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Old 02-05-2013, 09:16 PM
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Default Brian's one a month challenge.

So being in the beginning stages of the art of fly tying I decided to try and challenge myself. I figure the best way to become better at fly tying is to actually do it, and do it by trying as many methods as possible. So I came up with the idea of challenging myself to try and tie at least one new pattern a month. The patterns may be easy. They may be complex (eventually). I may even make a fool of myself for your simple entertainment. This will be a running thread where, hopefully, each month you will see the results of my attempt to tie a new pattern for myself. I intend to try out a format in which I will list the history of the pattern (if possible) and the materials, not so much for your benefit (since I am sure this is all old hat to you folks) but sort of as my "test answer" to show I am actually learning not just about the methods of tying, but where the patterns come/came from themselves.

So, let the fun begin with this first pattern of my personal challenge.......

---------- Post added at 10:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:04 PM ----------

Feb. 2013

The Mickey Finn!

History

It is believed this pattern was first tied by Quebec fly tier Charles Langevin, some time in the 19th century. First known as the "Langevin" it was later changed to "The assassin". As it's popularity took hold it became a go-to pattern, even though it's colors don't mimic anything in nature. It's fish catching reputation so enamored Canadian writer/fisherman Greg Clark to proclaim it was as effective as a "Mickey Finn", a popular drink that was rumored to contain a drug of some sort that left the drinker quickly out like a light (and is supposedly the cause of Rudolph Valentino's death). The new name stuck as Clark wrote about it many times in the 30's. As a streamer pattern it is supposed to mimic a baitfish.

materials I used
Hook: 2x streamer, size 8 (down turned eye)
Thread: Red 6/0 uni, black 8/0 uni (I did not have any 6/0 black on hand at the moment.)
Body: silver tinsel (I know, it looks gold in the pictures for some reason)
Wing: Yellow and Red bucktail

Click the image to open in full size.

Overall it took longer than I care to admit to tie this one. The first attempt I did not like as I tied the wing in too far back giving a too large head. I also need to get some 4x long streamer hooks since I want it longer, but as of right now I only had the 2x long. Next tie I need to work more at making a neater head. It looks OK in this picture, but could be better....yes, I am picky like that.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Brian's one a month challenge.

Good luck with the project Brian and thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the results
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Brian's one a month challenge.

Brian: Sounds like a great way to challenge yourself and become a great fly tier. I'm looking forward to see your progress.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Brian's one a month challenge.

Thanks fellas. I think I (all of us actually) have a big advantage than the tiers of yesteryear in that the internet is a gold mine of information. Just Googling "Mickey Finn fly pattern" gave me hundreds of pages worth of tying instruction. I have a list of stuff I would like to tackle, and between Google, this website and YouTube I doubt there is a pattern I won't be able to find info to help me along here.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:08 AM
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Default Re: Brian's one a month challenge.

well i have some flies that i'm sure google and you tube + the majority of tyers have never even heard about but thats an article for my blog

additional mickey finn history

http://www.capebretonpost.com/Opinio...even-decades/1

http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/...an-mickey-finn

http://www.capebretonpost.com/Opinio...got-its-name/1
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Poor quality materials are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

YOUR way is not the ONLY way when tying flies!

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You're only limited by lack of imagination. Be creative, experiment.

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Old 02-06-2013, 05:49 AM
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Default Re: Brian's one a month challenge.

That's a good first tie!

Nice, too, that you're researching the history of the patterns that you tie up; I think it adds a lot to the enjoyment of both tying and fishing them.

A smooth thread base is the key to getting your foil body to lie nice and flat when the wraps are butted together. Leave a little space just behind the eye of the hook (about and eye-width) when you start your thread; it helps with minimalizing thread build up when you're adding materials like bucktail and it helps smooth and shape the head. Ideally, you'd like to finish the pattern; all materials tyed in, with a slightly undersized head, then build it up, as needed, with additional thread wraps to get the size and proportion that you want. Don't forget that head cement adds to the overall perceived bulk of the head.

Looking forward to your next month's installment..................any hints.........??

Pocono
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: Brian's one a month challenge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flytire View Post
well i have some flies that i'm sure google and you tube + the majority of tyers have never even heard about but thats an article for my blog

additional mickey finn history

The Mickey Finn fly has proven its success over seven decades - Columns - Cape Breton Post

The Mysterious Long Life Span of the Mickey Finn | Field & Stream

Intriguing tale behind how Mickey Finn fly got its name - Columns - Cape Breton Post
Thanks for the links flytire! I did read the F&S article while doing the background research, but not the others. Some good stuff there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocono
That's a good first tie!

Nice, too, that you're researching the history of the patterns that you tie up; I think it adds a lot to the enjoyment of both tying and fishing them.

A smooth thread base is the key to getting your foil body to lie nice and flat when the wraps are butted together. Leave a little space just behind the eye of the hook (about and eye-width) when you start your thread; it helps with minimalizing thread build up when you're adding materials like bucktail and it helps smooth and shape the head. Ideally, you'd like to finish the pattern; all materials tyed in, with a slightly undersized head, then build it up, as needed, with additional thread wraps to get the size and proportion that you want. Don't forget that head cement adds to the overall perceived bulk of the head.

Looking forward to your next month's installment..................any hints.........??

Pocono
Some good tips, I appreciate it! The hardest time I was having was getting the hair to lay just right. I know you don't want it shooting up at a 45 degree angle, but I was having a hard time getting it to stop laying flat against the shaft. And I didn't even think about even under wraps causing problem with the foil. After I had wound back I just did a quick rough wind forward, now I see how that can cause problems. I think I will head to the fly shop today or maybe next week and pick up some 4x long streamer hooks, maybe in a couple other sizes too, just to add to the box. These should make for great panfish flies.

And while at the shop I will grab some more stuff for next months attempt. You want a hint? Well, let's just say it is another streamer that I have used to nail bluegills with ease. You could say this streamer could be comfortable wearing either a crown or holding a set of reigns.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: Brian's one a month challenge.

Nice tie Brian,
I did something similar when I started tying, and I also got involved in several of the fly swaps right here on NAFF. tying a dozen (or more) of a pattern really helps to get the proprotions right and also sets the methodology of tying the particular fly solidly in your mind.

looking forward to next month.

Dave
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Brian's one a month challenge.

i tie mickey finns as follows

tie in the oval tinsel 1 eye length behind the eye and spiral wrap your thread over the oval tinsel to the bend of the hook.

return the tying thread back to the tie in poind behind the eye.

tie in the flat tinsel gold side up using 3-5 wraps on thread.

now i wrap the flat tinsel back to the bend in touching turns.

at the bend of the hook, i then wrap the tinsel forward in touching turnd to the tie of point. this back and forth wrapping of the flat tinsel ensures there will be no gaps in the tinsel to have the thread show through. an extra step but i think it makes for a better tied body.

i the prepare my first bunch of buck tail for the wing. just before i tie in the wing, i will take 2 wraps of thread around the butts of the buck tail only. then i position the butts on the hook shank and secure with tight wraps of thread but not too tight where it flares the bucktail wing. wrapping around the buck tail butts helps to keep them on top of the hook shank and it also helps in keeping the buck tail seperate from each other.

dont forget to trim the butts of the buck tail at an angle to help create the conical head of the fly.

repeat the process with the remaining buck tail wings

reference

http://www.flyanglersonline.com/flyt...021901fotw.php
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Poor quality materials are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

YOUR way is not the ONLY way when tying flies!

Fly tyers can be masters of making things complicated!

You're only limited by lack of imagination. Be creative, experiment.

http://flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Brian's one a month challenge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian miville View Post
Well, let's just say it is another streamer that I have used to nail bluegills with ease. You could say this streamer could be comfortable wearing either a crown or holding a set of reigns.
Sounds like we could be looking at a Royal Coachman shortly.................. Not a particularly easy tie with the herl, the feather wings and the hackle. Check out some of s. fontinalis's posts; you'll find some nice RCs in them.

Pocono

---------- Post added at 02:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:42 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by webrx View Post
tying a dozen (or more) of a pattern really helps to get the proprotions right and also sets the methodology of tying the particular fly solidly in your mind.

Dave
+1 on that one!

When I started tying, I learned from a guy named Stanley Cooper, Jr. He had been a professional tyer at Abercrombie's in NYC for years; back when they used to be more into sports than fabrics. He once told me, in response to a questions that I asked of him; something like: "how long does it take to really get a pattern down?", "Once you've tyed up a dozen dozen, you've pretty much got it nailed". That's 12 12's; roughly 150 flies.

So, I think that there's a lot to be said for repetition. I remember when I sent in flies for my first swap on NAFFF; I think it was a Tups Indispensable, I tyed 4 dozen to get 12 flies that I wasn't ashamed of to send off; and those 12 were nothing to write home about...............

Pocono
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