hand at these beautiful and useful fly patterns move forward, remember that the person you should be looking to impress is you. When you turn out that first fly and it looks pretty good to you, that's the real kicker. That is what will keep you making the flies. I tied fancy flies like yours long before I ever went fishing for a salmon and I believe that having the flies in waiting is what kept my mind active in never giving up hope that one day I was going to go use those flies.

It's tough to actually tie a Thunder & Lightening to your leader when everyone around you is using the latest and greatest in the pattern world. I fish places where fish are being caught on everything from beads to a simple strand of pink yarn square knotted to a Gamakatsu hook. Somehow I stay the course, I tie on a fly, a real fly, and I fish with it. In the end there is always a fish that will take the fly and that is exactly what I had come for, to fish with one of those salmon flies. While catching a fish is good, few things are more rewarding than feeling one grab hold of a Thunder & lightening or Thor, or Skykomish, or any of the traditional ties.

Let's tie up some more of them,

Ard
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: First attempt at a salmon fly

Great first effort Hugh

Some advice from me which hasn't already been mentioned.
If you are REALLY keen to tie great atlantic salmon flies, ditch the eyed hooks.
They are usually of totally wrong proportions in terms of shank length, gape, bend, the works. Not only that, but wings etc are very much harder to tie on the return eye salmon irons, at least until you get the hang of tying them on.

While more expensive, blind eye hooks are much better for learning on, something i found out very early; after my second fly, i never tied an atlantic salmon fly on an eyed hook!! Both my first two were Jock Scotts, and very poor at that. But learning proportions on a well proportioned hook is key to seeing progress.

Read some articles to learn about proportions, buy a book or two or better still download the classics - Kelson, Pryce-Tannatt, Hale, Tolfrey, Francis, Maxwell, Stoddart, Hardy, etc all have expired copy rights and have been scanned as PDFs. If you're interested, shoot me a message and i'll send you a link for all the reading you will ever need.

The good thing about the classics, is they are also instructional. Hardy, PT and Kelson to name a few all describe how flies should look and how they should be constructed, and include some graphical instructions too....
The Irish flies from Ephemera, PT, Hi-Regan are the simplest to start out with.

Finally. Take your time. Dont try to finish a fly in one sitting. You never be happy with it. If you cant get something to sit right on the hook, take it off, take a break and come back to it later. I've only ever finished one atlantic salmon fly in one sitting. The first one.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: First attempt at a salmon fly

I agree! blind eyes are much nicer to tie with for classics/salmon flies
I tie most of mine on eyed hooks just because they do not carry blind eyes at my local shop but when I do tie them it is a pleasure, proportions line up better, it looks smoother, and it is IMO more rewarding

Most of the flies I tie are salmon flies, mostly because I dread anything smaller than a #12
and having only been tying for a year, I have found out that taking your time, and using good material makes all the difference
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: First attempt at a salmon fly

Not a bad first attempt. It looks a lot like some of my own first tries. That being said, thread control is the name of the game with these guys. Watch how much thread you're putting down...is it even????? Most of my time with these is spent laying down and stacking my thread so that it is flat and even. Furthermore, use minimal amounts of thread and yet are ready for your next step. The rest just has to do with patience and re-doing steps if they don't look right.

Good luck!

Dave
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