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Old 03-01-2013, 06:42 AM
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Default alternate fly tying materials

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Last edited by flytire; 05-07-2013 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: alternate fly tying materials

Flytire:

Howdy. I've found so much wonderful stuff in the last six months, that I decided to stop sharing the greatest part of it.

I've mentioned the "Hair Clips" in the Beauty departments of the Big Box Stores before. There is some fantastic material in those things.

I even called -Walmart earlier in the week to order some, only to find out they have discontinued a certain clip in a nice reddish burgundy color that was excellent for San Juan Worm, Leeches, and other flies.

I did find recently however, an actual reference in a 1991 book on the history of the worlds most common flies, that Dog Hair really was used for a fly. This appears on page 94 of "Fishing Flies: An Illustrated Album" by
Robert Atkinson. The author writes:


"Dog hair is an easy source of material for the tyer, and Harry Powell used the hair from a mongrel sheep dog to tie his pattern the DOGSBODY in 1924."
It looks like a Dark Brown Hare's Ear with about 5 dark brown tail pieces and a Dark brown and black Hackle around the upper thorax.

================================

.

However, I have found so much fiber from Stuffed Animals at the Thrift Stores, and Ladies Clothes and the Hobby Stores that I would not even bother with trimming my Brown or Black doggies (Pomeranians) to get material. I know that hurts the feelings of the Dogs, but what can I say. Substandard is Substandard.

I must mixed up a special and unique batch of RS-2 Dubbing this morning, and that new blender I bought for the job works like a dream when I just use a little bit at a time to mix it.

The Coffee Bean Grinder works, but it is slower, and does less.

------

I've been experimenting with many things, from plastic bags of different colors, to using cheap paint brushes for fibers, to using various twines of Synthetic fiber.

Also, I am still using ordinary Blonde Colored Sisal with satisfaction and I intend to start Dying some of that to get the colors I want.
Sisal, cut to 1/4" to 3/8" and added to Dubbing, can give a fly like a Hare's Ear a "very buggy" look.

I started buying India Ink to dilute with Alcohol and Blend it to get just the shades I want. I get a great deal of pleasure with using something like a Sparkly Antron fiber with something a little more dull and plain that I get from some clothing or stuffed animal or the other materials I've scavenged.

If you want to really see some fantastic possibilities, visit a Hobby Lobby and start walking up and down the aisles in the artificial Flower area, and where they also keep the materials for wedding banquet decorations etc. That place is a Fly Fisherman's dream.



Eyelashes from the Beauty Departments make for some great fine fibers for Dry Fly Legs and tails, and the Ladies Make-Up Brushes are a great supply of fine fibers too.

If you haven't visited the local Beauty Salon Supply Store, you could be in for a few surprises too. I walked through one just yesterday and found matierals for Crayfish Patterns and a few Hair Clips in Red etc, which I hope to use to compensate for what Wal-Mart has discontinued. Also, there is a shop called "Claires" which carries a different kind of selection of Sparkly/Shiny junk of the sort that Teenage girls like to use in their Hair, etc. A few things may be had there.

Also, I bought some more Plastic (glue-on) fingernails to make some small "spoons" with. I will paint these with Nail Polish.

I do not buy Brass Beads anymore. Instead, I use the "6/0" Glass beads from the hobby bead departments of the box stores.
They come in different colors, and the Gold is a very close approximation of the Brass in appearance.
The 6/0 size is the larger size, as will fit on a #8 to #10 hook or so and smaller.

Another type of Glass Bead they offer is also 6/0 in a type called the "Czech Glass Bead".

I move very slowly on some of these materials, sometimes thinking about a single pattern such as a Streamer for literally half a year before I actually start to put the thing together. Sometimes I just cannot quite find the material that I want, but sooner or later, something I see in a store, will work.

Also, I have lead, but I have come to use it only rarely now; because I have busted up several old household appliances like blenders, etc,
and now have a lifetime supply of Copper Wire.


I just bought some Twine in Orange, Yellow, and several Browns yesterday, and my wife says she can teach me to do a Three-String Braid, and I intend to use these for Stonefly Bodies, with other materials added in of course.


The Fly Tier wants to avoid using natural threads such as cotton, because cotton rots.
Synthetic Fibers are the best for flies. Of These, "Coats & Clark" (known also as "Coats") is a thread manufacturer who makes synthetics in two forms. One that can be used for fly tying is Polyester, and Polyester "coated" Polyester.
The second is Rayon, and the nice thing about the Coats Rayon thread, is that it comes in the sewing stores, on a Bobbin that is 1-3/8" wide (3.5 millimeter). What this mean is that it fits perfectly on to a fly tiers threading tool. It holds more thread though.

.
.

That's all I can think of at the moment.

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Last edited by brucerducer; 05-01-2013 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: alternate fly tying materials

The long black fly in the center of this picture is a 'white water witch" tied entirely from Halloween wig hair.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: alternate fly tying materials

This is the reverse side of a crispy crunch bar wrapper used as Mylar

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Old 03-01-2013, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: alternate fly tying materials

contents deleted
__________________
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/

Last edited by flytire; 05-07-2013 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: alternate fly tying materials

That fake eyelash tip is quite SMRT : Smart.

Also read about those old school Glad garbage bag plastic ties that look like a zipper working as nymph wing cases.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: alternate fly tying materials

The braided polypro or nylon lanyards that they hand out at conferences to hang your nametag from. Some of them come in yellow or orange, and when you unravel them, the strands are perfect for stimulator bodies.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: alternate fly tying materials

Forum member Kelly (kglissmeyer1) had another tying article published (KG's EPF Emerger) in the autumn 2012 issue of Flyfisher Magazine. The interesting thing about this emerger is that it uses that thin white foam sheeting used for protection of electronics in the packaging. Kelly uses the foam as a topping over the thorax area and looks great once you pull in tight. Lately I have been tying a few up for this coming fishing season.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: alternate fly tying materials

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnerney View Post
Forum member Kelly (kglissmeyer1) had another tying article published (KG's EPF Emerger) in the autumn 2012 issue of Flyfisher Magazine. The interesting thing about this emerger is that it uses that thin white foam sheeting used for protection of electronics in the packaging. Kelly uses the foam as a topping over the thorax area and looks great once you pull in tight. Lately I have been tying a few up for this coming fishing season.
A number of Gary LaFontaine's flies utilized packing foam... the airhead, the mess, the halo emerger....

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: alternate fly tying materials

All of the flies in this photo except the clousers on the lower left have glow in the dark spider web from the Halloween section at K-Mart. It has the same texture and works like EP fiber. The fly on the top right is an EP type minnow made entirely out of the spider web. I darkened the back with a marker and it actually glows though the marker. I love the stuff.


Click the image to open in full size.

I also like Halloween wigs for big Pike flies. I take the straight stuff and wrap a few inches around a pencil and hit it with a hair dryer on high for a bit. It permanently coils it. Whe 'fritzed' up it works exactly like Big Fly Fiber' but is much cheaper and comes in many more colors.

Click the image to open in full size.


Heart beads from the craft store. I use them as the head on Reynold's Pike Flies. It makes a larger head that protects the only vulnerable spot left on the fly. I use 5 min. epoxy on the weed gaurd, everything else is covered in leather. This makes the flies look better and are now just about indestructable.

Click the image to open in full size.

Big Intruderish fly I call a flame thrower tied on a cotter pin.

Click the image to open in full size.

Tube fly Poppers made on cotton swab tubes, foam ear plugs, and the clear tygon tubing from oxygen tubes.

Click the image to open in full size.

The throat on this tube fly is shed fur from my neighbors half Pekinese, half Chow. Don't ask how that happens, I can't picture it.

Click the image to open in full size.

I'm sure there is more, but that was all I could think of in a pop quiz sort of way.
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